Thursday, November 8, 2007

Predestination or Free Will?

A reader asks: “As far as God hand picking people for His purposes, do you not believe in free will? Are you prescribing to Calvin's idea of predestination?”

The answer to this question is so important in how we raise our children. One of the first prayers we teach our children is the Our Father. “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matt. 6:10)

One of the first Bible stories we teach them is that of Creation and Adam and Eve. It is very clear from that story that, while God desired that we would choose Good, he allowed us the choice between good and evil.

“The Lord God gave man this order: ‘You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die’.”
Genesis 2:16-17

Yet throughout the Bible we are told of his Purpose, that God knew us before we were born, that He has a plan for us.

“You formed my inmost being;
You knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, so wonderfully you made me;
Wonderful are your works!
My very self you knew;
My bones were not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
Fashioned as in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes foresaw my actions;
In your book all are written down;
My days were shaped, before one came to be.”
Psalm 139:13-16

I believe a mother’s job is to best prepare her children to seek God’s purpose for them, to help find and develop the special gifts he has given them for this life, and to give them the skills they need to fulfill that.

If we choose God’s will and obey his commandments, we will receive blessings.

“Therefore, if you hearken to my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my special possession, dear to me than all other people, though all the earth is mine.”
Exodus 19:5

If we attempt to thwart his will, we will be punished, and His Will will be brought about anyway. It is in following God’s will that we are not enslaved by sin but find freedom in a righteous life.

“The Lord watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.”
Proverbs 1:6

There is so much scripture and doctrine on this topic that I believe I must continue this topic in another post!

"Jesus answered them and said, ‘My teaching is not my own but is from the one who sent me. Whoever chooses to do his will shall know whether my teaching is from God or whether I speak on my own. Whoever speaks on his own seeks his own glory, but whoever seeks the glory of the one who sent him is truthful, and there is no wrong in him.’"
John 7:16-18

Painting Above: "The Tree of Death and Life"
1481. The Archbishop of Saltzburg's missal.
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek

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