Daily Archives: August 24, 2008

Bondage of the Will III: What it Isn’t

In my previous posts on the bondage of the will, I’ve talked about a moral law that exists and that we all break. I’ve then proven that case using Scripture. But I think it is important to take a moment and define what this does not mean. First, it doesn’t mean that people are as evil as they could be all the time. It also doesn’t mean that people are forced to choose evil. Finally, it doesn’t mean that humans are incapable of doing good. (HT: Reformed Mafia for the list)

One of the major objections that I hear from people who are faced with the Biblical truth that they are sinners is that they are pretty good in comparison to most people. Make no mistake: I’m not saying that everyone is as evil as they could be at all times. I have had many conversations with atheists where they like to remind me about all the charities they donate to, about the children in third-world countries that they sponsor, and all the good they did the last week. I would expect nothing less, because people aren’t as evil as they could be; even Hitler had moments of good behavior, I’m sure.

The only way to truly free our wills from the bondage of sin is to believe in Christ. But, that doesn’t mean that until then, God forces us to choose evil. In fact, we choose evil ourselves because we are, at core, selfish creatures. That goes for believers as well as unbelievers.

Bondage to sin also doesn’t mean that humans are incapable of doing good. Anyone is capable of doing good equally–believer or unbeliever. But, because of our fallen natures, our rebellion against God, and the selfish nature we discussed above, humans tend to choose that which brings them the most pleasure. They tend also to forget about everyone else around them when they do that. It is this self-centered attitude from which springs much of the sin we do.