Thursday, October 31, 2013

Church Relevancy

And Paul said , I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am , except these bonds.  Acts 26:29

In many cases, the modern Church has lost the emphasis of building and extending the Kingdom of God. We want to see our church grow in membership size but are we concerned with discipleship or son-ship of our members?  We build great churches, beautiful buildings, and large denominations. We emphasize the building of orphanages, schools, and hospitals.  While these things are good and a legitimate part of the ministry of the Church, they are not to be the central focus. Fund raising and construction are not our commission. The products of such can result in the building of personal kingdoms rather than the worldwide extension of the Kingdom of God.

Apostle Paul warned of this when he said...  

For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.  (Philippians 2:21)

Each ministry project considered should be judged by this question: 

How will this help fulfill the commission to extend God's Kingdom? 

We preach and teach on many subjects. . . marriage, family, prophecy, etc.  These are good subjects and much needed in our world today. We train great orators to fill our Church pulpits. But each message should be judged by this question: 

How does this message communicate the principles of the Kingdom of God?

Ask yourself these questions...

    ¨     How long has it been since I heard a message on the Kingdom of God?
     ¨     How is my Church fulfilling the commission to extend God's Kingdom?
     ¨     How am I personally fulfilling my role as an ambassador of the Kingdom of God?

Jesus taught that we are to focus our prayers on the Kingdom. We are to pray:  

Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.    (Matthew 6:10)

We are to seek the Kingdom as our highest priority in life:
But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)

But rather seek ye the Kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Luke 12:31)

The Church [body of Christ] was raised up by God as an instrument through which the Kingdom is to be extended to the nations of the world. Many churches have lost the vision of this calling. They have emphasized building their membership and denomination instead of building the Kingdom.  God is looking for quality over quantity.

Competition between pastors, churches, and denominations has broken the unity of the Body of Christ. We have lost the vision of one united Kingdom of God of which each local Church is only a part. Instead of helping one another in the mission to extend the Kingdom, we compete for greater buildings, larger membership rolls, and increased finances to build our own kingdoms.

The Apostle Paul, a great ambassador of the Kingdom during the period of the early Church, said:  

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (I Corinthians 2:4-5)

The first Church fulfilled the commission of extending the Kingdom of God not only by teaching and preaching. It was not extended by educated theologians, parties, programs, fundraisers, church membership drives or building great buildings. The commission was accomplished by combining the message of the Kingdom with the demonstration of the power of the King.

The extension of the Kingdom became the central purpose of the early Church. Despite persecution, believers continued to fulfill their commission as ambassadors of the Kingdom:

...And at that time there was a great persecution against the Church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions...

Therefore they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word. (Acts 8:1,4)

Part of the follow-up plan for establishing churches was instruction regarding the Kingdom of God:  

...They returned again...confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God. (Acts 14:21-22)

The Kingdom of God was the message to the laymen of the Church:  

But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. (Acts 8:12)

The Kingdom of God was the focus of great leaders of the Church:  

And he [Paul] went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the Kingdom of God. (Acts 19:8)

The Kingdom of God was the central focus of Apostle Paul's ministry. Towards the end of his ministry Paul told believers:

... And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the Kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. (Acts 20:25)

In the final Biblical record of Paul he is continuing the extension of the Kingdom even though captive in Rome:  

Preaching the Kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:31)

The plan of God is that the Church not only preach the Kingdom but that it should be a living example of the Kingdom. 

Are we meeting that challenge?

The Church needs to lose itself in a greater cause than its membership rolls. It needs to dedicate its efforts to more than building programs and membership drives. 

The Church needs to seek first the Kingdom of God which transcends denominational, cultural, and national boundaries.

If the Church will seek first the Kingdom, then all these others things will be added.

