System AUDIO & Sources
In John three, Jesus tells Nicodemus that unless he is born once again, he cannot even see the kingdom of God. What are the implications of this thought on the well known notion of totally free will? Apart from God’s gracious intervention, do men and women have the capability to make a choice to join a kingdom which they can’t see? What does it actually imply to be born once again? We place some of these concerns to pastors at a current convention, and on this plan the hosts will interact with their responses as they continue their series on the Gospel of John.
“Our cultural narrative at the present moment says, ‘You have to be your correct self,’ and this has generally come to be the message of each and every Disney film. But Jesus absolutely destroys that right here in John chapter three, due to the fact he tells Nicodemus: ‘The existing version of you is in fact incorrect. You have to be born all more than once again.’”
Term to Discover
The essence of totally free will is deciding upon according to our desires. The will is totally free to decide on what ever it desires. With regard to salvation, the query then becomes, what do fallen human beings wish? Jonathan Edwards stated that as fallen human beings we retain our “natural freedom” (the energy to act according to our desires), but shed our “moral freedom” (the disposition, inclination, and wish of the soul for righteousness). In the Fall, we lost all wish for God. But due to the fact we can nevertheless decide on according to our desires, we decide on to sin and are accountable to the judgment of God. In this sense, the freedom of our will is a curse. All human beings wish to flee from God unless and till the Holy Spirit performs a function of regeneration. That regeneration modifications our desires so that we will freely repent and be saved.
This understanding of human totally free will is not deterministic due to the fact determinism teaches that our actions are absolutely controlled by some thing external to us, creating us do what we do not want to do. This is coercion and is opposed to freedom. How can our alternatives be determined but not coerced? Beause they are determined by some thing inside — by what we are and by what we wish. They are determined by ourselves. This is self-determination, which is the really essence of freedom.
(Adapted from Vital Truths of the Christian Faith by R.C. Sproul)