Friday, March 5, 2010

non posse non peccare - someone else's thoughts on the bondage of the human will

non posse non peccare 
translated
"not able not to sin" - St. Augustine

Martin Luther, reformer of the church and former Augustinian monk put it this way:
"[A] man without the Spirit of God does not do evil against his will, under pressure, as though he were taken by the scruff of the neck and dragged into it, like a thief...being dragged off against his will to punishment; but he does it spontaneously and voluntarily.  And this willingness of volition is something which he cannot in his own strength eliminate, restrain or alter.  He goes on willing and desiring to do evil; and if external pressure forces him to act otherwise, nevertheless his will within remains averse to so doing and chafes under such constraint and opposition."
Loraine Boettner describes the predicament of fallen man this way:
"How can he repent of his sin when he loves it?
How can he come to God when he hates Him?"
The blindness of the fallen heart does not allow it to see the glory of God that is in the face of Jesus Christ, and so it cannot treasure Him.  Fallen man will never choose Christ, because fallen man cannot see Him as worthy of it.  And so it requires a creative act of God - a giving of sight to the spiritually blind - for a man to receive the Gospel of salvation in Christ as the glorious treasure that it is:
"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.  In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.  For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Cor. 4:3-6
"The true dimensions of a soul are seen in its delights. Not what we dutifully will but what we passionately want reveals our excellence or evil." - John Piper

3 comments:

Karin said...

Great thoughts to think upon today. Thanks!

Jessica Watson said...

Praise God some day it will be non posse peccare! I know I long for that day!

Laurie M. said...

Amen to that, Jessica! Amen!