Index by Subject

“God’s Will Be Done”

A phrase often heard from Christians referring to sickness and tragedy…desiring to bring comfort, conclude “God’s will be done”. If they were simply wishing that in the future God’s will be done, that would be fine. But sometimes it appears as though the well meaning brother is referring to the event itself when he says with a perplexed look on his face: “God’s will be done…”. On the contrary, God’s will is that we remain faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10)…not that we get sick or do not get sick or die! After all “…it is appointed for men to die…” (Hebrews 9:27). One may be reading more into the statement than the brother means, but words and phrases have meaning. We ALL need to be as articulate as possible for we will all be held accountable for our words (Matthew 12:37)! Continue reading » “God’s Will Be Done”

General Truths in Proverbs

The book of Proverbs paints pictures of various topics that wisdom affects.  A primary focus in the book is the consequences of choices people make.  Proverbs reveals the grave consequences for rejecting wisdom.  Solomon writes, “Good understanding giveth favor; But the way of the transgressor is hard” (Proverbs 13:15).  The life of the fool is likened unto making your way through a “hedge of thorns” (Proverbs 15:19).  When a person rejects wisdom for foolishness they bring trouble (Proverbs 15:6; 21:23), destruction (Proverbs 13:13), mischief (Proverbs 28:14), and calamity (Proverbs 22:) to their lives and the lives of those they touch.  The foolish experience trouble, destruction, mischief, and calamity in life because of the poor decisions they make.  The fool will have evil companions (Proverbs 1:10-14; 4:14-19; 13:20; 20:19; 24:1-2; 28:9), participate in sexual immorality (Proverbs 5:7-9; 9:14-15; etc.), be too lazy to work (Proverbs 6:6-11; etc.), use filthy language (Proverbs 4:24-27; 8:7-9), hunger and thirst for riches (Proverbs 11:4-6, 27-28; 13:7-8, 11; 18:11, 23; 23:4-5; etc.), have an angry disposition (Proverbs 19:19; 29:11), bear false witness (Proverbs 19:5, 28; 25:18), seek revenge (Proverbs 20:22), scoff at others (Proverbs 21:24; 22:10; 24:9; 29:8), and harden their hearts against God’s laws (Proverbs 29:1).  All such foolishness brings regret, troubles, and sorrows now and forevermore.

Continue reading » General Truths in Proverbs

The Will of Christ

One of the most popular doctrines rooted in this country today is the doctrine of Calvinism. This doctrine more or less consists of five main points. The first, that man is born in sin, or Totally Depraved. Next, that God has predestined certain men to receive salvation, or Unconditional election. Then, Christ’s blood only covers those whom God chose or predestined, or Limited Atonement. After that the belief that God sends the Holy Spirit upon you and you cannot reject it, or Irresistible Grace. Finally, that once you are saved, you are always saved and cannot lose your salvation, or Perseverance of the Saints. All five of these points revolve around one main theme: That man has no choice whether or not he is saved. The free-will of man is taken away by the belief in these points. Now the basis of the erroneous teaching came from a man named Augustine, who lived in the fourth century. Augustine taught that a man inherited the sin of Adam, and therefore we are born in sin, and not born pure. This doctrine is widely known as Original Sin. John Calvin took that basis and established the rest of the points we just pointed out.

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Editorial: Free Will – Confusing the Simple

The concept is so simple… man is a free moral agent.  He can and does make choices, every day of his life.  Some men choose to do good.  They support their families, pay their taxes and are productive citizens.  Others choose to do evil.  They are unfaithful to their spouse, they cheat their neighbor, they commit crimes.  Those who choose to do good could choose to do otherwise.  Conversely, the evildoer is one by choice as well.  They are responsible for the evil they do.

This can be demonstrated anecdotally.  We see it every day, even recognize it in our own lives.  If our consciences are tender, we strive always to do good.  However, from time to time we choose wrongly, and our conscience is pierced with guilt.  Those who choose to do evil again and again have their consciences hardened (seared), and feel guilt no longer.  Regardless, we always maintain the ability to choose.

Continue reading » Editorial: Free Will – Confusing the Simple

Solid Food: Free Will

Some issues are so taken for granted that common acceptance belies their intrinsic value and native importance. Such an issue is the subject of free will. Among brethren, until fairly recent dates, free will has been an accepted doctrine, figuring unobtrusively in conclusions drawn from Biblical principles. Events of recent date in which some have taught that man has a corrupted nature have led to the recognition that we may have taken too much for granted, in fact. Theologians have debated God’s sovereignty and man’s free will for centuries, churning out volumes of commentaries from Augustine onward. Since most of us do not pretend to be theologians, we have allowed simple Bible exegesis to determine our approach to the subject more than philosophical reasoning. I have personally done little preaching on free will as a separate topic, choosing rather to include it by reference in related matters. With this discussion, I hope to stimulate others to further writing and preaching on what I believe to be a vital subject. Free will has far-reaching implications relating to human nature, ethics, moral responsibility, social issues, and theology, including the question as to whether or not man is able to respond to his Creator’s will so as to exercise choice among moral contingencies. The particular view one espouses will determine attitudes and actions in “every issue of life” (Proverbs 4:23). Continue reading » Solid Food: Free Will

