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On Free Will

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Hammster, Jul 1, 2017.

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  1. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Please stick to the topic.
     
  2. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    And...that's not on topic. Please address the OP.
     
  3. CrystalDragon

    CrystalDragon Well-Known Member

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    I think the natural man can do things that are spiritually good if we assume we have free will.
     
  4. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Thanks.
     
  5. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    So if scripture says that those in the flesh (natural man) cannot please God, how does that square with your opinion?
     
  6. CodyFaith

    CodyFaith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'll address the OP.

    The answer is yes, the natural man can do something spiritually good.

    Anyone who knows of free will or believes in such clearly has that belief/knowledge.
     
  7. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    I say no. Man is only capable of good as the Lord enables and empowers him to do.

    It is the difference between the law and grace. The law was man working to be righteous, grace is God making righteous those who have faith.

    This is what irritated Paul so greatly about the Galatians.

    IOW, God doesn't work in tandem with us, but works through us who submit to him.
     
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  8. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Is the scripture wrong when it says that He who is in the flesh cannot please God?
     
  9. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. - Hebrews 10:38

    The just shall live by faith - If faith keeps the Reformed congregation going - The more power to them!
    But if any man draw back... - But we have free will to draw back...
     
  10. CodyFaith

    CodyFaith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With works toward God, they can't.

    If I wasn't a believer but loved and cared for my child, that clearly pleases God. What it was referring to was people who would try to please God. So if I was an unbeliever and said "for God's sake I'm going to go and help my elderly neighbour take out their garbage" then that work towards God would not be accepted because, according to scripture, the motives for such works are not pure.

    Someone who seeks God with their whole heart pleases God.
     
  11. PeaceB

    PeaceB Well-Known Member

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    Orange is clear that all supernatural good works are done only through God's grace.

    During the time of Felix IV

    Canon 20.
    That a man can do no good without God. God does much that is good in a man that the man does not do; but a man does nothing good for which God is not responsible, so as to let him do it.
    But what is your definition of "natural man"? Is it limited to baptized Christians in a state of grace, or would it include people such as these:


    Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience . . .
    I would guess that you would want to classify all people who do not have an explicit faith in Jesus Christ as "natural men" but I am not sure if Scripture stands for that proposition.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  12. stuart lawrence

    stuart lawrence Well-Known Member

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    I know that nothing good lives in me, that is in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out
    Rom7:18
     
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  13. CodyFaith

    CodyFaith Well-Known Member Supporter

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    .
     
  14. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Alright. Care to address the OP?
     
  15. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    Okay, so doing something natural like caring for a child pleases God, but trying to please Him doesn't?
     
  16. ByTheSpirit

    ByTheSpirit Pray always!!

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    I think there is a difference from works of righteousness and normal human activity...

    Even heathens care for and provide for their children, yet that does nothing to sway God to give them salvation, etc.
     
  17. TheSeabass

    TheSeabass Well-Known Member

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    In the context surrounding 1 Cor 2:14, the spiritual man is the one endowed by the Holy Spirit to receive words revelation from the Holy Spirit and wrote those words down so we today can read them. The spiritual man is the inspired writer of the bible.

    The natural man are those who have not been endowed by the Holy Spirit to receive words of revelation from God. He does not have Divine access to the things of God's mind therefore all he and has is the wisdom of the world.

    Ephesians 3:3-4 "How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)"

    Paul was a spiritual man, an inspired writer of the bible who was given divine access/revelations to the things of the mind of God. Paul wrote those inspired words down where the natural man, who does not have such access to the mind of God, can then read and understand the things of the mind of God.

    So the natural man is not a totally depraved man not able to understand the word of God and obey it. He simply was not inspired to receive revelatory words from the Holy Spirit about the things of God Yet the natural man can read the writings of spiritual men and understand the mind of God....as they did in Ephesus.

    So the Calvinists are right is thinking that man cannot know the things of God apart from revelations of the Holy Spirit. But Calvinists would be wrong in thinking God arbitrarily chooses certain men who must first be regenerated and have their knowledge miraculously "enlightened" apart from the word of God. The things of God are passed to every man through the word as written by inspired spiritual men where then the lost natural man can read and understand those words and use his free will to believe or not believe those words.

    So Paul is NOT saying the lost natural man is so totally depraved that he cannot understand the things of God for he can understand those things of God by reading the written word.

    Paul is saying the natural man simply was not given power of inspiration to receive by divine revelation the things of God's mind therefore is limited to wisdom of the world. But the natural man can read the inspired word of God and know the things of God.

    The men that Peter preached to in Acts 2 and Stephen in Acts 7 were lost natural men. Yet they were able to hear the things of the mind of God as spoken by inspired spiritual men and those natural men in Acts 2 use their free will to believe and obey those words and those natural men in Acts 7 chose not to believe what they heard.
    --the natural man understood what was preached
    --the natural man did not have to first be "regenerated" by Holy Spirit before he could understand
    --the natural men in Acts 2 and 7 were not totally depraved
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
  18. disciple1

    disciple1 Newbie

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    1 Peter chapter 4 verse 8
    Love covers a great many sins.

    I see some people doing this who don't know church or have been driven away by hypocrites.
     
  19. Hammster

    Hammster Buckeye Newshawk Award Winner Staff Member Site Advisor Supporter

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    That's what I was thinking. I'm sure Jesus said something about that.
     
  20. rockytopva

    rockytopva Love to pray! :) Supporter

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    If E = mc2 then we can divide and conclude that...

    Mass (m) = Energy (E/c2)

    And there are three varieties...

    Natural E/c2 - All mass is basically cooled plasma
    Mental E/c2 - Mentally, A mathematical formula, but this has chemical and spiritual properties as well.
    Spiritual E/c2 - E (motivation, warmth, love) / c2 (faith, hope, charity, joy)

    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. - 2 Corinthians 4:7

    If the excellency of the power dwell in us spiritually, naturally, and intelligently, from God himself, then we can do that which is spiritually good. If the excellency of the power from the Holy Spirit is not of God, then we struggle.

    But if the excellency of the power is not of God, which I believe more times than not is true, then we must do the best we can do. We therefore can do what is spiritually good away from God, but we will do a better job if it is indeed God.
     
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