GOD'S WILL AND MAN'S WILL
Many of the so called bible scholars, among the Calvinists and Armenians, had been arguing for almost 400 years which claim to set forth a way of salvation through Christ. Even though, both are using scripture to prove their point, still their argument never end. Many of the ordinary people are getting confused and they do not know what to believe.
To eliminate most of the argument, I decided to talk about God's will and man's will, because I believe if I can satisfy the readers with this topic then I will be able to contribute a better understanding to both Calvinists and Armenians.
In the Bible there are many verses that say - God is Sovereign. In Romans 9-15 God said to Moses, " I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion". If God were not free to show His mercy, no one would be blessed, for no one deserves His Grace and it cannot be earned. Titus 3-5 says- He saves us , not because of the righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy-----".
The Bible said that the unbeliever is completely defiled by sin (Mark 7:20-22 ); whose heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer.17:9) ; who is spiritually dead (Rom.5:12, Ep.2:1) ; who is without Christ, without hope, and without God (Ep.2:12) ; and who is declared by the Lord to be the son of the devil (John.8:44).
And in ( 1 Cor. 2:14) says-" the natural man received not the things of the spirit of God : For they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned". Therefore, man's own will cannot come to God. Jesus said in John 15-16- "you did not choose me but I choose you. Man cannot come to God because he is already condemned through the sin of Adam. He is dead through the sin of Adam. He needs to be born again in order to have a new life. He needs Christ.
Romans 5-12 says- " Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin ; and so death passed unto all man, for that all sinned". Sin entered the world through one man. After Adam sinned, HE and HIS DECENDANTS COULD ONLY BEGETS SINNERS, SO THAT ALL MEN ARE UNDER THE SENTENCE OF DEATH, THE PENALTY OF SIN. ALL SINNED, It is true that all sinned because of the solidarity or union of the race just explained in (Hebrew 7:9-10) , which says " One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth (tithe), paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor". Levi is the great grandson of Abraham. Abraham is the father of Isaac; Isaac is the father of Jacob; and Jacob is the father of Levi. These verses( Hebrew 7:9-10 ) explained how Levi paid the tenth to Melchizedek through Abraham because of the solidarity of the race, even though, Levi was still in the body of Abraham.
THE WRONG BELIEF OF MANY PROFESSED CHRISTIANS IS THAT--WE HAVE TO HAVE FAITH IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. BUT THE TRUTH IS THE OPPOSITE.
We have to have a new nature in order to have faith. We have to be born again before we can have faith. Birth to new nature before faith . GRACE, FAITH, AND MERCY COME FROM GOD. THEY ARE NOT EARNED . THEY ARE GIFTS . ( Ep. 2;8-9) Says- " For it is by GRACE you have been saved , through FAIITH -and this is not from yourselves, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD- not by works, so that no one can boast." Then in ( Titus 3:5) says- " He saved us , not because of righteous things we have done, but because of HIS MERCY----".
According to many professed Christians the sinner has the power to will, either to cooperate with God's spirit and be regenerated or resists God's grace and perish. If this is true , FAITH THEN is the sinners gift to God; It is man's contribution to salvation. But the Bible tells the opposite. FAITH is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of Gods' gift of salvation- It is GOD'S GIFT TO SINNER, NOT THE SINNER'S GIFT TO GOD. This belief becomes the most arguing topic among Calvinists and Armenians
MAN'S WILL HAS A PROPER PLACE IN MATTER OF SALVATION:
( Rev. 22:17) Says -- " The spirit and the bride say, " come". And let the one who hears say , " come". And let the one who is thirsty come; Let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. ". The bride is the church. This is a two fold invitation (1) An invitation to Christ to come and (2) An invitation to sinners to come to Christ before HE returns. This is followed by a specific dual designation of unbelievers to whom the invitation is particularly sent to (1) Those who are thirsty and (2) Those whosoever will.
The Holy Spirit is in the world today, and HE joins in the prayer of the church which says, " Lord, come, come. " The Holy Spirit is performing his works in the world today in converting and convicting men. He works through the world and through the church which proclaims HIS word. The invitation to men is to come and to take the water of life. "Ho, everyone who thirst, come to the waters;---- without money" (Isaiah 55:1). The Lord Jesus stood and cried out, saying, " If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture said, from his innermost being will flow rivers of living waters". (John 7:37-38) The invitation is only sent particularly to (1) those who are thirsty and (2) those who will . Those who are thirsty to know Christ and finally believe in him, will come to Him and the Holy Spirit will indwelt them.
The big question is-- How will this happen , when the unbeliever does not have faith to begin with, and with his own will, he will not come to Christ because he loves his sins and enjoys them. He is used to sin everyday all his life and it is difficult for him to change. It is impossible without the help of God.
All genuine Christians realized, years after their conversion, that behind the scene it was God the father that leads them to come to Christ and finally believe in Him as their savior and Lord. ( John 6:37) says- " All that the father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will certainly not cast out". Here it is crystal clear that all the father gives to Christ will come to HIM and who ever come to HIM, HE will never drive away. Therefore, only the elects that God the father gives to Christ are surely the ones that come to Christ.
After conversion, we become a new creature. (2 Cor. 5:17) says- " Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature ; The old things passed away: Behold, new things have come". We are now a born again Christian . Then Jesus said in (John 14:15-17) - " If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will asked the father, and He will give you another counselor to be with FOREVER-THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH.---'. Here it says that the Holy Spirit will indwell the believer FOREVER. Then again Jesus said in (John 14:23) - " If anyone loves me he will obey my teaching. My father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him". Here we observe that the son feels free to commit the father to a certain course of action, another clear indication of Deity. Also Christ said in (John 16:15)- " All that belongs to the father is mine". Therefore, after conversion the Holy Trinity, FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT WILL INDWELT THE BELIEVER.
The very basic command of Jesus Christ is to love Him and obey His command. How do we do that ? We do that when we walk according to God's will and not according to out own will, because God's will is always right and just and ours is not because of the remnant of our old nature.
During my conversion, I realized later, when my free will was totally surrendered to GOD'S will, by not resisting the convicting work of the Holy Spirit, then I cannot exercise my own free will to choose or reject for my salvation, because it was God then who works through me in a causative way to come to HIM . Seemingly, people around me see that I was coming to God and accepting Christ as my Savior and Lord, but behind the scene GOD HIMSELF caused me to come because He choose me before the creation of the world to be Holy and blameless in His sight. ( Ep. 1:4) . And His will for me is to come to HIM and accept Christ as my Savior and Lord. Jesus said in (John 15:5) - " Apart from me you can do nothing."
Written by Osmundo S. Sabado
Edited by Orman L. Sabado