“An argument for Free Will”
Course: 210RS Erin R. Boland, Sr.
Rev. Paul Hamilton
Saint Leo University
Salvation, predestined or our free choice?
I believe that the verses chosen clearly speak to us that our own salvation in in our hands and more accurately in our hearts. It is written in 1 Timothy 2:3-4 “For this is good in the sight of God our savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (Holy Bible, New King James Version) Nowhere here does it speak of God only desiring to save only some men. It does however refer back that not all men will be saved and this is due to our free will which St. Augustine has said “is the basis of all sin in this world,” (Augustine).As you see in the following God’s desire is for us to desire a relationship with him and to Love in him. To desire and to Love requires free will and it is God’s foresight, not predestination that knows not all men will be saved. The first and probally most definitive argument for our salvation being of free will comes from Malachi 1:2-3, “I have loved you,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” “Yet Jacob I have loved; But Esau I have hated, and laid waste his mountains and his heritage for the jackals of the wilderness.” (Holy Bible, New King James Version) To understand this as such a major argument you must go back to the story of Jacob and Esau as it is written in Genesis 25:22-24. It begins with the brothers struggling in the womb and the tells Rebekah this is because “Two nations are in your womb. Two peoples shall be separated from your body; one people shall be stronger than the other. And the older shall serve the younger.” (Holy Bible, New King James Version) To many this seems to argue predestination but as you read on and research this is God’s great foreknowledge as it is Jacob’s and Esau’s free Wills that bring this to pass. Esau was first to be born as his brother’s hand took hold of Esau’s foot as if wrestling to be first born. We must first understand that in this time it was the first born who was predestined to gain the birthright. So from the beginning Jacob felt that this should be his and used his own free will to wrestle for it. As the first born Esau was a good and righteous man whom his father Isaac loved. He is predestined to have the birthright. Jacob however was a mild man, not a leader by definition. It is said he dwelled in tents referencing his ways, he was known to be a trickster and he desired Esau’s birthright. This desire rose from within him. Esau also from within despised his birthright as he felt righteous in all he did. He followed the laws and knew he was “good”. On the day Esau returned from the field and was weary, Jacob had cooked a stew. Esau desired some of Jacob’s stew and asked “Please feed me with that same red stew.” (Holy Bible, New King James Version) But Jacob responded “then sell me your birthright of this day” and Esau responded, “I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” and Esau swore to him his birthright in which Esau despised. As this birthright did not lead him to the desires of the flesh. He chose of his free will to give this up to Jacob because of his flesh’s desire for food. Jacob on the other hand, knowing of the flesh’s desires chose to use this against Esau and gain Esau’s birth right which he had always desired from within. Free will is what allowed God’s foreknowledge to come to pass. For at any time Esau could have chosen with his free will to desire and hold onto his birthright but God’s knowledge of us and our wills is greater than any understanding. God also so hated Esau because of his despising of his birth right and he loved Jacob because of Jacobs desire
from within to obtain his own birthright and his desire to wrestle with God and others to gain his salvation. This is what God desires, our love and desire from within. This desire