Question: What is free moral agency?
Answer: While the precise expression "free moral agency" is not found in the scriptures as such, the concept is present. By "free" is meant the enjoyment of certain rights, "moral" suggests right principles or conduct, and "agency" refers to the state or being of exerting power or choice.
God has endowed man with freedom of choice. The scriptures urge man to "choose," "come unto me," and "open the door" (Josh. 24: 15; Matt. 11: 28; Rev. 3: 20). Adam and Eve were given the choice to obey or disobey God (Gen. 2: 17; 3: 1-6). The famous "curses" of the Hebrew scriptures were based on the Jew's free moral agency: "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God...that all these curses shall come upon thee..." (Deut. 28: 15-20, 45). Jesus said to those who were spiritually doomed, "ye would not!" (Matt. 23: 37).
Man is responsible for his own actions. Since man has the freedom to obey or disobey and God does not overpower the will of man, man is responsible for his own actions. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die," declared the prophet (Ezek. 18: 20). Sin, as such, is not inherited. "The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son." The prophet further states, "...the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him" (Ezek. 18: 20, cf. Matt. 18: 3-6; 19: 13-15).
In view of the freedom of choice belonging to man, the book of Acts abounds with examples of the sinner being urged to come to God. At the very outset we read, "And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized..." (Acts 2: 40, 41, KJV). Beloved, are you making the right choice?