Slaves of sin do not have a free will to transfer themselves to a new master (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 6:6). The Bible assures us that when man first fell into sin, in the Garden of Eden, he became a slave (Gen 3). His evil master is the one who deceived man into relinquishing the dominion of the earth, an authority given to man by God. Satan became the ruler of this world (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).
Sadly, in the church, today, there are unregenerate teachers of the Bible who insist on the sovereignty of man’s free will to choose his own destiny. Slaves, by definition, are not free. Their masters bought and paid for the rights of ownership (Jesus); or they took their slaves by force to do with them as they please (Satan).
When Satan tempted Eve, and Eve tempted Adam, to sin against God, the devil took man’s power from him. Man became unwise and not able to rectify what he did to himself. Now, sin is the way of life for man (Gen 6:5; Jer 17:9; Jn 3:19; Rom 3:10–12, 23), in submission to his dark lord.
Not only do false teachers propound an illusion of freedom, but they entice men to steal glory from God in the process. Man is a slave, but he has once again believed the lie of the deceiver, the devil (Jn 8:44), who tricks his subjects into thinking they have the free will to free themselves from his tyranny by their own choice. Slaves do not have choices. They must do their master’s will.
To claim that one belongs to Christ, while remaining a slave to Satan, and of course to sin, is to perpetuate a lie (Jn 10:26; 1 Cor 3:23; 6:20; 7:23). The Christian whose testimony begins with, “I was a slave to sin and Satan, but Jesus set me free,” is true. The man whose testimony is, “I was blind, but I chose to see, using my free will,” is still blind to the reality of salvation.
Salvation is the Savior (He saved us — Titus 3:5), more wise and more powerful than the satanic slave-master. He actually saves His people by His own divine free will and omnipotency (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:16). God’s children would never venture to claim that their adoption into God’s family was their decision (Eph 1:4–5; Rom 8:15, 23), based on their free will choice. They know better than to imagine they were seeking after God (Rom 3:10–12), or that they were pleasing to Him in any way (Ps 5:5; 7:11; 11:5; Heb 11:6).
People are spiritually dead (Eph 2:1–3). Dead means having no trace of life. The things of the Spirit are unknown to carnal men with fleshly minds (1 Cor 2:14). They do not seek for God, nor do they have the sovereignty to choose not to be dead, physically or spiritually. They must be made alive by someone else (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13), even caused to be born again, by the Holy Spirit of Christ (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3).
If God has chosen one to be His own child, a joy-filled slave of Christ, then zeal for the exclusive rights of her King will dominate her thoughts regarding salvation. She insists that she was merely an object of mercy and a beneficiary of grace (Rom 9:15–16; Eph 2:8–9). Her passion is for the glory of Christ and His magnificent work, alone.
When men pose themselves as having any agency in the work of salvation, it is pride. Pride is taking credit and boasting in one other than Christ (1 Cor 1:31). Human pride must be actively suppressed and publicly denounced. Just as Satan usurped the dominion of man, so Satan has taught man to usurp the position of the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
Have you truly been set free? Examine your witness to others. Do you testify that it was your choosing, your decision, your faithfulness, etc.? Then you need to reconsider your original status. Were you really dead, spiritually? If you imagine there was some spark of life, some good thing in you, that you employed wisdom and power to choose Christ over rejecting Him, then you are still enslaved to the oldest lie in the Bible.
God used His free will to decide His lot of chosen people called, “the remnant” (Jn 1:13; Rom 11:5). Christ used His free will to offer Himself up as a sacrifice for the sins of His people (Mt 1:21; Rom 5:8; Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:24). The Holy Spirit used His sovereign free will to open the heart of each elect believer at the appointed time and place (Acts 13:48). Believers are objects of God’s mercy and grace, not the agent of them.
The delight of God’s children is to declare the excellencies, not of themselves, but the excellencies of Him who used His free will to set sinners free (1 Pet 2:9). To know this truth is to rejoice in the true God of salvation. To know something other than this is the perpetual lie that Satan wants you to continue to believe. For you to continue to believe in the free will of man, especially as it pertains to salvation, means you remain under the deluding influence of the enemy. As long as you continue, you remain his slave, and this is why he wants you to continue to think you are free.
Spokane Valley, Washington
March 22, 2022