Volition and free will are different. You can make choices within your slavery (WHETHER SLAVES TO SIN OR SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS) that you will be accountable for making; whether in sin as to how you sin and within grace as to how you heed the Lord in specifics but you are not free to determine your own fate!
You are either saved and have eternal life and are being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, being a slave to righteousness or you are a slave to sin as an unsaved person, not of your own will but because you have a sin nature. You sin because you are a sinner but you choose the kind of sins you desire to walk in. So then ,where is your free will that allows you to do anything that you want outside of God’s soveriegn will? You have none!
Saving faith is a gift! In Heb 11:1 we read a Biblical definition of faith: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. This verse tells us that faith is a conviction that we have regarding something that allows us to be able to act on it as if it were assured of happening. But where does such assurance come from? the Bible says that faith comes from God. Heb 12:2 says “Jesus, is the author and finnisher of faith”.
Faith originates with God and is completed with God. Biblical faith for salvation does not originated from man but is an attribute of God. Head knowledge or belief is NOT saving faith! Saving faith is a gift of grace to as many as the lord our God shall call.
Rom 12:3 says ” … God has given to each man measure of faith.” These two verses clearly tell us that faith is not something that we do or a presence of mind that we develop, but that faith is a gift from God. Faith is GIVEN !
Rom 10:17 says ” … faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” So faith is a gift from God that we receive from the word of Christ (rhema) which in this dispensation we get from the Bible rather than from a burning bush. So in His time He will alot faith to us as needed from the word of the Bible.
In 2 Cor 10:15 we see that faith can grow, We can have more faith as we have more of God’s word in our heart so as we study the Bible God adds to our faith and we grow in the grace of God by the grace of God and not by our own ability!
Yes, we can make choices in how we respond to God but this, is volition which is the act of making a conscious choice or decision but it is not having a will outside of God’s divine will. Jesus said that we are not able to make one hair black nor one hair white. We are subject to laws of nature, laws of man, and spiritual laws. Therefore, based on the premise of limitation by divine will and circumstancial encumberance as well as the will of others we really have NO FREE WILL !
All that anyone can do is make choices or volition but even choices have limitation and are subject to externals. As scripture says only God can change the heart of man. Only God can change a person from the old man to the new man, from the dead in trespasses and sin person to the born again of the Holy Spirit person!
Do you get the difference? You cannot will to be a teacher if God has not called you nor can you will to be rich if God has not called you, nor can you will to be a saint if God has not called you. The bible says that God makes people willing to come to him! “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” Psalms 110:3
People can only do what God allows and even the unsaved have limits. God allows the cup of iniquity to be full with some and he alone determines that measure. Many people teach that they can control God by prayers and confessions but this is not so! Jesus is Lord and no other.
Jesus himself prayed ” Not mine but thy will be done.”
That being said, even Jesus is in submission to the will of the Father.
The scripture does say that God has mercy on whom he will have mercy and who he wills he hardens. God raised up Pharaoh to show mercy to his elect by allowing Pharoh’s heart to stay hard. In this way he could demonstrate his power to his people. God can soften a heart and he can let one stay hard, according to his sovereign will.
If you are a slave to righteousness by being born again then you will be in submission to God. If Christ is really living in you then you are in the Spirit and abiding in Christ. Many claim to know the Lord when in fact they do not. If one lives like the devil then as the bible says, they belongs to the devil.
“A good tree cannot produce evil fruit and neither can a bad tree produce good fruit.” Matthew 7:18
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth. ” 1 John 1:6
God’s will is that you produce fruit if you are a real Christian and that is why he said to check out the fruit. If there are no fruits of righteousness in a person’s life then they are probably not saved! Christians can sin as it says in the book of John but if any one is truly born of God then they will not live a habitual life of sin for God’s seed lives in them and they therefore cannot live a life style of sin.
“Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” 1 John 3:6-10
“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God. ” I Thess. 4:3-5
Saving faith is given as a gift from God. You cannot in anyway earn it or contrive it of your own ability. Man’s “faith” or human belief is limited and he is not able to comprehend the gospel because he is dead in sins and blinded by the god of this world.
The sin nature controled by Satan is the influence on the minds of men and expressed by the ideals, opinions, goals, hopes and views of unregenertated humanity. Satan’s influences also encompass the world’s philosophies, education, and commerce as well as the thoughts, ideas, speculations and false religions of the world.
