The Will of God (Part 1)

I. Overview - the different aspects of the will of God. 1. The sovereign will of God. A. Predestination - God's absolute sovereign will. B. Predetermination - God's bounded sovereign will. C. God's sovereign will is both His desire and His accomplishment of that desire. i. Will - I. 1. a. Desire, wish, longing; liking, inclination, disposition (to do something). ii. Will - II. 5. a. The action of willing or choosing to do something; the movement or attitude of the mind which is directed with conscious intention to (and, normally, issues immediately in) some action, physical or mental; volition. D. God's sovereign will shall be done and is not dependent on man's obedience. E. All action by men is not by God's sovereign will. 2. The permissive will of God. A. God's permissive will may not be His declared will, but he permits or allows it to happen. B. God's permissive will is exercised every time someone breaks God's law, which is His declared will. C. Each time this happens, God has not caused it, but allows or suffers it. 3. The declared will of God. A. God's declared will is His desire for what men should do - His law. B. God's declared will may or may not be done and is dependent on man's obedience. II. The absolute sovereign will of God. 1. God's will is sovereign in the control of the elements. A. God controls the rain (Job 36:27-28). B. God controls the water and wind cycles (Psa 135:6-7). C. God controls the seas (Psa 107:29; Mat 8:26). 2. God's will is sovereign in some of the events in the lives of men. A. God sometimes causes things to happen in our lives. B. God makes barren women able to bear children (Psa 113:9). C. God sometimes kills people (Act 5:5). D. God sometimes puts it in men's hearts to fulfill His will (Rev 17:17). 3. God's will is entirely sovereign when it comes to saving men's souls and giving them eternal life. A. Concerning eternal salvation, God predestinates people. B. Predestinate - v. 1. Theol. Of God: To foreordain by a divine decree or purpose: a. to salvation or eternal life; to elect. C. God predestinated His elect to be adopted as His children by Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5). i. This predestination was according to his will (Eph 1:5). ii. God purposed to do His will in Himself (Eph 1:9). iii. Purpose - v. II. To set before oneself for accomplishment. 3. a. trans. To place before oneself as a thing to be done or attained; to form a purpose of doing (something); to design or resolve upon the performance of. iv. God willed (desired) to save a people for Himself and therefore purposed (designed a plan to accomplish it) to save them by predestinating (divinely decreeing) them to be His children (Eph 1:11). v. God's foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification, and glorification of His children (the called) according to His purpose is so certain that it is spoken of in the past tense even though many of them have not yet even been born (Rom 8:28-30). vi. When God decrees something, it's as good as done (Rom 4:17). D. God has not predestinated all things, but rather only the things that scripture says He has. i. The word predestinate is only used four times in the entire scripture (Rom 8:29-30; Eph 1:5,11). ii. All instances of predestination in the scripture refer only to eternal salvation, as does the definition of the word. iii. All of the events of our lives are not predestinated. E. The regeneration of the elect is also according to God's sovereign will. i. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth (Jam 1:18). ii. This word of truth was the spoken word (Joh 5:25) of The Word (Joh 1:1) Who is the truth (Joh 14:6). iii. Jesus quickens whom He will (Joh 5:21). III. The bounded sovereign will of God. 1. God has predetermined many of the events in our lives. A. Predetermine v. - To determine beforehand. 1. trans. To fix, settle, or decide beforehand; to ordain or decree beforehand, to predestine. B. Determine v. - III. To direct to some end or conclusion; to come to some conclusion. 14. trans. To give a terminus or aim to; to give tendency or direction to; to direct; to decide the course of; to impel to (some destination). C. Predetermination is similar in many ways to predestination, but it is not identical. D. To determine is to direct to some end, which is exactly what God does with men: we devise our way, but God directs our steps (Pro 16:9). i. We should desire for God to do this for us (Psa 119:5; Jer 10:23-24). ii. If we trust in Him and acknowledge Him, He will direct our steps (Pro 3:5-6). iii. We should desire that God would direct our hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ (2Th 3:5). E. Paul was an apostle by the will of God (2Co 1:1). i. The will of God in this case was a commandment of God (1Ti 1:1). ii. Paul was appointed to be an apostle (2Ti 1:11). iii. Appoint - II. To determine authoritatively, prescribe, decree, ordain. iv. Paul obeyed this commandment from Jesus Christ (Act 26:15-19). 2. To predetermine is to set bounds on something ahead of time. A. God has done this with the length of our lives (Job 14:5). B. God has done this with nations as well (Act 17:26). C. A good illustration of this is how the banks of a river put bounds and limits on where the water can flow. i. The water is free to flow where it wants within those bounds. ii. God controls the hearts of kings (and men) in the same way (Pro 21:1). a. God did this very thing for Artaxerxes, king of the Medes and the Persians to benefit His people (Ezr 7:27). b. God did not suffer (to tolerate, allow) kings to harm Israel (1Ch 16:21-22). c. God did not suffer king Abimelech to touch Sarah (Gen 20:6). d. God restrained king David from killing Nabal and his men (1Sa 25:26). e. God turned the heart of king Rehoboam to punish His people (2Ch 10:15). f. God hardened Pharaoh's heart to show His power in him (Exo 10:20 c/w Rom 9:17-18). g. God hardened the heart of Sihon king of Heshbon in order to deliver him into the hand of Israel (Deu 2:30). h. God shall put it in the hearts of the ten kings in Revelation to give their kingdoms to the beast (Rev 17:17). 3. The death of Jesus Christ is a classic example of God's predetermination. A. Jesus was delivered to be crucified by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (Act 2:23). i. Determinate - 1. a. Definitely bound or limited, in time, space, extent, position, character, or nature; definite, fixed; clearly defined or individualized; distinct, as opposed to vague, undefined, or indefinite. ii. Foreknowledge - Knowledge of an event, etc. before it exists or happens; prescience. iii. These definitions show that God set bounds and limits beforehand on how Jesus would be delivered up to be killed. iv. Jesus' death was therefore predetermined, not predestinated (Act 4:28). B. Leading up to the crucifixion, the Jews tried to kill Jesus several times and by several different ways. i. In the beginning of His ministry, they tried to cast Him headlong over the brow of a hill, but He escaped (Luk 4:29-30). ii. Later, they sought to lay hands on Him, but His hour was not yet come (Joh 7:30). iii. Then they tried to stone Him, but He went through the midst of them (Joh 8:59). iv. Then they sought to take him again, but He escaped out of their hand (Joh 10:39). v. God thwarted all their plans because Jesus would be killed in the way it was determined by God (Luk 22:22). C. The wrath of man will praise God, but He will restrain the remainder of their wrath (Psa 76:10). D. God overruled the devices and conceits of these wicked men (Pro 19:21). i. These men's goings were of the Lord (Pro 20:24). ii. But they didn't understand their own way (1Co 2:8).
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