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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO FREEWILL?

By Curtis Pugh

Do humans have freewill? Or are their wills bound to their depraved natures so that they do evil? Is that why they “cannot cease from sin”? (2 Peter 2:14). Is it because they want to do evil and are allowed to do it that they feel free? Surely a man with freewill would cease from sinning because of sin's harmful consequences.

Timothy was told: “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will,” (2 Timothy 2:25-26). Surly Bible believers will not believe that a man's will is free when God's Word says that lost sinners are in “the snare of the devil” and “are taken captive by him at his will.” A snare is a death trap. Being a captive means the loss of freedom. Being taken captive according to the will of the devil must mean that the devil's will is done in taking them captive. How can a sinner have freewill if he is taken captive at the will of another?

By His death and resurrection Christ destroyed both the devil (Hebrews 2:14) and his works (1 John 3:8). Eventually the devil will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). But as the verses quoted above clearly teach the devil is presently free and holding lost sinners in a snare.

How is it then that lost sinners may recover themselves from the devil? By “repentance to the acknowledging of the truth” as stated above. And how is it that men come to repent? Our text tells us it is when and “if God peradventure will give them repentance.” God must give lost sinners repentance! Nothing here about lost sinners being able to repent of their own freewill, now is there? In fact lost sinners are said to “oppose themselves.” Now why would a man with freewill oppose himself: harm himself? Surely he would not do himself such an eternally damning thing if his will were free.

The Bible says “...godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation...” (2 Corinthians 7:10). But lost sinners are not sorry for their sin: they will to sin. They may be sorry for the harm it does them or because they were found out, but sin pleases them: their will is bent toward sinning. Not all love the same sins, but all lost men and women love sin. Their will is not capable of either sorrowing over their beloved sins or of turning from them. So it is that man must have a new birth into a new life: a spiritual life. He needs “the love of God” to be “shed abroad in” his heart “by the Holy Ghost.” (See Romans 5:5). “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy,” (Romans 9:16). Freewill is a myth giving sinners false confidence in themselves!


Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726

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