Bible Studies for Life
with Don Schuman
Sunday, October 13
God’s Will and My Will
Romans 11:33–12:2; Ephesians 1:4-6
In his book, My Favorite Illustrations, Herschel Hobbs quotes George W. Truett: “To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge; to do the will of God is the greatest achievement.” Our passages in this lesson guide our minds and wills to transformation by the mind and will of God.
God’s Will (Ephesians 1:4-6). God’s will has chosen us in Christ. His will has also predestined us, adopted us, accepted us (vv. 4-6), redeemed us, and forgiven us (v. 7). The will of God the Father chose us, the work of God the Spirit sanctifies us, and the work of Christ has redeemed us. Each Person of the triune Godhead works in harmony for the Father’s will.
By His will God has done the heavy and heavenly work to save us. God’s work is enough to save every human being who comes to Christ through genuine faith in Him. He has done this according to His own good pleasure of His will.
By the will and grace of God, we are accepted in Christ. Believers are welcomed in God’s presence.
God’s Mind (Romans 11:33-36). While believers have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), and mysteries have been revealed to us (Eph. 1:9, Mark 4:11, Rom. 16:25-26), a full understanding of God’s sovereign will is a mystery to us, especially on this side of eternity. Although we can explore the depths of God’s Word, we can never get to the bottom of it all. Our finite minds cannot fully comprehend the wonders of His Word. Some tensions in the Bible (such as the word, “predestined”) expose our limited understanding of our infinite God.
To realize that God knows everything about everything and everybody is overwhelming! There is nothing about you that God does not already know. He even knows what you will do and be like in the future. How mysterious! We can know God by faith in Jesus Christ, but we cannot fully comprehend the infinite wisdom and knowledge of God because we cannot fully comprehend infinity itself. It is beyond my mind that God can read the hearts and hear the prayer requests of people around the world at the same time. I get confused trying to hear just two conversations at once, but God can hear more than thousands, more than millions, more than billions, an infinite number of prayers at once. Small wonder that David said that such knowledge of God is beyond wonderful; it is unattainable (Ps. 139:6).
He knows all about you. He knows your weaknesses and your strengths. The psalmist said that God knew all his ways (Ps. 139:3). He knows all our ways, too. He knows who we are in secret as well as in public. He knows the real us.
God’s Will for Our Will and Mind (Romans 12:1-2). Three times now in these lessons God’s Word has said that His will for our lives is holiness. First Thessalonians 4:3 from last week’s lesson and Ephesians 1:4 earlier in this lesson emphasize with Romans 12:1-2 that holiness is God’s will for His people. Not only are we to be a living sacrifice, but we are to be holy sacrifice that is acceptable to God. The surrendered will and heart is that acceptable sacrifice to God.
God’s will for us is to live holy lives. His will should be our will. Paradoxically, we live holy lives when our will is to present our bodies a living sacrifice. Our walk by faith is a daily process of sacrificing our will to the lordship of Jesus Christ. Christian faith is dying to the old self (Rom. 6:6-13), turning from our way to His way, from our will to His will.
Renewing our minds is changing our mindset completely, looking at things the way God looks at things, thinking as Jesus thinks, opening our spirit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Our bodies as living sacrifices and our renewed minds prove that God’s ways are good, acceptable, and perfect. We are to show the world for our Lord how good the genuine Christian lifestyle is. God’s will is good, acceptable, and perfect.
Hobbs added in his book that he attended Truett’s funeral. Truett, in his casket, held a New Testament in his left hand and pointed with his right hand to Matthew 6:10: “Thy will be done.” May God’s will be our will for this life and beyond.
Schuman is pastor of Temple Church, Myrtle.