The Will of the Lord

"Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." (Ephesians 5:17)

There is no more exalted theme in the world than the will of God, nor is there a more important practical question than how to know the will of God. Of greatest significance is the recognition that it is His will—not man's will—which is important.

God desires for us to know His will—both His will in general, as revealed in Scripture, and His specific will in each particular decision. The latter must in every instance, of course, be fully compatible with the former, as the Holy Spirit, who leads us, will never contradict the Scriptures which He inspired. Thus, an indispensable prerequisite to finding the personal will of God is knowing His general will.

The general will of God is expressed, first of all, in the fact of special creation (Revelation 4:11). Then Christ became man in order to accomplish God's will (Hebrews 10:7) as our sin-bearing substitute; "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:10). It is His will that this should provide salvation to all who believe. "This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life" (John 6:40). This in turn entails individual regeneration of all who receive Him, "which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:13).

Furthermore, His will includes absolute security in Him (John 6:39), our sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3), and ultimate glorification (John 17:24). Thankfulness in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18) and a virtuous ("well doing"—1 Peter 2:15) life are also God's will. A believer who understands, believes, and obeys God's general will is then prepared to know and follow His specific will. HMM

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