“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19
“The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44
It is through the preaching of the word that God’s faith is released by God’s will and not of our works, that is our own ability. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ” Ephesians 2:8,9
Therefore, we cannot boast that it was our faith that saved us when Grace and Faith are both gifts from God.
God also grants repentance to the acknowledging of the truth the Bible tells us. We can of our own self do nothing as Jesus said. Born again Christians are called to preach the word of God and the Holy Spirit’s job is to convert the hearer to the gospel.
“Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.” Acts 11:18
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4
“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry,but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. ” 2Co 7:9,10
“In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;” 2Ti 2:25
In Matthew Chapter 16 Peter had made his confession of faith in Christ and said, “ Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God .”
The Lord Christ answered him and said, “Simon, son of Jonah, flesh and blood hath not reveal this to you; but my Father in heaven.”
Also in John chapter 1 it plainly says that we receive Jesus Christ not by our will but by God’s will.“To as many as received him to them gave he power to become thwe sons of God, born no tof the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but by the will of God.” 1 John 3:6-10
The Lord builds his church, he alone adds the numbers.
“Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. “Acts 2:47
“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:6,7
“And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. “ Acts 13:48
Ordain- To order by virtue of superior authority; decree or enact. To prearrange unalterably, predestine
” For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:29,30
To destine or determine in advance, foreordain.
“‘For many are called, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16
“For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.” Psalm 135:4
“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Acts 9:15,16
“But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.” Isaiah 41:8,9
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. ” 2 Peter 2:9
“And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.” Acts 1:24,25
“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Thess. 2:11-14
” In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.” Haggi 2:23
“Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” John 60-71
Selected from or preferred above others: the chosen few. Having been selected by God; elect.
“And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other“.Matthew 24:31
“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;”Titus 1:1
“And I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inheritor of my mountains: and mine elect shall inherit it, and my servants shall dwell there.” Isahiah 65:9
“Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.” 1 Peter 1:2
“For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect ” Mark 13:22 ( BUT IT IS NOT POSSIBE TO DECIEVE THE ELECT OF GOD PRAISE THE LORD…THOSE WHO BELIEVE FALSE DOCTRINE WILL EITHER COME TO THE KNOWLEGE OF THE TRUTH WHEN PRESENTED WITH IT IF GOD WILLS OR STAY DECIEVED AND GO INTO PERDITION)
“The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever” 2 John 1:1,2
To pick out; select: elect an art course. 3. To decide, especially by preference: elected to take the summer off. 4. To select by divine will for salvation. Used of God. Chosen deliberately; singled out. One that is chosen or selected. 5.One selected by divine will for salvation. 6. An exclusive group of people
In conclusion; Volition means the act of making a decision. This act comes from the flesh. When the part of the brain which makes choices is injured in people they are not able anymore to make rational choices.This is a scientific fact. The human brain cannot created faith. FAITH COMES BY HEARING GOD’S WORD AND HEARING GOD’S WORD (ABILITY TO HEAR) COMES FROM GOD. Faith is a gift from God given to God’s elect chosen in him from the foundation of the world.
Free will is nothing more than human philosophy which comes from the philosopher Aristotle in the classical Greek doctrine but is not a biblical doctrine. Free will was never taught by the reformers; not by John Wycliff ,Martin Luther, John Calvin, john Knox, the Puritians,George Whitefeild, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon,ect.
Free will is a last days false doctrine which undermines the faith of God and the blood of Jesus. It is a heresy opposed by the early church which has its roots in Pelagism and Arminianism which was condemned by the Synod of Dordrecht (Dort) in 1618-1619.
The Bible teaches that God is absolutely sovereign and all-powerful. “…the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will…. and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan. 4:32, 35).
The Bible also teaches total depravity, that is, that man, in every part of his nature (intellect, emotions and will) is dead in trespasses and sins and cannot give himself spiritual birth. Regeneration (the spiritual birth) is entirely the working of grace through faith and not from one’s own ability or will.
“And you hath he quickened,(made alive) who were dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” John. 1:13
In conclusion, Free will is not a biblical concept, it is rather a humanist concept. We are Free in the Lord or slaves to sin. Either way there is no middle ground.