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Free Will Or Election?

Question: Is salvation received through our own free will having accepted it, or is it received when God causes us to seek, repent of our sins, believe in and accept His salvation, which He bestows on those whom He elects to save?

IT SEEMS TO BE OF US

BUT IT IS REALLY OF GOD

BELIEVE

JOHN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

 

ACTS 16:31 And they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

JOHN 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent."

JOHN 10:26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

ACTS 13:48 And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the Word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.

CALL

ROMANS 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

PSALMS 80:18 So will not we go back from Thee: quicken us, and we will call upon Thy name.

ISA 64:7 And there is none that calleth upon Thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee …

COME

LUKE 9:23 And He said to them all, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me."

JOHN 6:44 No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: …

JOHN 6:65 And He said, "Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of my Father."

FAITH

LUKE 7:50 And He said to the woman, "Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."

EPH 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God …

HEB 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith …

RECEIVE

JOHN 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name:

JOHN 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

REPENT

2 PETER 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

ROMANS 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

2 TIMOTHY 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth …

SEEK

ISAIAH 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near:

PSA 53:2-3 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did under-stand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

ROM 10:20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, "I was found of them that sought Me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after Me".

ROM 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

WILL

REVELATION 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come". And let him that heareth say, "Come". And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

ROMANS 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

PHILIPPIANS 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

CHOSEN

PSALMS 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance.

PSALMS 65:4 Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts …

MATTHEW 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

JOHN 15:16 Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you …

EPHHESIANS 1:4 According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:

2THESSALONIANS 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

REVELATION 17:14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

ELECTED

ROMANS 9:11 For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;

1PETER 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ:

GIVEN

JOHN 6:37 All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.

JOHN 17:1-2 These words spake Jesus … "Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him."

JOHN 17:9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine.

PREDESTINATED

ROMANS 8:29-30 For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son … Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.

ROMANS 9:23 And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory,

EPHESIANS 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

EPHESIANS 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will:

OUR WILL IN BONDAGE

The testimony of God concerning our will is that we will not, because our will is in bondage to sin (ROM 8:5, EPH 2:1-5). Only God has the power to change our will, which He does by His Spirit through His Word (PSALM 110:3, 119:25). If God left it to our own will (apart from God working in us), then no one would become saved because our will chooses to go in the way that leads to damnation. Take Israel for an example. Though they swore to choose the Lord, they quickly fell away. God called their "choosing Him" a witness against them (DEUT 30:15-20, DEUT 31:16-30, JOSH 24:14-22). God doesn't give us the option to choose to obey and serve Him; He commands it!

FREE WILL OF ADAM AND EVE

The account of Adam and Eve at the fall gives insight on the condition of the human race. Adam and Eve had the free will either to choose to continue in the way of life (by obeying God's command concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) or to choose the way that led to death (by disobeying and eating of its fruit, GEN 2:17). What did they choose? They chose the way that would lead to death (GEN 3:6). Therefore, since the free will of our first parents chose the way that would lead to death, what makes us think that our will would choose different? Are we better than they were? On the contrary, we are their progeny and thus have inherent within us the infection of sin (ROM 5:12-21). Unlike Adam and Eve before they trans-gressed, we already walk in the way of death (EPH 2:1-3). Thus, if Adam and Eve would not choose the way of life in their sinless state, would we in our sinfulness? The fact is we will not (ROM 3:9-20).

GOD GETS ALL THE GLORY

After Adam and Eve's fall, God not only slew the animal sacrifice that provided Adam and Eve with a covering, but He also clothed them with it (GEN 3:21). We do not find Adam and Eve choosing to take the skins from God and choosing to cover themselves with it, but rather it was all God's work. In just the same way, it was God who slew His Son the Lord Jesus. He came to be the sacrificial Lamb (JOHN 1:29, ACTS 8:32-35) that we might be provided with a covering for the shame of our sins (REV 3:18). Just as God covered Adam and Eve with those skins, God covers us with His Son's righteousness: "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness" (ISA 61:10a). God does the complete work of salvation; therefore, He gets all the glory!

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