If People Do Not Have Free Will, How Do You Explain Adam?
I recently posted the following quote on the bondage of the will with a question from a visitor that follows:
"If the natural man has a free will to believe the gospel, then why does he need grace? If his will is naturally free then it would do away with the need for grace altogether...Therefore, to teach that the natural man has a free will overthrows the gospel ... it is precisely because man is in bondage to sin that he needs Christ to set him free." (John 8:34,36)
Question: How do you explain Adam then? God gave him a command not to each the fruit but he also gave him free will to choose. Hence why we fell into sin. If he didn't have free will he wouldn't have needed the command.
Response: Thank you. Your question shows that you may misunderstand the issue being discussed. Before the fall, Adam was "able to sin and able not to sin". At that time, his condition was not that of someone whose will was in bondage to sin. However, after the fall, God's holy standard did not change for us. He still required perfect holiness to his creatures in order for a restored relationship. But in his fallen state, man is "not able not to sin". That is why my post referred to this persons' condition as "natural man" which is the term the Bible uses to describe fallen man. In other words he is in bondage to sin - he cannot choose Christ apart from special grace. So when we discuss the idea of the bondage of the will, it is specifically speaking of what the Bible says our condition is AFTER THE FALL. i.e. Apart from special grace man has no free will to believe the gospel.
so again, it has already been established that the natural man has no free will. All Christians agree with this if they understand what the bible says and what I explained above. The question REALLY is, what is the nature of God special grace.