Does Man Have Free Will?

Does Man Have Free Will?

Does man have free will?

Man has natural liberty to make voluntary choices (not coerced)  but after the fall, while he still has natural liberty, he has lost the moral ability to choose what is good. He chooses evil of necessity due to a corruption of nature, and cannot do otherwise, so his will is in bondage to sin.

Jesus said "he who sins is a SLAVE to sin.. but if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed" (emphasis mine). Here the bible defines freedom relative to our relationship to sin. Last time I checked, a slave is not free, which is why only the grace of God can set us free from bondage. Jesus declared "the Spirit quickens, the flesh counts for nothing... that is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me grants it." - John 6;63, 65 (emphasis mine)

The Westminster Confession Chapter 9 explains man's will in the four-fold state.  That is, 1) before the fall, 2) after the fall, 3) after regeneration and 4) in glory. 

Of Free Will.

I. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined, to good or evil.a

a Matt. 17:12; James 1:14; Deut. 30:19.

II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which is good and well-pleasing to God;b but yet mutably, so that he might fall from it.c

b Eccl. 7:29; Gen. 1:26.
c Gen. 2:16,17; Gen. 3:6.

III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation;d so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good,e and dead in sin,f is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.g

d Rom. 5:6; Rom 8:7; John 15:5.
e Rom. 3:10,12.
f Eph. 2:1,5; Col. 2:13.
g John 6:44,65; Eph. 2:2-5; 1 Cor. 2:14; Tit. 3:3-5.

IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin,h and by his grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good;i yet so as that, by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly nor only will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.k

h Col. 1:13; John 8:34,36.
i Phil. 2:13; Rom. 6:18,22.
k Gal. 5:17; Rom. 7:15,18,19,21,23.

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

l Eph. 4:13; Heb. 12:23; 1 John 3:2; Jude ver. 24.



Related Essays
Myth of Free Will by Walter Chantry
Does Man Have a Free Will? by John Calvin
Can Free Will Explain the Conversion of Sinners? by Scott Christensen
The Pelagian Captivity of the Church by R. C. Sproul
Inability: Free Will Vs. Free Agency by J. I. Packer