The assumption is that we have free-will. This is based upon the idea that God tells us to believe, therefore we must have the ability to choose to believe.
What follows is my response to someone concerning this subject.
I am interpreting scripture with scripture that deal with the same topic – in this case all scriptures that deal with the topic of “man’s inherent ability to accept or reject God’s call, commands, instructions and promises”. Because God is communicating to mankind through the Scriptures in the Bible in a style that reeks with an understood implication that the hearer/reader, mankind, has the inherent ability to accept or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises, and because the majority of the Scriptures also reeks with the same implication that mankind has the inherent ability to accept or reject His call, commands, instructions and promises, I let the concept of mankind having this inherent ability be the precedence.
First, you are making an assumption which is extra-biblical – no where does scripture tell us we have free will. Just because God has said you have to believe does not mean you have that ability without God.
We must allow scripture to be our guide, not what we want it to say. You have added to scripture the idea that we have free will. If you want to support it, then you will have to provide scripture verses showing what you mean. Otherwise, you are adding to scripture.
Because of this process listed above and because God is omniscient, I interpret what God foreknew in Romans 8:29 to be – God foreknows those whom he can convince to accept His call/drawing – which He is very capable of foreknowing.
Again, you are adding to scripture. No where does it tell us God foreknew that people will accept His call and that is why He chose them.
You have put man’s so-called free-will above God’s sovereignty.
We have to realize that God does what ever please Him.
But our God is in the heavens ; <b>He does whatever He pleases.
Whatever the LORD pleases, He does, In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
We have to realize that God has predestined some people to destruction.
1 Peter 2:8
and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled
God has made everything for its own purpose – even the wicked.
The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.
In fact, enemies of the cross of Christ are destined to destruction.
18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
We have to realize that God has plans for us. What God plans, God will cause to come to pass. No one can frustrate God’s plan (Isaiah 14:24-27; 19:12; 22:11; 23:9; 37:26; 46:10-11; Jeremiah 29:11; 49:20; 50:45).
God says repeatedly that He will have mercy upon whom HE will have mercy (Exodus 33:19). Its not because they would do the right thing. Its because of God’s will.
God has predestined things according to HIS purpose, and he works out all things according to HIS will.
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
It is GOD who gives us the desire and act as HE desires.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
1 Corinthians 2:7
but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory
But the question is why does God predestine us? God knows us before we are born and planned for us before we were born.
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
Scripture does not tell us that God foreknew that we would select Him and so He chose us. It tell us that God knew us.
Indeed – God wrote all the days of our lives BEFORE they happened, but no where does it state that it is because God saw we would choose Him that He predestined us to be saved. Scripture says God saves whom He desires.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them
The will of God is that all the Father gives Christ will come to Him & be raised up in the last day and all that see & believe in Christ & will have eternal life.
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
GOD makes sure we believe. The WORK of God is that certain people believe in Christ.
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
Its not that we would choose God that causes us to repent. GOD’s kindness leads us to repent.
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Notice that scripture does not say God chose us because He knew we would chose HIM. It merely state God predestined those He knew beforehand to be saved.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
God appoints people to eternal life, therefore God appoints people to believe, which indicates God appoints people to hear, since that is how we are saved.
14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
So many times we want to say that God chose us based upon what we would do. But the fact is, it was not about us. It was all God. GOD CHOSE US from the beginning, in accordance to HIS good pleasure and will – not because we would choose Him. We did not choose HIM.
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you
But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel;
1 Thessalonians 1:4
knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you
2 Thessalonians 2:13
13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
Christ reconciled us to God.
14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
ALL who were APPOINTED to eternal life believe Acts 13:48
48 When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.
What Israel was seeking, it did not obtain, but those who were chosen obtained it. God blinded those He did not want to obtain salvation. IF God gave faith to those who would respond affirmatively, you would think that the Jews, who sought salvation, would get it. But they didn’t. Only the chosen got it.
5 In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice. 6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. 7 What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; 8 just as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day.”
We are saved by God’s grace, not because of some choice we would make, or something we would do.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,
So that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires (Romans 9:6-33).
God is the author and perfecter of our faith and salvation.
10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Some want to believe that we have a choice to be saved or not because God said we must believe to have eternal life. It seems to me that God gave a choice because some within the group were intended to hear and respond affirmatively, or at least be prepared to do so in the future – but not all were intended to respond affirmatively. Let me give an example: Let us say I own a soup kitchen and would love to feed everyone. But I know most people are too proud to do so. I know someone within a group is hungry and no one else is, but that someone else will be in the future, and I say to the group, “Everyone who chooses to go to the soup kitchen will be fed.” I know no one else but the one person is hungry will go. The choice is available to all, but none but those for whom the message was intended and who would chose to go right then will actually go when I first make the choice available. Now let us say that later someone else within the group is fired from their job (and that I knew it would happen), gets hungry and recalls the message (as was intended) and choose to go to the soup kitchen. Now we have two people in the group who heard the message who responded affirmatively – one immediately after hearing the message, and one later (after undergoing an experience which prepared them for the message they had already heard). The others were not prepared for the message, were never intended to take up the invitation, and never did take up the invitation, yet the invitation was made available to all.
It is all God, not us. God foreknew us. God chose us. God moved us to repent. God gave us faith. God saved us. Not because He saw we would choose Him, but because He is who He is and its what He wanted.