Does the Bible Teach That God Has Given Humans Free Will?
The Bible doesn’t use the term “free will” to describe the human condition, so I’m not sure that is a helpful term. I think Scripture won’t allow us to pit divine sovereignty and human responsibility against one another. They may be difficult for us to reconcile in our mind, but Scripture holds them both together. That God is sovereign—there is no way to be saved except through God’s electing love being set upon you. But in the same way we are responsible for our rejection of God. And we are even responsible to listen to the gospel call and repent of our sins and believe. So, that seems to be what Paul was taken up with in Romans 9, that God chooses sovereignly and yet also holds accountable those who don’t choose Him. So, I don’t want to pit those things against each other because they are not easy for us to understand.
And certainly, we have the sense of making real choices. And our choices are real choices. But the question behind that is then if you are as Scripture describes you, dead in your sins, and if you are unable to please God, how could you ever choose Him? If you are, according to Romans 5, his enemy, what is it that caused you to exercise your so-called “free will” to choose God? Scriptures says it is because God made you alive in Christ and gave you the ability to choose Him.
Photo Credit: ©SWN Design