committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







The Philadelphia Confession, 1742


Chapter 9

Of Free Will

  1. God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty and power of acting upon choice, that it is neither forced, nor by any necessity of nature determined to do good or evil.1

  2. Man, in his state of innocency had freedom, and power, to will, and to do, that which was good, and well-pleasing to God;2 but yet was mutable, so that he might fall from it.3

  3. Man, by his fall unto a state of sin, hath wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation;4 so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good and dead in sin,5 is not able, by his own strength, to convert himself or to prepare himself thereunto.6

  4. When God converts a sinner, and translates him into the state of grace, He freeth him from his natural bondage under sin,7 and by His grace alone, enables him freely to will, and do that which is spiritually good;8 yet so that, by reason of his remaining corruptions, he doth not perfectly nor only will that which is good, but doth also will that which is evil.9

  5. The will of man is made perfectly and immutably free to good alone in the state of glory only.10


1. Mt 17:12; Jas 1:14; Dt 30:19.
2. Ecc 7:29.
3. Ge 3:6.
4. Ro 5:6; 8:7.
5. Eph 2:1,5.
6. Tit 3:3-5; Jn 6:44.
7. Col 1:13; Jn 8:36.
8. Php 2:13.
9. Ro 7:15,18-19,21,23.
10. Eph 4:13.

The Reformed Reader Home Page 

Copyright 1999, The Reformed Reader, All Rights Reserved