Understanding Free Will

Little Hero
Trigger, an English bulldog from Anchorage, Alaska.

"Trigger is playing dress-up. He wants to be a firefighter
like his uncle Elliott!" Contributed by laceylee.

Understanding Free Will
with Dr. R.C. Sproul

Martin Luther struggled greatly with the relationship of God's sovereignty to human free will and sin. In fact, one of the greatest books ever written on the subject, The Bondage of the Will, is from Luther's pen. When Luther grappled with this issue, he especially struggled with the Old Testament passages where we read that God hardened Pharaoh's heart (Ex. 4:21; 7:3-4, 13-14, 22-23; 8:15, 19, 30-32; 9:27-10:2; 10:16-20, 24-28).

When we read these passages, we tend to think, "Doesn't this suggest that God not only works through the desires and actions of humans, but that He actually forces evil upon people?" After all, the Bible does say that God hardened Pharaoh's heart.

When Luther discussed this, he observed that when the Bible says that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, God did not create fresh evil in the heart of an innocent man. Luther said that God didn't harden people by putting evil in their hearts. All that God must do to harden anyone's heart is to withhold His own grace; that is, He gives a person over to himself.

Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God

Is your heart open to the needs of others? Is it responsive to spiritual things? Ask God to keep your heart soft and pliable to His divine will and purposes.

For Further Study

Exodus 4:21: "And the Lord said to Moses, 'When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go.'"

Psalm 95:8: "Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness."

Deuteronomy 15:7: "If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother."

The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries and Dr. R.C. Sproul is to help people grow in their knowledge of God and His holiness. For more information, please visit www.ligonier.org or call them at 800-435-4343.

© R.C. Sproul. All rights reserved

Hula Sharkey
Sharkey, a Jack Russell from Hollywood, California.
"Sharkey visits the Tiki Bar!" Contributed by susanrstoltz.
Read more at Contest Winners - Pets - MarthaStewart.com

Controlling Your Thought Life
with Pastor Adrian Rogers

"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Proverbs 23:7

There was a sign in a business that said:

"We are not what we think we are; what we think — we are."

What are you allowing into your mind that is thereby controlling your heart, your actions, and your words? God made you so that you can't think two thoughts at one time. If you're thinking what's right, you can't be thinking what's wrong. And as you think, so you will become.

Guard your mind. Center your mind upon the Lord Jesus. Don't let the devil take away your pure-hearted devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. Stay in love with Jesus and there won't be any room for those filthy, dirty, wicked, lascivious, lustful, and prideful thoughts that bombard us all.

{And for Hula Sharkey that includes unsupervised visits to the Tiki Bar!}

Start today to become more active in marshalling your thoughts and bringing them into obedience to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). Use Philippians 4:8 as a sieve through which you pass each thought:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

For more from Love Worth Finding and Pastor Adrian Rogers, please visit www.lwf.org.

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