God's will and our desires - Part 5 - Man's free will

SERMON TOPIC: God's will and our desires - Part 5 - Mans free will

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 16 April 2017


Sermon synopsis: Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

And so man was created in God’s image with freedom of choice ie: a free will. He could do what he wanted over and above what God wanted.
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God’s will Part 5.

It is God’s will that we should prayer.

1 Timothy 2:1-8. I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people.....

Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

Reasons for uunanswered prayer.

Idolatry - Jeremiah 11:11-14.

Disobedience - Ezekiel 8:15-18.

No compassion for the poor - Proverbs 21:13.

Ignoring the plight of the oppressed - Isaiah 1:11-17.

Un-repented sin - 1 Peter 3:8-12.

Selfish motives: your own pleasures - James 4:2-3.

Self-righteousness - Luke 18:9-14.

Doubt - James 1:5-8.

God says not your will - Matthew 26:38-44.

Unseen spiritual warfare - Daniel 10:10-14.

Prayer God’s will.

1 John 5:14-15.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him.

Matthew 26:38-44.

Then he said to them, My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

Prayer God’s will.

Matthew 26:38-44 (continued)

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour? he asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away a second time and prayed, My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

Prayer God’s will.

Matthew 26:42.

My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.

John 18:10-11.

Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) Jesus commanded Peter,

“Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

See NOTE 1

It is God’s will that man should have a free will.

Genesis 1:26-27. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

And so man was created in God’s image with freedom of choice ie: a free will. He could do what he wanted over and above what God wanted.

Prayer God’s will.

2 Peter 3:9.

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Jesus involvement in seeing this implemented, culminated in His going to the cross and suffering at the hands of those He was desiring to save.

What are you and I doing to see God’s will implemented.

Do we pray “Thy will be done”?

Are we witnesses?

Are we prepared to suffer for Christ our Lord? (discomfort etc)

Prayer God’s will.

God’s will is not always our will.

What we want is not always what God wants.

This is true in the case of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, it is true in the case of Paul praying that the thorn in his flesh would be removed.

I was thinking about how we as a nation not to long ago prayed for rain and how God graciously answered, but imagine been in Elijah’s position and been required by God to pray that it would not rain for 3 and 1/ 2 years.

James 5:15-18.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

God has given us a free will.

All through life we are faced with choices. (Every choice has consequences, some good and some bad)

The Garden of Eden. (They were given one instruction)

Adam and Eve made a choice. (The consequences of which we still feel today)

Spiritual death (separation from God)

Physical death

Banished from the garden

The ground cursed

Pain during child-birth


A sinful human nature

An Objection: Is God Responsible for All Evil?

Frequently it is alleged, however, that ultimately God is responsible for “evil” — for had he not created angels and men, the evil they have generated would not exist.

The logic employed in this objection is flawed, and the critic who makes it will scarcely stay with it in a consistent manner.

No greater compliment could have been paid to man than to have been created in the very image of God (Gen. 1:26-27). A part of that “creation package” was the gift of personal volition, that is, the ability to make moral choices. There are only two logical possibilities — one might be created with “free will,” or without “free will.”

Now which option is the obvious expression of love (1 John. 4:8) The former, of course. The Lord thus signally honoured human beings by granting them the personal power of choice. Once such action was taken, the Creator is not morally culpable if the gift of choice is abused, and the possessor thereof elects to pursue the road of danger and destruction.

An Objection: Is God Responsible for All Evil?

Is the designer or manufacturer of an automobile morally responsible for the drunk driver who runs down and kills an innocent child? And what of the godly mother who made every effort to raise her children in harmony with the Lord’s will; is she accountable for the actions of a wayward offspring who robs a bank or commits murder? These questions hardly need an expressed answer.

And so, while God is the Maker of men, he is not morally indictable for the follies of those upon whom he bestowed one of the greatest gifts possible — that of genuine freedom!

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES Isaiah 45:7; Isaiah 45:5-7; Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8; Deuteronomy 32:4; Habakkuk 1:13; James 1:13-14; John 1:1; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; John 12:42; Acts 2:41, 44; Romans 3:10; Matthew 1:19; Matthew 7:1; John 7:24; Ephesians 2:9; James 2:24; Mark 7:21-23; Isaiah 47:10-11; Jeremiah 18:8; Ecclesiastes 12:1; Romans 5:12; Genesis 1:26-27; John 4:8

God’s will and man’s free will.

The amazing thing is that when man abused his free will and chose to disobey God, God paid the penalty of sin to restore that broken relationship.

Man is not damned for sinning, Jesus paid that price.

Man is damned when in the face of God’s grace and forgiveness which cost Him shedding His own blood and suffering beyond our comprehension, man thumbs his nose at God and chooses to continue to live a life of rebellion and self indulgence refusing to submit to God and do His will.

God’s will and man’s free will.

Choices have consequences.

The consequences God faced of choosing to give man a free will was the cross.

There are consequences to face for the choices we make. You are free to choose what you want, but the consequences that result from that choice have to then be faced and endured.

What will you do with Jesus?

As we are enjoying this Easter season and remembering that choice that God made in deciding to come to earth in the person of Jesus Christ and take the penalty of our sin upon Himself, I want to bring to your attention the choice that every person faces when confronted with the events of Easter, that momentous Passover Feast that took place almost 2000 years ago.

God’s will and man’s free will.

Don’t let others determine your choice of what to do with Jesus.

