For the sake of succinctness, addressing man as a person and creature is both biblical and helpful in this discussion. We (representing the pastors at Berean) believe the personal freedom that God gives mankind is perhaps the most difficult concept for humans to understand when one attempts to reconcile man’s freedom with God’s sovereignty.
The complexity of man, as the only being on the planet made in God’s image, is conceivably most seen in the fact that man is both a person and a created being.
As a person, he is capable of making choices (Josh 24:15), setting goals, accomplishing objectives, searching the Scriptures (John 5.39), choosing God (with God’s grace), hardening his heart, rebelling against or worshipping God (or idols) and coming to Jesus (Matt 11:28).
As a creature, man is clay completely dependent on God, the potter, for the air he breathes and the life he has (Job 12:10; Romans 9; Col 1:15, James 4:15); and when he is converted he becomes a new creature (2 Cor 5:17). We believe that the Bible addresses man, the person, with a duty and capacity to respond to compelling invitations (Luke 14:23; Matt 11:28-30; 22:8; Rev 22:17); preaching and persuasion (Mark 16:15-16; 2 Cor 5:14); commandments to love, serve and repent (Matt 4:10; Mark 12:30; Acts 17:30); and conviction from the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:37). We also believe the Bible addresses man, the created being, with a complete inability to seek God (John 6:44; Rom 3:11), repent unless God grants it (Acts 11:18), confess that Jesus is the Christ unless the Father reveals it (Matt 16:16-17), nor come to Jesus but for the Father’s drawing him (John 6:44). Moreover, we believe this total inability will not remove man’s responsibility and accountability for his failure to obey the Gospel at the final judgment (2 Thess 1:8).