“If the natural man has a free will to believe the gospel, then why does he need grace? If his will is naturally free then it would do away with the need for grace altogether.”
“To teach that the natural man has a free will overthrows the gospel … it is precisely because man is in bondage that he needs Christ to set him free.” (John 8:34, 36)
“Free-will or Free-grace?; The Bible says that men are born again, not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (John 1:13); that it is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy (Rom 9;16); the work of faith is the operation of God according to the exceeding greatness of his power, who works in man both to will and to do of his own good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13)
“Free will I have often heard of, but I have never seen it. I have always met with will, and plenty of it, but it has either been led captive by sin or held in the blessed bonds of grace.”
– C. H. Spurgeon
“All the passages in the Holy Scriptures that mention assistance are they that do away with “free-will”, and these are countless … For grace is needed, and the help of grace is given, because “free-will” can do nothing.”
– Martin Luther, Bondage of the Will, pg. 270
If any man doth ascribe of salvation, even the very least, to the free will of man, he knoweth nothing of grace, and he hath not learnt Jesus Christ aright.
– Martin Luther
“…human will does not by liberty obtain grace, but by grace obtains liberty.”
– John Calvin
“We are all sinners by nature ,therefore we are held under the yoke of sin . But if the whole man is subject to the dominion of sin , surely the will , which is it’s principal seat , must be bound with the closest of chains. And indeed if divine grace were preceded by any will of ours, Paul could not have said that ,” it is God that worketh in us to will and to do ‘ (Phil. 2:13)
– John Calvin
“…we allow that man has choice and that it is self-determined, so that if he does anything evil, it should be imputed to him and to his own voluntary choosing. We do away with coercion and force, because this contradicts the nature of the will and cannot coexist with it. We deny that choice is free, because through man’s innate wickedness it is of necessity driven to what is evil and cannot seek anything but evil. And from this it is possible to deduce what a great difference there is between necessity and coercion. For we do not say that man is dragged unwillingly into sinning, but that because his will is corrupt he is held captive under the yoke of sin and therefore of necessity will in an evil way. For where there is bondage, there is necessity. But it makes a great difference whether the bondage is voluntary or coerced. We locate the necessity to sin precisely in corruption of the will, from which follows that it is self-determined.
John Calvin from Bondage and Liberation of the Will, pg. 69-70