Free Will – The Choice of God
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (Eph 1:4-5).
Eph 1:11 “In whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will;”
“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. 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; and these whom he predestined, he also called; and these whom he called, he also justified; and these whom he justified, he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom 8:28-31).
Here Paul describes how a man’s development is advancing towards the crown of righteousness. The concept of God’s drawing could be added to this; John 6:44 No one can come to me except the Father who has sent me draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day. – Those who have gone through this process, God has predetermined to be conformed to the image of his Son. What does it mean to be like Jesus? Stop for a moment to think! In these writings I will tell you more about it. Wonderful things!
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? May it never be! For he said to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy (Rom 9:14-16). – God has made two kinds of ‘vessels’ i.e. people.
Rom 9:21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
25 As He says also in Hosea, I will call those who were not my people, ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.
26 and it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not my people,’ there they shall be called Sons of the living God.
27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is [only] the remnant that will be saved.
It is important to realize that the “vessels of wrath” are not predetermined to destruction, but they have drifted there without responding to God’s call.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that you may live, you and your seed; (Deu 30:19).
Man has free will to choose between life and death.
Then Jesus said to his disciples: If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mat 16:24)
So he sat down and called the twelve. He told them,” If anyone wants to be first he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mar 9:35)
If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether this teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. (Jhn 7:17)
Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! (Jhn 7:37).
Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, (Act 3:19).
–Man can want to have faith, man can want do God’s will. To do God’s will means repentance and return so that your sins may be wiped away.
– How many times God provides the opportunity for us to return and have sins forgiven. If one has to forgive “seventy times seven” then God will do the same thing.
God had chosen the people of Israel to be his own mercy vessel, but natural Israel did not accept the invitation of the Son of God. This is why God has called for his people those that were not his people, i.e. pagans from the gentiles.