"...if anyone makes the assistance of grace depend on the humility or obedience of man and does not agree that it is a gift of grace itself that we are obedient and humble, he contradicts the Apostle who says, "What have you that you did not receive?" (1 Cor. 4:7), and, "But by the grace of God I am what I am" (1 Cor. 15:10). (Council of Orange: Canon 6)


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  • « But what about "whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved? | Main | Is Assurance of Salvation Presumptuous? »

    "But Adam Had a Free Will."

    Attempting to demonstrate that man has a free will, synergists will often say that the will of Adam was free and there is no reason in the divine reckoning to change His design, that of choice on the basis of the free offer of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ who gives light to all men.

    To which we respond, Adam existed before the fall so OF COURSE his will was not in bondage to sin. The entire debate about free will has to do with the condition of man's heart AFTER the fall. Indeed God's character and commands do not change but our relationship to them do. We now owe a debt we cannot repay. The Bible teaches that after the fall, the natural man is spiritually dead (Eph 2: 1) and cannot and will not understand Spiritual truth (1 Cor 2:14; Rom 8:7) until God sends his Spirit to change the disposition of his heart. Christ did FOR US what we were unable to do for ourselves.

    Next, contrary to your charge ... we robustly teach that the church must indiscriminately proclaim the gospel to all men. We never said otherwise. But do so remembering that only God can open a person's heart to understand and believe it (1 Thess 1:4, 5; John 6:63. 65).

    Posted by John on October 21, 2013 02:25 PM


    Did God have free will? Can God choose to lie, do evil, repent of His covenant promises?

    No. Surely God is restricted in the eternal decrees made by Him by His nature.

    Likewise, our choices are determined by our natures. Natures that are pre-disposed to sinful choices, or natures that have been given a disposition for choices that reflect the nature of God.

    Surely Adam of all God's created order had a will that was most free, but that will was subject to mutability, hence the possibility, indeed probability or certainty of sin.

    It is not necessary to restrict God's freedom to protect his righteousness. God alone is truly free. Whatever that may imply in theory, it is only our perversion that immediately associates freedom with sin, and it is absurd to suggest that God could sin with his freedom. God's freedom will always manifest his holiness and goodness.

    The bible defines freedom as freedom FROM sin (slavery to sin), so the glorified saints and God are the very definition of free, according to this understanding.

    John 8:34-38 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”

    Thank you for that, true freedom is freedom from sin, then we are free indeed. Then it follows God is free in this sense, but that freedom is restricted by His Divine Nature. He cannot sin, since He is righteous and holy. But then 'restricted' does imply something less than perfect freedom. Surely, perfect freedom restricts, rather than being restricted.

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