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Sermon #133 — Romans Series

 

Title:                           The Will of God

 

Text:                            Romans 12:1-2

Subject:                     Knowing and Doing the Will of God

Date:                          Sunday Evening — October 15, 2017

Readings:     Mark Medley and Mark Daniel

Introduction:

 

Late Monday night, once we got settled in our motel room, I set up my office, and checked my email. In the first one I opened, the Lord gave me the direction I needed this message. A man who has regularly listened to me preach the gospel, apparently for a good many years over Free Grace Radio, but one I do not think I’ve ever heard from before, wrote to ask me, “How do you know if its God leading or your will? Do you look forward signs? How would God speak to you about a situation, how does one know that it was God leading, bringing this about?

 

When I read that brief note, I lifted my heart to God with thanksgiving. I knew, immediately, what he would have me preach to you. If you will open your Bible to Romans 12, verses 1 and 2, I want to give you the message the Lord has given to me for you.

 

(Romans 12:1-2) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (2) And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

 

The Lord willing, we will come back to this passage of Scripture next Sunday night. But, for this message, I want us to focus on those words found at the end of verse 2. — “That ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.The title of my message is — The Will of God.

 

Few questions are of greater concern to men and women who are endeavoring to honor God in their lives than this. — How can I know the will of God? Nothing is so important to the believing heart as knowing and walking in the will of God. We dare not be presumptuous in this matter. Yet, we who believe can know God’s will and walk in it, not perfectly and absolutely, but sincerely and honestly. If, by the grace of God, I sincerely seek the glory of God in all things and above all things, and live by faith in Christ, following the leadership of his Spirit and the principles of his Word, endeavoring to serve the interests of his church and kingdom for the furtherance of the gospel, I will be in the will of God. It is written, — “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

As in all aspects of our lives as his people, our blessed Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, left us an example to follow in this. I the 40th Psalm, we hear our Lord Jesus speaking.

 

(Psalm 40:1-17) “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. (2) He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. (3) And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD. (4) Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. (5) Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered. (6) Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, (8) I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. (9) I have preached righteousness in the great congregation: lo, I have not refrained my lips, O LORD, thou knowest. (10) I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation. (11) Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. (12) For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. (13) Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me. (14) Let them be ashamed and confounded together that seek after my soul to destroy it; let them be driven backward and put to shame that wish me evil. (15) Let them be desolate for a reward of their shame that say unto me, Aha, aha. (16) Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified. (17) But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”

 

Look at verse 8 again.

 

(Psalms 40:8) “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”

 

Our Savior

 

We know that the words of our text find their ultimate and perfect fulfillment in the Lord Jesus Christ, because the Holy Spirit tells us so in Hebrews 10:7-9. How we rejoice to know that Christ, the God-man, our Substitute, has fulfilled all the will of God for us! By his obedience to God in our stead the Lord Jesus Christ obtained eternal redemption for us. His obedience to God is our righteousness. His blood is our atonement for sin. We are complete in Christ; and we are accepted in him, because he delighted to do the will of God as our Substitute.

 

Yet, the words of our text were also David’s words. They express the desire, ambition, and driving force of every believer’s heart.“I delight to do thy will, O God.” All who are born of God bear this distinct mark of grace in the likeness of Christ. Believers in their inmost souls delight to do the will of God. Our joy and happiness is not merely in receiving good from God, but in rendering active service to God. We desire to obey and serve our heavenly Father in all things and do his will at all times, not reluctantly, but cheerfully. God’s will is our joy and delight.

 

More than that, we delight to see God’s will done in and by others, too. Our heart’s prayer is, — “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10). God the Holy Ghost has taught every believer in the world to pray with Christ, “Thy will be done.”

 

Were it possible to gather all the desires, ambitions, aspirations, goals, and prayers of all God’s saints in heaven and earth into one expression, it would be this “Thy will be done.”

 

Proposition: Every believer delights to do the will of God!

 

When the believing heart cries, “I delight to do thy will, O God,” The meaning is: My heavenly Father, my God, in my heart of hearts, from the depths of my inmost soul,...

Š      I delight to fulfill your will of purpose.

Š      I delight to satisfy your will of pleasure.

Š      And I delight to obey your will of precept.

 

If the Lord will graciously enable me to do so, I want to talk to you about The Will of God. We know that our heavenly Father, the God of the Bible, is a God “who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11). And all who know him delight to do his will in all things.

 

Divisions: I do not intend to answer the objections which men raise against the sovereignty of God in the exercise of his will. If your heart is yet in rebellion to God, no words of mine can change you. You must bow to Christ. You must surrender to his dominion as Lord. My purpose is to instruct, comfort, and encourage God’s saints in seeking, knowing, doing, and submitting to the will of God. In order to dispel confusion about this subject and to help you who delight to do God’s will, let me make three statements and answer two questions.

