Free will is so hard to talk about because the term really doesn’t even appear in my Bible (the ESV or the KJV). And whenever people are told to “choose the good,” like in Deuteronomy 30 or Joshua 24, it’s soon revealed that they can’t. Yet, all the time American preachers preach that we have free will. “You are blessed if, saved if, forgiven if…. And it’s your choice because you have free will.”
What do we mean by free will?
I don’t know how you understand free will, but don’t most people mean this idea that a person can choose good or evil because that person is responsible for their own choices.
Another way of saying that might be no one else causes their choices because they are the cause of their own choices, which means they are the Uncaused Cause, the Uncreated Creator, the Unchosen Chooser, the Original “If,” in other words, God?
If you make a choice, you are the chooser.
BUT did you choose your own chooser? Are you the source of yourself?
Let me put it another way: Are you an illegitimate bastard? I’m sorry to be so blunt, but think about what we can mean with that horrid word. Don’t we mean a child that wasn’t chosen but must choose? A child that has no source, no father? A child born outside of the unbreakable covenant of grace?
Satan wants you to believe that you’re a bastard, but you’re not. He wants you to believe that you are your own source; that you are an uncaused cause; that you are your own creator, savior, and redeemer; that God loves you IF you choose something, for then your choice creates love, and God is love. But Scripture says, “…he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” (Eph. 1:4)
If you believe satan’s lie, and not the truth that you are chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, you think you are God’s creator. In the belief of that lie you create a prison of darkness and lies. You create a false self, an empty shell, a vain ego. You create Hell and give flesh to the devil. You create desecration, un-creation—an empty void.
When you believe you aren’t chosen but yet must choose, and you don’t rest in the foundational truth that you are chosen by Him to be holy and blameless before him, whether you choose to make yourself a doctor or a thief it’s all sin when you believe you create yourself with your own free will.
All sin comes from the belief that you are your own source, an uncaused cause, an illegitimate bastard.
All sin comes from a lie whispered in your ear by a snake: “The Father doesn’t love you, so you better take some knowledge of good and evil from that tree. Take it so you can make your own choices and make yourself in the image of God. …Just make yourself God—a will, entirely ‘free’!”
Amazing grace is utterly offensive to that arrogant spirit. Nothing is as offensive to the fallen children of Adam as amazing grace. Amazing grace literally kills our old man; it literally crucifies that prideful, old, independent, hellish self—that lie.
The grace of God is…
The decision of God,
The judgment of God on all our judgments,
The only “if” that matters,
The mystery hidden for ages but now revealed at the cross.
It is Jesus Christ and Him crucified,
Amazing grace kills us and truly sets us free, but free to do what?
Free to choose the good in freedom.
You were not born with a “good free will.” But from the foundation of the cosmos, you were predestined for a good free will. How does God create that good free will? He consigns you to your own bad choices—disobedience—in order to reveal His good choice—mercy.
You have been chosen to choose the good in freedom, and God is the Good.
You have been predestined for a good free will.
And now you may ask, “Doesn’t that make me an uncaused cause?”
It makes you the sanctuary of the Uncaused Cause.
It makes you the very Body of Christ.
A good free will is the gift of God. A good choice in you—faith, hope or love in you—is God’s eternal choice in you. It’s the life of Christ in you, the decision of your Father in you. And thus, He makes you in His own image.
As soon as you take credit for that gift, it’s no longer a gift and it’s no longer free…but there is good news: whether or not God in Christ Jesus would do this is the only “if.” And the answer is Yes! In 2 Corinthians 1:19, Paul writes, “In Christ, it is always Yes!”
Yes! I love you with all my heart.
Yes! I will always be your Daddy.
Yes! You will always be my son, my daughter, my child.
You are not an illegitimate bastard.
You are my workmanship, created for my glory.
In Jesus’ name, believe the Gospel.
This devotional was prepared by Kimberly Weynen, Peter Hiett’s assistant. It is primarily a compilation of excerpts from the sermon entitled “If” from our series in Ephesians. This devotional might have raised questions about free will, faith, how God reconciles us and the entire world to Himself, and maybe more. You can dig deeper into these things by exploring our Ephesians sermon series here: http://relentless-love.org/sermons/page/5/?filter-by=series&filter-term=ephesians%2F or go to http://relentless-love.org/sermons/if/ to read, watch or listen to the sermon “If.”