Philip Melanchthon and the Augsburg Confession of Faith on FREE WILL

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The Confession of Faith:
Which Was Submitted to His Imperial Majesty Charles V
At the Diet of Augsburg in the Year 1530
by Philip Melancthon (1497-1560)
Translated by F. Bente and W. H. T. Dau
Published in:Triglot Concordia: The Symbolical Books
of the Ev. Lutheran Church
(St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921),
pp. 37-95.
Article XVIII
Of Free Will
_______________
[cf. Confutatio Pontificia]

Of Free Will they teach that man’s will has some liberty to choose civil righteousness, and to work things subject to reason. But it has no power, without the Holy Ghost, to work the righteousness of God, that is, spiritual righteousness; since the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2,14; but this righteousness is wrought in the heart when the Holy Ghost is received through the Word. These things are said in as many words by Augustine in his Hypognosticon, Book III: We grant that all men have a free will, free, inasmuch as it has the judgment of reason; not that it is thereby capable, without God, either to begin, or, at least, to complete aught in things pertaining to God, but only in works of this life, whether good or evil. “Good” I call those works which spring from the good in nature, such as, willing to labor in the field, to eat and drink, to have a friend, to clothe oneself, to build a house, to marry a wife, to raise cattle, to learn divers useful arts, or whatsoever good pertains to this life. For all of these things are not without dependence on the providence of God; yea, of Him and through Him they are and have their being. “Evil” I call such works as willing to worship an idol, to commit murder, etc.

They condemn the Pelagians and others, who teach that without the Holy Ghost, by the power of nature alone, we are able to love God above all things; also to do the commandments of God as touching “the substance of the act.” For, although nature is able in a manner to do the outward work, (for it is able to keep the hands from theft and murder,) yet it cannot produce the inward motions, such as the fear of God, trust in God, chastity, patience, etc.

 

41 Comments

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    As you can clearly see Peter Christian even the early reformers as Luther and Melanchthon believed in free will and human choice. So did the Reformation at least until the Augsburg Confession. What Calvin attempted to do with his theology should be views as counter Refrigerant. His return to Augustine and the Catholic foundation and teachings of the church is very much obvious in his Institutes http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/can-a-person-who-holds-to-predestined-personal-election-be-baptized-with-the-spirit-and-speak-in-tongues/

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Peter Christian

    John 6 and Romans 9.

    As you can see Troy, that even Jesus and the Apostle taught that the creature’s will is not free to act however it wishes to.

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Hardly so. If you refer to John 6:44 you need to read it again to see it has nothing to do with your claim. Rom. 9 was clearly explained by Jacob Arminius as he took down Luther’s claims. So I dont see your point with mentioning those. As you can see the reformers themselves Melenchthon in particular strongly disagree with your hyper Calvinistic claim

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Peter Christian

    My claims are not from Calvin. My claims are from the Word of God and as I said, John 6 and Romans 9 strips away from man any autonomy.

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    So are you saying that your own hyper Calvinistic interpretation of Scripture is to be received instead of Luther’s and Philip Melanchthon’s (the true mind behind the 16th c. Reformation) and the official doctrinal statement of the Reformation – the Augsburg Confession of Faith Which Was Submitted to His Imperial Majesty Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg and its foundation truths and teachings on FREE WILL?
    http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/philip-melanchthon-and-…/

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Peter Christian

    Uh No no no no no that is not what i said. if you cannot extract correct what i said above and it is from a human mind, how can you exegesis properly the Word of God.

    I said I remain on what the Word of God says about man’s will over anyone else. And so should u.

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Also should we regard your own hyper Calvinistic interpretation of Rom 9 rather than This Analysis on Romans 9 prepared by ARMINIUS in 1593, and was sent to Gellius SNECANUS, a Minister in West Friesland, who entertained views of Christian doctrine similar to those of Arminius http://wesley.nnu.edu/arminianism/the-works-of-james-arminius/volume-3/analysis-of-romans-9/

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Peter Christian

    Uh Arminius was a damn heretic so yes you should disregard him and his heretic teachings

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    And what about Jesus who right after john 6 said John 7:17 – If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or [whether] I speak of myself ?

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Peter Christian

    Proverbs 16:9

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    And what about the Apostle John who said John 1:12-13 – But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Peter Christian

    Do you understand the difference between being given a decision versus the inability to do something?

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Peter Christian

    Do you understand that when God gives man a choice it is to show man he cannot do that which is good but is bounded under sin all the time?

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Peter Christian

    Troy why don’t you exercise your free will and no longer sin for us pls.

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Peter Christian Did someone forced you to get saved or it was your own choice?

  • Reply January 25, 2017

    Peter Christian

    Not my choice. In Fact I didn’t even go to a church. I was saved by God’s calling on me due to His electing me unto salvation before the foundation of the world.

