Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Will of God

By Gerald Cowan

God’s will can be discussed in terms of His

* PURPOSE. Eph. 1:9-11
* PLAN. Psalm 19, 1 Thess. 4:1-8
* PROMISE. 2 Pet. 1:4, Jas. 1:12
* PREFERENCE. 2 Pet. 3:9
* PLEASURE. Phil. 2:13
* PERMISSION. Acts 17:24-26
* PREVENTION. 2 Thess. 2:6-7
* POWER. Eph. 1:11, Gen. 18:4

We must know several aspects of God’s will to apply it properly in regard to the human soul. God’s will is a broad not narrow, subject. It is:

* ULTIMATE and ABSOLUTE. Mt. 25:36-46, Rev. 20:12-15, Rom. 6:23
* INTENTIONAL and INSTRUCTIVE. 1 John 1:5, Rom. 1:16-17, 2 Th. 1:8
* PERMISSIVE and at the same time RESTRICTIVE. Job 1:12, James 1:2 and 12-15, 1 Pet. 4:12-19, 1 John 3:4 and 7, James 4:17.
* CIRCUMSTANTIAL AND, RESPONSIVE. Is. 59:1-2, Heb. 5:9, 1 Cor. 10:13, Rom. 8:28, Phil. 2:12-13
* EMOTIVE. Love is part of it, but so is wrath. Rom. 5:1-8, Rom. 2:6-11

We certainly must consider GOD’S RELATIONSHIP TO BOTH GOOD AND EVIL. God is not the direct author or source of anything evil, and He will not send into our lives anything that is not essentially, potentially, or eventually good. James 1:17. Good is anything that helps one see his need for God, brings him into a right relationship with God, and enables him to continue in God’s fellowship. Evil can be defined as anything that keeps one away from God, prevents him receiving and maintaining fellowship with Him.

God’s response to human sin and human need shows:

* OMNISCIENCE. Heb. 4:12-13
* GOODNESS. Rom. 2:4
* POWER. Rom. 8:37-39

One of the greatest questions we have is about the will of God and our personal prayers.

* Pray only according to His will in all things. James 4:15-17
* We can be sure God hears, and He answers all our prayers according to what He knows is good.
* Sometimes the answer must be no.

- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola church of Christ in Dongola, IL. He may be contacted at

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