B3 4 August 2012
Greetings Friends. Here is the latest piece from our Bible Teacher Benny Goodwin on “Is God’s Will My Will.”
If Porky Pig was writing this commentary he might ask, “Are you Willy doing God’s Will.” See Porky Pig has a hard time saying his “R’s.” As humans we often have a hard time doing God’s Will too. Even the great Apostle Paul struggled with sin. He tells us in the book of Romans, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15).
So my simple suggestion for us all, myself included, is to just “do our best and repent the rest” my Friends. I pray you have a faith-filled week and know God will continue to bless you. That said, we often only need to realize our blessings from our Creator. For example, He may not bless us with a new car today yet we should realize that the old Jalopy we have (my Van has 254K miles & is still running strong) still gets us where we need to go. Right?
Live God and Help People,
Brian “BK” Kissinger
August 4, 2012
Is God’s Will My Will?
*1 Thessalonians 4:3 – God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin.
Sanctification is not a question of whether God is willing to sanctify me—is it my will?Am I willing to let God do in me everything that has been made possible through the atonement of the Cross of Christ?Am I willing to let Jesus become sanctification to me, and to let His life be exhibited in my human flesh? (see 1 Corinthians 1:30). Beware of saying, “Oh, I am longing to be sanctified.” No, you are not. Recognize your need, but stop longing and make it a matter of action. Receive Jesus Christ to become sanctification for you by absolute, unquestioning faith, and the great miracle of the atonement of Jesus will become real in you.
All that Jesus made possible becomes mine through the free and loving gift of God on the basis of what Christ accomplished on the cross. And my attitude as a saved and sanctified soul is that of profound, humble holiness (there is no such thing as proud holiness). It is a holiness based on agonizing repentance, a sense of inexpressible shame and degradation, and also on the amazing realization that the love of God demonstrated itself to me while I cared nothing about Him (see Romans 5:8). He completed everything for my salvation and sanctification. No wonder Paul said that nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
Sanctification makes me one with Jesus Christ, and in Him one with God, and it is accomplished only through the magnificent atonement of Christ. Never confuse the effect with the cause. The effect in me is obedience, service, and prayer, and is the outcome of inexpressible thanks and adoration for the miraculous sanctification that has been brought about in me because of the atonement through the Cross of Christ. [Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-12] (My Utmost for His Highest*)
To abide in the faith of the Gospel is not enough; we must abound in the work of faith. The rule according to which all ought to walk and act, is the commandments given by the Lord Jesus Christ. Sanctification, in the renewal of their souls under the influences of the Holy Spirit, and attention to appointed duties, constituted the will of God respecting them. The Lord calls none into His family to live unholy lives, but that they may be taught and enabled to walk before Him in holiness. The precepts of holiness are God’s commands, and to break them is to despise God. (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary*)
God’s commandments by (the authority of) the Lord Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:2) are the will of God. Let them be your will also. (Jamieson-Faussett-Brown Commentary*)
Sanctification, the ongoing life of holiness, is God’s will. (The New Oxford Annotated Bible Study Notes*)
Paul encouraged his readers to purity of life, love, and faithful work. Paul gave general guidelines concerning pleasing God. To please God is to do His will, and His will is the sanctification of the believer (1 Thess 4:3-5). (Holman Bible Handbook*)
God’s perfect plan for all His people was that they would “be holy,” often translated “sanctification.” This refers to a daily growing in grace and maturing in the faith. God has just one will for sinners: that they be saved (see 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9). And He has just one will for believers: that they be sanctified (4:3). (Wilmington’s Bible Handbook*)
The will of God, i.e., His desire or purpose, is sanctification, viewed in three aspects in the NT: (1) a position of being set apart to God, which every believer has at the moment of his salvation (1 Cor. 6:11); (2) a progressive holiness of life that ought to be true of every believer (here in v. 3); and (3) our condition in heaven, in which we shall be “without blame” (3:13). (Ryrie Study Bible*)
When Christians are seeking to find the will of God for their lives, they should recognize that His will centers, first of all, on their sanctification—that is, the total dedication of their lives, as redeemed sinners, to Christ. (Defender’s Study Bible*)
