Thursday, May 06, 2010

Predestination / Free Will (1b)

Second, the Will of God

Does God have free-will? YES. But let’s qualify that. He is free to do anything according to His nature. God is not free to do that which is against His nature. Notice that His will:

• is perfect because His nature is perfect
• is unchanging, because His nature is unchanging (immutable)
• is restricted or limited by His nature (This is a good thing! Not a negative thing.)

God’s “free” will is ONE WILL with different aspects:

1) Will of Command (Revealed Will, Preceptive Will, Permissive Will)
- Based on His Word
- We are held accountable

2) Will of Disposition
- Attitude God displays in interaction with humanity (Consider anthropomorphisms:
God described in human terms, though He has no physical human attributes)
- What He likes and dislikes (the Lord was angry or pleased)

3) Will of Decree (Decretive Will, Secret Will, Hidden Will)
- Whatsoever comes to Pass (see: The Westminster Confession of Faith)
- We are NOT held accountable

“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29)

“A man’s steps are directed by the LORD. How can anyone understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24)

“I know, O LORD, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

“Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” (Lamentations 3:37-38)

“I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity [literally good] and create disaster [literally evil]; I, the LORD, do all these things.” (Isaiah 45:7)

“When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?” (Amos 3:6)

Active vs. Passive Decree, consider the intentions in the following:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (Genesis 50:20)

“Woe to the Assyrian, the rod of My anger, in whose hand is the club of My wrath! I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger Me, to seize loot and snatch plunder, and to trample them down like mud in the streets. But this is not what he intends, this is not what he has in mind; his purpose is to destroy, to put an end to many nations.” (Isaiah 10:5-7)

“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a Man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know. This Man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross.” (Acts 2:22-24)

“Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against Your Holy servant Jesus, Whom You anointed. They did what Your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” (Acts 4:27-28)

One act (active man / passive God) with two intentions (evil / good) = CONCURRENCE: the will of God (primary) and the will of man (secondary) working together.

R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths, pg. 67: “Even when God passively permits things to happen, He chooses to permit them in that He always has the power and right to intervene and prevent the actions and events of this world. Insofar as He lets things happen, He has willed them in this certain sense.”

Additional Scripture to understand God’s Will of Decree: Genesis 45:8; Exodus 4:21; Deuteronomy 28:63; Joshua 11:20; Judges 9:23; 1 Samuel 16:14; 1 Kings 22:20-23; Ezra 1:1; Job 1:21; Job 2:10; Job 42:1-2; Psalm 33:11,15; Psalm 115:3; Psalm 135:6; Proverbs 16:1,4,9; 19:21; 21:1; Isaiah 10:12-15; Isaiah 14:24-27; Isaiah 41:21-23; Isaiah 46:9-10; Isaiah 55:11; Ezekiel 14:9; 36:26-27; Daniel 4:34-35; Matthew 19:25-26; Luke 10:21-22; 22:22; John 9:1-3; John 12:37-40; Acts 17:24-31; Romans 9:10-24; 11:33-36; Ephesians 1:4-12; 2:10; Philippians 2:12-13; Colossians 1:15-17; Hebrews 6:17-18


God’s will is in accord with His nature. His will cannot violate His nature. If He could will something contrary to His nature, then we could not trust Him to fulfill His promises. Be thankful that God is consistent. His will is consistent with His nature.

No comments: