It does in many places totton. And it insinuates so in many more. But I would ask why you believe we do not free will? Do the scriptures somewhere infer that we have no choices? Or that we, as Christians are mindless robots? OR do the scriptures tell us that we may choose to do things.
For instance, when Jesus said "Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you"(Matt 7:7, Luke 11:19) the inference is that you can ask or not, That you can seekor not, that you can knock or not,Ã‚Â that you have a free will choice to do so or not! Yes, there are ramifications, but the Ã¢â‚¬Å“ChoiceÃ¢â‚¬Â is still there. Just like with salvation, we have the choice to receive or not.
Another example, Jesus said Ã¢â‚¬Å“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with Me.Ã¢â‚¬Â What is the choice here? In order for the person to have Jesus come in, they have to Ã¢â‚¬Å“OPEN THE DOORÃ¢â‚¬Â! That is a choice to act upon, a choice that can be refused! Jesus goes on to say Ã¢â‚¬Å“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His throne.Ã¢â‚¬Â Surely you must realize that to Ã¢â‚¬Å“OvercomeÃ¢â‚¬Â is an action and a choice!
I can go on and on about the free will choices we have that are supported by scripture, but I hope you get the picture. We, as Christians have the free will to do anything we want. But, with these actions come results (be they good or bad), and the Bible if chock full of testimonies showing both good and bad choices. But they were choices werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t they? And the fact that they were choices proves that we have the free will to make the choices, do they not?
Oh I see, ganging up on me
You know of course this is the BIG argument between Calvin and Arminus, well I think it is of enormous importance, enormous importance, but I do not feel it is one that ought to spoil love between the brethren.
I was talking a couple of years ago with a pastor who was of the strict calvinist view and in town they were doing a big screen vid presentation of Billy Graham, it was packed to the rafters every night [God bless Billy] and it was young people, Winchester is a college city bursting at the seams with students and many came along, unbelievers too and many of them were touched and blest by it all.
So I asked this pastor if he was involved in any way, he wasn't and was very forthright in his reasons why [you know how people get hot] but I said you do acknowledge that BG is much used of God and that many get saved through his ministry. He acknowledged that but did not feel the ends justified the means and good results should never affect our stand for the truth of doctrines.
I pressed him a little hard [although I understand how these people feel] and said "so you acknowledge that angels are at work in his ministry and the blest Holy Ghost Himself, else how could anyone be saved? but you fold your arms and will not work with him. He suddenly remembered he had an appointment to go to [somewhere in Texas judging by the speed with which he departed] but that is the truth of the matter.
In the great awakening of the 18th century there were two evangelists George Whitefield and John Wesley, it was GW who took first Bristol then London by storm and was the initial mover in the work and then he went off to America but not before pushing JWs boat out so to speak, JW took over the work~then they fell out over this self~same issue and the work was split asunder, it took perhaps twenty years before any reconciliation took place but they never were truly reconciled. Such are the doctrines of men.
Just to skirmish with you a bit, I would believe in FW if I had ever chosen to be born, did I have a choice? did I choose who should be my parents? I would surely have chosen to be born in America. In other words there are just to many constraints put upon us to have free will, I would choose to be rich not poor, I would have chosen for myself greater talents.
All those things are in the natural [are they?] I was brought up with a catholic input, I could go on and on and all that I would be saying would be that whereas on the surface my life is random, any number of people could tell the same kind of things yet I percieve that actually my life is very, very carefully planned. And I am of the most astonishing belief that actually my life is planned down to the fact that if one of my hairs has turned from black to white God knows all about it.
Now there are things in that which I do not understand but never-the-less I do not believe in free will nor do I believe it is taught in the bible.
With Lucifer it says "sin was found in him" well...the only free will I believe in is free will to rebel and to disobey God which is rebellion but then all you do is opt for the negative of God's plan, God's will is still the will which is now being done and which will be done in Lucifer and in every other single creature.
Now if we were talking about an angel or a man having such total control we might all be freaked out but we are talking about the Lord our God, I am PERFECTLY happy for Him to be in control, I trust Him implicity because submission to Him leads to freedom, not of will but freedom to be what He has created me to be.
That's my little skirmish, it's a big, BIG subject.
If you put a door in front of someone and say knock and it shall be opened unto you [assuming you are assured that somebody who loves you is on the other side of the door] who doesn't knock? our natures demand that we will.