(Biblical Studies)



Die to Live Again

and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again."  Mark 10:34

Even as Jesus died on the cross for us so that our sins may be washed away and we may have our eternal home with Him, we are to die to the world and the things of the world.  When we are baptized in the name of Jesus, the bondage of sin is broken and we die to the world and emerge in new life in Jesus Christ; dead to the world yet alive in Jesus Christ!  Just as Jesus died in the world but emerged victorious through death to prepare our eternal home for us, so must we symbolically die to this world and emerge as agents for Jesus to help bring others to the realization of Jesus and what He accomplished for mankind.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have new life here on earth!  We can live better lives as new creatures in Christ Jesus even as we await His return.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Jesus explained to the multitude that they who embrace Him are to be the salt of the earth:

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.  Matthew 5:13

Our seasoning should be so distinctive that it's very savor should attract others to taste of it.  This can't be possible if our seasoning is non-distinctive from the world.  When you look at the resurrection of Jesus; when He emerged on the other side of death, Mary Magdalene did not recognize Him.  And so, we too, as believers and followers of Jesus, should be distinguishable from our former self.

But as He which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.  1 Peter 1:15-16

After His death by crucifixion, Jesus was buried but He did not remain in the tomb. The miraculous resurrection of Jesus is recorded in the books of Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.  Matthew 28:5-6

And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.  Mark 16:6
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.  And when he had so said , he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.  John 20:19-20

Through His resurrection from the dead, Jesus gained victory over physical death. Those who become part of the Kingdom of God not only experience physical death just like Jesus, but they will also experience resurrection from the dead as He did. Because our King is eternal, we are part of an eternal Kingdom and have eternal life.

After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared to many people. You can read about His appearances in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21, and Acts 1.

After Jesus appeared to many people over a period of forty days, He returned to Heaven. He will remain there until time for Him to return and establish the visible Kingdom of God in final form. The return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for His people to Heaven is recorded in Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53, and Acts 1:1-11.

Just before He returned to Heaven, Jesus gave His followers an important commission to be ambassadors of the Kingdom throughout the world.

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  Matthew 28:19-20

The Bible reveals that Jesus will return to earth in great power and glory to set up the visible Kingdom in its final form. The set up of this glorious kingdom upon Jesus' return can be found in I Thessalonians 4:13-18. The account of the establishing of the Kingdom and the events preceding it is recorded in the book of Revelation. The Bible reveals that the Kingdom of Jesus will be eternal:  

And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. (Luke 1:33)

Every kingdom of earth and the kingdom of Satan will be defeated by the King of kings. In the end an announcement will be made:   

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15)

We have much to look forward to at the return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Until then, we are told to come out from among the world:

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate , saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Live a victorious life in Jesus after death to the world!  Die to this world so you can live this life to live again.

(Biblical Studies)



Worldly Standards -vs- Biblical Principles

All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern. (1 Chronicles 28:19)

When we take up residency in the Kingdom of God we must learn the patterns and principles of Kingdom living. It is similar to learning the lifestyle of a new country to which we have immigrated.

The Bible is the written record of the patterns and principles by which the Kingdom of God operates. In order to follow these patterns and principles, we must understand their importance and know that this is not a mix and match package deal.  It is one way or the other.  Jesus told the disciples:

 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.  Matthew 12:30

According to the standards of the world:

A pattern is an original or model of something created for the purpose of imitation. It is something designed to be copied or imitated. For example, clothing is created from patterns. A dress pattern is placed on material and the material cut according to the pattern. Many dresses can be created from the same pattern and they will all be identical because they came from the same pattern.

A principle is a truth, method, or rule adopted as the basis for action or conduct. It is a general truth composed of other subordinate truths. "Subordinate" truths are related to the general truth. For example, a basic principle of the constitution of the United States of America provides for freedom of expression. The subordinate truths include the rights to write and speak freely, conduct lawful assemblies, express beliefs, etc.

However, in order to imbrace kingdom living, we must understand from a biblical perspective:

A Biblical pattern is a spiritual model or example given in Scripture for purposes of imitation. For example, the life of Jesus Christ is given as a pattern or model which believers are to follow.

