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Will of God

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The intent and purpose of God, as revealed in Scripture. God’s will for his creation and his people is set out in the Law and the Prophets, which find their fulfilment in Jesus Christ. A central aspect of the will of God is that his people be faithful and obedient.


The revelation of God’s will

In his word

2 Timothy 3:16 KJV 1900
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
See also 2 Sa 7:21; Ps 103:20–21; Col 1:25–26; 1 Jn 2:4–5

Through the law

Ex 18:15–16; Ex 24:12; Dt 30:16; Ps 119:43; Ro 7:12; 1 Ti 1:8

Through the prophets

1 Ki 22:6–7; 2 Ki 3:11; Je 42:3–4; Eze 12:25; Am 3:7

In the apostolic gospel

Ac 20:27; Ga 1:11–12

The fulfilment of God’s will

God’s will is fulfilled in Jesus Christ

Ephesians 1:9–10 KJV 1900
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
See also Eph 3:4–11; Col 1:27

Jesus Christ obeyed his Father’s will

John 6:38 KJV 1900
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
See also Mt 26:39; Jn 4:34; Jn 5:30; Heb 10:7; Ps 40:8

Jesus Christ’s death fulfilled God’s will

Galatians 1:3–4 KJV 1900
Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ, Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
See also Is 53:10; Ac 2:23

God’s will for the world

God desires justice and righteousness

Amos 5:24 KJV 1900
But let judgment run down as waters, And righteousness as a mighty stream.
See also Ps 33:5; Is 5:7; Je 9:24; Mic 6:8

God desires honesty and truth

Proverbs 12:22 KJV 1900
Lying lips are abomination to the Lord: But they that deal truly are his delight.
See also Ex 20:16; Le 19:35–36; Pr 11:1; Zec 8:16–17

God desires harmony and peace

1 Timothy 2:2–3 KJV 1900
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
See also Is 2:3–4; Is 11:6–9

God desires the world to be saved

1 Timothy 2:4 KJV 1900
Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
See also Eze 18:23; Eze 33:11; Mt 18:14; Jn 3:16–17; 2 Pe 3:9

God’s will for his redeemed people

God desires loving obedience

Matthew 22:35–38 KJV 1900
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
See also Dt 6:5

Scripture regularly makes obedience to God a higher priority than performing religious acts:

Ps 51:16–17; Is 1:11; Je 7:22–23; 1 Jn 2:5

God desires worship

1 Peter 2:9 KJV 1900
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
See also Ps 100:4; Is 45:23; 1 Th 5:18; Re 1:6

God desires holiness

1 Thessalonians 4:3 KJV 1900
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
See also Le 19:1–2; 1 Co 1:2; Col 1:22; 1 Th 4:7; Heb 10:10; 1 Pe 1:15–16

God desires love for one another

John 13:34–35 KJV 1900
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
See also Le 19:18; Mt 22:39; Jn 15:12–13; Ga 5:14; 1 Jn 3:11

God desires high moral standards

1 Peter 2:15 KJV 1900
For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
See also Mt 5:16; Mt 5:48; 1 Pe 3:4

God’s will may involve suffering

1 Peter 3:17 KJV 1900
For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.
See also Ac 14:22; Ac 21:13–14; Heb 12:5–7; 1 Pe 4:19

Proper responses to God’s will

Discovering God’s will

Ephesians 5:17 KJV 1900
Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
See also Ro 2:18; Col 1:9

Obeying God’s will

Matthew 7:21 KJV 1900
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
See also Ezr 10:11; Mt 12:50; Eph 6:6; Heb 13:21; Jas 4:15

Praying for God’s will

Matthew 6:10 KJV 1900
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
See also Ps 143:10; Mt 26:42; Jn 14:13–14; 1 Jn 5:14

Making radical changes to do God’s will

Romans 12:2 KJV 1900
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.
See also Ro 8:5; Ga 5:16–17; Jas 1:20; 1 Pe 1:14; 1 Pe 4:2; 1 Jn 2:15–17

Rejecting God’s will

Luke 7:30 KJV 1900
But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
See also Ps 107:11; Is 30:1; Eze 3:7; Mt 23:37; Jn 8:44

Examples of people who obeyed God’s will

Dt 33:21 Gad


1 Sa 13:14; Ac 13:22; Ac 13:36
Is 44:28–45:1 Cyrus


Ac 18:21; Ac 21:14; Ro 1:10; Ro 15:32; 1 Co 4:19

Ways of discovering God’s will

Ex 18:20 teaching; Ex 28:30 Urim and Thummim; Ps 86:11 prayer; Ps 119:105 God’s word; Da 2:22–23 revelation; Jn 14:26 the Holy Spirit; Ac 1:26 drawing lots

God’s will and the human will

God’s will overrules human wills

Proverbs 19:21 KJV 1900
There are many devices in a man’s heart; Nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
See also Ps 33:10–11; Pr 16:9

God’s will overrides the desires of the wicked

Ge 50:20; Is 10:5–11; Hab 1:5–11; Ac 2:23

God’s will can harmonise with human wills

1 Ch 13:2; Ps 37:4; Ps 145:19; Ac 15:28

God’s will is sovereign

Over all things

Ephesians 1:11 KJV 1900
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:

Over creation

See also Mt 10:29; Ro 8:20; Re 4:11

Over evil

Ge 45:8; 1 Sa 2:25; Pr 16:4; Is 65:12; Ro 9:18

Over the gospel

Mic 7:18; Mt 11:25–26; Jn 5:21; Ac 13:48; Ro 9:18; 1 Co 1:21

In the church

1 Co 1:1; 1 Co 12:11; 1 Co 12:28; Php 2:13; 2 Ti 1:1; Heb 2:4
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