Associate Editorial: Free Will

Some issues are so taken for granted that common acceptance belies their intrinsic value and native importance. Such an issue is the subject of free will. Among brethren, until fairly recent dates, free will has been an accepted doctrine, figuring unobtrusively in conclusions drawn from Biblical principles. Events of recent date in which some have taught that man has a corrupted nature have led to the recognition that we may have taken too much for granted, in fact. Theologians have debated God’s sovereignty and man’s free will for centuries, churning out volumes of commentaries from Augustine onward. Since most of us do not pretend to be theologians, we have allowed simple Bible exegesis to determine our approach to the subject more than philosophical reasoning. Most have done little preaching on free will as a separate topic, choosing rather to include it by reference in related matters. But free will has far-reaching implications relating to human nature, ethics, moral responsibility, social issues and theology, including the question of man’s ability to respond to his Creator’s will so as to exercise choice among moral contingencies. The particular view one espouses will determine attitudes and actions in “every issue of life” (Prov. 4:23). Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Free Will

Does Man Have a Free Will? – Part 4 of 4

(Editor’s Note: The following article by brother Hafley is the fourth and final in a series appearing in the January, February, March and April issues of Watchman Magazine. Each article consists of 3 sections [or smaller articles]. Combined, they systematically answer the Calvinist doctrines of Total Depravity and Individual Predestination. I commend them to you.)

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Free Will “To Dye For”A modern colloquialism to express great desire for a certain thing says the item is “to die for.” Wayne Camp, in an effort to show that man does not have a free will, cites three tests or principles which he says proves that man does not have a free will. We examined his first test in our last article. In this segment, we shall discuss his last two principles, one of which is “to dye for.” Continue reading » Does Man Have a Free Will? – Part 4 of 4

Does Man Have Free Will – Part 3 of 4

(Editor’s Note: The following article by brother Hafley is the third of four appearing in the January, February, March and April issues of Watchman Magazine. Each article consists of 3 sections [or smaller articles]. Combined, they systematically answer the Calvinist doctrines of Total Depravity and Individual Predestination. I commend them to you. )

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FREE WILL PROOF TEXT–PSALM 110:3

Does man have a free will to choose to come to Christ, or must God perform a direct operation of the Spirit on the heart of the sinner to enable him to receive and believe on Christ? Wayne Camp, a prominent Baptist author and lecturer, contends thusly:

“Only in the day of God’s power will a person be willing. Psalm 110:3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. This clearly reveals that no man, in and of himself, is capable of doing the will of God. He cannot will to come to Christ unless God enables him to by his regenerating power. When God does enable him by his regenerating power he will be willing and he will come to Christ — “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” The inferred negative is, they will not be willing until God brings his power to bear upon them. No one will be willing until the day of God’s power. Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. One cannot come to Christ of his own might and power, or his own alleged free will, but he will come when the power of the Spirit of God enables him. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” Then, and only then, will a person be willing to come to Christ” (Camp, The Grace Propagator And Promulgator, August, 1995). Continue reading » Does Man Have Free Will – Part 3 of 4

Does Man Have Free Will? – Part 2 of 4

(Editor’s Note: The following article by brother Hafley is the second of four appearing in the January, February, March and April issues of Watchman Magazine. Each article consists of 3 sections [or smaller articles]. Combined, they systematically answer the Calvinist doctrines of Total Depravity and Individual Predestination. I commend them to you.)

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MAN’S FREEWILL, HEADACHES, AND DIABETESIn this series on the free will of man, we again quote from Wayne Camp: “Scripture further shows this doctrine that all men have a free will to be a lie by showing that there are some things the natural man cannot do. Augustus Toplady also wrote, ‘A man’s free – will cannot cure him even of the toothache or of a sore finger, and yet he madly thinks it is in his power to cure his soul.’ I awoke this morning with a sinus headache. I was unable to will it away. I finally took some sinus medicine and soon my headache was gone. I am a diabetic. If I could, I would will it to be gone so I need not … take insulin or pills. But, will as I might, it is there. If I cannot cure a headache by the power and sovereignty of my presumed free will, how could I expect to change a stony heart into a heart to know God? How could I expect to will to come to Christ when every thing in my nature is against doing that? Thank God for his quickening, regenerating, calling power” (The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator, August, 1995, p. 3). Continue reading » Does Man Have Free Will? – Part 2 of 4

Does Man Have Free Will? – Part 1 of 4

(Editor’s Note: The following article by brother Hafley is the first of four which will appear in the January, February, March and April issues of Watchman Magazine. Each article consists of 3 sections [or smaller articles]. Combined, they systematically answer the Calvinist doctrines of Total Depravity and Individual Predestination. I commend them to you.)

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DOES MAN HAVE A FREE WILL?This series of articles is a response to an article by “Elder Wayne Camp, Pastor” of Pilgrims’ Hope Baptist Church, Memphis, TN. Elder Camp’s article was entitled, “THE COMMONLY BELIEVED LIE CONCERNING THE ALLEGED FREE WILL OF MAN,” and appeared in The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator, August, 1995, Pp. 1-10. While this review will not completely cover Camp’s conclusions, it will supply sufficient study material to address the question of our title. Continue reading » Does Man Have Free Will? – Part 1 of 4