God’s Free Will and Man’s Limited Will

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When we speak negatively of humanity’s free will we don’t suggest that we don’t have a will at all. We have a will, it is just not free;[1] neither do we have the unrestricted ability to carry out our will.

God, on the other hand has a will that is absolutely free,[2] and without any restriction in executing it whatsoever. In other words, His will is absolutely sovereign[3] without restraint from any outside source.

God is the Father and we are His children. Relatively speaking, when my children were young they had a will, but it was not free. I caused the exercise of their will to be limited, while mine in relationship to theirs, was sovereign. I did so for their maturity and growth; for their welfare and safety. I had their best interest at heart. So it is with God.

To advocate human free will is to deny God’s Godhood. For there to be a God, there can’t be two conflicting wills. There is room in His universe for only one with free will. It’s impossible for a finite being to have an absolutely free will. If creatures had absolute free will, then the creation would be greater than the Creator. God’s will is FREE; man’s will is NOT.

Based on fancied “free will,” Christianity essentially has God gambling on an experiment. We, however, are not the masters of our own fate. We are not the lords of our own lives. We are the creatures, not the Creator. We’re like a leaf on a stream, unaware of the current beneath carrying it along, or of its destination.

We can relax in our constrained wills as creatures, and rest in Father’s free will as Creator. He is our benevolent Dad; He always knows exactly what He is doing, and those of us granted faith have the eyes to see that it all works for eventual good (Romans 8:28).

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.
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[1]“Not limited” – Cambridge Dictionary; “unconstrained; unrestrained; not under compulsion or control … not obstructed” – Webster’s Dictionary (1828).
[2]Interestingly, “free” is a synonym of “sovereign.”
[3]“Self-governing; independent … having supreme rank or power …” – American Heritage Dictionary.

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A God Worthy of the Name

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What a relief to point to a God worthy of the name! A God Who has a purpose in pain and a design in death. A God Who will use every groan for His glory and His creature’s gain, and will turn every torment into ecstasy and the exaltation of His great name.

God’s glad message does not consist in heralding a horrid hell. It concerns His Son, and the universal reconciliation is but the gospel ultimate, for it, too, concerns His Son and His eventual triumph. It is the popular orthodox “gospel” which is driving men into various by-paths.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Vol. 9, page 98
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The Example of Babel

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God caused the confusion at the Tower of Babel for His purposes. We can look to this historical event and somewhat get a grasp of the grand plan and know that it fits perfectly into what God has been doing in world affairs ever since.

In light of this, maybe we can begin to understand God’s sovereign plan to hide Paul’s message of grace as the church entered the 3rd and 4th centuries. Not only was God in control of those in charge of the distortion of this message, but His plan was not thwarted by the nefarious church that eventually introduced mankind into the dark ages, the gruesome crusades, the reformation, and now the 30,000 denominations we see all around the world.

This has been no less a part of God’s plan than the Tower of Babel. To this, we should include the many false religions. Even though they miss the mark, God uses them all for His grand purpose, which is to eventually display His love and mercy to all.

Keep in mind, this life is not about each of us “getting it right.” It’s God’s way of creating a unique story each one of us will take with us to the day of resurrection. Our pain, frustrations, sin, heartaches, sickness, grief, etc. – these dark things in our lives are the necessary back drop that will forever help us see and experience His love. They’re all a necessary contrast!

We can easily get frustrated with the rejection we experience and also wonder, “Why has God kept this message of the forgotten gospel visible only to a minuscule few?”

Fortunately, we can relax in His sovereign Hand while simultaneously stepping forward with an excitement that He is beginning to reveal this beautiful declaration of relentless love to more and more people around the world – and He’s using us to do it. What a humble privilege we have.

mike-owensMike Owens
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Infinite Love, Wisdom, Power and Justice

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The fact that man was created by a God of infinite love, wisdom, power and justice, is a guarantee that such existence will not in any case prove an endless curse.

Infinite love would desire the final happiness of all.

Infinite wisdom would arrange a perfect plan which, when carried through, would secure the end desired.

