Please review the definition of the word freedom below:
· The POWER or right to act, speak, or think as one wants WITHOUT hindrance or restraint.
· ABSENCE of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government.
Please take note of the second bullet point where it says absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government. I would like to point out that there are no human beings on earth that operate without subjection to spiritual domination. For example, all humans suffer under the spiritual power of sin (Rom 7:14). One of the results of the domination of the power of sin is that our bodies are mortal and subject to death. Another result of the power of sin’s authority is that we are also subject to spiritual warfare that wars against our souls (1Pet 2:11). See the following verses.
Eph 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
1Pet 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Per the definition and the above mentioned scriptures, it is clear that we DO NOT have freedom to act without spiritual restraint. According to scripture, there is an opposing despotic and demonic kingdom waging war against us. The reality is that we do not have freedom to act without restraint and therefore cannot have what is commonly taught and accepted as freewill. In other words, in order to have freewill, one must first have freedom. We do however, as children of God have an inherent intent to do what is right. As Paul mentioned in scripture, we know what is right to do, but how to perform it we know not (Rom 7:18). Rightly worded, the freewill doctrine that is taught today by well-meaning Christians should be called the GOOD INTENTIONS DOCTRINE. Yet, the point still remains, intent alone cannot secure salvation. The bible’s definition of freewill actually speaks of intentions, and not a person being endowed with freedom to act without restraint. The very scripture passage in Deuteronomy 28 used by many to preach the doctrine of freewill is actually a message of a lack of freedom. Think about what it is being communicated, if you do this, you will get that. That is the very definition of a conditioned based response situation and not that of a non-conditioned freewill response. If conditions exists, that means that there are limitations that one must operate under. On the contrary, freedom allows one to operate without conditions or limitations. Think about it, in the Deuteronomy 28 message, who is truly operating in freedom? The one making the rules to live by or the one bound by the conditions? Obviously, the individuals that are bound by the set conditions are subject to or constrained by the one creating the rules or boundaries. Therefore, we are not free to act without constraint and domination of another.
In this life there are always constraints, but the true child of God in spite of these constraints has an inherent desire to align with righteousness. This is one of the ways that the children of God are differentiated from the children of the devil (1John 3:10). In actuality, freedom per the definition reveals what only God has. God Almighty has the power to do whatever he wants without hindrance or restraint other than the restraints He puts on Himself. We, on the other hand, are placed under restraint from the womb. See the following:
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: SO THAT YE CANNOT DO THE THINGS THAT YE WOULD 2309.
Would – thelō G2309 to will, have in mind, intend
· to be resolved or determined, to purpose
· to desire, to wish
· to love
· to like to do a thing, be fond of doing
· to take delight in, have pleasure
As you can see, because of the warfare that is waging between the Spirit and the flesh within us, the scripture says that we CANNOT do the things that we desire, wish, love, delight in or intend to do. To be clear, the scripture is not saying that you cannot want to do it, not at all, it is saying that you have no POWER in and of yourself to accomplish or perform what you want. Thus, we do not have the freedom of will to do as we please as most define freewill. In other words, the idea of freewill as understood today is actually counter to biblical scripture and therefore opposes the truth revealed by the Holy Spirit. See the following scripture:
Rom 7:18 for I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for TO WILL IS PRESENT WITH ME; BUT HOW TO PERFORM THAT WHICH IS GOOD I FIND NOT.