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The Will of God
The need for its Assessment.
pp. 114 - 119
We hope to write a number of articles on "The Will of God". This is a subject which
is perplexing, perhaps particularly to young believers. At the outset, let us be quite clear
that this is not the easy matter some would have us believe--save in its fundamental
aspect, "This is the will of God, even your sanctification". We are well aware we have
taken this out of its immediate context in I Thess. 4: which is that of moral impurity.
Nonetheless the sanctification of the believer, is, above all else, the will of God for him.
Many are the references to bear this out, e.g., I Pet. 1: 15,16:
"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'."
In the context of the knowledge of the will of God, Rom. 12: 1, 2 is particularly apt,
for it outlines the pre-requisite of this knowledge:
"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."
That this is particularly important is shown by Paul's appeal to the `mercies of God'.
Surely there can be no stronger appeal to a believer than the mercies of God, involving,
as they do for us, the death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Yet in this epistle Paul
musters a great `weight' of the mercies of God; in the earlier chapters he deals with the
believer's deliverance from sin and its power, with justification by faith, the believer's
identification with Christ in His baptism into death--in short, with many of the fruits of
Christ's death on our behalf. Often chapters 9:-11: are referred to as a parenthesis--the
appeal being back to chapter 8:, yet who can deny that these three chapters also deal
with the mercies of God? What are these chapters but the exposition of the particular
mercies of God applied dispensationally? The believer is reminded of God's absolute
faithfulness to His Word and Covenant, though man may be faithless; is reminded of the
extension of His mercies to others in spite of, and indeed by reason of, the failure of His
It is on the basis of such incredible mercies of God--to `speak as a man'--that Paul
makes this appeal: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the compassions of God, that
ye yield your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing unto God, which is your
rational service . . . . . to your assessing what is that good, and well pleasing, and perfect
will of God".
The mind needs renewing (of which more later) in order that the believer may assess
what is the will of God. Not only that he may be able to weigh up the situation and