Mark 15:6-15.

Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising.

The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews? asked Pilate, knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews? Pilate asked them. Crucify him! they shouted. Why? What crime has he committed? asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, Crucify him! Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

God’s will and man’s free will.

Richard Greene sent me a whatsapp recently with this question.

Something that bothers me very much....

Why did God let the Jews suffer so very much during the holocaust?? They prayed to God and still do, but God never heard their cries for help.

My answer was.

There are numerous reasons why God does not answer prayer, last week I covered this in my ministry which is on our website already, and is too lengthy to tackle on a message like this. When it comes to the Jews there are numerous occasions in the Old Testament where God allowed them to be conquered, with many slaughtered and taken as slaves, and then He restored them. Romans 11 deals with the future restoration that is going to take place with the Jews, who rejected Jesus and are not part of the New Covenant. Before it takes place however, there will be another genocide of the Jews according to prophecy, this time by the Antichrist.

God’s will and man’s free will.

The Jews rejected their Messiah and refused to enter into the New Covenant that God made possible through His shed blood.


He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

John 5:43.

I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.

Hymn “What will you do with Jesus”.

Jesus is standing in Pilate’s hall, Friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all; Hearken! what meaneth the sudden call? What will you do with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be; Someday your heart will be asking, “What will He do with me?”

Jesus is standing on trial still, You can be false to Him if you will, You can be faithful through good or ill: What will you do with Jesus?

Will you evade Him as Pilate tried? Or will you choose Him, whate’er betide? Vainly you struggle from Him to hide: What will you do with Jesus?

Will you, like Peter, your Lord deny? Or will you scorn from His foes to fly, Daring for Jesus to live or die? What will you do with Jesus?

“Jesus, I give Thee my heart today! Jesus, I’ll follow Thee all the way, Gladly obeying Thee!” will you say:“This I will do with Jesus!”

Man’s free will.

The words of a hymn are very true…

What will you do with Jesus, neutral you cannot be

Pilate’s choice was based on his desire to satisfy the people, not on justice.

Luke 23:4, 13&14, 20.

Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, I find no basis for a charge against this man…. Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, and said to them, You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him…. Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!

Man’s free will.

Pilate chose. He chose to please the people.

The Pharisees chose.

John 12:42,43.

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

Matthew 27:18.

For Pilate knew that it was because of jealousy that the chief priests and elders had handed Jesus over to him.

Man’s free will.

The people chose.

They chose Barabbas and today still man chooses evil over good, sin over the commands of God. They choose abortion, homosexuality, co-habitation over marriage etc

Contrary to the humanists propaganda, homosexuality is a choice.

Romans 1:18-22 & 25-28.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Man’s free will.

Romans 1:18-22 & 25-28 (continued)

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie… Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Man’s free will.

At Gethsemane we see people making choices.

Jesus: Not my will but yours be done.

Judas: Chose 30 pieces of silver.

If we just look at Peter we can see that starting with one bad choice leads to another and each time the consequences are greater.

Peter chose to boast that even if all the other disciples deserted Jesus, he would not.

Then Peter chose sleep rather than prayer.

Then Peter chose to cut off Malcus’s ear.

Then Peter chose to run away and desert Jesus.

Then Peter chose to deny 3 times he was Jesus disciple.

See NOTE 1

Man’s free will.

All of us made a choice to be here at this Church service today.

For some the choice was made without even consciously debating it, but for some it was based on

Do I feel like going to Church?

Is it raining?

Is there an important sports match on TV?

Is Aunty Sussie and the family visiting?

Am I tired because I watched TV till 12pm?

Does the lawn need mowing, is the washing done?

Did the Pastor greet me properly last Sunday?

People choose to move from one church to another.

Our choices are motivated by our priorities.

Lot made a choice. Genesis 13:8-13.

So Abram said to Lot, Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.

And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar.

Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other. Abram dwelt in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelt in the cities of the plain and pitched his tent even as far as Sodom. But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD.

Our choices are motivated by our priorities.

Some people try to see how close they can live to the world and still make it to heaven.

A rich man was looking for a chauffeur to drive him around and so he advertised and three men were shortlisted who he interviewed personally.

He asked all three men the same question.

If we were driving along a road on the side of a cliff, how close could you drive to the edge and still be safe?

The first man replied, “I could drive within 32 feet of the edge and still be safe.

The second man replied, “I could drive within 1 foot of the cliff and still be safe.

The third man said, “I would stay as far away form the edge of the cliff as possible.

The third man got the job.

Our choices are motivated by our priorities.

Mary and Martha.

Luke 10:38-42.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me! Martha, Martha, the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.

Our choices are motivated by our priorities.

Acts 24:24-27.

Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you. At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.

When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favour to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.

See NOTE 1

Man’s free will.

Virtues are based in the will and not the emotions.

Prayer is a choice.

Fasting is a choice.

Giving is a choice.

Love patience, forgiveness are choices empowered by the Lord as we yield to His will and choose to obey even when we don’t want to.

Loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength encompasses you whole being.

Man’s free will.

Virtues are based in the will and not the emotions.

Point your will in the direction that God wants you to go and you mind and emotions will follow.

Man’s free will.

Josh MacDowell the well known Christian apologist says:

You can only make 3 choices concerning who Jesus is.

He is who He says He is: The Son of God.

He is a liar and a fraud.

He is a mad man.

What will you do with Jesus?


Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org)

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