    • Reply January 25, 2017

      Varnel Watson

      So someone forced you to get saved, forced you to pray prayer, forced you to say the words?

    • Reply January 25, 2017

      Peter Christian

      I was once blinded by the veil of sin. Someone lifted the veil and I then saw sin for what it is. That same someone showed me who He is. Along with seeing, I flee from sin and ran to Him who lifted the veil off from me. I was once blind, but now I see.

      No man wants to remain under sin when he’s made to see it for what it is Troy.

      So this is how regeneration works. This is the favor God does for rebel sinners. He lifts up the veil and reveals Himself and sin to the sinner.

      No sinner will ever want to remain in sin. WE all go running to Him.

  • Reply February 10, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Peter Christian Per your post that “Free Will is a LIE” you have been challenged to respond under this post and defend your position.

  • Reply August 19, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Philip Williams you ever ponder upon this reformation writing as related to Catholic Augustine and augustinian catholics?

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day yup

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Philip Williams which one art thou ?

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day none of those. I am neither Catholic nor Reformed. I am but a Christian.

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Philip Williams are you a Pentecostal calvinist christian? No one should be a but Christian

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Troy Day I don’t see Catholic, Augustinian, Calvinist, or Pentecostal in the Scriptures. I do see Christian.

  • Reply August 19, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    Here is a good one for you Philip Williams

    Here is an excerpts to get your curiosity going:

    There, in that Pentecostal church in Stratford, Ontario—once home to Aimee Semple McPherson—God showed up. Encountering him in ways I hadn’t experienced or imagined before, God shook my intellectual framework and rattled my spiritual cage at the same time.

    But let me add one more layer to this story: Just as I was being immersed in the Spirit’s activity and presence in Pentecostal spirituality and worship, I started a master’s degree in philosophical theology at the Institute for Christian Studies, a graduate school in the Dutch Reformed tradition at the University of Toronto. So my week looked a bit odd: Monday to Friday I was immersed in the intellectual resources of the Reformed tradition, diving into the works of Calvin, Kuyper, and Dooyeweerd.

    Then on Sunday we’d show up at the Pentecostal church where, to be honest, things got pretty crazy sometimes. It was a long way from Toronto to Stratford, if you know what I mean—about the same distance from Geneva to Azusa Street.

    For a lot of folks, that must sound like trying to inhabit two different space-time continuums. But I never experienced much tension between these worlds. Of course, my church and academic world didn’t bump into one another. Dooyeweerd and Jack Hayford don’t often cross paths. But in a way, I felt that they met in me—and they seemed to fit. I experienced a deep resonance between the two. In fact, I would suggest that being charismatic actually makes me a better Calvinist; my being Pentecostal is actually a way for me to be more Reformed.

  • Reply August 19, 2019

    Mike Partyka

    I was raised in a Reformed Baptist Church now go to a Pentecostal church in Phoenix. My theology has not changed since I’ve been here.

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Mike Partyka you will grow in your understanding of you sell all and follow Jesus.

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Mike Partyka

      Philip Williams The issue here with the question in the OP is what is Pentecostal Theology. There are is no set doctrine. UPC AOG ? Oneness ? Have to speak in tongues ?

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      some Pentecostal church in Phoenix you go to

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Mike Partyka

      Troy Day Valley Pentecostal Church.

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Mike Partyka I’m also trying to answer that. The earliest Pentecostals were very much against anything but the Bible. The first issue that divided them was whether they should jettison entire sanctification as preceding the baptism with evidence. The New Issue concerned re-baptism in Jesus Name.

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Mike Partyka

      Philip Williams I guess I joined here looking for some answers regarding that issue. I am not here to debate oneness or having to speak In tongues. I am at that church until something outside the Bible is preached.

    • Reply August 19, 2019

      Mike Partyka

      meaning issues that are “non negotiable”

    • Reply August 20, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Philip Williams must be a seeker church that still seeks their own theology and cares less for members belief

    • Reply August 20, 2019

      Philip Williams

      Mike Partyka the one and only thing that ought to be non-negotiable is Jesus Christ of the Bible, the Eternal Life who is both Creator and purpose of all Creation, the one who his Father wishes us to honor just as we honor the Father!

    • Reply August 20, 2019

      Mike Partyka

      Philip Williams No debate here. Troy Day what is Pentecostal Theology? Please define.

    • Reply August 20, 2019

      Varnel Watson

      Mike Partyka funny you’d ask that under OP about Philip Melanchthon and the Augsburg Confession

  • Reply August 20, 2019

    Varnel Watson

    I dont see you commenting much here Joshua Peter Phillips Tyler Lee Price Anytime my students quote me the Institutes in their poor poor English translation they better have Melanchthon under belt – same goes for Charles Page of course

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