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Where do our choices come from?

Are all of our good choices in life the work of the Holy Spirit and are all of our bad choices in life the result of our attachment to works of the flesh?

Yes. This gives the glory to God, to whom the glory belongs, and the blame to us, to whom the blame belongs.

Good choices are the work of the Holy Spirit

When we, as believers, make good choices, it is because the Spirit of God is at work in us. This does not mean we do not have a part to play. When we were sinners, God made us alive through His Holy Spirit. As spiritually dead people, there is nothing we could contribute to our salvation.

Yet once we are saved, we are spiritually alive, and we are actively serving God. We are not just passive in our Christian life. The basic text which speaks about this is Philippians 2:12 and 13: “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” It is God who works in us to will. So that is a direct statement that our good choices are the work of the Holy Spirit. But we work it out. We are involved. The Holy Spirit is at work in us and we happily walk in God’s way.

Fleshly desires lead to bad choices

On the other hand, when we make bad choices, of course that is not because of the Holy Spirit. James 1:13-14 says: “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”. For God cannot be tempted with evil, and He himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.” It is our own fleshly desires that lead us to make bad choices.

Some people might ask: why, if we can only do good if the Holy Spirit works in us, does God blame us when we do wrong? Because, though it is necessary that we sin if God does not work in us, it is not necessary because God forces us to sin. It is necessary because we have a fallen nature that gravitates towards sin.

Choose well

Your choices make a difference. Choose well, and you grow in your faith and knowledge of the Lord. Choose badly, and see your conscience harden and the flame of the Holy Spirit be dimmed in your life. So pray that the Holy Spirit will help you to live a life that is honouring God. And work with all your might to serve Him.

Also read: Do we have free will?

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