The nature and freedom of man and how it pertains to Godís will

 

God is a logical and reasonable being, (Logos) and He fashioned us in that same likeness, in His image, and He makes himself approachable by sinners which have the logical ability to reason with Him, Isaiah 1-18. The Adamic-nature is a concept in that which advocates that we were designed with a nature that can only reject God in rebellion. So they foolishly believe in a dual-nature because of the false assumption that we were all ďinĒ Adam when He sinned, and that his sin-coodties somehow rubbed off on our flesh through some strange form of genetics. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The gospel truth is; that manís soul is created in the womb, it was never ďinĒ Adam. We only inherited from Adam genetic bodies of infirmities and eventually death from Adam, (Paul refers to this as bodies of mortal corruption in 1 Cor. 15-52, 53 which was passed down to all men/women form our own sake, (the creature was made subject to vanity, Romans 8-20). This is known as suffering the consequences of Adam's sin. Not inheriting sin from him. No new thing, for people today still suffer the consequences of sins done by others, both direct and indirectly, (this is also the consequences of sin entering into the world).
 
So through Adam's aggression the consequences of his sin still effects all of us, having been made subject to vanity for our own sakes that we might be redeemed and thought to be a good thing by One who is wiser in this matter. The wicked angels were not afforded this blessing, but rather the lake of fire was prepared for Satan and his angels. I believe quite possibly this is purposed by God because angels have been in the presence of God, and therefore live by sight, but man lives by faith having never seen God, John 1-18. Angeles having been in the presence of God, lived by sight, and not by faith, yet amazingly some still rebelled. Whereas man was a little lower than the angels and is commanded to live by faith while not yet having seen. 
 
What is natural is to obey God. The conscience is the supreme faculty of our nature. What is unnatural is to disobey God. God was explaining this simple truth to Cain in Gen. 4. We have to deliberately go against our conscience to sin willfully, therefore not allowing the welling up of goodness from within the heart. To do such defiles the very character, nature, and image we were made in. To sin is
completely unnatural, in that we seek our self-gratification through the unlawful use of our natural desires and inclinations by way of freewill choice, knowing it is wrong.  Adam can in no wise be blamed for our sins. Each is held accountable for his/her own sin,
Ezekiel 18. In fact, the whole chapter addresses Gods' displeasure with the Jews invention of original sin that had by then become a proverb upon the land. God said; no more shall ye speak this proverb again. For the sons do not inherit the sins of the fathers etc. and each man/woman is responsible for their own sin. Religious traditions of men have no scripture support in context and has canceled out most of the bible to justify these spurious definitions. Therefore most of what is happening in human affairs IS NOT THE WILL OF GOD, but rather that of a world that lies in wickedness and rebellion to God.

Sin is a voluntary state of mind, and love is not a mere feeling and emotional reaction. The belief that love is an emotional based thing is a misconception, especially in the more recent decades of our society which began in a major way in the 60s.  Love is not a sensation necessarily, but rather it is a committal of the will in obedience to God. Godís law is directed towards our will, and it is the will that all righteous actions arise from, (the intention of the heart).  Peter told Simon the sorcerer that his heart was not right with God even though he had the appearance of serving God outwardly. Simon chose his own motives thus everything else falls in place by necessity. So if that is wrong everything else by necessity will be wrong, because there was no removal of guile inwardly from Simonís heart. So, when confronted by a true virtuous man/woman of God, like Able, Cain became bitter and full of wormwood from the heart eventually producing wrath and murder outwardly. If one like Cain is living for their own gratifications then they must make choices that are for the purpose of a means to fulfill that end.

