Chapter 9: Of Free Will

  1. God has endowed [granted to or supplied] the will of man with natural liberty and the power to act in accordance with choice. It is not forced, or determined [directed or driven] by any necessity [compulsion] of nature, to do good or evil.1

1 Mt 17.12; Jas 1.14; Dt 30.19

  1. Man, in his state of innocence, had freedom and power to will and to do what was good and well-pleasing to God;2 nevertheless, he was changeable,3 so that he might fall from this state.

2 Ecc 7.29 3 Gen 3.6

  1. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has completely lost all ability of will to accomplish any spiritual good which accompanies salvation.4 Therefore, as a natural man, being altogether opposed to spiritual good and dead in sin,5 he is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself6 or to prepare himself for conversion.

4 Rom 5.6; Rom 8.7 5 Eph 2.1, 5 6 Ti 3.3-5; Jn 6.44

  1. When God converts a sinner, and translates [carries or transfers] him into the state of grace, he frees him from his natural bondage to sin;7 and, by his grace alone, God enables him freely to will and to do what is spiritually good.8 Nevertheless, on account of his remaining corruptions the converted man does not perfectly and exclusively will what is good, but he also wills what is evil.9

7 Col 1.13; Jn 8.36 8 Phil 2.13 9 Rom 7.15, 18-19, 21, 23

  1. Only in the state of glory is the will of man made perfectly and unchangeably free to do good alone.10

10 Eph 4.13