Stewards of Free Will

This article will by far be one of the most academic published on my blog yet. 
I will do my best to keep things relatively short while also addressing things
with an appropriate level of depth. 


In my article Piety in the Modern World, I briefly explored my view on Christians being
stewards of their own free will. It has been brought to my attention that I should perhaps
expand on that thought and its implications even more. 


To begin examining just what exactly I mean by the phrase stewards of free will, it is
important to clearly and explicitly define stewardship from the biblical perspective.
Biblically the idea of stewardship is expressed most clearly within the context of 1 Peter
4:10 
\”10 Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift
each of you has received.\” (NRSV) 


This passage describes that one of the key principles to good stewardship is the serving of
one another with received gifts, but what is the manifold grace of God, using Torrey\’s
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge we see that this section calls back to passages from 1st
and 2nd Corinthians alongside a passage from Ephesians. Using these passages (the list
will be given at the bottom of the article) we can begin to create a clear image of what
exactly we are called to steward. The manifold grace of God as scripture describes it is the
continual building of the works of God in our time and history through different individuals
using different gifts. With this description of the manifold grace of God, we see stewardship
as the collective use of individuals gifts, given by the spirit, to serve one another as we build
upon the works of our current and past brothers and sisters in Christ, to bring about God\’s
will.  


In summary, the biblical view of stewardship is the use of an individual\’s gifts given by the
spirit for the furtherance of God\’s will. 
Next, I must paint a picture of my understanding and meaning of the phrase free will. 
Looking to the Old Testament, specifically the cyclical nature of the relationship between the
nation of Israel and God, I cannot help but think that we as humans have some sort of ability
to resist, or choose to act in ways that are contrary to the commands of God, even further
the Nature of God in whose image we were created (Gen. 1:26-27). This is to say that from
creation, we as humans have had the capacity to sin, it is not enough to claim that sinning is
part of human nature, that would mean that Jesus could not have been fully human. It is
essential to rather claim that God has given us freedom of choice from creation as a part of
his image because he can choose so to can we. 


In short, my understanding and meaning of free will are as follows: that because we are
created in God\’s image and he chose to create us, we are thus able to choose as well. Free
will is the Human\’s ability to make choices.


So then by the phrase \”stewards of free will\”, I mean to say that Christians, having accepted
God as our Savior and Lord, are responsible for the choice to use their gifts, given to them
by the Holy Spirit, in pursuit of God\’s will.


The implications of this are deeply profound and at times incredibly simple, 
  1. God is the primary owner of our own free will 
    1. He allows us to have the option to use our choices in pursuit of Him and His will
  2. God has the power to directly influence us and our choices if he chooses to do so. 
    1. For example, see the hardening of the Pharaoh\’s heart in Exodus

Scripture references to the manifold grace of God from Torrey\’s Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
1 Corinthians 3:10 , 12:4, 15:10
2 Corinthians 6:1

Ephesians 3:8, 4:11


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