The Will of God, Part 2

“In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10.

The latter part of Romans 3:25 states the following.

“…in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed…” Romans 3:25b.

This does not mean that God was not punishing sin up to that time; it means that He did not destroy everything in wrath because He knew that Christ was going to bear His wrath for the sins of mankind.

This is also the reason the sacrifice of lambs and goats were instituted, they indicated the sincere belief of the penitent that God would save them from their sin as He had promised to Adam and Eve.

“And according to the law almost all things are purged with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission [forgiveness].” Hebrews 9:22.

Yet, these sacrifices were only looking forward to the promised sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

“…but in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins. Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: ‘Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, “Behold, I have come – in the volume of the book it is written of Me – to do Your will, O God.”’” Hebrews 10:3-7.

God was looking forward to the cross which was the reason for His forbearance, and is the meaning of this phrase.

“….we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.” l Timothy 4:10b.

The precious truths are in Romans 3:26 below.

“[Christ Jesus] whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:25-26.

God is righteous, do not look at the world and say God is not righteous. That is the Devil’s lie.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8.

See also Romans 5:6 and 10. He is both the just, and the justifier. God demands that sin be punished and then He takes the punishment for us.

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6.

“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:10.

God’s grace and righteousness are beyond our comprehension. The Apostle Paul’s heart wells up in him and he writes these wonderful words:

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33.

Do not think for even a moment that you have God figured out!

The foreknowledge and righteousness of God are further demonstrated by the method used to gain salvation, which is simple faith in His Son Jesus.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.

Preeminently, God’s grace, His unmerited favor, underlies our salvation, in love He sent His Son to die for us, and by this, He extends salvation to all. It can never be emphasized enough that there is no other way of salvation, and there is nothing to augment it.

You are saved by your faith, that is to say, “I believe that God sent His Son to die for my sins, and by faith I receive that gift from God”, simple acceptance.

However, what of the phrase above, “not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”, well certainly the Holy Spirit is the giver of the faith unto salvation, without Him it is hopeless; yet we still have to receive this faith and use it to choose Christ. How does this all work?

The Lord Jesus tells us in the gospel of John.

“It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” John 6:45.

Think of that, “And they shall all be taught by God”, God speaks to every man.

“…because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.” Romans 1:19.

And more specifically God Himself teaches them.

The key to this verse though is this, “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me”, all will hear, but not all will learn.

The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew Chapters 5 through 7 is a good example of this, Matthew 7:28 states that, “….the people were astonished at His teaching…”, but had they learned from the Father, for the nation soon rejected Jesus, their Messiah, after this.

There is the story of a pastor who gave a hellfire and brimstone sermon, and afterward he stood outside the church shaking hands with those who had attended.

As he did this, he asked one man what he had gotten out of the message. The reply was, “Oh same as always, be good and do good.”

This is the reason that the Lord would often call out to His listeners, “He that hath an ear, let him hear.”

He made a similar statement to each of the seven churches He addressed in Revelation chapters 2 and 3.

For the Lord to do this so much has to underscore the importance of, not just hearing, but hearing and learning, that is to say, really to listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to you.

There is yet more to this process.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.

The intent here is to come to faith in Jesus. This comes by hearing (really hearing and learning), but what entices a person to hear? The answer is the word of God, Scripture is living and powerful as shown in Hebrews 4:12, and is what really gives life to the listener.

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12.

Too many Christians have forgotten this today and rely on programs and persuasive arguments instead of the power of the word of God.

What do we have so far?

The Bible tells us that God teaches all men, but not all listen with their hearts. Those that do listen, do so because the word of God has drawn their hearts to Him.

Lastly, the Lord Jesus tells us that everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Him (Jesus).

However, there are many who read the word of God and become very religious. But they are not saved.

The mainstream churches are filled with people who are very pious and regular in church attendance but have never accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior.

There are many cults that have a close resemblance to Christianity, even calling themselves Christians, but their doctrine is not Christian.

That is to say that they do not recognize Christ as God the Son, and the only means of salvation.

The only conclusion we can draw from this is that these have heard from God, but have not learned. This is a great tragedy and can be traced back to the sin nature in all of us.

Due to sin, man is a very self-centered creature and this interferes with learning from God. Lack of learning can be due to indifferent carelessness, or to a desire to create a God in ones own image; or hatred for God.

The reasons are as different as the individuals themselves; though all will be responsible for their acceptance or rejection of Christ. Do not forget this.

“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.

This verse is about the return of Christ to the earth, but that would mean the doom of many, for this reason, God is delaying the end of time. It is not His will that any should perish; this thought permeates all of God’s dealings with men.

“For it pleased the Father that in Him [Jesus] all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself [God the Father], by Him [Jesus], whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and irreproachable in His sight…” Colossians 1:19-22.

This is the will of God.

The Will of God, Part 2 taken from updated on 1-7-19, reposted on 1-17-22.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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