32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” will draw all peoples to Myself.”
DYNAMICS BETWEEN THE IMMEDIATE AGENCY OF GOD AND HUMAN FREEDOM
(THE DOCTRINE OF CONCURSUS)
Concursus means that God sovereignly moves in His eternally wise council to influence at once all things that ever were or will be in their causes, courses, successions, and relations to come to futurition. He works with His creation with what is actual—that is, God’s sovereignty and man’s free will.
Since God knows all things outside Himself both actual and possible, He interposes actions in every action of every human being. He sees the free as free and the necessary as necessary, together with all their causes, conditions, and relations as one indivisible system. Every link is essential to the integrity of the whole. Every cause and effect is related to another cause and effect.
Volition is the uncaused cause of human function so that the course of history is just as man thinks it, wills it, does it. God does not directly violate or cause the human will. Man’s will is truly free.
Man’s free will, however, is not outside God’s control. Everything is in God’s control, either by His direct will or through His permissive will. God established what is caused; the cause of some events is the free will but within certain limitations. God carries total sovereignty; man has limited sovereignty. God allows for secondary causes. Free agency means that a person has the authority to act freely; we originate our own acts.
God can hinder an action, because man’s freedom is limited. God determines the conditions, circumstances, and environment whereby man makes his choices. In this, sometimes God allows people to do as they please but at other times He puts restrains in their way. In other words, He sometimes keeps them from doing what they would otherwise do in their freedom. He uses circumstances, influence of friends, and inner restrains to accomplish His purpose. God sometimes overrules what man does; He even makes the wrath of man to praise Him.
Jesus draws, not drives, people to Himself. Apart from God drawing, no one can come to Him. All are drawn; there are no exceptions. However, being drawn does not mean that people embrace Christ as their Savior. They were convicted by the Holy Spirit, but they may have positive or negative volition toward God.
SUMMARY OF THE DYNAMICS BETWEEN DIVINE AND HUMAN AGENCY
A. One admits, and the other denies the reality and efficiency of second causes.
B. One makes no distinction between free and necessary events; the other admits the validity and unspeakable importance of the distinction.
C. The one asserts, and the other denies that the agency of God is the same in sinful acts as it is in good acts.
D. One admits that God is the author of sin, the other repudiates that.
E. Free agency means:
We have power (natural) to act freely.
To act freely implies we originate our own acts.
F. This is not inconsistent with our liberty to be induced to exert our ability to act by considerations addressed to our reason or inclinations.
God can hinder an action.
God can determine an action.
G. Relation of providence to freedom:
God sometimes allows man to do as he pleases–puts no restrains in the way.
God sometimes keeps a man from doing what in his freedom he would otherwise do.
He uses circumstances, influence of friends, and inner restrains to accomplish His purpose.
God overrules what man does to his own ends.
He even makes the wrath of man to praise him.
H. Example = prayer
God does some things only in answer to prayer.
God does some things without prayer.
God does some things contrary to prayer.
If you want more information on the doctrine of concursus, go to this study: http://versebyversecommentary.com/articles/doctrine/concursus/gods-decree-and-free-will/