Therefore, every act of sin that follows is but a means to that end, and by continuing in this rut man depraves himself, (physis growth).  And man had corrupted himself and his way in the earth, Gen 6. The only opposition to this kind of selfishness is obedience from the heart with virtues that produce deeds that worketh love. (self seeks to get and suffers when it cannot get, but love has a virtue that seeks to give and suffers when it cannot give) Gordon Olsen

God gave us a free will and we are not robots, Gen. 2-9. Adam was encouraged to partake freely of the bountifulness that God laid before them. Resulting in our (natural desires and inclinations), as long as they are in obedience to Godís will, Gen. 2-17. God does work in our lives guiding us by His Spirit, but we do not need to discover some perfect, and specific will in our lives. The scriptures do not teach this. God's express will is made clear from scripture. We have freedom to pursue our natural desires, (marriage, having families, and vocations, etc.) as long as these things do not violate something expressly stated in the bible, and like Solomon said in proverbs 16-9; "as God leads". Allowing the Spirit of the Lord to guide our decisions through His written word.  The Holy Spirit will never contradict Godís written word. So this does not mean that God has a specific plan for each of us, however we are free to choose our lives always seeking the guidance of the Lord in all things.
 
There is a big difference between gratifying the lusts of the flesh and enjoying the many pleasures God gave us to enjoy. In
Gen. 2, verses 10-16 God expresses the wonders of the world which was made for mankind to enjoy. In verse 17 He says the tree of life is there also. And don't satisfy these desires and inclinations by eating from the tree of knowledge. God actually gave us liberty and free agency to make what decisions we could in this life along guidelines that He has set forth for our benefit. The things that are freely given to us by God without lusting after the vanity of this world, 1 Cor. 2-12. God supernaturally reveals virtues that we are to add to our faith giving us the discernment in separating sinful motives from holy motives. We hear from God because the Holy Spirit enables us to discern good from evil, (right from wrong). Ask and it will be given, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened for you. He desires us to enjoy life in a godly manner on earth and use our talents for His glory even though each of us differs like the treasury of the snow. God creates desires in us for this reason. We are all different as Paul said in 1 Cor. 15.  Yes, each is different, yet unified in one with His righteousness and love.  God said they could eat freely form all the trees except one. Adam had the freedom in being a son of God instead of a slave to sin. All of mankind that followed after Adam was also made in Godís image,
Gen. 9-6.

Son of in scripture denotes not necessarily begotten, but the likeness and image one follows. Paul called Timothy his son.  John called his disciples "my children". Adam was the first created son of God, made in His image, but Christ is the only begotten of God.

Cain and Able both had natural desires and inclinations, but chose to fulfill them in two different ways, (sinful lust vs. godliness). Cain followed the way of Proverbs 16-9a having chosen his way, but he left out 9b. He wanted to worship God (a good thing) but allowed not the Lord to guide his steps through obedience, 16b. However Able did both things, thus offered up a more excellent sacrifice to God. Able and Cain both had a desire, but it was Abel who submitted to God and allowed the Lordís will to guide his desires in righteousness, whereas Cain did it his own way by fulfilling the lust of the sin, and going against his natural makeup of which he was created. The Lord told Cain that he was perfectly able to do that which was good, he would be accepted by God, and that he could rule over that man of sin in his life, Gen. 4-7 b...This is man's all and all, purpose in life, Ecclesiastics 12-13. And the conclusion of the whole matter: ďFear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of manĒ.

Proverbs 11:5 The righteousness of the blameless clears his path, but the wicked person will fall because of his wickedness.

Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.

Proverbs 19:21 Many plans are in a man's heart, but the Lord's decree will prevail.

Proverbs 20:24 A man's steps are determined by the Lord, so how can anyone understand his own way?


This idea that God has a specific will for your life is scripturally unsound. On the contrary, I believe the instruction laid out in the bible is Godís "perfect" will for our life. If we are following the written word to the best of your abilities, while responding properly to our conscience, then we are in His will. Thus, the more biblical precepts understood like Peter outlines  in
1 Peter 2 & 3 become the influencing force behind our thinking process, the easier it is to make decisions, thereby adding virtues to our faith 2 Peter 1:5-8. As these scriptures make clear God is through fellowship involved in our lives. He is Magisterial above all things, (the moral and sovereign will of God) but that does not mean that He is looking for us to determine what His secret plan is. Some will site Paul as an example of Godsí individual will; however Paul's case was not a common experience. It does happen, but it is rare. It was rare in OT and in NT also.

