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Understanding Free Will, According to the Bible

By Testimonio

What does it mean to have "free will", according to the Bible? Having free will means that God gave you the ability to make decisions on your own. Though God's sovereignty reigns supreme in the universe, He allows us to make our mistakes for ourselves.

God does not prevent people from choosing their own paths. He does not assert His power over your free will. In Isaiah 42:14, it talks about how God exercised "self-control" towards Babylon, an enemy of His people. So even if you choose to follow the path of sin, God will tolerate it for now. But God will not hold back forever.

Bible Verses About Free Will

Throughout the Bible, it talks about how God designed us to have free will. It also talks about how we should lean upon the grace of God to overcome our sinful nature. Have faith in God because He is the foundation of the world. Here are the best Bible verses on free will.

Genesis 1:26 (NIV)

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.

John 7:17 (NIV)

Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.

Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV)

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Joshua 24:15 (NIV)

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Mark 8:34 (NIV)

Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

Genesis 2:15-17 (NIV)

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

James 1:13-15 (NIV)

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Romans 3:21-24 (NIV)

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:17 (NIV)

But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.

Romans 6:23 (NIV)

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2 Timothy 2:26 (NIV)

and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Ephesians 1:3-6 (NIV)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 (NIV)

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse— the blessing if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the Lord your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NIV)

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Titus 1:1 (NIV)

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness

Romans 9:1-4 (NIV)

I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship, and the promises.

Psalms 68:34 (NIV)

Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens.

Final Words

Free will is a gift of God. The idea of freedom of choice can only be understood when you realize that God doesn't want slaves. Jesus, the Son of God, gave us instructions for how to break the bondage to sin and live life to the fullest. Since Adam and Eve, our fallen nature have taken us further from God. Only through God's grace can we no longer be slaves to sin. Learn to have faith in Christ. Only through believing in Jesus are we able to break our chains and live in the sunlight of the Spirit. May you experience victory through Jesus today.

God bless!

About Testimonio

Testimonio is a technology company specializing in Christian meditation. We want the world to live changed lives through the love of Jesus Christ.

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