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Tom
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willful sin #2002
Sun Apr 06, 2003 2:42 PM
Sun Apr 06, 2003 2:42 PM

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It seems that I think about this from time to time and never really get it settled. Do believers willfully sin? I'm thinking of David and Bathsheeba. He had to know this was wrong. I know he was punished for it, as we are each responsible for the sins we commit. But then, God used David and Bathsheeba in the line of Christ's birth. Can we be fighting sin as hard as we can, but be actually fighting the will of God? Is the following statement true? (I can't remember where I first heard it): "God regulates circumstances and the degree of His grace to bring about the preferences which will illicit the choices He has ordained."

Re: willful sin #2003
Sun Apr 06, 2003 3:19 PM
Sun Apr 06, 2003 3:19 PM
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Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Yes believers willfully sin. We feel remorse for it (at least I do) but we when it comes right down to it we all do this.

Re: willful sin #2004
Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:56 PM
Sun Apr 06, 2003 4:56 PM
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Pilgrim Offline

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In reply to:
[color:"blue"]Can we be fighting sin as hard as we can, but be actually fighting the will of God? Is the following statement true? (I can't remember where I first heard it): "God regulates circumstances and the degree of His grace to bring about the preferences which will illicit the choices He has ordained."

What needs to be remembered, first of all, is that "God's will" is to be seen from two different perspectives. We can speak of God's decretive will, which is His eternal and immutable decree; i.e., His foreordination of all things for His own glory. Then, we can speak of God's preceptive will, which is His revealed will to which all men are responsible and held accountable to do.

Now, let's deal with your own question which preceded the quote:
Can we be fighting sin as hard as we can, but be actually fighting the will of God?
What appears to be implied in this question is that a man can be wanting to live righteously, but God's will is that he sin. Thus, ironically, the struggle to not sin becomes against God's "will" and therefore sin in itself. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/dizzy.gif" alt="dizzy" title="dizzy[/img] Although ALL THINGS are foreordained, including the individual thoughts, emotions and acts of all God's creatures, no man is forced against his will to commit sin. All sin is committed by the free actions of man. And, the only reason man doesn't sin is due to God's grace. (cf. Gen. Gen 20:1-6; 31:7; Ex 34:24; 1Sam 25:26, 34; Prov. 21:1; Hos 2:6, 7) Yet, all sin has been ordained and providentially directed by the Lord. (Acts 2:22-24; 3:18; 4:26-28; Isa 46:9, 10; et al). Thus it is the responsibility of man to resist sin and to live a holy life according to God's preceptive will. Should man give in to temptation, even though it was foreordained that he should do so, according to God's decretive will, he is still responsible for sin resides in the heart of man and is never forced upon him; against his will.


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Re: willful sin [Re: Pilgrim] #2005
Sun Apr 06, 2003 8:38 PM
Sun Apr 06, 2003 8:38 PM

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It sounds confusing! We can't know whether or not God has foreordained our sin, so we should always act in the preceptive will of God, right? That sounds futile, because no one can do that all the time. Plus, if God wants a certain outcome, then he may ordain the sin to accomplish it. I don't doubt what you are saying. I just think that the reality of life is that people, even believers, sin. My head is swimming!

Re: willful sin #2006
Sun Apr 06, 2003 8:54 PM
Sun Apr 06, 2003 8:54 PM
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In reply to:
[color:"blue"]It sounds confusing! We can't know whether or not God has foreordained our sin, so we should always act in the preceptive will of God, right?

Right! [Linked Image] Because God's decretive will is secret, unknown to us and only to God, that is not our concern when it comes to how we live out our lives. His preceptive will, i.e., that which is known to us through His inspired Word says:
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ASV) "There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it."
Therefore, we should not and cannot focus ourselves upon what God may have ordained in a particular situation, but rather what He requires of us. If we sin, it is our own doing and not the fault of God's foreordination. Again, we sin on our own and never because we were forced to do so. God's decree does not include the forcing of anything that is against, contrary to a man's will. When it is time for an elect sinner to come to faith, God must first recreate the will so that it can be drawn (infallibly) to Christ. No sinner ever comes to Christ against his will, kicking, screaming that he would much rather be without Christ and be sentenced to eternal hell. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/wink.gif" alt="wink" title="wink[/img]

Yes, throughout a believer's life, sin will continually take place. But this is part of the sanctification process. Among other things, it makes one truly humble, grateful and dependent upon the Lord's mercy and strength to continue on. The motivation for this perseverance, in spite of our continually committing sin is the truth of the atonement; that Christ has secured our redemption and that is fixed in heaven.


In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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