This is part three in a series of snippets addressing the question of God’s will.
From CARM’s Dictionary of Theology: Permissive Will
The Permissive Will of God is that will which God does not decree to occur, nor is it His will since it is not in accordance with His Law. God’s permissive will is His will to permit sin to occur. God allows man to rebel against Him, and in this God permits people to do such things as lie, steal, etc.
- Jer. 19:5, “and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, a thing which I never commanded or spoke of, nor did it ever enter My mind.”
- Luke 8:32, “Now there was a herd of many swine feeding there on the mountain; and the demons entreated Him to permit them to enter the swine. And He gave them permission.”
- Rom. 1:21-23, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.”
See also Decretive Will (what God causes) and Preceptive Will (what God desires for people).
This is part two of a series of snippets addressing the question of God’s will.
From CARM’s Dictionary of Theology: Preceptive Will
The Preceptive Will of God is the will of God for man. For example, God wills that man does not sin, that we do not lie, do not steal, etc. It is the will of God for man that is revealed through his Law (Exodus 20:1-17) where God is concerned with man following his precepts. It is also the will of God for us to be holy, repent, love, etc. (1 Pet. 1:16; Acts 17:30; John 13:34)
- Rom. 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
- Eph. 6:6, “not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.”.
- 1 Thess. 4:3-6, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.”
See also Decretive Will (what God directly wills to cause) and Permissive Will (what God permits to occur).
This is part one of a series of snippets addressing the question of God’s will.
From CARM’s Dictionary of Theology: Decretive Will
The Decretive Will of God is that which is God’s sovereign will that we may or may not know, depending on whether or not God reveals it to us. The decretive will is God’s direct will where he causes something to be, he decrees it. For example, God has caused the universe to exist as well as Christ‘s incarnation.
- Job 23:13, “But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does.”
- Psalm 33:11, “The counsel of the Lord stands forever. The plans of His heart from generation to generation.”
- Isaiah 14:24, “The Lord of hosts has sworn saying, ‘Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand.'”
- Isaiah 46:10, “Declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things which have not been done, ‘Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure’”.
- Acts 17:24, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.”
See also Preceptive Will (God’s good will for man) and Permissive Will (God permits bad to happen).
“Take two hours to ask ten questions of Galatians 2:20, and you will gain one hundred times the insight you would have attained by quickly reading thirty pages of the New Testament or any other book. Slow down. Query. Ponder. Chew.” – – John Piper, Brothers, We are Not Professionals
In answering the question: Who is God? the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith asserts:
The Lord our God is but one only living and true God; whose subsistence is in and of himself, infinite in being and perfection; whose essence cannot be comprehended by any but himself; a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions, who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; who is immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, every way infinite, most holy, most wise, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek him, and withal most just and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.
Tim Keller points out that the Bible depicts “the extremely close connection between deed-ministry and word-ministry. The practical actions of Christians for people in need demonstrate the truth and power of the gospel. Acts of mercy and justice are visible to non-believers and can lead men to glorify God (Matt. 5:13–16).”
Morgan, C. W. (2010). A Theology of James: Wisdom for God’s People. (R. A. Peterson, Ed.) (p. xiii). Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing.
Anticipation of a Setback: Like a Flat Tyre
Once addiction sets in, the user has a whole new set of problems, because addiction damages the part of the brain that helps you think things through to make good choices— the brain’s limit setting system. For more than 10 years, studies have shown that drug addictions can cause the brain’s frontal lobes to start shrinking. While “frontal lobe” sounds really technical, basically it’s the part of the brain that controls logical problem solving and decision making. But recent studies have found that it’s not just drugs that cause that kind of damage—the same problems show up with other kinds of addictions, such as overeating, Internet addictions, and sexual compulsion.
Get the Facts on Pornography © 2013 FIGHT THE NEW DRUG™
“You don’t have to go overseas to have a mission field. You don’t even need to make new contacts to have people to pursue with the gospel. God has already set each of us among unbelievers that we can take steps to reach for him. These people are our natural mission field. God calls us to reach them just as certainly as he calls others to preach the gospel in Ecuador or Malawi. Looking for new contacts to evangelize is fine, but is that where we should start? Can we expect God to bless our efforts to contact new people when we aren’t doing anything to help those he has already given us? Evangelism falters when we don’t see our mission field, or when we don’t get busy and do something with it.” ~ Dr. Andrew Young
The above quote is taken from an Evangelism course notes that Andrew developed and delivered.
About Andrew Young
Andrew is the founding (and now former) Principal of Grace Theological College.
Paul Tripp, Tim Lane, and Brad Hambrick present: six unavoidable facts
- Someone in your life had a problem this week. That person may be you. Even if you are here for yourself, chances are you know or will know others who struggle in this area. Because we live in a fallen world and have a sin nature, we can be certain that we will battle with sin and suffering in our lives. Because we love people, we can be certain we will be called on to love and assist others in their battle with sin and suffering.
- We have everything we need in the Gospel to help that person (2 Peter 1:3). God has given us Himself, the Gospel, the Bible, and the church and promised they are effective for all things that pertain to life and godliness. Our task as Christians is to grow in our understanding of and ability to skillfully apply these resources to our struggles. These resources are the essence and source of “good advice,” and we hope to play a role in your efforts to apply and disseminate this “good advice.” We do not aim to present new material, but new ways of applying the timeless, eternal truths of the Gospel found in Scripture.
- That person will seek help from friends, family members, or pastors before seeking professionals. Counseling (broadly defined as seeking to offer hope and direction through relationship) happens all the time. We talk with friends over the phone, crying children in their rooms, spouses in the kitchen, fellow church members between services, and have endless conversations with ourselves. We listen to struggles, seek to understand, offer perspective, give advice, and follow up later. This is what the New Testament calls “one-anothering” and something we are all called to do.
- That person either got no help, bad help, or biblical, gospel-centered help. Not all counseling is good counseling. Not all advice that we receive from a Christian (even a Christian counselor) is Christian advice. Too often we are advised to look within for the answers to our problems or told that we are good enough, strong enough, or smart enough in ourselves to overcome. Hopefully you will see today how the Bible calls us to something (rather Someone) better, bigger, and more effective than these messages.
- If they did not get meaningful help, they will go elsewhere. When we do not receive good advice (pointing us to enduring life transformation), we keep looking. We need answers to our struggles. This means that as people find unfulfilling answers they will eventually (by God’s grace) come to a Christian for advice. When they eventually come to you, we hope you will be more prepared because of our time together today.
- Whatever help they received, they will use to help others! We become evangelists for the things that make life better (this is why the Gospel is simply called “Good News”). We quite naturally share the things that we find to be effective. Our prayer for you today is that you will find the material presented effective for your struggles and that you will be so comforted and encouraged by it that it will enable you to be a more passionate and effective ambassador of the Gospel in the midst of “normal” daily conversations.
- Bold faced text taken from Paul Tripp and Tim Lane How People Change.
- Non-bold-faced text taken from Brad Hambrick False Love.