11 Feb 2013

Regarding choice

Submitted by theshovel
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This is part of a chat my friend Mark and I had on Facebook. It was in view of a long article he posted having to do with choice (which I am not posting here).

i read that article, but i want to know your thoughts about it…espacially the choosing bit…its tricky, please, let me know your thoughts.i think you should do an audio on choosing! human responsibility and Godz sovreignity
- Mark A

No doubt the guy makes some good points, but the whole thing is built upon the fallacy that since unbelievers have the power to not choose sin, we have even more power to do so. That means he missed the whole picture describing what it is to have been freed from sin and made alive to righteousness in Christ. I understand his frustration with the fleshly logic that makes believers afraid to choose to do anything, but the solution is not found in a fleshly argument regarding free will versus sovereignty. It is only found in our having been made dead to sin and alive to God in Christ.


Jim honestly can some one will themselves out of sin…i remember a time in my life when i enjoyed a lot of porno, i even thout it was impossible not to watch porn…when i stopped it was like a dream….i honestly did not decide myself out of that desire…it just fell off
- Mark A

The reality is that we are NOT in sin. And that can’t help but cause a conflict when we believe that we have to get ourselves out of it. As unbelievers, we were able to choose one kind of a sin over another, and it could seem as if we were choosing against sin, and yet it was merely a transference. When we as believers get caught up in that same sin-shifting mentality by which we decide on a less obvious sin, we all too often assume that we got free of sin because of our choice. We can even point to the date and time where we made the choice, and this religious habit gives rise to the false basis of our reality as having already been set free from sin and made alive to God.

Jim this is awesome…i started reading your site in 2008 but i have just started understanding what you say in 2012
i think people glorify choice too much
- Mark A

Our discussion regarding choice continued after Mark posted another article

Although I see elements of truth within the article you posted, the bottom-line to everything he says elevates choice as the final solution. Sure, he mentions Jesus and believing, but his argument revolves around choosing or ignoring the right information. Consider the choice he presents in this statement:

We have to pick between the words of Jesus and the voice of the flesh.

See the choice as he presents it? Many religious people choose the WORDS of Jesus over what they perceive as the VOICE of the flesh, and yet they are still operating from the same fleshly reasoning.
Look, I understand his point as to how people excuse their bad choices by saying they can’t help it because it’s an addiction. And I know that many believers fall upon the same reasoning. But aren’t we doing the same thing when we elevate choice as the determining factor? Consider his statement:

We are where we are today because of personal choice.

Those in the world say the same thing, don’t they? “Doing the right thing” is a slogan that’s heavily promoted in the world. Why else are many of the words of Jesus ranked highly in this world as something to reach for? What if the words of Jesus merely represent good principles to follow? The fleshly mind loves considering itself as doing the right thing.
He stated:

Two people with a common, horrific event in their lives may, years later, have developed into very different people, with one being sweet and the other bitter.

Of course, we’re assuming here that the “sweet” person is the one who made the right choices and the bitter person made the wrong choices. Sometimes the sweet people of the world have merely learned to mask the monster, and sometimes those we perceive as being bitter have the sweeter spirit.
Enough for now.

Jim this is profound…people(including me) fall into the trap judging progress by “out ward results “.The good news is the power of God not our ability to choose. Can you please share with me something regarding out-ward appearance in relation to our progress in the christian life?What is true progress?Why do some addictions seem not to leave people?
- Mark A

Hello Mark,
It’s not that the life of Christ within a person doesn’t show itself on the outward, for it most certainly does. However when we judge primarily by what we see, we set ourselves up to compare outward with outward … and we miss the factor of real life that doesn’t fit our expectations.

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Random Shovelquote: The Advice of God? (view all shovelquotes)

there is no advice in this world – even if it comes from a Bible verse or a preacher’s sermon – that can produce God’s work within you. Oh, it might make you appear more spiritually productive, but the working of God doesn’t come from the practical side of the grave … but from the living side that has risen past it. When I tell you that Christ is your life, I’m telling you about the one and only present-tense reality that causes you to live as one who is truly alive in this world. source