The Impotency Of The Human Will—A.W. Pink

Posted: July 27, 2009 in doctrine, General Discussion, Mentors, Scripture, Theology
Tags: , , , ,

Does it lie within the province of man’s will to accept or reject the Lord Jesus as Saviour? Granted that the Gospel is preached to the sinner, that the Holy Spirit convicts him of his lost condition, does it, in the final analysis, lie within the power of his own will to resist or yield himself up to God? The answer to this question defines our conception of human depravity. That man is a fallen creature all professing Christians will allow, but what many of them mean by “fallen” is often difficult to determine. The general impression seems to be that man is now mortal, that he is no longer in the condition in which he left the hands of his Creator, that he is liable to disease, that he inherits evil tendencies; but, that if he employs his powers to the best of his ability, somehow he will be happy at last. O, how far short of the sad truth! Infirmities, sickness, even corporeal death, are but trifles in comparison with the moral and spiritual effects of the Fall! It is only by consulting the Holy Scriptures that we are able to obtain some conception of the extent of that terrible calamity. When we say that man is totally depraved, we mean that the entrance of sin into the human constitution has affected every part and faculty of man’s being. Total depravity means that man is, in spirit and soul and body, the slave of sin and the captive of the Devil—walking “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). This statement ought not to need arguing: it is a common fact of human experience. Man is unable to realize his own aspirations and materialize his own ideals. He cannot do the things that he would. There is moral inability which paralyzes him. This is proof positive that he is no free man, but instead, the slave of sin and Satan. “Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts (desires) of your father ye will do.” (John 8:44). Sin is more than an act or a series of acts; it is a man’s make-up. It has blinded the understanding, corrupted the heart, and alienated the mind from God. And the will has not escaped. The will is under the dominion of sin and Satan. Therefore, the will is not free. In short, the affections love as they do and the will chooses as it does because of the state of the heart, and because the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked “There is none that seeketh after God” (Rom. 3:11).

  1. Randy says:

    Yes I agree the human will is impotent. Mans will only seeks that winch it desires. It doesen’t seek after God,Rom. 3:11. In Gen. 1:27 God makes man in His own image. In Gen. 1:31 we see that everything God made was good. We like that don’t we. You know we like thinking we are in the image and likness of God. That there’s good in us. We don’t like to think of being depraved or sinful. Lets go a little further into Genesis to see what it says about whose image man is in now. In Gen. 2:16-17 God gives man a commandent. In Gen.3:6 we see man break the commandent. In 1Jn. 3:4 we see that transgression (breaking) of the law (commandent) is sin. Please don’t miss this critical point! This is where man falls. Here is where man ceases to be like God or in His image. In Gen. 5:3 we see that Adam has a son in his image and likeness. Note this is after the fall. So Adams offspring were in his fallen image and likness. In Psalms 50:21 we see God is not like man in that He doesn’t sin. In Rom.5:12 we see “by one man (Adam) sin entered the world” and “death by sin” and “death passed upon all men” and “all men have sinned”. So we see that we are not like God in that He doesn’t sin and we do. Oh but thanks be to God through Jesus Christ His Son. Because He has provided a way through Jesus blood to restore man to His image and likness When He “opens our eyes to the glorious light of the gospel”. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 we see Christ is the image of God. 1Jn 3:1-3 tells us “we are His sons” “we shall be like Him” “we shall see Him as He is” and when we have this hope it “purifies us as He is pure” Glory to God! Only He could do such a great miracle as to open the eyes of a man dead in his sins. Colossians 2:13. And restore us to His image and likness through Christ.

  2. Phil says:

    Hi Randy,

    I agree that we are not like God in that we sin, but where in the Bible does it say that we are no longer created in the image of God?


  3. Bill says:

    I think he maybe referring to Gen. 5:3….

  4. Randy says:

    Hi Phil, Gen. 5:3 Adam’s son is born in his image. This is after the fall. Therefore people born after this are born in the image of fallen man and not the image of God as Adam was.

  5. Randy says:

    My point in the above post was to point out that since mans fall he is totaly depraved and will only make choices according to the desires of his fallen (depraved) nature.

  6. Phil says:

    Just curious is this a common Reformed position, becuase it is new to me. Randy, is your position based on Genesis 5:3 alone or do you have other scripture to back it up?

    I am not disagreeing that we inherit the sinful nature from Adam, but to say we are not born in the image of God is such a radical shift in what I have been taught in church.

  7. Phil says:

    Randy, I did a phrase search on “image of God” in the Bible. Genesis 9:6 states, “Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.” This is after the fall of Adam. How would you reconcile this verse to support your position?

  8. Randy says:

    Hi Phil, I think in order to preserve space on Bill’s blog we should stick to the subject of the impotency of the human will for now. If you still want to carry the discussion of the image and likeness of God on we can do this on my blog I would be glad to share some thoughts and scriptures with you there. As for the human will, our nature dictates what our desires are. Thefore we will always choose what the stronger desire is. Either evil desires that stem from a fallen nature or, good desires that stems from a new nature when we are born again.

  9. Randy says: would be the correct place to get to my blog at. Sorry about that Phil.

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