DOES FREE WILL COME FROM CREATION OR PENTECOST?
I have an interest to support your ministry, but want to ensure that we both are on the same page Biblically. In your The Natural Ability of Man, the small paragraph that describes it, states that the book covers the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. I would simply like to have you clarify what your interpretation of that is in regards to the book and your ministry. I have ran into many of the Pentacostal persuasion over the years, that have provided a different definition, practice, etc. Please advise.
With all respect,
Yes, I deal with the baptism of the Holy Spirit in my book in connection with the doctrine of free will. Some groups say that man is incapable of obeying God until he is full of the Spirit. Then the Spirit gives him the power to obey. They believe that free will or man’s ability to obey God was lost by Adam’s original sin but that it is restored at Pentecost. However, the Scripture says that the Holy Spirit is given to them that obey God (Acts 5:35). Our ability to obey does not come from Pentecost, as we must first be obedient in order to receive the Holy Spirit. It is not that we need the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in order to be capable of obedience, but that we must obey in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Bible records of holy men who were obedient to God before Pentecost and even before Calvary (Lk. 1:6). And there were Old Testament saints who lived holy lives (Job 1:8). They no doubt lived holy under the influence of the Spirit of God (Gen. 6:3), but this was before the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers.
So our ability to obey or disobey God comes from Creation, when mankind was created in the image of God. He created us with the power of free will and that free will was not lost by Adam’s original sin (Gen. 4:6-7; Deut. 11:26-28; Deut. 30:19; Jos. 24:15; Jer. 21:8). So no man has an excuse for sinning as sin is an avoidable choice (1 Cor. 10:13). We can all choose to do what we know is right or choose to do what we know is wrong. That is a natural ability. The power that the Holy Spirit gives us is not the power of contrary choice or natural ability, but supernatural power to do supernatural things – the gifts of the Spirit. That is what I talk about in my book in regards to the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Furthermore, in reference to ministry, the Apostles were told to tarry in Jerusalem and be filled with the Spirit or endowed with power from on high (Lk. 24:49). (Obviously they already had the ability to obey this command to tarry). We are told in Acts 4:31 that when the people were filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to preach the word with boldness. The Holy Spirit not only gives various supernatural gifts to various people (1 Cor. 12:27-30), but He also emboldens us to preach the gospel. And He gives us the words to speak (Mk. 13:11), and He gives anointing to our words so that they have a more powerful impact in convicting sinners and bringing them to Christ. So we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit to properly and powerfully preach the Gospel.
The Natural Ability of Man: A Study On Free Will & Human Nature by Jesse Morrell is an exhaustive theological volume that defends the Christian doctrine of man’s free will against the false Gnostic/Calvinist doctrine of man’s natural inability.
This volume explains the truth of man’s freedom of choice in light of Church history and other doctrines like total depravity, regeneration, atonement, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, predestination, repentance, faith, the believers security, original sin, etc. One Bible teacher called this book “the most comprehensive exposition on man’s natural ability in print.”
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