How does man have Free will and how does he not?


First I believe that man has free will as far as we make choices and those choices are meaningful. Are choices often result in consequences, good and bad, for ourselves, and for others. We choose what to eat, what wear, where to go to school, who to marry, and on and on the list goes. Our will is not free in the sense that even as we go about our day to day life, we are doing it under the auspice of God’s created order and world. Almost as if we are under the umbrella of who God is, his creation, and his governing of his creation. That is we are free in the sense that we make choices, hundreds of them, millions of them, so we are free, but God is way more free. In fact God is the only being who is one hundred percent totally and absolutely free. God is the only one who can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, anyway he wants and it will happen. We can’t even for sure say we will be at an appointment next week. There are too many variables. We might get in a car accident on the way. We might forget. Whatever. It always boils down to, Lord willing we will do such and such, because it really does depend ultimately on him. We can only make decisions based on the information and influences given to us. Now to a lesser or greater degree we have some control over that but not totally. God is the creator of all information and the governor of all influences. God alone makes decisions based on no outside influences, but solely on who he is. Not only that but we can’t do whatever we want. We are restricted by our abilities and our resources. We can work hard at improving our opportunities and resources, but this depends on may variables as well that often are outside of our control, like where we are born, capacity for learning, who we know, etc. Many, many things depending on what we are even talking about. I can’t just decide to go to Hawaii tomorrow on vacation for 6 months. I can’t just decide I want to be a neurosurgeon. I could work towards those things. And depending on who I was it could be easier of harder, maybe possible or nearly impossible. But one thing is for sure I could never decide to fly like a bird or swim like a fish. Probably the most important aspect that our will is not free, is that our will always makes choices according to our wants, our desires, and our inclinations. Often, even faced with a choice, we will choose what we desire most. If faced with a choice between a sardine and cat food sandwich or an Oreo cookie. Most people will choose an Oreo cookie. But on a more important and much grander scale, we are all born sinners (Romans 5:12). That means all of us have a sinful nature. Which mean all of choices will be tainted with sin. Because all of our wants and desires are corrupted with sin. It’s not what we put into our bodies that defiles us, it’s what comes out (Mark 7:14-23) Out of the heart comes the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). And our hearts are desperately wicked, who can understand them (Jeremiah 17:9). Every aspect of our being coming into this world is infected with sin, totally. It doesn’t mean that we are all as sinful as we possibly can be. Some more than others. But it does mean the totality of everything we do and think is tainted with sin. A lot of times we are our own worst enemy. Slaves to various passions (Titus 3:3) Our will is enslaved, enslaved to our nature, that is. Free will therefore in a salvific sense is a slave to sin. We are not able to save ourselves. We are not able to follow God's commands on our own. We are not able to attain to righteousness on our own. That is why Jesus came. That is the hope of the gospel. That we would be set free by the only one who can set us free (John 8:36) Not that we would have a free will. But that we would have a freed will. This will not happen perfectly this side of eternity. But there is hope to become more and more like our savior as we pursue a relationship with him by the power of the Spirit, saying ‘no’ to sinful things and ‘yes’ to the things of God, thereby walking in newness of life, until one day we step from this life into the next, and sin is no more forever. There I think we will experience our will as free as it will ever be. Wonderful beyond all imagination. Still under the governing and ruling hand of God, but completely freed from sin or sinning. What a day that will be. To experience God’s perfect rule and his perfect blessing without any sin or ever there being a chance of anymore.