Thursday, March 29, 2012

Free Will: What are we really saying?

What is free will? I feel the meaning of this term has lost its meaning throughout the years. The way I understand it, free will is YOUR ability to ACCEPT Christ as your Savior. It is how you have the power to receive the gifts that Christ has set out for us. But when you make statements like this, what are you saying? Are you saying that by your merit you are able to accept Jesus as Lord? Is it your flesh, your body and mind, your intelligence that allows you to make such a decision to accept these gifts?

                When you say things like this and make these kinds of statements, you are denying the work of the Holy Spirit and saying that you are worthy of accepting Christ crucified on your own, that you are able to accept those gifts without the help of anything other than yourself. No. This is not correct theology. We have all sinned and we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If we have sinned and fall short, how are we able to come to Christ? Well first off, only by the aid of the Holy Spirit are we to recognize the gifts given to us by God, whether it be through baptism or through the hearing of the Gospel. But to go on in Romans 3, verse 24 says that we are justified not by our works, but as a GIFT by his grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. We are justified by faith (Romans 4:1-11) and so to say that we are able to gain faith on our own without the help of the Holy Spirit is like you one, earning your salvation by works of your own intellect, and two, claiming that you are worthy of the gift that Christ set out for you to have before it becomes a part of your life. This is not the approach you want to take. You want to recognize you are a sinner, and that you sin daily, and that there is no way around that. You need to hear the Gospel and you need to hear the gifts that Christ has already set for you and instead of actively accepting Christ, passively receive Christ through the hearing of the word or in sacrament, and let the Holy Spirit work inside of you with an open heart.

                I have had this discussion with many people who say that they have accepted Christ. They all say that their conversion was led by the Holy Spirit, not their own intellect. So if it is led by the Holy Spirit, why are not giving him the credit? That is like taking Christ credit of dying on the cross and saying that you can do it on your own. So if we all believe the same thing, than why do we not profess that in our churches? Why take away from the work of God? Always give God the glory. Never put it upon yourself because that is what Satan would have you do. So lets come together and give God all the glory that he deserves!

-- Joshua

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