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Bible Boot Camp: The Bondage of the Will

This entry is part 12 of 17 in the series Bible Boot Camp

Bible Boot Camp

Today’s post is the 12th in the series entitled “Bible Boot Camp,” which is systematic theology in everyday language. Today’s post will discuss the bondage of the will: in other words, how we cannot choose God unless He helps us do so. If you haven’t read the rest of the Bible Boot Camp lessons, click here for the other articles in this series. 

Have you ever heard a non-Christian say, “Well, I believe I need Jesus now; but I am not ready quite yet. I will just come to God on my own, when I am ready.”

On the surface, this logic seems reasonable. However, if you think about it a little bit, you will realize that it brings us to several big questions:

  1. Is coming to Christ a choice we are free to make, whenever we want?
  2. Or, is there something that prevents us from approaching Christ? And…
  3. If there is an obstacle between us and Jesus, how can we bypass that obstacle so that we can lay hold of Christ, and the eternal life He gives?

The big answer to these big questions:

The Bible tell us that there is, in fact, an obstacle between us and Jesus. We do not come to Christ because we wake up one day and “just decide to.” Without Christ, we are in a sinful stupor, and we cannot get out of it on our own.

Enter the Holy Spirit.

There is actually a supernatural process at work in us–a process that helps us make the decision to receive salvation in Jesus.

That process is called the work of the Holy Spirit. We don’t usually think about Him, but He is at work behind the scenes. The Holy Spirit is the only Reason that we are ever able to come to Jesus.

How do we know this?

Well, the Bible teaches that, in our natural state, we are so deeply enslaved to sin that we cannot decide to become saved on our own. In John 6:44, Jesus said:

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him … .”

That’s pretty clear, right? Jesus said no one can come to Him without the Father’s help. (So much for the “whenever I’m ready argument.”) 🙁

In his book Basics for Believers, Dr. Stephen Olford explains it this way: “…sin has so bound man in mind, heart, and will to his good works, self-righteousness, religious opinions, and fear of man, that without life from God he cannot break free to enter the kingdom of God” [1] (emphasis mine).

We need God’s help to even have the slightest desire to seek Him, or to receive salvation in Jesus Christ. It’s true that God has given us personal choice, but our “decide-er” (a.k.a. the will) is not free to choose God until He helps us.

If you already know Jesus, this should make you feel warm and fuzzy. It means that the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit were thinking of you, longing for you, and drawing you. When you finally knelt at the feet of Jesus and made Him Lord of your life, all Heaven threw a party! Yay! That’s awesome!

But if you don’t know Jesus yet and you’re intrigued by this message, I’d like to present to you that Father God is drawing you to Himself right now.

That’s the only reason you’re reading this.

That’s the only reason you’re interested.

And that’s the whole reason why this message has kindled a little flame in your heart.

The Holy Spirit is at work in your heart. The Father is calling you to Himself, right now.

God is not intimidated by our need for His help. He is ready, willing, able to help… and He’s actually helping you right now. If you don’t know Jesus yet, your ability to choose is in bondage to sin… but Jesus Christ can set you free.

Will you answer His call? Click here to find out more about how God loves you, is drawing you, and wants to bring you into a love relationship with Himself.

[1] Olford, Basics for Believers, 51

Series Navigation<< Bible Boot Camp: How Could Two People Ruin It For Everybody?Bible Boot Camp: What Was the Law? >>

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