Infinite power would secure all that infinite love desired, or infinite wisdom devised.

Infinite justice could be satisfied with nothing less than what the other attributes of God claimed – the triumph of good.

John Crenshaw Burruss (1821-1912)
Voices of the Faith (1887), page 156
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Peace – Be Still!

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Another year has gone. Our eyes are still fixed on that portion of the Divine Calendar so clearly marked as the era of Grace. God’s clock moves steadily on. The saints alone enjoy peace.

Our Lord Jesus is in the boat and all is well. So long as Paul was in the ship all was well with the mixed crew. So it is today amidst all the terrible happenings; let us take courage. Nothing can possibly happen until the era of Grace has run its course. We need not be distressed even for the poor old world, for all will arrive safely on land, even though on perhaps just broken pieces of ship. He must eventually be All in all.

So, as we travel along the highway of another year of Grace, may we keep our minds stayed upon Him, and may we keep our eyes fixed upon that portion of the Divine Calendar which is so especially ours, the era of Grace. Let us talk of peace, and may His peace preside in our hearts. Peace – be still!

Joseph A. Freeman
Unsearchable Riches, Volume 30 (1939)
(edited & abridged)
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Where Do We Meet?

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When Justin Martyr was asked where he assembled, he answered thus:

Do you suppose that we all are accustomed to meet together in one place? Quite otherwise, for the God of the Christians is not confined by place, but being invisible, He fills the heaven and the earth, and the faithful everywhere adore Him and sing His praise.

justin-martyrJustin Martyr (100-165)
Cited by John M. Bland in Men Who Would Be Kings (1995)
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The Counting God

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Does not He see my ways, and count all my steps? (Job 31:4)

God is surely the Great Mathematician. All the intricacies of structure and process of His mighty cosmos are, at least in principle, capable of being described mathematically, and the goal of science is to do just that. This precise intelligibility of the universe clearly points to a marvelous intelligence as its Creator.

God even counts “the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names” (Psalm 147:4). Astronomers estimate that at least 10 trillion trillion stars exist in the heavens, and God has counted and identified each one! And that is not all: “the very hairs of your head are all numbered,” Jesus said (Matthew 10:30).

From the most massive star to the tiniest hair, God has counted each component of His creation. Such countings are far beyond human capabilities, for, “the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured” (Jeremiah 33:22).

But God has also created, “an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22) and has promised that the redeemed are “a great multitude, which no man could number” (Revelation 7:9).

No wonder David exclaimed,

Many, O LORD my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered (Psalm 40:5).

Perhaps the most wonderful of all God’s counting activities is that implied in Job’s rhetorical question: “Doth not he see my ways, and count all my steps?” If He has numbered the hairs on our heads, we can be certain He numbers our steps along the way, and guides them all.

The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD: and He delights in his way (Psalm 37:23).

henry-m-morrisHenry M. Morris (1918-2006)
Days of Praise
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His Sovereign Control

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And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen (Romans 16:20).

What infinite victory is revealed! The Lord said that the Seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent. That Promise was given in part of the earliest Scriptures given to mankind (Genesis 3:15).

Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world (Acts 15:18).

God is never caught surprised. The Lamb was “slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).

The Lord knows exactly what He is doing. We should have complete confidence in Him, because nothing is outside of His sovereign control.

john-mckayDr. John McKay
Amazing Grace
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He Is the Secret

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The only battle I have to fight is not against circumstances, or problems, or people or even Satan, except them interfering with my inner outlook. If they can get me to see evil as evil, then I am controlled by the evil I am seeing and believing in. But if I replace all such negative beliefs in outer appearances by seeing GOD ONLY in all, then I can just keep on the single path where there is nothing but God-in-love, whether appearances are evil or good. HE ONLY is in all of them. Here is the secret. Through the fall we got a divided outlook and see two powers, good and evil; but back in Christ, we see ONLY ONE!

Norman GrubbNorman P. Grubb (1895-1993)
Knight of Faith, Volume I
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