What Does the Bible Say About Free Will KJV?
The concept of free will is a topic that has fascinated philosophers and theologians for centuries. It raises questions about human agency, responsibility, and the relationship between God’s sovereignty and human choices. The King James Version (KJV) of the Bible offers several passages that shed light on this complex subject. Let’s explore what the Bible says about free will according to the KJV.
1. Genesis 2:16-17 – “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This passage demonstrates that God gave Adam and Eve the freedom to choose whether or not to obey His command. Their decision had consequences, illustrating the existence of free will.
2. 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.” In this verse, God presents the Israelites with a choice: to follow His commandments and receive blessings, or to turn away and face the consequences. This highlights the importance of free will in determining one’s destiny.
3. Joshua 24:15 – “And if it seems evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua’s words emphasize the freedom of choice that each individual possesses. He encourages the people to make a conscious decision about whom they will serve, indicating the existence of free will.
4. Matthew 23:37 – “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Jesus’ lamentation over Jerusalem reflects His desire to gather the people, but their unwillingness to accept Him. This passage suggests that humans have the ability to resist God’s invitation, reinforcing the presence of free will.
5. John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The word “whosoever” implies that anyone who believes in Jesus can receive eternal life. This verse implies that salvation is available to all, but it is dependent on an individual’s choice to believe. This affirms the significance of free will in accepting God’s gift of salvation.
6. Acts 7:51 – “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.” Stephen’s rebuke to the religious leaders highlights their resistance to the Holy Spirit. This passage suggests that humans have the ability to reject or resist the promptings of the Holy Spirit, underscoring the existence of free will.
7. Revelation 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Jesus’ invitation to open the door demonstrates that individuals have the ability to accept or reject His presence in their lives. This verse exemplifies the exercise of free will in responding to God’s call.
1. Does free will contradict God’s sovereignty?
No, free will and God’s sovereignty can coexist. God’s sovereignty does not negate human agency, but rather allows individuals to make choices within the boundaries set His divine plan.
2. Can we choose our own salvation?
Yes, the Bible affirms that we have the freedom to choose whether or not to accept God’s gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
3. If God knows everything, do we really have free will?
Yes, God’s omniscience does not negate free will. His foreknowledge does not determine our choices; it simply means He knows what choices we will make.
4. Can our free will be overridden God?
While God is all-powerful, He respects our free will and does not force us to make certain choices. He allows us to exercise our freedom, even if it means facing the consequences of our decisions.
5. Does free will make us morally responsible?
Yes, free will implies moral responsibility. Our choices have consequences, and we are held accountable for them. Moral responsibility is an integral part of the human experience.
6. Does everyone have the same degree of free will?
While everyone possesses free will, the extent to which it is exercised may vary due to factors such as upbringing, external influences, and personal circumstances. However, the fundamental ability to choose remains universal.
7. Can we lose our free will?
While external circumstances can limit our choices, the core concept of free will remains intact. However, repeated choices against God’s will can lead to a hardening of the heart, making it more difficult to choose righteousness in the future.
In conclusion, the Bible, as presented in the KJV, affirms the existence of free will. It emphasizes the importance of personal choices, the ability to accept or reject God’s invitations, and the moral responsibility that accompanies free will. While the concept of free will may raise philosophical questions, exploring the biblical passages mentioned above provides insights into this complex and intriguing topic.