Chapter 9: Of Free Will
I. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that is neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined, to good or evil.[a]
[a] Matt. 17:12. James 1:14. Deut. 30:19.
II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom and power to will and to do that which is good and well-pleasing to God;[b] but yet mutably, so that he might fall from it.[c]
[b] Eccl. 7:29. Gen. 1:26.
[c] Gen. 2:16,17. Gen. 3:6.
III. Man, by his fall into a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation;[d] so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good,[e] and dead in sin,[f] is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto.[g]
[d] Rom. 5:6. Rom 8:7. John 15:5.
[e] Rom. 3:10,12.
[f] Eph. 2:1,5. Col. 2:13.
[g] John 6:44,65. Eph. 2:2-5. 1 Cor. 2:14. Tit. 3:3-5.
IV. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, he freeth him from his natural bondage under sin,[h] and by his grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good;[i] yet so as that, by reason of his remaining corruption, he doth not perfectly nor only will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.[k]
[h] Col. 1:13. John 8:34,36.
[i] Phil. 2:13. Rom. 6:18,22.
[k] Gal. 5:17. Rom. 7:15,18,19,21,23.
V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to do good alone in the state of glory only.[l]
[l] Eph. 4:13. Heb. 12:23. 1 John 3:2. Jude 24.