Man’s Free Will Demonstrates the Biblical Truth that God is Sovereign

Here is my view:  God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil.  When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make that he should be free to make it.  If in His absolute freedom God has willed to give man limited freedom, who is there to stay His hand or say, “What does though?”  Man’s will is free because God is sovereign.  A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures.  He would be afraid to do so.

– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 89

Unqualified Freedom Requires a Vigorous Effort of the Mind

To grasp the idea of unqualified freedom requires a vigorous effort of the mind.  We are not psychologically conditioned to understand freedom except in its imperfect forms.  Our concepts of it have been shaped in a world where no absolute freedom exists.  Here each natural object is dependent upon many other objects, and that dependence limits its freedom.

– A.W.Tozer; Knowledge of the Holy; Kindle Version; Page 87

A Prescription to Our Addiction to Being Liked

Indeed, I had to learn the hard way (the only way?) that the gospel alone can free us from our addiction to being liked – that Jesus measured up for us so that we wouldn’t have to live under the enslaving pressure of measuring up for others – including ourselves.  I finally understood what Paul meant in Romans 10:4 when he wrote that Christ is the “end of the law.”  Because of Jesus’ finished work for me, I already had the justification, approval, acceptance, security, freedom, affection, cleansing, new beginning, righteousness, and rescue I longed for.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 134

God Is Free and Man is Free, But…

Reformed theology indeed insists that a real measure of freedom has been assigned to man by the Creator.  But that freedom is not absolute and man is not autonomous.  Our freedom is always and everywhere limited by God’s sovereignty.  God is free and we are free.  But God is more free than we are.

Sproul, R.C.; Grace Unknown: The Heart of Reformed Theology; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; copyright 1997; p. 32

We Cannot Pursue Holiness Without Going Back Again and Again

The truth is, of course, we all do get “hurt” to some degree daily because we all sin every day.  That is why we need to come back to the gospel of God’s grace in Christ.  The gospel of God’s forgiveness of our sins through Christ’s death frees us to face those sins honestly and bring them to the Cross and Jesus’ cleansing blood.  The freedom and joy that then comes from a cleansed conscience creates the desire and gives us the right motive to deal with those sins.  We cannot effectively pursue holiness without going back again and again to the gospel  The gospel is the only foundation upon which we can build the disciplines necessary to pursue holiness. Grace and discipline cannot be separated.

– Bridges, Jerry; The Disciplined of Grace:God’s Role and Our Role in the Pursuit of Holiness; NavPress; Colorado Springs; copyright 1994; p. 216

This is Real Freedom

The difference between living for God and living for anything else is that when we live for anything else we do so to gain acceptance, but when we live for God we do so because we are already accepted.  Real freedom (the freedom that only the gospel grants) is living for something because we already have favor instead of living for something in order to gain favor.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 156

You Are Likely Trying to be Your Own Savior

Submitting self to God is the only real freedom – because the deepest slavery is self-dependence, self-reliance.  When you live your life believing that everything (family, finances, relationships, career) depends primarily on you, you’re enslaved to your strengths and weaknesses.  You’re trying to be your own savior.  Freedom comes when we start trusting in God’s ability and wisdom instead of our own.  Real life begins when we transfer our trust from our own efforts to the efforts of Christ.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 53

A Better Understanding of Jonah

We’re on the right road to better understanding it when we realize that Jonah is a storied presentation of the gospel, a story of sin and grace, of desperation and deliverance.  I reveals the fact that while you and I are great sinners, God is a great Savior, and that while our sin reaches far, His grace reaches farther.  This story shows that God is in the business of relentlessly pursuing rebels like us and that he comes after us not to angrily strip away our freedom but to affectionately strip away our slavery so might become truly free.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Surprised by Grace: God’s Relentless Pursuit of Rebels; Crossway Books; Wheaton, Il; copyright 2010; p. 18-19

If We Remain Insensitive, We Cannot Claim the Mind of Christ

We cannot claim to have the mind of Christ and remain insensitive to the oppression of our brothers and sisters.  We cannot stay oblivious to the world’s struggle for redemption, freedom and peace.  We know that the good done to the poor – the least of our brothers and sisters (Matthew 25:40) – is done to Jesus himself.  We know that we must commit ourselves to concrete action on behalf of liberation.  There are things to be done.

– Brennan Manning, The Importance of Being Foolish: How to Think Like Jesus, HarperOne, copyright 2005, page 145