The Bible does not work out a theory of voluntary action and deliberate choice. It does, however, base responsibility on knowledge, and allows for greater responsibility, greater sin, and greater punishment in proportion to the amount of knowledge. The idea is clearly expressed in Romans 1:18,19, 32; 2:12, 13, 15. Also, Christ said, “that servant who knew his master’s will, but did not make ready… shall receive a severe beating. But he who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, shall receive a light beating. Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required” (Luke 12:47, 48) (Gordon H. Clark, Essays on Ethics and Politics, “Ethics,” pp. 59.).
… Those who deny that men are dead in sin hold also that sin is not merely voluntary, but is particularly an act of free will. Volition and free will are not the same… Free will, that is, a choice that is not caused either by God, by character, by motives, or anything else, is substituted for knowledge as the basis for responsibility. Moreover, the problem is complicated by the fact that God is omnipotent. He could have made men sinless, had he so desired. … Christianity teaches that God is omnipotent so that He could even now eradicate evil. Superficial thinking attempts to say that God limited himself. The infinite made itself finite. God undeified himself, and hence there is sin. This reply is inadequate because limited omnipotence is a contradiction in terms… (63).
Clark’s essay, “Ethics,” was originally published in the Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Merrill C. Tenney, editor. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1975, pp. 385-404.