Dead Men Make No Choices

The Hard Truth About Freedom of the Will

By Dolores Kimball

Your will is not free. I can already hear the hue and cry of the Christian Dufflepuds. They gleefully assent to God's complete and sovereign control of the universe and at the same time hang onto freedom of the will. But we can't have it both ways. If our wills are truly free, then nothing can limit them and that would make us God.

I sometimes use the term "the god of free will" because that's just what it has become — a god worshiped and adored by so many in the postmodern church. "God can't override our free will," they say. "God loves us so much that He gives us freedom of the will." What these statements are really saying, if we read between the lines, is "Our free will is more powerful than God." That is nothing short of idolatry with the fallen creature on the throne. But the Christian Dufflepuds see nothing contradictory to the idea of free will in a creature whose fallen nature is completely and utterly corrupt. "Yes, we're corrupt! Yes, our wills are free! That's true!"

The will of the Christian is never truly free, nor should we ever want it to be. Prior to salvation, our wills are in bondage to our sin nature. We are "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 1:14). Are dead people free? Do the physically dead have free will to make choices? No. Neither are the spiritually dead free to make choices. They simply do not have the capacity to do so.

The heart of fallen man is "deceitful and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9); it is a slave to sin (Romans 6:6, 17); it is incapable to anything good (Jeremiah 13:23; Romans 8:7-8), and even if it were capable, it has no desire for good (Romans 8:7) because it loves its sin (John 3:19).

So into this totally depraved heart, we are going to inject free will and that's going to somehow cause it to leap out of its spiritual coffin and kneel at the Cross? The truth is we are all slaves. Before God redeems us and saves us, we are slaves to sin. After we are saved, we are still slaves, but now we are slaves to righteousness.

"But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness" (Romans 6:17-18). Our wills aren't free at all, thank God. They are delivered from the hideous bondage to sin to the glorious and liberating bondage to righteousness.

Christians once belonged to sin, but we were bought from sin's slave market by the blood of Christ and now we belong to Him—body, soul, mind and spirit. We are His slaves, gloriously free in bondage to the King of kings and the Lord of lords. And I wouldn't want it any other way. Would you?


Image Credit: cykocurt; "untitled"; Creative Commons

comments powered by Disqus
Published on 8-4-11