The Sovereignty of God and Human Freedom
My brother is a recent convert. He studies the Bible a lot. We have been talking about the question of “Can a true Christian go into a life of habitual sin?” He says that the answer is no. We talked about this at length today. He brought up this passage:
“For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 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 honor…” (1 Thessalonians 4:2-4).
He said if a person is a true Christian, God wills it that they should not do these things on the “red-letter list.” So, if God wills it, then it will be so. A true Christian will never do those things. He asked, “Can we resist God’s will?” So, in his understanding, God does it all in salvation, in sanctification and Christian living. So, if we don’t see Christian living and sanctification, it is because God is not doing it in the person, and therefore, they are not saved.
These are some of the things that I discussed with him today. We talked about this verse too:
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
He stressed the fact that God ordained it that we …. I stressed the part of the verse that says we should walk …
I realized that this is at the heart of a lot of the things that I ponder. This discussion about Christian living and sanctification is not so far from the TULIP discussions I have gotten caught up in. There is a common question: How much is God in control of people and how much are people in control of themselves? Where does one end and the other begin? Does God leave nothing in our hands? Do we really make any choices?
Something then suddenly occurred to me about my struggle and why I wrestle with this issue the way I do …