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Here’s a New Spin on an Old Debate

Rey, who also goes by Beowulf2k8, has been challenging me on how free our free wills really are. Being Reformed, I hold that God can and does influence our free wills for good and for ill. Rey believes that if God influences us in that way, that we are not truly guilty of committing sin.

Let’s back a step up and look at this from a different perspective. John Piper, still thoroughly Reformed, has a different take here. Piper wonders, “Does God lead us into temptation?”

Piper feels that God guides our every step (Prv 20:24). The same Scripture that asks God not to lead us into temptation (Mt 6:13) also says that God doesn’t tempt us (Jms 1:13). He wouldn’t, but he doesn’t have to. As it turns out, every step we take is a temptation to do wrong. God leads us through temptations (cf. Mt 4:1), but he doesn’t tempt us.

Each temptation that God leads us through is an opportunity to glorify him by doing the Christian thing: not yielding to the temptation. Don’t pray for a life free of temptations. That’s unrealistic. Pray instead that you won’t yield to the temptations that will come your way.

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on May 6, 2009, in Sin, Theology and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. What is clear is that the KJV has utterly screwed you up. “Lead us not into temptation” (Mat 6:13) should be “lead us not into trials.” And when James says “Let no man say when he is tempted ‘I am tempted of God’…” that should be “Let no man say when he is enticed…” The KJV very wrongly puts two totally different concepts under the one word “temptation” to your utter confoundation. God leads us into trials, but he does not entice us. So, God does put us in situations where we may be enticed by our own lusts (as James says “every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed”), but he also provides a way of escape as Paul says “God is faithful who will not allow you to be tried above your ability, but will with the trial provide a way of escape so you will be able to bear it.” (1 Cor 10:13) Rather than showing, therefore, that God remote controls us to sin, this shows that God leaves our reaction wholly up to free-will: He may lead us into a trial, but at the same time he gives us a way of escape from the trial. In reality, he always nudges us towards what is right!!!! He says so Himself, in Deuteronomy 30:19, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:”–He sets before us life and death, and then we have a choice, yet he tells us what to choose “choose life”–he doesn’t tell us “choose life” and then mysteriously internally force us to choose death by some putridly Satanic decree. That would be beyond silly.

    • In the Resultant Greek Testament we see the original translation as…and bring us not into temptation, but rescue us from the Evil one. Matt 6:13.

      There is a similar context in part of what has now come to be known as the “Jabez prayer”, Jabez asking God to…keep my hand from (doing) evil that it may not grieve me.

      In this life, this temporal, fleshly realm there “appears” to be two natures, both good and evil. But since the cross, all has changed, this is what we dont fully understand as believers, death (sin) is no more, has been (past tense) abolished once for all(Heb 10:2, Heb 10:10) so no more consciousness/awareness of sin should remain within the kingdom of God and where did Jesus say we could find this “kingdom”? Within us.

      So Jesus prays…may it be on earth (meaning the flesh, our physical, temporal realm) as it is in heaven (the heavenly, spiritual, undefiled realm where God rules w/o human/fleshly opposition) where no death (sin) can reside, only eternal life.

      We need to arise, awaken and “come up higher” as the Sons of God, His spiritual offspring cuz there is so much more than we (currently) grasp. We are truly “more than conquerer’s”.

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