2 Corinthians 12:12, 13 When I came to Troas for the gospel of Christ, a door was opened to me by the Lord. I had no rest in my spirit because I did not find my brother Titus, but I said good-bye to them and left for Macedonia. {The Lord left an open door referencing an opportunity for service. Even this is not necessarily referring to God's leading with a will to accomplish even though God had opened an opportunity for ministry in Troas. Paul did not feel right about the circumstances because Titus wasn't there, so he left for Macedonia to seek him. Paul in no wise is suggesting that he chose to disobey God here. This an example of freewill choices by Paul that are allowed for by God}

Iím not sure, but possibly George Muller was the first person to write about determining God's specific plan in your life. Other than Augustinian-Calvinism which teaches that God determines everything. The six steps in determining Gods will. ďI seek at the beginning to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matterĒ George Mueller. Some of the 6 points are biblical as he stressed the joint seeking of the Spirit and the word, but sadly some of it is based upon the flawed concept of Calvinism. I canítí find any writings on it before him, but I have not studied it all that closely. Watchmen Nee also stressed this concept of a specific will.  I think they were both godly men but a little confused about the doctrine of Godís will, but it was by faith that MŁller prayed and believed that God would provide for his needs which is biblically sound, for scripture tells us that the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Watchman Nee suffered greatly under persecution. Amen. Today this teaching is far more exaggerated than ever. Yes, God is by fellowship involved in our lives. But that does not mean that He is looking for us to determine what His secret plan is for everything in our life. He wants us to follow His will as outlined in scripture, and trust that He will work in the existing circumstances. (Romans 8:28).

To be led by the Spirit is simple: we should put to death the deeds of the body/flesh, and instead obey God's already revealed will. That is to walk after the Spirit. Itís similar to John's description of" walking in the light" in 1 John 1, (the light refers to righteousness). God reveals sin in our lives, John 16-8. We then confess and forsake it, and press onward down the narrow way, knowing that we are in fellowship with God. No doubt, God does work in our lives, and He does guide as well, but we do not need to discover some perfect individual will that He has planned for us. This concept was invented by men.

 I don't believe God chooses mates either. Many Christians believe that whatever person they want to marry should not be who they would like to be with based upon God's freedom to choose wisely of a Christian woman, but rather who God specifically wants them to be with. This position is unbiblical. You are capable and free to marry according to Paul's instructions in the bible. So choose wisely, be obedient, and God will bless that marriage because you are doing His will through righteousness and moral obedience.

 So does God have a plan for your life? Yes. It is revealed in scripture that He wants you to bring glory to him, Isaiah 43:7. And render obedience/belief in Christ (John 3:16) so that you can be saved from your sins. As for occupation...Painter, welder, butcher, baker, or candle-stick maker...What does it matter? Just be sure that what you do is neither immoral or for sordid gain, while minding your own business and affairs with honesty in a godly manner, 1 Thes. 4-11, 12

Many of these myths, like Godís specific will theory get started because the very character of God and the nature and freewill of man has been widely misunderstood do to the poor theology that came out of the Reformation. Thus, advocating inability, therefore placing more mythical responsibility upon God. They are birthed out of the false premise of complete determination. Notwithstanding, some things are determined by God, yet many things are also left open to man who is a free moral agent. He wants us to follow His will as outlined in scripture, and have faith that He will work in the circumstances for the good of those that love Him. So from our position as fellow workers together with God, we just make decisions based on His wise council always moving forward. But from God's perspective, He works in all circumstances in our lives for the good of us because we love and obey Him.  

Moving forward, the bible says that God's thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways His ways Isaiah 55. The simple rendering in proper context in which the Lord was speaking to a perverse nation while expressing that sin and self-indulgences is not the way of God, but rather the way of  a wicked nation. Or as the apostles John & Jude wrote, ďgone in the way of CainĒ. So, the simple understanding is that Godís ways of righteousness are not the ways of wicked men living in iniquity. In fact, when they did such iniquity as sacrificing their children to Baal, God said the thought never entered His mind that they would do such an evil thing. Meaning His thoughts are not that of the wicked. Therefore; God's thoughts are of righteousness and not the thoughts of a wicked and perverse nation, Isaiah 55-8 . So the good way is to commit our works to the Lord and our thoughts will be established.

