THEOLOGY & APOLOGETICS
By Bill Brenner
Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God-what is good and well-pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2God's plans are completely perfect, never lacking any necessary details, and His plan for believers can be trusted that it is entirely for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28), both what we see as "good." Because of this, we can interpret the difficulties and suffering that come in our lives as good as well. There can be no flaws or lack of purpose In God's plans. We should never conclude that there is such a thing as an "imperfect" will of God or that somehow we might miss out in experiencing God's plan for us due to failure or suffering. He has already taken into account all of our human weaknesses and our own imperfections. His salvation plan has already accounted for and paid the price for our sins. His will is always good; the passage in Romans equates "good" with "well-pleasing and perfect."
We can view the will of God through a number of lenses. We know that God's foreordained eternal plans never change, and that includes His plan of salvation (Ephesians 1:3-6). What God decrees includes all of His promises and covenants to His people and He will never change His positions. He remains forever faithful to us because He is perfect in all of His ways. This is both good and perfect.
God's commandments are also an expression of His will, and no wise person would attempt to change any of His precepts. Once God has spoken, it remains permanent. If that were not so, we would question whether we could trust Him in His will and control over the world.
Another way of expressing God's will is through the things that please Him and things that displease Him. God shows mercy to the repentant, but at the same time is a righteous judge who will execute judgment on the unrighteous. He is pleased to grant salvation to sinners, but takes no pleasure in punishing unrepentant sinners. This leads us to consider His permissive will:
Permissive will is a matter of what God permits and allows, even when it is sinful. He allows men to reject His Son and to willingly disobey His commandments, yet He remains in complete control. God's will remains perfect and all He wills shall be accomplished. He is omniscient and already knows our sins from the beginning of our lives until the end, yet He permits us to make such choices, whether they meet His approval or disapproval. We need to remember that we will account for every act we take.
Finally, God provides us with personal guidance in our lives, which is His directive will. Having several ways of looking at God's will does not contradict any single one of them. You can see this in the various ways He has directed His saints, and even how He has allowed some men to temporarily exercise the power to do evil. As we grow in wisdom, we can better understand what He wills in our own lives. So the distinction between what is good, well-pleasing, and perfect is best considered in light of His ultimate perfection in everything He asks of us. We fall short of that perfection, but He does not.
Tags: | Biblical-Truth | God-Father
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