Sermon #2028[i]                                                                                Miscellaneous Sermons


      Title:                                             The Will of GoD

and My Responsibility


      Text:                                  2 Corinthians 8:5

      Subject:               God’s Will and Human Responsibility



Open your Bibles to 2nd Corinthians chapter 8 — 2 Corinthians 8. The Apostle Paul had received from the churches in Macedonia a very generous gift which they asked him to receive and take to the poor saints at Jerusalem. In this chapter, he urged the Corinthians, and urges us, to follow the example set by those loving, generous Macedonian saints, thereby proving the sincerity of our love to Christ and his people.


“1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to [their] power, I bear record, yea, and beyond [their] power [they were] willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and [take upon us] the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And [this they did], not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. 6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.”


“7 ¶ Therefore, as ye abound in every [thing, in] faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and [in] all diligence, and [in] your love to us, [see] that ye abound in this grace also. 8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-9)


Go back to verse 5.

“And [this they did], not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.” (2 Corinthians 8:5)


Mark those last four words — “The will of God.” Oh, I am interested in that. Aren’t you? — “The will of God” — I want that. Don’t you?


As you know, I am going to visit our missionaries in Mexico, Bros. Walter and Cody Groover, the pastors of the churches in the Yucatan, and several of the local churches this week. As usual, on Tuesday I will spend the day lecturing to the Preachers’ School. A few weeks ago, Bro. Cody called and asked if I would focus my lecture on “The Will of God,” particularly dealing with “The Will of God and Our Responsibility” and “The of God and the Problem of Evil.” As I prepared for those lectures, I realized that these are subjects that might be helpful to you. The title of my message is — The Will of God and My Responsibility. The Lord willing, tonight I will preach to you on — The Will of God and the Problem of Evil. But my subject this morning is — The Will of God and My Responsibility.


Paul admonishes us to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord [is]” (Ephesians 5:15-17).


In the 40th Psalm, we hear our Savior crying, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” We know that the words of this psalm find their ultimate and perfect fulfilment 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 Spirit 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,...

·      I delight to fulfill your will of purpose.

·      I delight to satisfy your will of pleasure.

·      And I delight to obey your will of precept.


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 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, 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 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


1stIt is the duty and responsibility of all men, women, and children to obey the will of God revealed in his precepts. In Holy Scripture the will of God is set before us in three ways: His precepts, His pleasure, and His purpose.

·      His precepts are the things he requires and commands of his creatures. — A wise and loving Father demands obedience from his children.

·      God’s pleasure is that in which he delights and that of which he approves. — A father delights in his child’s willing obedience.

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


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


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 any thing 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.”


Note: 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...

·      He must love God supremely.

·      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.”


Ephesians 6:2 “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise.”


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.”


Our Desire


2nd It is the desire of every believer to obey the will of Gods 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 infinitely 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 this Book that please God (Micah 6:6-8). Read it for yourself in verses 6-7. — Here’s the question…


(Micah 6:6-7) “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?”


Obviously, the answer is — “No!”


“Not all the blood of beasts

On Jewish altars slain,

Could give the guilty conscience peace,

Or wash away the stain.


But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,

Takes all our sins away;

A sacrifice of nobler name,

And richer blood than they.


My faith would lay her hand

On that dear Head of Thine,

While like a penitent I stand,

And there confess my sin.


My soul looks back to see

The burdens Thou didst bear,

When hanging on the cursed tree,

And hopes her guilt was there.


Believing, we rejoice

To see the curse remove;

We bless the Lamb with cheerful voice,

And sing His bleeding love.”


Only the blood of Christ can take away sin. Only the blood of Christ can give sinners access to God. Only the blood of Christ can satisfy all the requirements of God.


I know very few people who would disagree with that. Almost all the religious people I know, and almost all the irreligious people I know would agree with it. — “Only the blood of Christ can take away sin. Only the blood of Christ can give sinners access to God. Only the blood of Christ can satisfy all the requirements of God.” — I’ve heard many say it. Then, they point to Micah 6:8, and say, “But you’ve got to live right.” — “You’ve got to lead a good and holy life.” — “You’ve got to do what God requires.”


Is that really what Micah 6:8 means? Does Micah 6:8 contradict everything else taught in the Word of God? Does Micah here give us a garment of linen and wool, of works and grace? Does God’s prophet tell us that God requires something from us? — You know better!


(Micah 6:8) “He hath shewed 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?”


What is good? What does God require of me? — “Wherewith shall I come before the LORD, [and] bow myself before the high God?


1.    Do Justly! — To do justly is to confess that in ourselves, by reason of our own sin, we justly deserve wrath and indignation of the holy, Lord God. — We have broken all his laws, rebelled against him all our lives, and despised his Son and the gospel of his grace! — To do justly is offer God a just and righteous reason for acceptance with him.

·      Christ’s Righteousness!

·      Christ’s Satisfaction!


2.    Love Mercy! — To love mercy is to love Christ. He is the mercy promised to poor, needy sinners and the Performer of all mercy (Luke 1:72). — All who are born of God love mercy!


3.    Walk Humbly with God! — To walk humbly with God is to walk before God trusting Christ alone (Colossians 2:6).


(Colossians 2:6-10) “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him: 7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”


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?”


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 may 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.


Yet, I am fully aware of the fact that 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.”


·      God is pleased with his Son.

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

·      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 — Mcclaren’s Daughter


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!


Our Assurance


3rdWe are assured in the Bible 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 for ever, 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 all things that have ever come to pass and all things that ever shall come to pass, 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; 1 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.”


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 (1 Corinthians 11:19). 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.


·      God does in providence whatever he willed to 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.


·      God’s will of purpose includes all things (Psalm 76:10; Proverbs 16:4).


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.”


C.D. Cole stated the matter very clearly. 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).”


Cole 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.

·      It is his eternal will.

·      It is his immutable will.

·      It is his sovereign will.

·      It is his unconditional will.

·      It is his effectual will.

·      It is his wise and holy will.

·      God’s will, his purpose, is the 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.”


Because men are ever bent upon perverting the things of God, I must give a word of caution regarding the will of God’s purpose. — The sovereignty of God’s purpose does not destroy man’s responsibility, or even his will. Our fall in Adam put our wills in bondage to sin, not God’s purpose.


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.

·      Not Of The Fall But Of Our Recovery!

·      Not Of The Crucifixion But Of Redemption!


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.”


A Question


4thIs 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.

·      Any Act Of Sin, Unbelief, or Disobedience.

·      Any Act, Movement, or Decision Contrary to the Direction of 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.


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


5thHow 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.

  • By his Word.
  • By his Spirit.
  • 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.”




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

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

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











Don Fortner



Listen to sermons at



[i]    Danville — Sunday Morning — December 2, 2012

     Boonville, NC Conference — (11/27/12)

     Preachers’ School — Merida, Mexico — (12/05/12)


     Reading:        Ephesians 5:1-17

     Tape:             AA-91