In 1 Samuel 13:14 we read of a David

But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

However, sometimes we see David allowing sin to prevail in his body (2 Samuel 11). So, in a way I can see us in him.

The difference is that while we await the glorified body, the indwelling Spirit of God not only redeems us, but also enables us to live free from the bondage of sin (Romans 6:8-11)

8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all time; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 So you too, consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

It's clear from Romans 6:12-13 that we now have have a choice (serve sin or serve God)...

12 Therefore sin is not to reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13 and do not go on presenting the parts of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your body’s parts as instruments of righteousness for God.

... but did David have a choice too? (Romans 6:17)

But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were entrusted,

(Matthew 6:24)

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.

  • Why do you relate Matthew 6:24 to King David? - Jesus was describing people who worship money or idols instead of God. - "You cannot serve both God and money." * How would this relate at all to David's lifelong devotion to YHWH? Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 15:02
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    I still struggle to understand what you are asking here. Is this the Calvinism vs Arminianism question?
    – Dottard
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 20:47
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    Your answer is about the divine agency by which human spiritual choices are made; it does not address the central question about whether we have true freedom of choice.
    – Dottard
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 20:49
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    I agree as would most other Christians; but what is the point? Calvinism (in some forms) suggests that God has already decided who is to be saved and thus humans have no choice at all. That is how your question reads. [BTW, I am no Calvinist and agree that people should, at least to a limited degree, exercise choice.]
    – Dottard
    Commented Dec 7, 2020 at 21:01
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    (-1) This question appears to be theological in nature - it seems to be mostly based on exegesis of Romans but for some reason focuses on David instead.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


The possibility to choose referred in the question implies the presence of the Holy Spirit. The question could also be reformulated to something within the lines: Did David have the Holy Spirit in his life?

From Psalms 51:11

Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

it's possible to see that's true. Also, in 1 Samuel 16:13

So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel set out and went to Ramah.

So, it's clear David had the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit was with David, he had the choice too.

  • (-1) This answer doesn't make any sense to me on a purely exegetical level. The basis of this answer (and likely also your question) would appear to be theological in nature - it begins with the assumption that the subject requires the Holy Spirit to have free choice in a decision, which is not a native assumption to 1 Samuel 13.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 11:38
  • @SteveTaylor «it begins with the assumption that the subject requires the Holy Spirit to have free choice in a decision». That's extracted from Paul's letter to the Romans and refered in the question («we now have have a choice»). How is that an assumption? Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 11:44
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    That's one approach to interpreting Romans, retrospectively applied to an entirely different author and period. There's no evidence in the Hebrew Bible that people were understood to require the Spirit of the Lord in order to have freedom in their decisions, or that they were sealed with the Holy Spirit in the same way as New Testament believers. This is an example of eisegesis, rather than exegesis. You're imposing assumptions onto the text, rather than beginning with the text and 'drawing out' what is there.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 11:53
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    Sure, no problem - exegesis is basically all about understanding the intended meaning of the text, normally in terms of what the author means or what the original audience understood them to mean. When comparing texts hermeneutically, the easiest comparisons are between texts by the same author, or where two texts are examining the same concept we can raise 'contradiction' questions, but typically framed from the viewpoint of the 'later' text.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 12:38
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    It does get a little more complicated, because depending on your exact approach to Inspiration, we may also approach biblical texts from the approach of 'what does God intend here, as the divine author?'. However, the best place to begin is by exegeting individual texts to understand what they mean in their own context, before applying any outside influences or theology. For more thoughts see the Meta post on Studying the Bible vs Bible Study
    – Steve can help
    Commented Jan 27, 2021 at 12:41

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