Hi Pastor Lawyer,
I battle with my sinful nature every day. I want to make right choices but often I do not. It "feels" like I have a free will. What is the battle against our flesh? What is the basis of my choices if not from my will??
Christians battle with remaining sin, but they are not ruled by sin. 1 John 3:6 tells us that no one who abides in him keeps on sinning. Then in verse 9 it tells us that “no one born of God makes a practice of sinning… And in verse 10 we see that “whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God.”
What this means is exactly what it says, but it needs to be heard in the context of rulers and bondage. The non-Christian’s whole life is characterized by sin. The Christians whole life is characterized by holiness. This does not mean, however, that the Christian cannot sin. It means that he is not supposed to live in sin. He can sin, but he may not sin. The non-Christian cannot not sin.
In practical terms the Christian is tempted to sin and can fight the sinful impulse and by the power of the Holy Spirit can overcome the temptation and not sin. He can also fall to the temptation and sin. And when he does he has an advocate with the Father who intercedes on our behalf (1 Jn. 2:1). I like to view it like this: the non-Christian lives in sin and the Christian pogo sticks through sin.
In the non-Christian’s life, God is working to bring himself glory; either in his conversion or in his condemnation. In the Christian’s life, God is working to make him into the image of Christ. And just like in Joseph’s life God is working and Joseph is working and instead of seeing God’s hand before an event, Joseph takes God’s presence as a fact by faith and then looks back over his life and clearly sees God’s hand in his life.
This is a huge topic and it bends and twists all over the place. But suffice it to say that God predestines everything and men are responsible before God to serve and worship God with our whole hearts, minds, souls, and strength. Both at the same time.
I hope this helps. If you have more questions feel free to write and ask.