The Bondage of the Will

John 1:12-13, But as many as received Him, He gave to them the ability to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (own Greek translation).

This speaks to our bound will, using baptismal language. Too often, we see photos of baptism where the person is wearing a shirt that says, “I have decided.” You decided nothing. Before you were baptised, you were dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1). How can a dead person in sin choose the living God? If our wills were free to choose, Christ would not have needed to come down. Rather, our wills are bound to sin. When we are confronted with God, we cannot—we will not—choose God—we are bound to reject Him. We cannot will reconciliation with God. Someone has to do it for us, and that is precisely what Christ does (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19). By faith, and Baptism, Christ changes our will. It was not our will that rebirthed us as children of God; it was the will of God (Colossians 2:13). Only Christ has free will, which is why He was able to fulfil the Law and choose God to the end. We cannot choose God, which is why we are damned. So, God chooses us in Christ with the gift of faith and Baptism, who wills us to become His children.

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