Sunday, May 5, 2013

P3 of 3 Understanding God's Ultimate Will - Implications

Deuteronomy 29:29-30:1,5 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law." 30:1 “So it shall be when all of these things have come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind in all nations where the Lord your God has banished you." 30:5 "The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers."

Over the past two days we have been attempting to better understanding what the Bible speaks of when it comes to God's Will.  We used the following headings:

God's Ultimate Will
        God's Unrevealed Will
        God's Revealed Will
        God's Permissive Will

In using the above designations, we can navigate our little boats of understanding through the vast sea of God's will. As you may have noticed, we placed God's unrevealed, revealed and permissive wills underneath His Ultimate Will to convey how God orchestrates all things by means of the other aspects of His will.

In today's post I want to draw out some implications and applications for you the reader.  It is not enough to just know "categories" of God's Will.  Among other reasons, God reveals His will, and things about His will, in order that we will in turn live out His will for our lives. 

Ten practical considerations about God's Ultimate Will and Unrevealed, Revealed and Permissive Wills

1. God's Ultimate  Will is His plan and passion being carried forth that covers all history, redemption and eternity. God's Ultimate Will is like an umbrella under which every aspect of his will and creation fits. Another analogy we could evoke would be thinking of God's Ultimate Will as being the shores that bound the mighty river of history.1

2. God's Ultimate Will cannot be frustrated

3. There are events which God fixed that cannot be altered nor revoked by any creature

4. No one can go outside God's Ultimate will, since His Ultimate will "ultimately" covers every thing.

5. The purpose of God's ultimate will is God's glory.

6. God's Ultimate Will includes His unrevealed, revealed and permissive wills.

7. God's unrevealed will doesn't cross purposes with those areas He has revealed, meaning that God is the same God in His unrevealed, revealed and permissive wills.

8. God's revealed will is His Word or the Bible and is what we are responsible to believe by grace through faith and to carry out in obedience. To obey the Bible is to proceed in the known will of God.

9. God's Permissive Will is that area of His ultimate will wherein God operates His will through the wills or decisions of creatures, events of creation and acitvities of nations. God wills to allow such things as evil, even though He is not the author of it. (Isaiah 45:7) The fact God orchestrates things by permission demonstrates the ability of creatures to choose within their own creaturely limitations and to what they deem the greatest good. God's Permissive will is how He includes his creatures and creation in His overall plan.

10. By keeping these distinctions in mind, we can preserve such complementary truths as God's Sovereignty and human responsibility, the evil of sin and the Justice of God shown at the cross, the Divine authorship of Scripture and the human instruments who co-authored the Bible with the Holy Ghost and other such wonderful truths.

End Notes______________________

1. History is flowing toward an intended end. Though creatures such as humans are floating on their vessels of life and can freely move on those boats, even yet they are bounded. God however is unbounded and bounds everything else in the two shorelines of His Ultimate Will: Justice and Grace. The boats of people's lives are sinking and capsizing. When they fall into the mighty river, they are still in God's ultimate will. The mighty ship of salvation, piloted by Jesus is anchored in the middle of the stream. He calls out to all men to be saved. Those who by the Spirit's work in the revealed will of the Word hear the Savior's voice can grab the life rafts of faith and be pulled upon the the decks of salvation. Now that they are safe, the mighty river of history also teems with perils that tempt. God permits such to exist to exercise His saints in wanting Him and loving Him. As only God can do, those same perils call to those who freely reject the Gospel call and convince them to swim toward the judgment. Unrevealed to His creatures is of course how all these aspects function in detail, how God preserves man's responsibility and yet God remains fully Sovereign. God is Sovereign enough to affect a man's salvation who has it in him by grace to believe. Likewise, God is Sovereign enough to knowingly let a man pursue his own base desires that will render that man without excuse and subject to judgment. (Acts 13:44-48; Romans 9:15-24; 2 Peter 3:9-10)