CHAPTER IX

Of Free Will

I. God has endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined good, or evil.[1]

II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God;[2] but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it.[3]

III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation:[4] so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good,[5] and dead in sin,[6] is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.[7]

IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He frees him from his natural bondage under sin;[8] and, by His grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good;[9] yet so, as that by reason of his remaining corruption, he does not perfectly, or only, will that which is good, but does also will that which is evil.[10]

V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone in the state of glory only.[11]

Scripture Proofs

[1] MAT 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. JAM 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. DEU 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.

[2] ECC 7:29 Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. GEN 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

[3] GEN 2:16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

[4] ROM 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. JOH 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

[5] ROM 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

[6] EPH 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved). COL 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.

[7] JOH 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. EPH 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;). 1CO 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. TIT 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

[8] COL 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. JOH 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

[9] PHI 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. ROM 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

[10] GAL 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. ROM 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 18 For I know that in me(that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

[11] EPH 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. HEB 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. 1JO 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. JUD 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.