"... and I will go as far as Martin Luther, in that strong assertion of his, where he says, ‘If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.’ It may seem a harsh sentiment; but he who in his soul believes that man does of his own free will turn to God, cannot have been taught of God, for that is one of the first principles taught us when God begins with us, that we have neither will nor power, but that He gives both; that He is ‘Alpha and Omega’ in the salvation of men." (Charles H. Spurgeon from the sermon ‘Free Will A Slave’ (1855) referring to Luther's book, The Bondage of the Will).
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13, KJV, emphases added).
There has been a good discussion over at Joe's concerning the free will of man. I replyed to Joe saying,
"(Joe), you said, 'Calvinism, as I understand it, does teach free will, but only after salvation.'
This would be an inaccurate statement. Free will is a tricky subject, but not quite as complicated as some make it. We are basically free to think, act, and will as our current nature allows. Meaning, before regeneration, we are unable to do anything which pleases God. It is not as if God gives us "free will" once we are born again. What happens is our nature changes. We are given a completely new nature. The old is gone and the new remains. We are free moral agents. Now we are able to think, act, and will in a way which can please God, as His grace allows."
However, my friend, D.Mann, wrote a good response to what I wrote at Joe Missionary. I understand now that free will is something that is given to us after regeneration. Christians throw around "free will" all the time that we just assume what it means. Another blogger pointed out that it's historical definition is
"the ability to make choices without any prior prejudice, inclination, or disposition. The natural capacity of the human will to make free moral decisions."
This belief, he echos from Scripture, is "unbiblical and foolish."
This blogger, Rand, also wrote,
'By a free and responsible agent we mean an intelligent person who acts with rational self-determination.'
God does not MAKE anyone sin, the "agents" do exactly what they want, they are ruled by their nature (whether it be holy, or ungodly)."
This is a biblical explaination of how we (in our finite minds) reconcile God's sovereignty with man's responsibility.
Anyway, I just wanted to admit I was wrong in my definitions, and to clarify what I believe. It is my wish and prayer that I will continue to be semper reformanda, always reforming. Thank you to those of you who continue to press on and hold sound doctrine high above man's approval. Correction and encouragment is always welcome.
Soli Deo Gloria!