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Where in the Bible does it mention our free will.

I always hear people talk about free will and our choices but I have not been able to find free will in regards to our choices, in the Bible. Can anyone help me out with this?

The only times I have seen the word freewill, in the Bible, is when it refers to a freewill offering to God.

Thank you.


Asked by Susan0976 at 4:53 PM on Apr. 7, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (17)
  • To Illustration: The owner of a radio can listen to the world news. But the fact that he can listen to a certain station does not mean that he does. He must first turn on the radio and then select the station. Likewise, Jehovah has the ability to foreknow events, but the Bible shows that he makes selective and discretionary use of that ability, with due regard for the free will with which he has endowed his human creation.—Compare Genesis 22:12; 18:20, 21.


    Answer by lisarose45 at 6:50 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • The Bible does not use the words "free-will" necessarily. "Free-will" is a term that we use to describe the actions we've seen WITHIN the Bible. Instances of free-will are all over it's pages. Cain CHOSE to kill abel. Jonah CHOSE to head the opposite direction of Ninevah. Jacob CHOSE to decieve Esau. Zachariah CHOSE to question God. Saul CHOSE to persecute Christians. Sampson CHOSE to give into Delilah. Eve CHOSE to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam CHOSE to eat it too.

    There is never a stronger case for free-will than in the Garden of Eden. "Right and wrong" was set before Adam and Eve and they made the decision to do wrong. Their decision has impacted the world.

    I'm Presbyterian and also happen to believe in Predestination (which is also demonstrated in the Bible). To me both Predestination and free-will are necessary though they seem to collide. (cont.)

    Answer by NovemberLove at 5:04 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • The words "free will" are not used, but the fact that we are free to choose whether to serve Him or not is the theme throughout.

    Answer by Lexylex at 5:04 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • There aren't that many in the Bible, but here are a few that suggest that we have free will, i.e., that we have the ability to choose our actions (as opposed to the strict doctrine of predestination).

    Genesis 2:16--And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.

    Joshua 24:15--And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

    Deuteronomy 30:19--I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and acursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

    Answer by AngelDawn7 at 5:05 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • As a finite person I must admit that I can only see "free-will" and "predestination" as paralell pillars, existing side by side. As the pillars extend up into the sky and disapear from sight, the two meet. Only God knows when and how they meet.

    Free-will describes man's ability to choose evil and bring evil into the world (or to choose good ect.). Predestination acknowledges man's ability to choose sin but believes that God is ultimately in control.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 5:06 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • NovemberLove...

    Thank you for replying...I am a huge believer in you think it is possible that we don't really "choose" and those are only words used but hat in fact, it is part of the plan for us to "choose" the way we do?

    Answer by Susan0976 at 5:08 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • Just by the fact that Adam was driven out of the Garden of Eden is enough to show that he had free will--he (and Eve) chose to disobey, and were punished for it. Satan is doing everything he can to get man to disobey God--God tells us in Psalm 27:11, "Be wise, my son, and make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to he that is taunting me." What that means is that man has a choice to obey God, or to follow Satan. By obeying God, God can say, "see? They chose to listen to me!" Does that make sense? There's a whole bunch more I could say, but that's a start, anyway!

    Answer by momcat437 at 5:09 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • On free will and predestination... shows the verses for each belief.

    Some verses used to show that people have a choice, can resist the Holy Spirit, etc: Deut 30:15-18; Josh 24:15; Jn 15:6-7; 3:16

    Examining Exodus, Ecc 7, Eph 1, Ep 2, Acts 13, Rom 8, Rom 9, II Tim, II Thess and Revelations, all show that God's plan overrides our free will; those that do good do the specific good that God predestined them to do, and all others are ruled by Satan because God sends "powerful delusions" to them. The Bible states many times that God creates our future and decides our fates, no matter what our own will is. Some of the foremost Christians in history have taught that there is no free will, including St Augustine, St Thomas of Aquinas, Martin Luther, and John Calvin.

    Answer by Collinsky at 5:12 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • Collinsky...

    I will definitely check out that link...thank you. What you wrote in your reply best describes how I feel, by the way.

    Answer by Susan0976 at 5:15 PM on Apr. 7, 2009

  • Free Will cannot exist if your God already has a PLAN for you, can it? Choices are an illusion because he already knows your heart and the outcome. He knitted you together in your mother's womb, right? He knows you better than anyone because he created you, right? Then wouldn't he know what you're going to do when faced with a certain choice? You ultimately have no control over what you do because it's already done in his mind... Free Will is used as a cop out excuse when they can't find any other answer to your question.

    Answer by IhartU at 5:27 PM on Apr. 7, 2009