1.    It is the duty of all men to obey the will of God revealed in his precepts.

2.    It is the desire of every believer to obey the will of God’s holy pleasure.

3.    We are assured that all things obey the secret will of God’s eternal purpose.

4.    Is it possible for a believer to miss, or be out of the will of God?

5.    How can I know the will of God?

 

Our Duty

 

1st It is the duty and responsibility of all men, women, and children to obey the will of God revealed in his precepts. — The Bible reveals God’s will to be made up of three parts, his precepts, his pleasure, and his purpose.

Š      His precept is that which he requires and commands of his creatures.

 

Illustration: A wise and loving Father demands obedience from his children.

 

Š      God’s pleasure is that in which he delights and that of which he approves.

 

Illustration: I delight in any child’s willing obedience to his parents.

 

Š      God’s purpose is that which he is determined to accomplish.

 

Illustration: I am determined to preach the gospel.

 

These three things never contradict each other. They are never at odds. They are always in perfect harmony. They are, together, the will of God. Let’s look at them one at a time, beginning with God’s will of precept. This is his revealed will, that which he requires of men, that which he commands us to do.

 

When a person in authority expresses his will to those under his authority, his revealed will is to them a law, a command, a precept, which they are responsible to obey.

 

Illustration:   A Teacher

                                                                                                An Employer

                                                                                                A Father

 

That which God has revealed to be his will and pleasure is to us a precept, a law, a command which we are responsible to obey. God’s will of command, or precept, made known to us, is our rule of duty (Ecclesiastes 12:13; Exodus 20; Romans 2:12-15, 18).

 

(Exodus 20:1-17) “And God spake all these words, saying, (2) I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. (3) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (6) And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. (7) Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (8) Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (9) Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: (10) But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: (11) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. (12) Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (13) Thou shalt not kill. (14) Thou shalt not commit adultery. (15) Thou shalt not steal. (16) Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (17) Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”

 

(Ecclesiastes 12:13) “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

 

(Romans 2:12-15) “For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; (13) (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (14) For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: (15) Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.)”

 

(Romans 2:18) We “know his will, and approve the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law.”

 

In the day of judgment God will judge every man by that which has been revealed to him. No one will be held accountable except for that knowledge of God’s will that is within his reach.

 

The moral requirements of God’s law are revealed to all men by the light of nature. Conscience (Romans 2:12-15) — All men by nature, even the most heathen, barbaric tribesmen of ancient cultures, know that God is and that he requires of man that...

Š      He must love God supremely.

Š      And he must love his neighbor as himself.

 

God revealed his will upon Sinai in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 13:8-9; Ephesians 6:2).

 

(Romans 13:8-9) “Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (9) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

 

The decalogue, that which is commonly referred to as the moral law, reveals what God requires of all men in their relations to God and to one another. Though in Christ we are free from the yoke of the law’s rule and its curse, these requirements are never altered.

 

The ceremonial law given to the nation of Israel was God’s revealed will concerning worship in the Old Testament. It began when God commanded Israel to observe the Passover (Exodus 12) and ended when Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us, when the hand writing of the ordinances was nailed to the cross (1 Corinthians 5:7; Colossians 2:14).

 

(1 Corinthians 5:7) “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.”

 

(Colossians 2:14-17) “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (15) And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (16) Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: (17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”

 

Since Christ has come and fulfilled all the requirements and types of the moral and ceremonial law, the revealed will of God to all men is the gospel of Christ.

 

(1 John 3:23) “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.”

 

Because no man is capable of fulfilling the righteousness of God revealed in the law, Christ fulfilled the law in the place of sinful men. And now we fulfill the righteousness of the law by faith in him (Romans 8:2-4; 3:31).

 

(Romans 8:2-4) “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: (4) That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

 

(Romans 3:31) “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”

 

This is what God requires and commands of all men“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 3:23). Faith in Christ is the revealed will of God. This is God’s precept. All men are responsible to obey it (John 3:36). In this sense, our renewed hearts say, “I delight to do thy will, O God.

 

(John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

 

Our Desire

 

2nd It is the desire of every believer to obey the will of God’s holy pleasure. — A loving child wants to do more than merely avoid his father’s disapproval. He seeks to know and do that which is his father’s pleasure. A loving wife wants more than to do just what her husband requires. She wants to please her husband in all things. And the believer wants something indescribably greater than to avoid the wrath of God. He wants to do the will of God. He wants to do that which gives pleasure, satisfaction, and delight to his heavenly Father.

 

I know that we cannot add to God’s infinite pleasure. But we earnestly seek to do that which pleases him. Do we not? Do you seek to do the will of your heavenly Father’s pleasure?

 

There are some things revealed in the Bible that please God (Micah 6:6-8).

