Whoever knows what the new birth is will not deny the freedom of the will in the human being, John 3:5; 1 Pet. 1:23; James 1:18; Mark 2:14.
As often as Christ said to a person, “Stand up and walk. See. Hear. Stretch out your hand. Be cleansed,” he gave to the same the power to stand up, to see, to hear, to stretch out his hand, and to be cleansed.
That must be or his Word will be like a human word, John 5:8; Luke 18:42; Mark 6:56; Matt. 8:4; 12:13; Mark 3:5; Luke 6:10. Whoever says that the flesh need not desire against his natural will, to do the will of the soul, which has been awakened by the Word of God, taps at the wall in the bright sunshine,21 Matt. 7; John 7; Gen. 4; Rom. 8:13.
A foolish lord it is who sets a goal for his people and says: “Go to it, run so that you win,” when he knows all along that they are forged into chains and cannot run, 1 Cor. 9:24.22
Whoever says that wives cannot be obedient and subject to their husbands, servants and subjects to their lords, and that sin cannot be obedient to evil Cain, calls God and his saints liars. You are no less than Cain, O you of little faith, Gen. 4:7; Rom. 13:1; Eph. 5:22; 6:5f.; Col. 3:22; 1 Pet. 2:13f.; 3:1.
That would be a perfidious God who would invite all people to a supper, offer his mercy to everyone with exalted earnestness, and would yet not want them to come, Luke 14:16ff.; Matt. 22:2ff. That would be a false God who would say with the mouth, “Come here,” but would think secretly in the heart, “Stay there,” Isa. 55:1; Matt. 11:28; John 1:12; Luke 15:22.
That would be a disloyal God who would give a human being grace publicly, and clothe him in a new garment, but secretly would take it back again from him and prepare hell for him.
It is a curse to say that God commanded us to do impossible things, Matt. 19:17. For everything that is impossible in our strength is made possible to the believer through his sent Word, Luke 18:27; Mark 9:23; 13:11.
Thus it was possible for Mary, the pure virgin, to give birth to a child, she who had never known any man, Luke 1:31. So much power does the sent Word of God have.
The reason that the commandments of God are commonly written in describing and not in commanding ways, indicative and not imperative, is that one does not have to force the righteous person, but only to show him the way, which he then follows freely, joyfully, and without compulsion, Exod. 20:7–17; Deut. 5:6–21; 1 Tim. 1:9; 2 Cor. 9:6ff.
We should work like a man and know that our work is not worthless to the Lord, Josh. 1:7; Pss. 27; 31; 1 Cor. 15:58. Nevertheless, it still stands in the general judgment that we are useless servants, Luke 17:10. But one should refrain from patchwork in the Scriptures.
Balthasar Hubmaier, Balthasar Hubmaier: Theologian of Anabaptism, ed. John H. Yoder and H. Wayne Pipkin, vol. 5, Classics of the Radical Reformation (Scottdale, PA; Waterloo, ON: Herald Press, 1989), 465–466.