When we consider the question of free will versus predetermination we need to start at the proper place and that
is with God.
16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: GOD WAS MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH, justified in the
Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3)
Almost every time we have discussions or debates on spiritual issues, it is related to the mysteries mentioned
in the bible and specifically and originally the Incarnation of Christ.
Jesus was God manifested in the flesh.
When Christ did or said something we don't ask whether the divine or human side of him did or said it. We see in
Christ ,two natures in ONE person.
Christ holds the atom together and so this dichotomy is going to be present even in the creation.
"for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions
or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and IN HIM
ALL THINGS HOLD TOGETHER." (Colossians 1)
This says that 'in christ all things are held together.'
I haven't heard an adequate explanation of what holds an atom together, except that it is a mysterious thing called
the Nuclear binding force.
So when considering questions such a predetermination versus free will we should not ask which one but why not
It is both with Christ and he lives in us and holds all things together.
This is why 'whenever God and Man meet there is a mystery.' (Jesus Christ the God Man)
Regarding God and man in salvation it says,
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born
among many brethren."
But it also says, "Whosoever believeth " this is our will either believing or rejecting.
Regarding Sanctification AFTER SALVATION it says, "12 Therefore, MY BELOVED, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; "
However, the next verse says, "13 for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."
See the dichotomy?
It is 'our responsibility to respond to His ability.'
Let Go and Let God as the saying goes.
This is just the way things are.
Let's consider what would happen if we believed one side and rejected the other.
If we believed that it was only our wills then we could say that we had something to do with our salvation in addition
to simply believing what God resistably revealed to us.
Then we would be prone to believe as Catholics and Cultists do regarding all these hoops we must jump through in
order to be saved.
If we believe it is only God's irresistable Grace, we would have a God that sent some to hell that really didn't
have a choice in the matter.
If we realize that this mystery somehow involves both sides then we have to by faith accept it.
I don't know whether I can find a proper analogy to demonstrate this point other than Christ himself.
Does the criminal have the power to not commit the crime or are irresistable forces at work?
When I took business Law in college the teacher brought up this guy which they referred to as the Chocodile Man.
It seems that he murdered someone and part of his defense was that he drank too much koolaid and ate too many chocodiles.
Chocodiles are a junk food.
This was many years ago so I think I got most of it right.
I also think he got off.
Once we say that the criminal couldn't help himself then our whole society is in trouble.
Let's also consider what would be the consequenses of believing one over the other.
If we only believed that God predetermined everything then we would be robots incapable of choosing to Love God
or man without being predetermined that way. This would be an existence worse than that of an animal. But even in my recognizing
the sad state that would be tells me that that is not the way it is.
When we accept the reality that our will's do play a part in it then we have to consider the consequenses of that.
This means that we will have pleasure for making good decisions and suffering for making bad decisions. We also
will suffer for other peoples bad decisions. This is exactly the way the world works, so that is the way we should look at
People often ask why God allows suffering.
The answer is because he gave you a will and that often results in suffering. To eliminate suffering God would
have to make us a bunch of robots that only chose what was good, and that is not good.