Donna and I recently watched The Adjustment Bureau starring Matt Damon. The movie tells the story of a man who discovers that an agency, called the Adjustment Bureau, influences major world events through the manipulation of decisions. In other words, people do not have free will.
In the movie, Matt Damon’s character fights against the idea of no choice. Free will wins the day.
I’ve often asked my congregation about the idea of free will and our salvation. The question goes like this: “Is salvation of God, or is salvation of man? Is it that God chooses us, or that we choose Him?”
The answer is: YES.
God chooses us. We choose Him. Both are true.
Acts 2:23 says, “This Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.” In the same verse we see both the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. Jesus died according to the plan and foreknowledge of God, but those who killed Him, which was part of the plan, were held responsible for their choice to do so.
Later in that same sermon, Peter said in Acts 2:40, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” Peter called on the crowd to choose.
During Paul’s first missionary journey, he preached the gospel in Antioch of Pisidia and many Gentiles were saved. Acts 13:48 reads, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed.” God had appointed them to eternal life.
Do we have free will?
Is God sovereign in our salvation?
Are these two truths a good thing?