Free Will 061812
Romans 9:19 begins with the argument that is at the beginning of hating God. Who has free will? Do we? Then why do we come to God at all? He set us free and then demands loyalty?
On the other hand, if this isn’t free will then who cares if we love God and come to God at all, since we really have no choice but to love God (or burn in hell forever).
This discussion is at the root of so much thought within Christianity. Even this morning my grandson raised the question in discussion and he was troubled by the lack of an answer. Neither does Romans easily answer these questions, but it begins to. The rest is up to us.
Pray for peace
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Psalm 78:1-4, 52-72
1Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,
3things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us.
4We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.
52Then he led out his people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54And he brought them to his holy hill, to the mountain that his right hand had won.
55He drove out nations before them; he apportioned them for a possession and settled the tribes ofIsrael in their tents.
56Yet they tested the Most High God, and rebelled against him. They did not observe his decrees,
57but turned away and were faithless like their ancestors; they twisted like a treacherous bow.
58For they provoked him to anger with their high places; they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
59When God heard, he was full of wrath, and he utterly rejectedIsrael.
60He abandoned his dwelling atShiloh, the tent where he dwelt among mortals,
61and delivered his power to captivity, his glory to the hand of the foe.
62He gave his people to the sword, and vented his wrath on his heritage.
63Fire devoured their young men, and their girls had no marriage song.
64Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.
65Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a warrior shouting because of wine.
66He put his adversaries to rout; he put them to everlasting disgrace.
67He rejected the tent of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68but he chose the tribe ofJudah,MountZion, which he loves.
69He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever.
70He chose his servant David, and took him from the sheepfolds;
71from tending the nursing ewes he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, ofIsrael, his inheritance.
72With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skillful hand.
13In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14When the layer of dew lifted, there on the surface of the wilderness was a fine flaky substance, as fine as frost on the ground. 15When the Israelites saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Moses said to them, “It is the bread that the Lord has given you to eat. 16This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Gather as much of it as each of you needs, an omer to a person according to the number of persons, all providing for those in their own tents.’“ 17The Israelites did so, some gathering more, some less. 18But when they measured it with an omer, those who gathered much had nothing over, and those who gathered little had no shortage; they gathered as much as each of them needed. 19And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over until morning.” 20But they did not listen to Moses; some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul. And Moses was angry with them. 21Morning by morning they gathered it, as much as each needed; but when the sun grew hot, it melted.
22On the sixth day they gathered twice as much food, two omers apiece. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses, 23he said to them, “This is what the Lord has commanded: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord; bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.’“ 24So they put it aside until morning, as Moses commanded them; and it did not become foul, and there were no worms in it. 25Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the Lord; today you will not find it in the field. 26Six days you shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is a sabbath, there will be none.”
19You will say to me then, “Why then does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20But who indeed are you, a human being, to argue with God? Will what is molded say to the one who molds it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one object for special use and another for ordinary use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience the objects of wrath that are made for destruction; 23and what if he has done so in order to make known the riches of his glory for the objects of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24including us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
25As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” 26“And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they shall be called children of the living God.” 27And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the children of Israel were like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved; 28for the Lord will execute his sentence on the earth quickly and decisively.” 29And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left survivors to us, we would have fared likeSodom and been made likeGomorrah.”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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