ESV - 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
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God gave everyone a free will. If not, we could not make choices. But we all make decisions good or bad everyday. Those who have trusted Jesus as their only hope of heaven still have a free will. If a believer, a born again child of God, Ephesians 1:13, decides to walk in the flesh and ignore the spirit of God, God may just remove His protection from us. We cannot lose salvation or that would make God a liar and God cannot lie. John 3:18. But we can be chastened by the Lord even to losing our life early. First Corinthians 5:5. Turn such a one over to Satan to kill the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. This born again believer was sleeping with his fathers wife. He was about to lose his life, and the rewards he could have had in heaven, First Corinthians 3:11-15, but the man was still saved. John 3:18. The greatest decision we can make in our whole life is to accept Jesus free gift of eternal life. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus paid our sin debt in full so that anyone who accepts his free gift of eternal life He seals with His Holy Spirit of promise. Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, First Corinthians 15:3-4, in whom also after ye believed were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise. John 10:28-29 Hebrews 13:5.
“Free” (adj.): not under the control or in the power of another. Everyone on earth is under the control of, or in the power of another, either Satan or God. There is no neutral ground. Would Satan ever allow one of his followers to become a Christian? He will only if another One who is more powerful than he overpowers him. Mark 3:27: "No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house." There is only One who is more powerful than Satan and He is Jesus Christ. “Free will makes God’s will a waiting servant to the will of man.” —Spurgeon. How many hundreds of millions of Christians have thanked God for His amazing grace? How many Christians have thanked God for giving them their free will, which led them to God? How many hymns have been written praising man’s free will? How many hymns have been written praising God for giving us the power to ignore the Holy Spirit when He begins to convict us of our sin? The Westminster Shorter Catechism states that, “The chief aim of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” So does praising God for His grace and mercy glorify God? Yes. Do we praise God for "choosing us in Him before the foundation of the world"? (Ephesians 1:4) I do every day and I hope you do, also. I have never heard anyone ever praise their free will for leading them to God. Is God powerless over our free will? Yes, if our supposed free will is able to thwart the Holy Spirit, because free will states that without our cooperation with Him in His act of salvation, He is powerless and cannot do anything. Who gets the glory for salvation, Jesus or our own free will? There are over 50 passages of scripture stating that God is the One who chooses whom He will adopt as His children. I can find only one passage in the NT that has the words "free will" in it, and it is 2 Corinthians 8:3: "For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more [money]. And they did it of their own free will." (New Living Testament)
Acts 17:30: Truly these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands ALL MEN everywhere to repent. 2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slack in his promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that ALL should come to repentance. This is the Lord’s will, that none should perish, but men will thwart His will. They have done it for years and will continue to do it. It was not the Lord’s will for Adam and Eve to sin; His will was that they would obey His command and not partake of the fruit. It was the Lord’s will that the Israelites take Canaan, but only Joshua and Caleb were willing to obey the Lord’s will and take it. The other 10 convinced the Israelites they couldn’t do it. Disobeying is called sin, and sin is not the Lord’s will. The Lord does not force anyone to obey Him; the choice is yours to accept or reject Him. Free will. 1 John 3:23: And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ. This is God’s command for all men, a command makes it a choice, free will. God does not force anyone to obey Him. HE KNOWS who will obey Him, but he does not force them. It is your choice. Ephesians 1:3-6 (Words in parenthesis are mine): Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who blessed us (those who chose to believe and obey) with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us (those who chose to believe and obey) in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us (those who chose to believe and obey) to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us (those who chose to believe and obey) accepted in the beloved. Free will.
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