This post discusses briefly Reformed anthropology. Reformed anthropology is a critical part of understanding Free Will. Reformed anthropology is derived from the Scriptures that makes it clear that the unregenerate man’s state is one of spiritual blindness, darkness or death:“They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.” (Ephesians 4:18 ESV) “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,” (Colossians 2:13 ESV)
The Reformed view of humanity in the unregenerate state is described as servants of sin and subject to Satan. This doctrine of the unregenerate person is derived from Scripture:“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness.” (Romans 6:16, 20 ESV) “correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2Timothy 2:25–26 ESV) ““Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,” (Matthew 12:33–36 ESV)
This view of man’s state outside of grace places an absolute necessity of regeneration:“Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”” (John 3:3 ESV) This is the new birth, a new creation or “born again” where the individual is given a new heart. “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” (John 3:7 ESV) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 ESV) “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.” (1John 5:18 ESV) “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26 ESV) In the work of regeneration, God is always the one who works on the subject (humanity). This is a work that requires an external power. It is not a work that is able to happen from within humanity.