West London Alliance Church

TBT@ITT - Human Decisions

Originally posted April 21, 2009:

As I continue to read through the 4th chapter of The Doctrine of God I am continually being challenged to understand the completeness of God's sovereignty. The author discusses the question "Does God bring about our decisions?" (61)

Though Frame promises to discuss the genuineness and importance of our responsibility and freedom in a later chapter, he nevertheless declares that "we must face the fact that our decisions are not independent of God, and therefore our definition of freedom must somehow be consistent with God's sovereignty over the human will." (62)

It would be hard to refute that in the history of redemption God has brought about the free decisions of certain people; Joseph's brothers in Genesis 45:5-8, Cyrus as in Isaiah 44:28, and Judas as is seen in Luke 22:22 and Acts 2:23-24 for example. And Frame suggests that "We should not be so prejudiced by the unbiblical, but popular notion that God never foreordains our free decisions." (62)

From Scripture we can see that:
  • God ordains the events of nature
  • God ordains the events of our daily life
  • in making us God controlled our heredity
  • God controls the length of our life
  • God decides on our successes and failures
The only way for God to manage these thing is by being the ultimate cause of our decisions as well as every other humans decisions. Now, Frame admits that this conclusion is from inference but he goes on to show that Scripture teaches directly that God brings about free decisions.

Jesus declared in Luke 6:43-45 that the human heart is the root of human decision. Frame brings up Proverbs 21:1 which says: "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases." And as far as Frame is concerned, "God directs the hearts, not only of kings, but of all people." (63)

God ensures some things happen in order to fulfill Scripture and prophecy such as the soldiers gambling for Jesus' garments or the owner of a colt allowing the disciples to borrow it. And if God causes some decisions humans make then is it not reasonable to suggest God is behind all human decisions in a similar fashion.

Wow! It is going to be a process wrapping my head around this one! I'll finish with one more quote from Frame: "The picture given to us by this large group of passages is that God's purpose stands behind the free decisions of human beings...But the point is not merely that God has advance knowledge of an event, but that he is fulfilling his own purpose through that event. That divine purpose imparts a certain necessity to the human decision..." (64)

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