A Biblical principle is a spiritual truth taught in Scripture. Such principles often incorporate additional subordinate principles which apply to many different situations. For example, one biblical principle taught by Jesus is "Give and ye shall receive." Its subordinate truths apply to giving money, material goods, friendship, etc. In each of these, spiritual benefits are received as a result of the act of giving.

The passage below stresses the importance of patterns and principles. God established specific patterns for the nation of Israel to follow which included spiritual patterns of conduct as well as material patterns for their places of worship.

And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.

In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger. Now let them put away their whoredom, and the carcases of their kings, far from me, and I will dwell in the midst of them forever.

Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities: and let them measure the pattern. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out thereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.

This is the law of the house; Upon the top of the mountain the whole limit thereof round about shall be most holy. Behold, this is the law of the house. Ezekiel 43:7-12   

But Israel set up their own patterns. This is what God means when He says they have "set up their thresholds by my thresholds" and "their posts by my posts." Because Israel created their own patterns, they erected a wall of separation between them and God which stopped the flow of God's power. It prevented their worship and service from being acceptable to Him.

The prophet Ezekiel told the people to look at God's pattern and measure the pattern of their lives accordingly:

Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities; and let them measure the pattern.  (Ezekiel 43:10)

When people set up their own patterns of conduct, their own denominational, religious, or cultural rules, they set up a false standard of measurement. They begin to teach as Biblical doctrine things that are nothing but commandments of men.

Jesus said of such people: But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. (Matthew 15:9)

It is important to understand Biblical patterns and principles because otherwise your worship of God can be in vain.

There are many worldly standards of measurement. There are different patterns for worldly conduct and success which men pattern themselves after. Men measure themselves by other men instead of by God's standard. The Apostle Paul wrote:  

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12)

When Moses was given instructions for building the tabernacle, he was cautioned to do everything according to the pattern given by God:  

According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it...

And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.
 (Exodus 25:9, 40)

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. (Hebrews 8:5)

King David was careful to follow God's pattern when he planned for the construction of the temple:

All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern. (I Chronicles 28:19)

These men were careful to follow the pattern of God in the physical world. How much more careful we should be to follow the spiritual patterns and principles found in the Bible.

Jesus was the great example by which believers are to pattern their lives:  

For I (Jesus) have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (John 13:15)

The lives of men and women of God are recorded in the Bible as patterns for us to follow:  

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. (I Corinthians 10:6)

Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. (I Corinthians 10:11)

The record of the nations in the Bible provide positive examples for other nations to follow and negative examples to avoid:

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly. (II Peter 2:6)

Christian leaders are to be examples to their followers:  

Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. (I Peter 5:2-3)

The Apostle Paul wrote:  

Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (Philippians 3:17)

Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us. (II Thessalonians 3:9)

Believers are to be spiritual patterns themselves. They are to provide a positive spiritual example for others to follow:

Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. (I Timothy 4:12)

If we are to provide a positive spiritual pattern for others, then we must understand and incorporate Biblical principles into our life.

So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.  (I Thessalonians 1:7)

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, (Titus 2:7)

Apostle Paul refers to the "first principles of the oracles of God." 

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  Hebrews 5:12

 He then goes on to list these principles:

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do , if God permit. Hebrews 6:1-3

These patterns and principles differ from worldly standards and from the patterns and principles of the kingdoms of this world.   Believers are to fully embrace the patterns and principles of the Kingdom of God.

(Biblical Studies)



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Liberation Through Conformation

. . . always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.  Colossians 4:12

Following the born-again experience and motivated by love for God, the goal of the believer is to walk in harmony with the will of God.

Before the born-again experience, man walks in His own way which is exactly opposite of the will of God. After the new birth experience, a believer often anticipates walking in complete harmony with God's will. Since he is a new creature in Christ, 

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

he expects to be able to conform exactly to God's will. But in the reality of daily life, his pattern of conformity  is often hindered by desiring to do things his way; reliance on tradition and man, the influences of the world and of Satan.

