Free Will Debate Antony v. Windsor

Free Will Debate

Round 2b

Antony Answers and Rebuttal of Windsor’s Questions

Mr. Windsor says in his summary statement that we were created with the will to choose God and to love Him [so] that He might choose us!    But under no circumstances whatsoever does the Bible paint a portrait of the Lord passively waiting around hoping to be chosen so that He would in turn choose US.
"You have not chosen me, but I haven chosen you"  (Jn 15:16).  All of the following verses  unquestionably and categorically demonstrate that God is the aggressor and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2) and is most certainly not merely a lucky contestant on a game show having won the prize of being chosen by man's free will!  (Deut 7:7, Jer 18:4-6, Isa 49:1, 64:8, Ps 65:4,  Prov 16:9, 19:21, 20:24, 21:1, Matt 11:25-27, 13:11, 15:13, 16:17,  Mk 13:20, Jn 1:12-13, 3:8, 5:21, 5:25, 6:37, 6:44, 6:65, 12:40, Acts 2:39, 2:46-7, 9:3-5, 9:15, 11:18, 13:48, 16:14, 18:27, Rms 3:11-12, 9:15-16, 12:3, 1 Cor 1:9, 1:30, 3:5-6, Eph 1:4-5, 1:11, 1:17-20, 2:1, 2:5, 2:8, Gal 1:15, Phil 1:29, Jms 1:18, 2 Tim 1:9, 2:25, 2 Thess 2:13, Rev 17:14).

My opponent brings up Romans 8:29-30, where we, the creatures that did not yet even exist, "He did foreknow and predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son."   We are told that while predestination terminology is used here, the "key" is in looking at predestination in terms of God's foreknowledge.  In other words, God initiates the plan, but it is man who actuates it in due time.   Mr. Windsor relegates predestination to God's ability to look down through the corridors of the future, and discover who would come to believe in Him by an act of their free will.
Briefly, predestination  refers to His sovereign divine discrimination BEFOREHAND.   Ephesians 1:5 confirms this and directly contradicts the assertion of the Roman Catholic apologist:  "Having predestinated us...according to the good pleasure of His will."   There is no mention of the whims and will of the creature acting in synergy with His  (SW's Q: #7), nor is anything ever said about the Father's giving of men being based upon anything in the men themselves. His active pursuit to vivify many individuals to eternal life came in eternity past  (SW's Q: #7) with a purposeful decision to freely bestow on these chosen ones, the gift of faith, all "to the praise of His glorious grace"  (Eph 1:6, 2 Tim 1:9).   Likewise, in Acts 4:28, the early church specifically affirmed the display of God's overarching rule in that all  Herod, Pilate, the Roman soldiers and religious leaders had done to Jesus was, "what your power and WILL had decided beforehand should happen."  (SW's Q: #3).

The Lord explicitly limits the scope of His intercession as High Priest to the elect  in distinction from the world  (SW's Q: #6).   Ergo, all men are NOT drawn to Christ (SW's Q: #1).  This is because Jesus says that those who will be raised to eternal life will be those whom the Father has drawn (Jn 39-40).  But since we have seen that not  all men are given by the Father to the Son (Jn 17:6-9), then it must follow that not all men are drawn to Christ by the Father!

I am asked, "does not the very definition of sin as a  "willful" offense against God, negate the premise of "no free will"?
Answer?  Not at all.  Briefly, free will is in no sense the culprit for our accountability to Divine Justice when He imputes  Adam's sin to the entire human race upon entry,  holding us responsible nonetheless---contrary to your assertion in  Q3  that by nature, there must be an "element of disobedience" to offend God.
See Rms 5:12-19  and paragraph 5  .....    
By nature, 'the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to His law, NEITHER INDEED CAN BE"  (Rms 8:7; read that as "bondage", per Q4).  I explained in my opening statement that Scripture is relentless that we are by nature, DEAD in trespasses and sins and have an "incurable wound" (Jer 30:12) but your position is that human nature has not been incurably wounded, only.....merely,  "wounded"

Mr. Windsor wonders if the debate is over because he opines that my separating our "heart's desire" from our "will" is being duplicitous (Q5).   Obviously, he wishes to co-mingle the two concepts into one, but the Bible won't allow it.  Proverbs 16:9 says that, "a man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps".  My will, to do this or that, derives from my heart's desire which contemplates it.  But in the outworking of that contemplation, the Lord will have His way.  In the sense that everyone has a will that is the "water" which springs from the "fountain" of  their heart's desire, they are free moral agents.  But technically, we are all slaves to something and not free at all (Lk 4:18).  We will either be a slave to sin, per Luther's "bondage" thesis (Q4)  or, "a bondservant of Jesus Christ"  (Rms 1:1).  It is the universal testimony of Scripture that only  God's mysterious action releases us from the bondage of sin, and hence, makes us spiritually alive.  If someone is unsaved, they are only free to choose from the disposition and intent of their hearts---which will always be bent towards evil and rejecting the gospel (Jer 17:9).   It is nothing less than "Resurrection Power" (Eph 1:17-20)  that must first change their hearts of stone (Ezek 36:36, Rms 2:29) before they are able to believe, since "dead men" put up no resistance to anything.

In conclusion, God's purpose in election, and by extention, His sovereignty over human will, is a "done deal". He alone initiates, pursues and persuades those who will be irresistibly drawn to Christ.  His purpose in electing some to eternal life are never, nor will they ever be, subject to the free will decision of men because:
"He that has begun a good work in you will perform it"  (Phil 1:6).   
My opponent says that if someone fails to come to Christ, this is not the fault of God, but of man.  I emphatically deny this.  The Potter is sovereign over the clay, and Scripture tells us that He has decided to take certain earthen vessels and make them into vessels of destruction (Rms 9:22).  We might not like the idea, but this is indeed, "the fault of God".
"Oh man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus?"  (Rms 9:20, Isa 45:9, 64:8).

Word Count: 1203

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