If we were commanded to love God, but Christ freed us from the punishment of the commandments, that would seem to suggest that we would be free from the punishment of not loving God.
However, the irony here is that once you are aware of your faith, you do love God, and if the ability to love God as a Christian could be in doubt and could be lost forever so that we would then enter an eternity of Hell (as I think is the free will argument: we can freely choose to love Him or not to, which would mean that there is a possibility that we would choose not to, which means that the answer is in doubt unless we are capable of perfect belief, which I do not think free willers would say, or unless we happened to, among our fluctuations of belief and non-belief throughout our lives, happened to choose to believe right before we died, during a time which we could not know, and I don’t see how something as pertinent as salvation and damnation could be left up to such a random-appearing chance), I do not see how hope could exist (unless the hope is “Maybe we’ll choose it,” but if we are a sinful man, how can we freely choose it? Or maybe faith is a better word: I do not see how “faith” could exist) because if your faith could be in doubt your entire life, that doesn’t seem to show why faith exists at all, and considering that God is hope in the Christian faith, among other things, that would mean that if you could lose your faith, the hope would be that you don’t? But if you can lose your faith, then is the only way to have faith to have perfect faith or hope that you at least have faith when you die? Or is there a certain amount of faith that you must have before you are safe? If so, how much? And what is that faith that you have in? If it is in your salvation, then how could it be in doubt at all, and wouldn’t that be a contradiction in terms within free will because if you can believe, have faith, and you’re safe, how could you doubt that? How can you doubt faith? Doesn’t that make the term faith contradictory? Faith and doubt are contradictory terms, so how can you lose your faith? That means that you never had it because if you can doubt, you don’t have faith. Therefore doubting your faith means that you don’t have faith.
If hope is described as God and hope is described to mean that one hopes to have faith at the moment that one dies as doubt and faith fluctuate, then is the hope that you believe before you die? That is a random chance. I think that everyone has doubts about their faith from time to time and no one knows when they will die, so that seems to be a rather random description of whether or not one will get into Heaven. If hope is not described in terms of fluctuations and hoping that you will have faith at the moment you die, which you cannot know, then either hope is described as hoping that you have enough faith before you die (which begs the question: how much is enough? And how will we ever know?) or it means that we hope to obtain perfect faith, which on the one hand, I would say is impossible if it means that it comes from our free will because I don’t see how we could freely choose to be perfectly faithful when we are a fallen man, and that fallen nature means that we cannot have enough faith, considering that faith is a commandment from God, we cannot abide by God’s commandments perfectly, and therefore, He sent Christ as a substitute for the punishment of our sins. However, if Christ was the substitute for us, then I do believe that He could give us the perfect faith required if that is required. However, I don’t see how we could obtain perfect faith without God being in control of that as well because we are a fallen man, and that means that we are incapable of choosing the perfection required from God with our free will, if we have it. If hope is described in free will terms, and God is described as hope in the Christian faith, then either He does not exist at all, and therefore neither would Hell, or He is a liar and that everything He says is subject to falsity.
So this seems in a way to suggest that free will is counterintutive to God’s existence.
First of all, if you say that as long as you believe that Christ died for your sins that you are free from the punishment of your sins, how can you say that living by the law proves your faith? That begs the question: how can faith be proven? Can’t it by nature not be proven?
Some people will say that because of Christ, we were now free to live by God’s law, and living by God’s law would grant us salvation.
However would you not say that God’s standard of holiness is perfect? If He requires us to live by His law to obtain Heaven, and we cannot live by it perfectly, how can we hope to enter Heaven? The only answer would be that Christ lived the life for us, but to suggest that He lived the life so that we would be able to live the life seems counterintuitive. A lot of people will say that without Christ, we would have just been lost in sin and wouldn’t have even thought about choosing God. But let’s say they’re correct, and that Christ died solely that we should now be able to choose God with our free will. First of all, free will seems counterintuitive to God’s sovereignty. Do you believe in a passive God that sits by while we determine the fates of everything? That seems to be contradictory to what a lot of professed Christians would say.
Secondly, go back and read what I have already said in the third paragraph. I’m sorry if it’s difficult to understand because it’s difficult for me to understand as well, and I was much more careful in writing this than I normally am to make sure that even I understood it before publishing it.
Thirdly, if we could freely choose God, why would Christ have even been needed? If because of Christ, we could now freely decide to choose God or not to choose God, you will have to go back and read my second and third paragraphs.
November 19, 2013.