Instead of exact conformity to God's will, the believer has an "up and down" experience. Sometimes he hears God's voice and does His will. Other times he does not. Sadly, sometimes he hears the voice of God and ignores it.  He becomes greatly discouraged when he makes mistakes and misses God's will. Some even give up in their quest to hear God's voice.  But, the scripture tells us the church at Ephesus labored without fainting:  

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.  (Revelation 2:2-3)

We don't want to become confused and miss something important! While it is true that sometimes the believer misses God's will, note that the overall direction in our relationship with God is upward. Although we may fall short of the will of God at times, the overall pattern is one of progress.  Like God did with David, He looks at the condition of our heart:

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.  1 Samuel 16:7

The important thing is that when we stray from the will of God, we realize it, learn from the experience, and we come back into conformity to God's plan.  We should never give up because of a failure:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,   (Hebrews 12:1)

 Through failure as well as success, the believer is learning to hear God's voice. Through both positive and negative experiences, he is continuing his growth in understanding the principles of a God-directed life.

Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.  (Psalms 37:24)
When the will of God is perceived in this manner, it becomes a liberating relationship with Him in which you are privileged to live. The will of God ceases to become just restrictions or commandments. It becomes a challenge of learning to align your life with His plan.

Consider the example of King David:

When David first became king, he walked in conformity to the will of God. God even called David a man after His own heart. But then David sinned with another man's wife who gave birth to an illegitimate child. This was in direct disobedience to God's written Word. David came before the Lord in repentance, was forgiven, and came back in line with God's will.

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.  (Psalms 51:1)

It is the overall pattern of your conformity to God's will that is important.

Through every experience of learning to know God's voice, both positive and negative, you can continue to advance in your ability to discern God's perfect will. Continue to strive for conformity despite occasional failures. Don’t ever give up!  Desire to be like Apostle Paul when he proclaimed:

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
 (2 Timothy 2:7)

Biblical Studies



Who's WILL Are You Following?

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.  Romans 12:2

In this Google social media platform and any other internet social media platform, we have to be very careful of who and what we allow in communities that have been set aside; sanctified for the purposes of God, which is to spread His word.  I took a stand as a representative of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ that I would not let the Atheist and other non-believers in God or His word infiltrate the community I started, JESUS:  AT THE TABLE Christian Community.  

It is for the believer, the lost, the confused, the faltering and anyone else that has an interest in building, retaining and maintaining a relationship with God.  As the shepherd of that community, I will not allow trash or unpalatable meals to be served there.  

There is a misunderstanding when we think that as Christians we have to stand by and listen to (or read) the ungodly counsel of the unbeliever!  To allow it or be silent  when we see it is to condone it.  This does not mean that we have to argue with them, but like the unpalatable meal, we throw it out; ban it from our communities so that it does not taint the ones who desire the good word of God.

Having said that, you should know that in building a right relationship with God, you must first know His will and how it is found.  

When we speak of knowing God's voice, we must understand there are two basic divisions of the will of God. Each division is in harmony with the other:

Ö     That Revealed In His Written Word:

The first division of the will of God is that which is specifically revealed in the Bible.

There is a sovereign, individual, and moral will of God. 

The will of God for each individual always falls within His sovereign and moral will as revealed in His written Word. The written Word of God includes the complete revelation of God's moral will. This includes all the commandments as to how you should live. God's sovereign will includes His moral will. It is His sovereign will that each man and woman who professes Jesus live within the moral standards of His written Word. The written Word of God includes portions of His sovereign will which He has revealed to us and includes the general outline of His master plan for the world and man in general.

The best summary of this plan is found in this passage of scripture:

Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to the good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself; That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him; In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. (Ephesians 1:9-11)

Ö     That Not Revealed In His Word:

The second division of God's will is that which is not revealed in His Word. This includes the individual life plan for each believer. God's Word does not reveal your specific life ministry or occupation, what church you are to attend, who you are to marry, where you are to live, etc. Yet each of these decisions are important. It is for decisions like these that you must seek God's will and be able to hear His voice when He speaks to you.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)
When desiring to know God's will in regards to a certain life situation, first study the Scriptures to see if specific guidance is given in the written Word of God. There is no need to "seek God's will" or ask for confirmation of His will when He has already spoken it in His written Word. Examine the Scriptures carefully for specific guidance already given. Accept the written Word as God's voice speaking to you. If you refuse the guidance God has given in His written Word, you open yourself up to deception.

