Three aspects of God’s Will
God’s Sovereign Will. (God’s Perfect Will)
Isaiah 46:10: “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”
Because God is sovereign, His Will can never be frustrated. What He has willed, will come to pass. It is certain and can never be thwarted.
Decreed – Preordained – Foreordained – Pre destined.
God’s Sovereign or Perfect Will is hidden from us.
God’s Sovereign Will includes His Preferred Will and His Permissive Will
God’s Preferred Will. ( God’s revealed Will)
This is what God would prefer, however He allows men to make decisions, good or bad.
God wants everyone to be saved but not all will be saved.
2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
1Tim 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
God wants us to fulfil His will, this is His desire, His will. He reveals what He wants us to do and we choose to do it or not do it.
However, our decisions are included in His Sovereign Will.
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.
God’s Preferred will was that Adam and Eve live in the garden of Eden, to tend it and live forever but they chose to disobey and go against God’s Preferred Will.
Whilst this was not His Preferred Will, it was included in His Sovereign Will.
Men in their decisions fulfil the Perfect Will of God. God’s Perfect Will includes all of men’s choices.
Proverbs 16:19 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.
What we decide does not always fall in line with God’s preferred will but it always falls in line with His Perfect will.
God’s preferred Will is not hidden from us. It is revealed to us in His word.
God’s Permissive Will.
In the Westminister Confession. (WC), it states:
God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass.
Rom 9:15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
Rom 9:16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
Rom 9:17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Rom 9:18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth
Eph 1:11 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:
WC: yet so as thereby neither is God the author of sin.
Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
1Jn 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
WC: nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures,
Pro 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.
WC: nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.
Mat 17:12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
Joh 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Act 2:23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
Act 4:28 For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
God does not directly “cause” everything to happen. God is not the Author of sin.
He allows things to happen that He does not take pleasure in.
He permits those things to happen.
God’s permissive Will is not hidden from us. It is revealed to us in His word.
Included in God’s Sovereign Will is:
The decisions made concerning His Preferred Will and all the things that are done under His Permissive Will.
There is nothing that happens that is outside of God’s sovereign will. God is always in complete control.
WC: God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass.
Lamentations 3:37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when when the Lord commandeth it not?
Ephesians 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.
Psalm 115:3 “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.”
Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Isaiah 46 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,”