 

 

(Micah 6:6-8) “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the high God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? (7) Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? (8) He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

 

To “do justly” is to take sides with God against yourself, confessing your sin to him. To “love mercy” is to love Christ who is Mercy, by whom God is merciful to sinners, by whom mercy is performed (Luke 1:.67-75). — Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ is the performance of God’s mercy; and all who are born of God love that mercy!

  • Performed by Christ’s Obedience in Life — Righteousness!
  • Performed by Christ’s Obedience in Death — Satisfaction!
  • Performed by Christ’s Power in Grace — The New Birth!

To “walk humbly with thy God” is to trust the Lord Jesus Christ. — To “walk humbly with thy God” is to walk before God in the conscious awareness of your sin, trusting Christ alone as your Savior, as you are taught by God the Holy Spirit for the everlasting comfort of your soul (John 16:7-11; 1 Corinthians 1:30-31; Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:6).

 

(1 Corinthians 4:7) “For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?”

 

The Scriptures are perfectly clear. The only way sinners can please God is by faith in Christ (Hebrews 11:6). Oh, may God give us grace to walk before him, to walk humbly with our God, trusting his dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:6).

There are some things revealed in the Scriptures that are displeasing and grievous to our Lord (Ephesians 4:17-5:1).

 

(Ephesians 4:17-32) “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, (18) Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: (19) Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. (20) But ye have not so learned Christ; (21) If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: (22) That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; (23) And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (24) And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (25) Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. (26) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: (27) Neither give place to the devil. (28) Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. (29) Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”

 

(Ephesians 5:1-2) “Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.”

 

This is my constant prayer. — God, give me grace that I not dishonor your name or offend in thought, word, or deed. Give me grace that I may not offend your children, bring reproach upon the name of your dear Son or the gospel of your free grace in him, or grieve your Holy Spirit.

 

I repeat myself deliberately. The only way sinful men and women can please God is by faith in Christ (Hebrews 11:5-6).

 

(Hebrews 11:5-6) “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

 

Š      God is pleased with his Son.

Š      God is pleased with us in his Son (Matthew 17:5; Ephesians 1:6).

Š      And God is pleased with our feeble efforts to please him for his Son’s sake.

 

                                    Illustrations: A Child’s First Steps

                                                                                                            Faith’s Dandelions

 

In this sense too, regarding the will of God’s holy pleasure, we say, “I delight to do thy will, O God.” How I delight to trust Christ as my Substitute!

 

God’s Purpose

 

3rdWe are assured in the Book of God that all things obey the secret will of God’s eternal purpose (Deuteronomy 29:29).

 

(Deuteronomy 29:29) “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”

 

Moses certainly does not here suggest that we can know nothing about divine predestination, or that God does not intend for us to study the subject. The only thing Moses is telling us is this — We do not know what God has predestined and what must come to pass. However, we do know what God requires of us; and that is our duty.

 

It is a clearly revealed fact that the Lord our God has purposed, decreed, and predestinated from eternity all things that have ever come to pass and all things that ever shall come to pass in time, without exception (Psalm 115:3; 135:6; Isaiah 46:10; Daniel 4:35; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; 13:48; Romans 8:28-30; 9:15-18; 1Corinthians 11:19; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Ephesians 1:11).

 

(Psalms 115:3) “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”

 

(Psalms 135:6) “Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.”

 

(Isaiah 46:10) “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.”

 

(Daniel 4:35) “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

 

(Acts 2:23) “Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.”

 

(Acts 4:27-28) “For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, (28) For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.”

 

(Acts 13:48) “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.”

 

(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

 

(Romans 9:15-18) “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (16) So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. (17) For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. (18) Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.”

 

(1 Corinthians 11:19) “For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.”

 

(2 Corinthians 5:18) “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.”

 

(Ephesians 1:11) “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

 

In this sense everything that is, has been, or shall be is the will of God. God is absolutely sovereign in directing the affairs of the universe. His will of purpose includes all things, evil as well as good, sin as well as salvation, error as well as truth. And God’s will of purpose is always, perfectly accomplished in and by all things.

 

With regard to God’s will of purpose we must understand that God wills whatever he does in providence (Job 23:13; Ephesians 1:11).

 

(Job 23:13) “But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? And what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.”

 

(Ephesians 1:11) “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

 

God acts voluntarily in all that he does. He is never compelled to do anything. And God does in providence whatever he willed to do, all that he willed to do, and only what he willed do from eternity (Acts 15:18).

 

(Acts 15:18) “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.”

 

If God could will, desire, or purpose to do anything that he failed to accomplish, he would not be omnipotent. But the Scriptures tell us plainly that God’s will of purpose includes all things (Psalm 76:10; Proverbs 16:4; Isaiah 45:7).

 

(Psalms 76:10) “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.”

 

(Proverbs 16:4) “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.”

