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The Blue Letter Bible

Westminster Confession of 1646: Of Free-Will

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Chapter IX. Of Free-Will

I. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor, by any absolute necessity of nature, determined to good, or evil, (Mat 17:12; Jam 1:14; Deu 30:19).

II. Man, in his state of innocency, had freedom, and power to will and to do that which was good and well pleasing to God, (Ecc 7:29; Gen 1:26); but yet, mutably, so that he might fall from it, (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, (Rom 5:6; Rom 8:7; Jhn 15:5): so as, a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, (Rom 3:10, 12); and dead in sin, (Eph 2:1, 5; Col 2:13); is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto, (Jhn 6:44, 65; Eph 2:2-5; 1Co 2:14; Tts 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, (Col 1:13; Jhn 8:34, 36); and, by His grace alone, enables him freely to will and to do that which is spiritually good, (Phl 2:13; Rom 6:18, 22); 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, (Gal 5:17 Rom 7:15, 18-19, 21, 23).

V. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only, (Eph 4:13; Hbr 12:23; 1Jo 3:2; Jud 24).

DISCLAIMER: Creeds, catechisms, and confessions do not replace Scripture, nor the authority of Scripture. The creeds, catechisms and confessions are included herein for purposes of reference. Blue Letter Bible aims to provide resources that cover a range of traditional, orthodox, conservative Christianity, for the benefit of all of our users. The inclusion of the creeds, catechisms, and confessions does not necessarily mean that the ministry agrees with each and every point in each, since some are coming from different Christian perspectives of faith, practice and worship. The user may find them useful as tools to assist in understanding or teaching the Scriptures, since they were drafted based upon Scripture. Used in their proper context, they can continue to aid us as much today as they did for our forefathers in centuries past.

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