Do we really have free will? What is free will? Can we choose to accept Christ in our natural condition? These are all questions that have raged for centuries. Of course, there is an answer to this debate that is not hard to discover.
What exactly is free will? Well, that depends on what you are talking about. We do have free will in the sense that we can choose to do what we desire. But that does not mean that we can choose to accept Christ on our own. Why? Because that is not the desire of the natural man. Romans 3:10-12 confirms this.
We also know that salvation does not come from the will of man. John confirms this in his Gospel.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.John 1:12-13 ESV
It is not the will of man or the flesh. It is the will of God, his sovereign election, that chooses us. It is not the other way around.
Later in John’s Gospel Jesus says:
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.John 6:44 ESV
We cannot come to God unless He draws us. This is not a denial of free will. This is actually an affirmation of free will. However, the will of natural man will never desire God.