In many situations the Bible provides general principles  --which when understood and applied-- will lead to a decision consistent with God's will. These principles apply to a variety of specific situations. For example, Apostle Paul warns:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial (Satan)? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (II Corinthians 6:14-15)

Here the Bible gives a general principle that believers and unbelievers should not be yoked together. This principle can be applied to many life situations: Being married to an unbeliever, going into business partnership with an unbeliever, making unbelievers your closest friends, etc.

Search the Scriptures for biographical examples which apply to your situation. Study the lives of Biblical men and women to see what decisions they made in similar situations and if such decisions were in harmony with the will of God.

In matters where guidance is not given in the written Word of God, the Lord has other methods by which He speaks to man. But remember, Guidance for individual life situations will always agree with the written Word of God. God's voice leads within the confines of the written Word.

The following chart summarizes the two divisions of God's will as indicated above:


That Revealed (Written Word)   
That Not Revealed

Moral and sovereign will revealed in His written word
The individual life plan for each believer

Includes His general will for all mankind and His master plan for the world
Includes specific decisions such as life work, ministry, residence, education, marriage, and guidance in other specific situations

Includes specific commandments and promises to govern living.

Includes general principles upon which specific decisions can be based
Some individual decisions can be made upon the basis of general principles, examples, and specific commands revealed in God’s words

The bible speaks of God's good, acceptable and perfect will

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable service.  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, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

We ask the question, "What is meant by the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God?"

 *     The Perfect Will of God:

The perfect will of God is accomplished when a believer is in harmony with the moral, sovereign, and individual will of God for his life.

The believer has accepted the sovereign plan of God for his salvation through the new birth experience. He is in harmony with the moral commandments of God's written Word. He also has determined God's specific guidance for his individual life plan.

 *     The Good Will of God:  

In the good will of God, the believer is not in the perfect plan for his life but he is within God's sovereign will and moral will. He is not disobedient to God's revealed will, and he is still seeking to find that perfect individual plan of God for His life.

 *     The Acceptable Will of God:

This believer is missing the perfect will of God for his life but is still in an acceptable area. He is living in the permissive will of God. He may not even be concerned about God's perfect will for His life. God is permitting him to live in this area, although it is not God's perfect will for him.

Outside The Will Of God:

The believer in this realm is in direct disobedience to God's revealed will.

The account of Balaam in  illustrates these realms of God's will. Some men from Moab asked a prophet named Balaam to go with them and prophesy against God's people, Israel. God spoke to Balaam and told him not to go:

And God said unto Balaam, Thou shalt not go with them; thou shalt not curse the people: for they are blessed. (Numbers 22:12)

It was the perfect will of God for Balaam NOT to go with the men of Moab. But Balaam disobeyed God's voice and went with the men. When he did, he was functioning in disobedience outside the revealed will of God.

God desired so much for Balaam to know His will that He used a donkey to speak to him and convict him of his sin. After this God permitted Balaam to continue on with the men of Moab with orders that he was to bless rather than curse the Israelites. Balaam was now functioning in the permissive will of God.

The journey resulted in a series of trying encounters with a man named Balak. These could have been avoided if Balaam had obeyed the voice of God and never gone in the first place.

The perfect will of God was that Balaam not go with the men of Moab. Balaam disobeyed and moved outside of the will of God. He was not in the good will of God where the believer is missing the perfect will but seeking it. He was in complete disobedience to the voice of God. The acceptable or permissive will of God permitted Balaam to continue on the journey even though it was not God's perfect will for him.

Part of being in the divine will of God is knowing His voice be it through His written word or through an oracle of God and being obedient to it.  What is not a part of God's acceptable will is the allowance of infidels, mockers, scorners, etc. to infiltrate, defile and disrupt the places that have been sanctified to share His word.

Biblical Studies