THE FIRST 5 WORDS OF THE BOOK OF ROMANS, WAS NOT WRITTEN BY A “FREEWILLer”.
“Paul, a slave of Christ…”
Whoever wrote these five words knew something about bondage. And “freewill” was not his thing.
Notice the first words of I CORINTHIANS also… were not written by a “freewiller”….
“Paul, a called apostle of Christ Jesus, through the will of God”
He DID NOT say, “Paul, a called apostle through my freewill decision,”… NO, it all happened “THROUGH THE WILL OF GOD”. Not Paul’s will.
And the same thing in 2 CORINTHIANS — “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, through the will of God,”
And to the Ephesians he also does not brag on his will but.. “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God,”
And to the Philippians he brings Timothy in on this SLAVE thing… again, not the language of a FREEWILL DOCTRINE enthusiast…
” Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi”
And in his letter to the Colossian brethern… does he brag on his FREEWILL CHOICE.. no…his opening words are…
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, through the will of God…”
He is talking about something that came about THROUGH THE WILL OF GOD, not Paul’s will, THE WILL OF GOD.
NOTE THE OPENING LINE IN HIS LETTER TO TIMOTHY:
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, according to the injunction of God”
Again, not bragging on his OWN freewill.
And his 2nd letter to Timothy: “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, through the will of God,”
And to Titus… “Paul, a slave of God…”
And finally, his letter to Philemon… not bragging in freewill… “Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus…”
I’m not sure Paul would last very long in a modern day Baptist church, or any other “freewill” institution.
Why? Because he was a SLAVE OF CHRIST. And he knew something about BONDAGE.
Or how about…
“Paul, who called upon God, of my own free will…“
I noticed you repeatedly make mention of “bragging about one’s free will“, which is exactly why that doctrine is so tenacious. It is a doctrine of “us versus them”.
But there is no such thing as “free willPOWER”, as willpower is FORCED self-effort, and also always FINITE in nature.
Mantras of the free Willers include:
“I did it! Why can’t you?“ “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!“ “Pride and self-discipline”