Did God Give Man Free Will?

15 Then the Lord God took [d]the man and put him in the garden of Eden to [e]tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you[f] shall surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17

Free will is a major topic in the body of Christ. However, the fact that something is popular doesn’t always make it align with the will of God.

According to Webster’s 1828 dictionary, free will is defined as the power of directing our own actions without restraint by necessity or fate. The more contemporary Mirriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as voluntary choice or decision. Simply put, free will is the ability to choose from alternatives.

But the question is, did God really give man the freedom to make choices? The biblical account of the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil has often been used by some to justify the reason they believe God gave man free will. There is no indication whatsoever that the first man was given the freedom to make choices. Now let’s have a second look at our opening verse:

15 Then the Lord God took [d]the man and put him in the garden of Eden to [e]tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you[f] shall surely die.” Genesis 2:15-17

God, by commanding Adam not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was an indication that he didn’t have the luxury to make a choice from what was available in the garden. God warned him not to eat from one tree – but permitted him to eat from the rest of the trees. So why will God put a tree in the garden knowing that by eating it, Adam will die?

The answer is simple – God was teaching him how to obey. God was making him aware of the fact that he didn’t have the freedom and the right to access everything in the garden. Obedience to God’s Word was what he was being taught.

SATAN OPENED THE EYES OF MAN TO CHOOSE CONTRARY TO WHAT GOD HAS MADE AVAILABLE

 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden,

but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:1-4

This is where it gets really interesting. God had commanded Adam and his wife not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There were other trees in the garden. So why didn’t the devil tempt them to choose from among the trees that were permitted by God for them to eat? But instead, tempted them with a tree that wasn’t permitted by God?

Again, the answer is obvious – he wanted them to disobey God. And that was the beginning of man’s free will. The moment Satan succeeded in persuading them to look over the many trees they could have eaten from to “choose” that very one God didn’t want them to eat, he initiated Adam and Eve into the life of choice. It is a life in which man was able to choose what pleased him over what pleased God.

The reason man was created in the first place was to do the will of God and nothing else. He was given instructions within the confines of God’s will which included what he had to eat. He was given no choice to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over [g]all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. Genesis 1:26

If indeed God gave man free will, then why did he suffer for his choice? Those who often disobey God’s Word love to have choices. The realm of sin loves free will. When God gives you His Word, He expects you to stick with it. That doesn’t make you a robot. It makes you a faithful partner in the discharge of the will of God on the earth.

Even in Christ, we don’t live for ourselves. We don’t make choices based on what we feel. There are no alternatives – we must go for the things made available for us in Christ, or we will not enjoy the fullness of redemption.

14 For the love of Christ compels us because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:14-15

Therefore, as a child of God in Christ Jesus, let your desires be the will of the Father. We actually don’t have any choice in our hands – what we live for is the will of God. Stay blessed

Read Further: Matthew 26:39, John 6:38

Prayer For Today

Holy Father, I thank you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for giving me your will to walk in on the earth. I refuse to choose anything outside your will. I live, move, and walk in your will as I long to glorify your name. Amen

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