Does having the ability to choose mean we have Free Will?
Many may argue that the bible does not state the exact words Free Will. And yet throughout the bible we read words such as choose, choices, chosen and so on. In the Garden of Eden man was commanded by God not to eat from the tree of knownledge of good and evil. And that violation would have results. Does this suggest or imply man had a choice, therefore having Free Will?
I believe so. I believe God gave them the opportunity to live a sin free life however he also gave them the choice to do with that information as seen fit.
I mean after all they were smart enough to understand Gods words, so therefore smart enough to know the consequences that come with that warning.
Its not like God did not warn them. I believe that is like today on earth, we know the consequences of what happens when we commit crimes however we have the free will to decide but were warned of the punishment.
God very well can put thoughts in our heads to do or not to do something so yes its free will.
Hence why those that blame God have no one to blame but themselves ,they know the warning that applies to the package.
Hi My Brother,
I have answered this question before. We do have free will, but God checks us when we start going too far. Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as Free Will. All the great saints that I have read about say this. Indeed the God-Man rises to the state where even He loses the will that He has and lives only to fulfil God's Will. 'Let Thy Will be done.' This is the Highest Freedom. Still, we do have 'limited freedom' which many people call 'free will.'
Your own argument above supports what I say, as man would always push that 'free will' as Adam did. Can you imagine what would happen if he was not checked. This is what we do with our children, otherwise they will hurt themselves and hurt others. So a loving God, knowing what we will do, checks us or pulls us up after we have grazed just one pasture too far. It is then that we come to realise that He was always in charge, not us.
A Creator cannot be bound by His creation or there will be no purpose. At the same time, He does not wish to rule like an autocrat and so He allows us 'limited freedom'. He wants to see what we will do and be proud of us. Alas!!
We have free will as expressed in the Garden and throughout the history of man, both Biblical and contemporary. God did this for one very important reason...He wanted us to be able to seek and LOVE Him. If we were created without free will, then we would be nothing more than automatons...robots of flesh. If we cannot chose to "not follow" and "not love", then our love and allegiance are meaningless. Consider a person holding a gun to someone's head and saying "Tell me you love me!". The person at the receiving end of the gun may indeed utter words of endearment, but they would not be actual sediments of love. Likewise, we are only able to truly love God, or each other, because we have the ability and freedom to not do so. Free will was not an afterthought, but the purpose of creation.
Mitch Alan-I think many would argue that because Free Will is not spell out in the bible it does not exist. I don't see a difference between Free Will and Free Coice except the wording. Thanks and God bless.
Garceinus, regardless of the words used, a rose by any other name...the fact remains that we are free to chose to obey or disobey...free to chose one path or another...we don't always choose properly, as i can attest, but the choice is there.
Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying: Obedience of the Law is the greatest freedom. And those who study him at all know he was speaking of God's Laws. When I was young I only did this by choice. Now I see no choices at all. If I were born this way I would not have needed to live here on earth, and that would be a bummer because I really love it here. I eat apples, all kinds. And I drink and eat from the tree of knowledge. But I am not Adam, and my Eve hates snakes.
I suppose choices and free will are really good learning tools. I think without them diversity would suck if it even existed. But I feel I am evolving into a sentient being with the ability to choose and I have made a choice not to. Oh I fail and make choices daily,,, but what folly that is! Sometimes I even choose to be angry or sad but I have already learned those lessons in futility and only backslide into those choices. Stupid is a hard habit to break.
Let me end with this graceinus. I do reckon that I choose to follow and engage in writing with you. On the other hand, when I found your sincerity and love, I really had no choice. That guy Jesus is the same and much more. What the heck choice do I have but to follow Him?
Eric- My father told me once many years ago:
"I will of man are our thoughts."
And I wonder.
Yes, as human beings, God has given all free will. Good and bad. Saying that, if you are a child of God and you choose to do things that are unpleasing to him, you will eventually be punished by him. Believe, you do not want God to humble you. So, we must be humble and strive to please God daily. Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
God created us, thus every part of our body is created by Him and given to us. We have brains to think and heart to feel. With the free will to use them. Words of God in Bible are guidance, teachings and our path to righteousness, but above everything it is our choice on which path we want to go and take.
I believe simply that free will is obvious. Throughout the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), God, through the prophets says, in many ways: If you do this, then this is what I do. If you do that, then this is what I will do. Jesus spoke to each person as if he or she had a choice. "Go and sin no more." All of Matthew 5 through 7 is clearly Jesus speaking to people as if they have choices to make. And clearly, we make these choices throughout our lives, not just once. "Go and sin no more" means we might sin again, at any time. "Be ye perfect, as your father in Heaven is perfect" is a call to deeply righteous behavior all the time.
The Bible assumes all its readers, and all God's listeners can make free choices, and those choices of how we behave (not just what we believe), and how we love God, ourselves, our friends, and our enemies determines our fate.
That is, the Bible assumes everyone has the freedom to choose. And that is free will. (Note: Some philosophers have narrowed down the term free will to an impossibility. For them, please just use the term freedom to choose. It's what free will really should mean, anyway.) And freedom to choose - free will - is everywhere in the Bible and in life.
SidKemp- I do agree with your answer. I would also like to mention the following. All of the covenants God made with man would not have value if it where not for the fact He gave man freedom to choose (Free Will) in the first place. Many thanks.
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