What Does The Bible Say About Free Will


Free will is one of the most important topics of discussion in philosophy and religion today. In particular, the Bible has an extensive teaching on free will, as it is an important aspect of the core beliefs of Christianity. In this article, we will explore the teachings of the Bible regarding free will and its implications. We will look at the validity of free will in relation to philosophical thought, as well as touch on some of the ethical and moral implications of free will. In addition, we will share perspectives from experts regarding the Biblical teaching on free will.

Biblical Teachings

At its core, the Bible teaches that humans are able to make their own choices, both morally and spiritually. This is the concept of free will. According to the Bible, humans are offered the opportunity to freely choose to accept or reject God’s plan for their lives. For instance, in Deuteronomy 30:19, it is stated, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” This passage highlights the power of choice that is granted to humans. In addition, the Bible teaches that freedom of will includes freedom to sin. This is made clear in Romans 5:12 which states, “…for that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In other words, humans have the right and power to choose to sin, even if it is against God’s will.

Scientific Perspective

The scientific community has also researched the validity and implications of the Bible’s teaching of free will. Scientists have studied the neurological aspects of free will and have concluded that humans have the ability to make independent decisions. For example, in a study of religious and non-religious people, it was concluded that both groups had an identical pattern of brain activity when making decisions. This research can be seen to support the Biblical teaching of independent decision making by humans.

Theological Perspective

From a theological perspective, many scholars argue that free will is an integral part of God’s divine will. For example, theologian William Lane Craig argues that free will is part of God’s will and that God teaches us to choose the right thing. Craig believes that since God is omniscient and omnipotent, He already knows what our choices will be and has determined them. Therefore, free will is in accordance with God’s will, according toCraig.

Contradiction Argument

On the other hand, some argue that the Bible contradicts itself when it addresses the topic of free will. For example, it is stated in Deuteronomy 30:19 that we can choose to follow God, but in Romans 9:19 it is stated that our fate is predetermined by God. Thus, some interpretations of the Bible indicate that our free will is not as free as it appears to be, as it is already predetermined by God.

Moral Implications

The Bible’s teaching on free will also has moral implications. Proponents of free will believe that individuals have the right and power to freely choose their actions, and should be held accountable for their choices. This view can be seen in Psalm 19:35 which states, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy on him.” Here, it is clear that to return to God, one must make a conscious choice.

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Moreover, the Bible’s teaching of free will has implications for the ethical and legal systems of society. For example, laws are based on the recognition of free will and its implications for individual responsibility. In the United States, for example, laws are founded on the principle that individuals are capable of making their own choices and will be held accountable for those choices.

Competition with Predestination

In addition, free will is believed to be in competition with the concept of predestination. As discussed, some believers in the Bible argue that free will is predetermined by God. Predestination is the belief that God has already set the course of events in advance, even our free will decisions. On the other hand, free will suggests that humans have the power to make their own choices, regardless of any already predetermined designs by God. This view is often in tension with traditional Biblical teachings of predestination.

God’s Sovereignty

At the same time, proponents of predestination cite biblical passages to support their beliefs. For example, Romans 8:28-29 states that “all things work together for good for those who love God”, which could be interpreted as a statement of God’s sovereignty. Thus, the debate between free will and predestination continues in theological circles, as well as in philosophical and scientific circles.


In conclusion, the Bible has an extensive teaching on free will. It teaches that humans have the power to make their own choices, both morally and spiritually. There are implications for the legal and ethical systems of our society in that individuals should be held accountable for their choices. Additionally, the Bible’s teaching on free will is in competition with the concept of predestination, suggesting that humans are able to make their own choices regardless of any predetermined designs by God. Ultimately, the debates surrounding free will will remain unresolved until definitive answers are given from those in positions of religious authority.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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