Skip to main content

Do we have free will?

Quick Answer: Do we have free will? If so, what is free will anyway? The term “free will” is problematic. While we humans have the obvious ability to make choices, including the choice to believe the Gospel, we are always under the influence of something. Before Christ, we were under the influence of sin (Romans 6:20). After we are born again, we are then under the influence of righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 6:18).

Diving Deeper: The concept of “free will” can be misleading, because it assumes we are neutral moral beings that make decisions free from any influence. However, we’re always under the influence of something when we make choices.

In the Old Testament, we see Israel chose to both obey and reject God at times (Exodus 20-32). But they were constantly under the influence of their dead hearts (Ezekiel 36:26-27; Jeremiah 17:9). Did they have a choice? Yes, but only under the influence of sin.

In the New Testament, it’s clear that people have a choice to believe in or reject Jesus (John 3:16; Romans 10:13). Otherwise, the apostles would have been wasting their time evangelizing and imploring others to “be reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). Still, even this decision is made under the influence of the Holy Spirit’s convicting power in the world (John 16:8).

The good news is when we believe in Jesus, we are set free from the power of sin (Romans 6:20), and we come under the influence of God’s Spirit at the root of our beings (2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 6:18). We can then make decisions that are compatible with Christ and who we are in Him.

Let’s Make It a Conversation!
1. What did it mean to be a slave of sin?
2. What does it mean now to be a slave of righteousness?
3. React to this statement: The term “free will” doesn’t quite fit for the unbeliever or the believer. We’re always under the influence of something!

Have more questions about your righteousness? Check out:
101 Bible Questions - Book101 Bible Questions: And the Surprising Answers You May Not Hear in Church is now available on Amazon!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,