Is it possible for a sinful, imperfect human to choose the holy God? Am I free to choose the right thing? Or am I bound in sin and death and insensible to how much trouble I am in with God?
The Scripture teaches that in my natural state, my body is alive, but the core of me, my soul, is dead.
“You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience; among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.”
God teaches me that without Him, I am dead. We walk this world as dead souls, until God awakens us and causes us to think as He thinks. If my soul is dead, it is incapable of choosing anything. My sin has so overcome me that I am not able nor willing to choose God, and need a resurrection experience to make me willing and bring me into a mindset of repentance. Indeed, more, my very nature drags me down into sin and the eternal consequences of it.
Salvation is of the Lord, it is He who has procured it for us, and it is the work of the person of the Holy Spirit to bring my mind into repentance and faith, and breathe life into my dead soul. We turn from serving our flesh, to turning to serve God, being thankful for His many blessings, that help us to be glad in Him. We treasure the Word of God and enjoy communion with Him, being stirred up to serve and witness for Him.
Having spiritual life is a completely different mindset from our natural inclinations, and comes from God and not us. We seek Him because He seeks us, as we love Him because He loves us.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love…”
Our only hope is in God. He has provided the way and when He speaks to us we must respond. He promises every spiritual blessing in Christ to those He has chosen. If He had not chosen us, bought our forgiveness and taken us up, we would never choose Him or come to Him.
But when I do turn and believe, I gain a quality of life not known before and I gain a liberty not dreamed about. I become free to choose the right thing and to do what pleases God and not myself. God overcomes my natural desire for wrong and makes me a holy person. The rest of my life is the outworking of that work of God in my psyche and soul, and growing in godliness so that I become like Jesus, my Saviour and friend. Only the redeemed and changed soul has such desires.
I am also set free to love other people, and not to worry about how I am perceived all the time. I will not be worried about other people getting the better of me, or of what they might think about my motives and ideas. I will obey God and follow what I know He wants me to do. My motivation will be the whole good of the people I serve, and especially the salvation of their souls. To do good works without this is just social work, and not the work of God. People live forever, so their standing before a holy God is of prime importance.
“… that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him; having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints…”
The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives will change us completely and conform us to the image of God, which is why He made us. We are meant to enjoy God forever and walk with Him in all goodness and truth. The Spirit opens our minds and hearts to the truth and enlightens our understanding so that we grow in grace and the knowledge of God. We can know the riches of the glory of our inheritance and the joy that will come in the heavenly kingdom, because God will reveal it to us as we walk with Him. Such is the blessings of being a Christian believer and following the Lord Jesus closely.
We choose Him, we choose life, we choose to be like Him… this is free will. To choose anything else is to choose the slavery of a sinful mindset and the bound up psyche of a lost person.
We should choose what we like and be honest about our decisions, not just following the prevailing taste or the choice of the people in change of things. We should be able to accept each other and wait for the work of God in peoples lives in a direct and honest way. It is too easy to blend in and go along with prevailing cultures and think we are sincere. The compliance issues is great and it affects the following generations significantly. We look for true faith in ourselves and others and ensure we are sharing the whole gospel truth and people are believing in the true God. This is a great responsibility and we must be secure in ourselves about what we believe and how we present it. Love will persevere and make sure the message remains clean and clear, so that it is easy to understand and take in and believe.
“… preach… the unsearchable riches of Christ… and to make all men see what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God…”
This is the purpose of our Christian lives, to show Christ to a lost and unbelieving world and to show the mystery of the gospel in all its glory, that people might have life and be saved. Free will, will then hold sway and we will choose rightly and choose what God wants. That we might be holy, because He is holy.