The heart is deceitfully wicked because of SIN, (the freewill choice of partaking in the unnatural use of our God given desires and inclinations). But not necessarily because of being desireth in of itself, but by lustfully fulfilling those desires by going against the very nature God created us in, of which was His own image. This method equates to fulfilling desires unlawfully. Basically it deceives a person by convincing them that they will glorify God even by disobeying him, (the Cain way). Supposed just-wars is a good example. But he who trusts in his own lustful heart is a fool, Proverbs 28:26.  So, by unlawfully using our natural desires and inclinations, perusing lust, which gives birth to sin, is forbidden by God, Gen 2-17b.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Ephesian 5-15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

So, in planning our own course, being obedient from the heart, always thankful in all things, praising God, loving our neighbor, and redeeming the time wisely. In this manner do we allow the Lord to guide our steps, Proverbs 16-9, thus we are doing Gods perfect will for our lives.  Therefore, the godly desires we have are given to us by influence of the Spirit when we are walking after the Spirit.

Seeking after the small voice

The false idea to follow this "small voice" or whatever you call it inside of you is greatly exaggerated, and assuming divine authority to all our inner thoughts is prideful and dangerous because Satan is able to talk to people in this manner also, thus influencing our own inner monologue. Therefore we need to be careful about searching for some mystical, emotional, vaporous guidance. God has given each of us a conscience, and several verses refer to how we should be sensitive to the Holy Spirit working through it. It could be said; Decision making based on the will of God, because we were made up right with the freedom to obey and enjoy. Almost every text used by Pundits who hold to the specific-will view has been taken out of context, while not understanding that all of the future is not fixed because man has freewill. However, most assuredly, what is fixed is that he can only end up in one of two places, (heaven or hell).  
 
What if somebody had a problem with an addiction and they started learning how to get rid of all these things by plucking out the sinful eye of the flesh and resisting the devil?  But then this person hears this inner voice that says "you can do nothing of your own, stay the way you are, because your efforts are vanity and self-righteous therefore useless because all of your works are as filthy rags".  I have to ask; where is that inner voice coming from?

When I say ďlittle small voiceĒ, or mystical voice.  I'm not speaking of our conscience conviction, because
thy Word is a 'lamp' unto our feet, and 'light' unto our path through a unction of the Spirit. (revelation from the Spirit confirmed by the word). This is a deep inner peace (or lack thereof) that tells us what we are doing is right or definitely not right, (active obedience in the will of God excusing them, and disobedience accusing them, Romans 2-14,15) However  those who say they audibly  "hear" things from God inside of them assign divine authority to their own thoughts, and that is a very dangerous thing, because it is no great wonder that Satan appears as an angel of light. Everything that God has to say to us is already said in the scriptures. When a child is born, a Divine purpose in life in glorifying God is already imported in him by God through the influence of His light, John 1-9. And if we are willing vessels of obedience He will energize it through us. The natural desires and inclinations become warped when the emotions are placed before sobriety, Gen. 3-6. Thus, it is no longer about us, our dreams, goals, and ambitions, because the Tree of Life will fulfill our natural desires and inclinations by always doing that which pleases the Lord.
Godís will for us is a pure heart in sanctification.

Freewill is the only way a true understanding is found in wisdom and love. God knew the risk of freewill. Like God Himself the true liberty and happiness are found in free liberty, of any created under the Law, the highest Law that cannot tempt Himself. This is why faithfulness to God establishes Gods' law within the believer, Romans 3-31. These are (the children of the free woman Sarah). But to those that are under the law  (the bond servant Hagar) are in bondage with her children. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. Galatians 5-30

Godís will for us is revealed already in His word, as we faithfully obey it and dig for further understanding of the truth. Thatís the only way we can stay on track (Narrow Way) and not be lead astray into the error of the wicked. Once someone begins looking to some exterior source, (visions, dreams, voices, etc.) they go off into all kinds of fallacy and error that will lead them to perdition if they donít wake up..

 

 

By Bill