Grace or Hoax?

Grace or Hoax?

Philip Wall , Journalist

How does man follow the will of God, if the will of man is perverse? You cannot do this without having divine grace, or the power to follow the will of God. How then do you get grace? Why is grace given to some and not to others? If I cannot follow the will of God by my own effort, because my will is selfish, how will my will which is selfish be transformed into a non-selfish will? If I cannot do it, because I am already the selfish will, then grace must do it. If grace has not already done it, why not?

These are the questions I want to tackle today. I believe that man CAN follow the will of God, even though we have a selfish will, because of grace. Grace is given to us by God, so that we may follow his divine doctrine. This does not mean we will not mess up or that we will be perfect, but this tool given to us by God is the reason why we can have a relationship with him today.

Some people struggle with this concept, because, by definition, one has no power to accept the grace which God has given because the will is selfish. Some people will then turn to Calvinism which says that only those who are predestined to receive grace will be able to live the good life. This concept brings up the problem of evil, though, because it follows then that those who live evil lives do not get grace because they were not predestined to receive grace and therefore God himself must be held responsible for their evil deeds.

I often struggle with this concept of predestination, because it is unescapable. I believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, so we can never surprise God because he already knows what we are going to do before we do it. Man is often viewed as having “free will,” or the freedom to choose to do what we please, but this concept contradicts predestination in the sense that we may be able to choose what we like, but God already knows what we’ll choose before we act on it. Does this mean that God has predestined these desires and choices out of “free will” that we make? If so, then “free will” is nothing more than an ideal, because it would be a hoax.

I encourage you all to dig deeper in yourselves and find whether you believe in grace, predestination, and free will, or if you find them to be helpful ideals.