FREE WILL AND SALVATION
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE ....
John 16:7-11 remind us of the need for the Holy Spirit to work in the life of the sinner. I understand that probably no one has problems with this kind of interference or persuasion (in a positive light). This would be like a teacher instructing us. My question is when does the Holy Spirit's work interfere with this notion of 'free will?'
John 17:6-9 is much more clear on how the Lord works in some men different than other men. When God works in this way, he becomes saved and in every case they respond to Him. The Lord Jesus did not seem defensive about this conversation with His Father. We can also note the part the will of man plays in all this. These men received what God gave to them. We do not mean to say by our arguments that man does not have a part in this process, but it is a responsive part.
John 6:44 is still clearer.
Romans 9:15-16 asserts God's prerogative in choosing some people rather than others for salvation. Salvation depends on God's grace and kindness rather than on man who wills or runs.
There are several passages that seem to trouble people. That is okay. We don't perfectly understand all passages. Most of these 'trouble' passages speak of the 'world' or 'all.' This is interpreted to mean that every last person when a better translation seems to be on the broadness of God's mercy, For example in 1 John 2:3 the whole world should be understood as "all the nations" as in contrast to just the Jewish nation.
But frankly, if we get tied down in these passages and do not first come to terms with our limited will, then we will not be able to understand what is written so clearly in the scriptures. I am not saying all these 'trouble' verses are not important. I have looked at most of them and studied them intensely. Each verse speaks of God's general call to the world in compassion and mercy.
The main argument of our bound nature is so clear and horrible. We should call emphasize 'bound will' rather than 'free will.' If God had to step into my life for my good, I wouldn't mind it. I suppose a good example would be a stranger walking by and noticing a fast car approaching a small child playing on the road. The driver doesn't see her. The child can't move quickly enough. I rather the stranger come by and pick up that little girl who didn't want to be disturbed.
Grace begins to shine when we give full credit to God's saving power and ashes to our abilities. All by grace. Even the faith that we offer Him is given by Him.
I don't find myself defending my free will. I can't find the teaching in the scriptures. If you mean that I have a freedom to choose to sin, then yes, that I can accept. But the unbeliever is in bondage to his lusts and needs to be saved. He needs a great and mighty God to break through his selfish world and reach in and pull him out through the merciful work of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Defend my free will? No.(1) Instead I proclaim the greatness of God's mercy and saving power.