Think about the title of this blog post for just a minute. It relates to man’s desire or proclamation that they have free will as it relates to their salvation. In other words the choice is ours to make, either choose or reject God, apart from any sovereign work that He might do in us. In teaching this subject over the last several weeks and in writing about it here on this blog, I’ve often come to the conclusion that instead of man insisting that salvation is something free for him to choose, shouldn’t common sense say to reject this idea completely based solely on how imperfect we live our everyday lives? When was the last time we went a day without an impure thought or action, whether it be gossip, a lustful thought, a harsh unkind word, or criticizing one another. When you got up this morning did you thank God for allowing you another morning? When you grabbed your morning coffee, juice, water, etc, did you praise Him for allowing you the convenience? We are such fallen, sinful, and imperfect people who in their right mind would ever want to profess hope in a “free will” to choose God? Not I. I for one am humbled and thankful that it is God that does the choosing. We all make so many wrong, fickle choices in life, why would we ever want to think that we could chose God? Below is an excerpt from Martin Luther’s Bondage of the Will where he briefly expounds this same thought.
“I frankly confess that, for myself, even if it could be, I should not want ‘free-will’ to be given me, nor anything to be left in my own hands to enable me to endeavour after salvation; not merely because in face of so many dangers, and adversities and assaults of devils, I could not stand my ground …; but because even were there no dangers … I should still be forced to labour with no guarantee of success … But now that God has taken my salvation out of the control of my own will, and put it under the control of His, and promised to save me, not according to my working or running, but according to His own grace and mercy, I have the comfortable certainty that He is faithful and will not lie to me, and that He is also great and powerful, so that no devils or opposition can break Him or pluck me from Him. Furthermore, I have the comfortable certainty that I please God, not by reason of the merit of my works, but by reason of His merciful favour promised to me; so that, if I work too little, or badly, He does not impute it to me, but with fatherly compassion pardons me and makes me better. This is the glorying of all the saints in their God” – Martin Luther, The Bondage of the Will (Grand Rapids: Revell, 1957), 313-314.
This excerpt from Luther appeared here last week: http://www.reformationtheology.com/2011/02/i_dont_want_free_will_by_marti.php