1689 Baptist Confession of Faith, Chapter 9.3 The Bondage of the Will

The Text

Hosea 6:6–7 (CSB) For I desire faithful love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But they, like Adam, have violated the covenant; there they have betrayed me.

The Chapter

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

The Confession

Man, by his fall into a state of sin, has wholly lost all ability of will to any spiritual good accompanying salvation

Romans 5:6 (CSB) For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 8:7 (CSB) The mindset of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so.

I have asked this question before and I will ask it again: How can we honestly believe that in all the devastation in the wake of sin, down to our very core, that somehow Adam and Eve, now dead in their sins, were able to choose God as they had the moment before they were tempted.

The only attempt I have seen from Christians in explaining the freedom of the will of the children of Adam is this: "We were born with some semblance of good so that we could choose God." That is fine and good but that is not what God says:

Psalm 51:5 (CSB) Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.

And

Psalm 58:3 (CSB) The wicked go astray from the womb; liars wander about from birth.

And

Romans 3:10–12 (CSB) as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one. There is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away; all alike have become worthless. There is no one who does what is good, not even one.

I remember one pastor responded this way, "Well, 'No one is righteous' does not mean absolute corruption." Which, I think, was the most honest answer I have ever heard in response to Romans 3:10. But I digress.

so as a natural man, being altogether averse from that good, and dead in sin

Ephesians 2:1–5 (CSB) And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!

is not able by his own strength to convert himself, or to prepare himself thereunto

Titus 3:3–5 (CSB) For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

We were born in sin. We were born apart from God. And unless God gets involved, we are born as children of his wrath and we will perish in our sins.

But Christ:

John 6:44 (CSB) No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.