To Do the Will of God
In order to do the will of God we must understand what it is. We are so eager to do good works, to give to charities, to go to church to sing in the choir etc. These are fine and well and good things to do to minister unto the saints. But we must always come back to the will of God.
I Timothy 2
:4 Who [God] will have all men to be saved,
and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
God's will in this verse has two parts; be saved and come unto a knowledge of the truth. You cannot have a knowledge of the truth without being saved for the Word of God is spiritually discerned--able to be known by those who have the spirit of God.
I Corinthians 2
:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God:
for they are foolishness unto him:
neither can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.
In order for us to know the truth we must become supernatural-spiritual. It must be available to be a natural man and not spiritual, this is the truth of God's Word So what is it to become spiritual--be saved?
Being saved does not take our blood, sweat and tears.
:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
Ok, so being saved doesn't take work on my part it takes faith. What is faith? (So many questions) Faith is the Greek word pistis a noun. It's verb form (pisteuo) is translated believing. So, we are saved through what we believe--believe what?
:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is,
that they might be saved .
:2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God,
but not according to knowledge.
:3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness,
and going about to establish their own righteousness,
have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. [pisteuo]
:8 But what saith it?
The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth,
and in thy heart:
that is, the word of faith,
which we preach;
:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus,
and shalt believe in thine heart
that God hath raised him from the dead,
thou shalt be saved.
:10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
:11 For the scripture saith,
Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
:12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek:
for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Now, to 'come unto the knowledge of the truth'. Where are we going to find the truth? This may seem to be a rhetorical question but many people believe that the bible was written by men and contain nice stories and neat sayings. They don't really believe that it is God's matchless Word.
II Timothy 3
:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine,
for instruction in righteousness:
All, not some, of the scripture is given by inspiration (in spirit action) of God.
II Peter 1
:20 Knowing this first,
that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man:
but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
This is absolutely magnificent. God told men of God what to write and they used their vocabulary to write it down. God was the author and since he has no hands he had to have His people write it down. We also learn that it is not subject to private interpretation. We are not allowed to say what we 'think' the Word means. This is where study comes in.
II Timothy 2
:15 Study [spoudazo--exert oneself with diligence]
to shew thyself approved unto God, [approved--dokimos--accepted, pleasing]
a workman [not just a freeloader or observer]
that needeth not to be ashamed, [disappointed in expectations,
but we can be confident knowing that we are:]
rightly dividing the word of truth. [rightly dividing--orthotomeo--a right cutting;
to make straight and smooth, to handle aright, to teach the truth directly and correctly]
Isn't God's Word so precise. Our English language can be so ambiguous. When we get down to the precise meanings of words they sit there like gems. We are to work, with diligence, so that we are accepted and pleasing to God as a laborer who is not disappointed in expectations rightly dividing-correctly understanding--the word of truth.
When studying the Word we must keep in mind the following:
- Look at older, more nearly original texts which would be Estrangelo
Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek (interlinears can help here)
- Read the entire context surrounding the verse. No verse can be
accurately removed from it's context. God said what He meant and meant
what He said where He said it, when He said it, how He said it and to whom
He said it.
- Look for other scriptures on the topic. The clear passages that concur
with one another will shed light on the contradictory verse(s). It will
give us an indication whether error has crept into the translation or not.
- And the most critical principle of all: Make sure we are reading what is written without any preconceived ideas about what it should say. W e must take into consideration that the KJV is written using old English-we don't talk that way now. Also, Orientalisms play a big part, the Bible is an Eastern book.
Being saved and coming unto a knowledge of the truth is foundational. There is more to God's will than that. You just can't minister effectively with out it.
What next? Since Romans is a doctrinal epistle we need to see what we should be doing.
:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
:2 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,
will of God.
The rest of Romans 12 instructs us on behavior which I exhort you to read. Here are only a few of the verses:
:9 Let love be without dissimulation.
[love with the love of God without hypocrisy in all truthfulness]
Abhor that which is evil;
cleave to that which is good. [like be cemented to that which is good]
:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;
in honour preferring one another;
:11 Not slothful in business;
fervent in spirit;
serving the Lord;
:12 Rejoicing in hope;
patient in tribulation;
continuing instant in prayer;
:13 Distributing to the necessity of saints;
given to hospitality.
This is possible when you renew your mind to God's Word. When you read it, memorize it, use it, speak it, write it, know it. Further instructions for what we are to do are throughout the book of Romans.
:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make not provision for the flesh,
to fulfil the lusts thereof.
14:18 For he that
in these things [the good that one is doing, vs :1-:17]
is acceptable to God,
and approved of men.
:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace,
and things wherewith one may edify another. [edify-build up]
15:5 Now the God of patience
grant you to be likeminded one toward another
according to Christ Jesus:
:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God,
even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Take care of your mind and your heart. Fill it with the Word of God. Now I know we all have jobs and responsibilities but when the Word is in your life you will consider all things in it's light and measure your decisions accordingly. You will also be listening to that still small voice from God.
:21 For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.
12:35 A good man
out of the good treasure of the heart
bringeth forth good things:
and an evil man
out of the evil treasure
bringeth forth evil things.
:1 If ye then be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above,
where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
:2 Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth.
:3 For ye are dead,
and your life is hid with Christ in God.
:4 When Christ,
who is our life,
then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
For those of you who are leaders (and the rest of as well) here are some exhortations from the leadership epistle of Timothy:
I Timothy 2
:1 I exhort therefore,
that, first of all,
supplications, [specific requests]
prayers, [extolling and exalting God, giving praise]
intercessions, [speaking to God on behalf of others]
and giving of thanks,
be made for all men;
:2 For kings,
and for all that are in authority;
that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life
in all godliness and honesty.
:3 For this is good
in the sight of God our Saviour; [the author of our salvation]
:4 Who will have all men to be saved,
and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
:5 For there is one God,
and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus;
:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all,
to be testified in due time.
To do the will of God is to be saved, and come unto a knowledge of the truth, renew your mind to His Word and set your affections on things above. This is the foundation. Reading though the epistles will give you greater insight into the rewards and responsibilities of being a Child of God.
Romans 16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.