Does Man Have A Free Will?
What distinguishes people from animals is that people have wills. They can think, make choices, and act upon those choices. The problem is that their will is not free. It is bound by the sin nature inherited from Adam.
1. When God first created Adam, he had free-will either to good or evil, Genesis 1:31.
2. When Adam disobeyed, sin entered, and death (physically and spiritually) was passed upon all men in him, Romans 5:12. Since that time, all who are born into this world are sinners from birth, Psalm 58:13.
3. Since Adam’s fall, all who are born are free to evil, but not to good. This is proven in the Fall itself. Here are some points to ponder on this subject.
-If man, in the Fall, lost his free-will to good, then it cannot be found in the fallen estate.
-If conversion is a new creation, then fallen sinners have no free-will to good. Creation is a production of something out of nothing. This means that there is nothing good in man for God to work with. He simply creates him anew.
-Conversion is the result of new birth. We cannot birth ourselves. This is why the Scriptures speak of the new birth as being born from above, (John 3:3). God must give him birth, because man has no will of his own to come to God, John 6:44.
-Conversion is the raising of one who is dead in sin. It is a spiritual resurrection, John 5:25. If man had a will to come to God himself, such a work of God would not be required. Yet the Scriptures teach that it takes the same power of God that raised Christ from the dead, to raise dead sinners, (Ephesians 1:19-20).
The sum of all this is that God must bring sinners to Christ, through the preaching of the Gospel, and the Almighty work of the Spirit. He takes sinners who are dead in their sins, and brings them irresistibly and willingly, although their natural will is inclined to oppose.
By K. Wimer