 

(Isaiah 45:7) I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”

 

C. D. Cole rightly stated, “God’s will includes whatsoever comes to pass. Hence, everything that comes to pass is providential and not accidental so far as God is concerned. He ‘worketh all things after the counsel of his own will’ (Ephesians 1:11).”

 

He goes on to explain, “The will of God includes the wicked actions of sinful men, but does not take away their blameworthiness. We may not see how this can be, but the Scriptures declare it and we should believe it. The Scriptures were not written to confirm our reasoning, but rather to correct it. On the day of Pentecost Peter said, concerning Jesus, ‘Him being delivered by the determinate counsel (will) and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain’ (Acts 2:23). And on a later occasion he said that Herod and Pilate, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel were gathered together ‘For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel (will) determined (Gk. predestinated) to be done’ (Acts 4:27-28). We may not be able to see how God can will or determine a sin without becoming the author of sin, but the fact remains that the greatest of all sins, the slaying of the Son of God, was divinely ordained.”

 

The will of God, his eternal purpose of predestination, is in every way consistent with the character of his Being.

Š      It is his eternal will.

Š      It is his immutable will.

Š      It is his sovereign will.

Š      It is his unconditional will.

Š      It is his effectual will.

Š      It is his wise and holy will.

 

God’s will, his purpose, is the solitary source and cause of our salvation.

 

(John 1:11-13) “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (12) But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: (13) Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

 

(Romans 8:28-30) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

 

(James 1:18) “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

 

Word of Caution

 

Because men are ever bent upon perverting the things of God, I must give a few words of caution regarding the will of God’s purpose.

 

1.    The sovereignty of God’s purpose does not destroy man’s responsibility, or even his will. Man’s sin has put his will in bondage to sin, not God’s purpose.

 

2.    The universality of God’s purpose does not make God the author of sin. God is not the author of sin. But he is the author of the good which he accomplishes by overruling sin.

Š      Not of the Fall but of our Recovery!

Š      Not of the Crucifixion but of Redemption!

 

3.    The immutability of God’s purpose does not imply that God made some just to damn them.

 

When we hear God say regarding all things, “I will do all my pleasure,” we rejoice to bow before him and say, “Thy will be done,” “I delight to do thy will, O God.”

 

“Thy will, not mine, O Lord,

However dark it be;

O lead me by Thine own right hand,

Choose out my path for me.

 

I dare not choose my lot;

I would not if I might;

Choose Thou for me, O Lord my God,

So shall I walk aright.

 

Take Thou my cup, and it

With joy or sorrow fill;

As ever best to Thee may seem,

Choose Thou my good and ill.

 

Not mine, not mine the choice

In things both great and small;

Be Thou my Guide, my Guard, my Strength,

My Wisdom, and my All.”

 

Missing God’s Will

 

4th A Question Is it possible for a believer to miss or be out of the will of God? Without question, insofar as God’s revealed will, his precept, and his pleasure is concerned, a believer can miss, disobey, and be out of the will of God.

Š      Any Act of Sin, Unbelief, and Disobedience

Š      Any Act, Movement, or Decision Contrary to The Direction of God the Holy Spirit

 

Illustration: David bringing up the Ark (1 Chronicles 13).

 

However, let it be understood and emphatically clear that no one, and no action performed by anyone, is ever out of the will of God’s purpose! — “He worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

 

Elimelech was out of God’s will of pleasure and precept in going down to Obed-Edom; but his disobedience was overruled by God to accomplish his will of purpose and predestination for the salvation of his elect.

 

David’s actions in the matter of Uriah the Hittite, we are told, “displeased the Lord.” Yet, God’s will of purpose was accomplished.

 

I want you to understand and rejoice in the fact that God’s purpose is always accomplished, even when we are disobedient to his revealed will. That fact does not lessen our responsibility to any degree; but it does give us reason to adore and worship our God, whose purpose is ever wise and good.

 

Even when it is contrary to my will, my choice, and my actions, “I delight to do thy will, O God.”

 

Knowing God’s Will

 

5thAnother QuestionHow can I know the will of God? I almost said, “How can I know the will of God for my life?” But that question is too big. How can I know the will of God for my life today? Let me answer that question with three statements.

 

1.    No one can determine what God’s will for you is, except you. “I conferred not with flesh and blood.”

 

2.    God reveals his will in three ways.

Š      By his Word.

Š      By his Spirit.

Š      By his Providence.

 

3.    And God will reveal his will to all who truly seek his will in faith (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 

(Proverbs 3:5-6) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

 

Application

 

Š      Let this be our prayer. — “Thy will be done!”

Š      Let this be our determination. — “I delight to do thy will, O God.”

Š      Let this be our attitude. — “It is the Lord, let him do what he will.”

 

Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

Don Fortner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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