Pleasing God calls for lives of holiness (4:1–9) as we wait for Christ’s imminent return (v. 13–5:3). We are to live expectant, self-controlled lives, encouraging one another (vv. 4–11). We are not to be mastered by our desires, but are to let God master us. We must keep a tight reign on any desires whose grip might keep us from serving Him and others. (The 365-Day Devotional Commentary*)
God has called you to holiness; He requires that you should be holy; for without holiness none can see the Lord. (Adam Clarke’s Commentary*)
It is the will or command of God that you should be holy. This does not refer to the purpose or decree of God, and does not mean that He intended to make them holy—but it means that it was His command that they should be holy. God requires holiness. Sanctification consists in two things: (1) “ceasing to do evil;” and, (2) “learning to do well.” The first work of sanctification is in overcoming the propensities to evil in our nature, and checking and subduing the unholy habits which we had formed before we became Christians; the second part of the work consists in cultivating the positive principles of holiness in the soul. (Barnes’ Notes*)
The will of God is clearly set forth in many places in Scripture, even though Christians often seem to have a great deal of difficulty applying it in everyday decision-making (5:16-18; 1 Peter 2:15). It is God’s clear will that His people be holy, a state of being set apart from sin to God. [It also is] the process of becoming more dedicated to God, the progressive sanctification of believers by which they are conformed to the image of Christ in daily experiences by proper responses to the Word and the Spirit of God. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary*)
Becoming “holy” involves a process called “sanctification.” This process continues throughout every believer’s lifetime on earth, preparing him or her for heaven. God takes the old patterns and behaviors and transforms them to His standards and will. Those who are being sanctified have accepted Christ as Savior and are allowing the Holy Spirit to work in their lives, making them more and more like Christ. Because God wants His people to become holy, believers need to uphold certain standards here on earth. Christianity is not a list of dos and don’ts but a relationship in which believers desire to please their Heavenly Father (2:4; 4:1). To please Him requires obedience to His standards. If the heathen behave as they do because they do not know God, Christians must behave in a completely different way because we do know God, because He is a Holy God, because He is our God, and because we want to please Him. (Life Application Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Thessalonians*)
It is God’s will for you to be holy, but how can you go about doing that? The Bible teaches that holiness is not a state of being that you must manufacture on your own with hard work and good deeds and constant fear of failure. Instead, being made holy occurs in the process of living the Christian life. If you have accepted Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf, then you are considered holy and complete in God’s eyes. Yet you must continue to learn and grow during your time on earth. The Holy Spirit works in you, conforming you to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). (Life Application Study Bible*)
God’s will is for me to BE HOLY– live the life that God made possible through the GIFT of His Son, Jesus. As a Christian – a born-again child of God – I must surrender my will to become God’s will. God commands that I “be holy because He is Holy” (Leviticus 11:44-45). He is my God – my Savior and Lord – and I must live my life according to the STANDARDS He has set before me in His Holy WORD. This is possible only as I commit my life to unquestioning faith in Jesus Christ. There is not one iota of blessing that God will not bestow on me because of His unfathomable love. Why should I not surrender my will – my all – to Him!!
The question is not, “Are you holy?” The real question is – are you even TRYING to live a life of holiness as described in God’s Holy WORD? To BE HOLY is a three-step process.(1) The process begins by surrendering our life to Christ when we accept Him as our Savior and begin to make Him our Lord. (2)The next step is to KNOW God’s WORD – His written standard for living a Holy life. This is much more than just “reading the Bible” on Sunday mornings. To really KNOW God’s WORD requires reading and studying it daily. Only then can we begin to apply it to our daily life. (3)The next step is to live the Holy Spirit-directed life as described in Romans 12:1-2.This is a life-long commitment of surrendering our will to the will of God! Where are YOU in the process of living a holy life? Ask Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal to you areas of your life that need to be surrendered to God’s will. Then put into practice 1 John 1:8-10, and set the record right with God.
Love you, Dad/Grandpa/Ben