Dr John Gill has 7 points that we will be looking at concerning free will. I will respond to each of his points.
In his opening he states:
“Free-will brings with it so many absurdities that it cannot be received.
I should think that these 7 would be his most absurd of the free will offerings in his thinking. Therefore these should be closely examined.
1. It makes man the cause of his own salvation. “
In my opinion for one to even think what Dr Gill states here in point 1 would be absurd. Jesus is the only one who could satisfy the sin price required by God. We as His creation either accept or reject what He has done for us. Man must hear the word of God in order to receive the gift of faith. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Once faith is given; then man is at liberty to walk in that faith or not. So, it seems that he is also at liberty to reject it and suffer the consequence. You will understand this more from scripture as you read on.
“2. It puts grace into man’s power, not man’s will under the power of grace.”
Again I would have to object, Grace is the gift of God offered to man. Man does not create Grace nor does he control it. Man’s will accepts God’s grace for salvation and for living the believers walk. “Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16)
“3. It robs God of the honour of making one to differ from another, and ascribes it to man.”
Believing all of the word does not take away the fact that God is the creator. All honor is His in creation and in providing man with salvation. Every man is uniquely made down to the number of hairs on his head to his own unique finger print. Each one is different in his/her DNA. Man has nothing to do with his created differences nor his placement on the earth. Man is only asked to do two things, to hear and to believe that which he hears from the Holy Spirit, who leads us into all Bible truth. Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Faith itself is the gift given to those who hear and believe.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name (John 1:12),
Notice that the gift that He gave in this verse was not given until He was received, and there is further explanation of the receiving to mean those who believed in His name. So believing comes before He gives. His gift to the hearer and believer of the word is faith.
“4. It allows man a liberty of boasting to God, saying, “God, I thank Thee that Thou gavest me power to will (yet Thou gavest that to Judas as well as me), but I thank myself for the act of willingness, since I receive from Thee no more than Judas did.”
Should a man think this way would he not be disregarding everything that his Savior did for Him. It would be no different than for the man who believes himself to be chosen by God over a world of sinners; to then think that he is better than these wretched sinners. A man should his circumstance be either would then be a grave sinner. And the man who believes in free will must accept responsibility for this grave sin of pride. Whereas the man who believes that God is responsible for all of his doings, could possibly go on with the (This understand is my belief) false understanding that God has created him to act out his sinfulness, and pride.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
“5. It exempts the creature from the power of God, as if man, spider-like, could spin a thread out of his own bowels whereon to climb to Heaven.”
What an absolutely absurd thing to say about a fellow believer. It is as though Jesus never came and died. To follow Christ is the privilege of the believer. To believe that one has no choice in the matter of following what The Holy Spirit calls us to do would truly make us a creation of (Gill’s word) — “creatures” — like unto robots would it not? If God decides our every step rather than lighting our path for our steps as David states it, so that we might not stray; than why must Jesus have died? He could have programmed us for perfection and total understanding if we are chosen without any reason given by even God Himself. But rather it seems that He knowingly allowed for sin and disobedience knowing what our ignorance and lack of wisdom would do by His allowing our choosing based upon our freedom to believe what we hear. He knew that it would take the death of a Son in order to convince only some of us of His love provided through His grace. Yet, He was willing to put up with those instruments of wrath. Those He was willing to create and endure because in the end those who believe are To His glory and they were all predestined before the foundation of the earth. Those in Christ to eternal life. Those who would refuse to hear and believe to His wrath.
For He says to Moses, “ I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction? And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,
These words are difficult to understand without the impact of other relevant scriptures. God has given man this free will as referenced in this passage. This free will does not save man, but it depending on his response allows the sovereign God to change man into His designated purpose for man. He would that all men come to a knowledge of the truth, yet, He predestined that those who refuse to accept and believe would experience His wrath.
“6. It maketh man the cause why God willeth this or that; so God must attend on the will of man, and not be infallible in His decrees, nor working all things according to the counsel of His own will (Eph 1:11, Ps 115:3).”
Actually, the word also says that He works all things for the good to them that love Him and are the called according to His purpose. A robot can’t love without being told to love. There can be nothing of his own and certainly he can’t without programming answer His purpose and His call. How is a man with no will of his own become anything more than a robot?
Further God in order to be infallible in His decrees must honor first and always His word.
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:1,3-4
“7. Then the apostle James lied in saying “every good gift” is from God (Jas1:17); and Paul also was mistaken in Romans 9:11. He should have said, “It is of man that willeth and runneth,” and not, “Of God that showeth”
So, what is it that God showeth?Every good and perfect gift is from God and He brought it down by His will. According to this passage, but it does not stop there. Listen:
This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
These are instructions not to a robot, but to one who God expects to act upon them if he loves Him, if he has heard and believed. If he does these things in humility receiving the word; then this word that he either receives or rejects is able to save him. What does that mean? Jesus says you are made clean by the word that I have spoken to you.
If we believe we are given the power to become the sons of God. God’s gifting is then coming to those who obey Him. We are saved by grace through faith. We are being saved by grace through faith, and we will be saved by grace through faith.
if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.
Colossians 1:23 NASB
Our doctrine must consist of God’s complete word to us and not leave out any of His instruction to us. When we are presented with another doctrine that is not what we have been taught, then we are charged to study to show ourselves approved workmen who needeth not be ashamed.
What is the point of our study, and of His instruction if it is not to be put into practice by us. So if we don’t follow this instruction are we to say that it was His will? We are instructed to present our bodies a living sacrifice. We are instructed to love the lord our God with all our heart mind and resources.
HEAR O ISRAEL THE LORD OUR GOD THE LORD IS ONE (AND HIS NAME IS ONE) AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD your GOD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL OF YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL OF YOUR RESOURCES.
These words are taken from Deuteronomy 6:4 and Zechariah 4:19, and are inspired by God as they are given to us titled SHEMA YISRAEL sung by Micha’el Ben David. He offers this song free to any who wish to listen. It is inspirational. It is a gift from Ben David to you who will hear it and receive it, all you need do is go to uTube and search the song title and His name, but some of you will not do that because you will say: I have to go and bury my father; or I need to go and bid them farewell that are at my house. For those of you who go there and listen you will be blessed. For those of you who don’t, who do you blame, God or yourself?
If I have offended in this post please forgive me, and please let me know your thoughts. Thanks.