Of Free Will.
Chapter 9, Paragraph 4.
“…and by his grace alone, enables him freely to will, and to do that which is spiritually good;…”
When Christ converts us and frees us from the stranglehold of sin, we no longer automatically want to do wrong. Our inclinations now are enabled to desire that which is spiritually good. Learning about God and His will for us becomes enjoyable, something that we want to spend time doing. We also are now able to act upon these inclinations. Loving God and loving our neighbor was something we could never do before. When God transforms us, acts of mercy and kindness are realized in our lives.
Remember, though, that it is God through His grace alone that changes us. The good works performed by the most godly people you know are not a result of some super-Christian status they possess. Any good you do is not cause to celebrate self. For it is God who works in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13) When you want to promote yourself, or secretly envy the fellow believer that seems to have all the fruit of the Spirit and then some, remember: it is all of God.
His grace solely enables our freedom to will and do that which is spiritually good. This is also a great comfort when failure seems constant and you start to question if Christ died for you. In those times, look up from you despair! God’s work in your life, not your efforts, are what cause godliness in you. Strive to be holy, repent of sin, but rest on His omnipotence and faithfulness to produce that holiness.
Questions to Consider
- Do you ever forget that the ability to will and do spiritual good is from God’s grace alone?