So, you want to know God’s will?

Here’s a post from the Grace Digest archives dated Tuesday, July 25, 2006

So, you want to know God’s will?

I have good news for you! He wants you to know His will.

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” NKJV

The Amplified Bible puts it this way; “I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.”

You might want to check out the “therefore” of verse one. In the preceding chapters God’s mercy and grace are explained in great detail.

Do you have Romans 12:1 down yet? If so you are on you way to knowing God’s will. Verse 2 says, “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.”

In the Bible a sacrifice usually means death. Are you ready to die to your will and motives? Are you willing to be set apart for God’s purposes? The Bible says this is “reasonable”, not “unreasonable”. It is worship to completely surrender to God. He shows up when we give up!

So, do you still want to know God’s will?

His peace,

God’s master plan in one verse

For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14

One sacrifice for sin all time. The offerings for sins carried out by the priests were unable to “perfect” those for whom the sacrifices were offered. The daily offerings of the priests and the annual offerings in the holy of holies could “never take away sin” but only cover it for a while. Christ offered his own body, (prepared for him specifically for this purpose ) “once for all time and sat down at the right hand of God. His work was finished. The sacrificial system was but a shadow of the true sacrifice who would come and offer himself on the cross as final and complete payment for the sins of undeserving people.

Our eternal standing is secure. He has perfected for all time” those who are his own. All of our sins, past, present, and future have been judged. “The wages of sin is death” Paul said in Romans 6:23. God, because He is holy and just, can not overlook sin, it must be paid for and the payment is death. Jesus died that death. All of God’s wrath against sin was poured out on Christ on the cross and the shameful events that led up to the death of the Lamb of God. The shame, the humiliation, the mocking, the spitting upon him, the beating, and finally the blood poured out, completely satisfied the justice of a holy God who hates sin and must by his very nature punish it. By this one offering of this perfect sacrifice sin is forever paid for and no other sacrifice is ever needed. We are “perfect” in Him.

God is at work in us so that we will better reflect our perfect standing with him. We are “being sanctified” Salvation is in reality a process. We have been saved from the penalty of sin, (There is therefore no condemnation..) we are being saved from the power of sin ( He who began a good work in you will complete it – sanctification), and at the resurrection we will be saved from even the presence of sin. (and so shall we ever be with the Lord ). Every benefit of salvation rests solely upon the person and work of Jesus. “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself.” The reconciliation is complete. The sin offerings complete. Salvation is complete.

What is our response to this grace? This verse, and this rich book of Hebrews, are only one of scores that clearly teach human effort, religious activity, and all good works are futile in gaining God’s favor. Paul said to the believers of the churches of Galatia “Yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified”. In spite of this crystal clear teaching many of us live as modern day Pharisees going about trying to establish our own righteousness expecting God to grant us added favor because of what we do. Paul called depending on what you do or “works” for salvation “another gospel, which is not another“. It is a lie presented as the “good news” but it is not the “good news” for the only true “good news” is that by the offering by Christ of himself, once for all for “whosoever will” is all God will accept.

Our correct response to God’s amazing grace is to surrender all that we are to His glory and eternal purposes and to give ourselves wholly to His pleasure. In sickness and in health, in poverty and wealth, we are married to another and even death will not separate us. It is this goodness of God toward sinners that teaches us to say NO to unrighteousness and YES to what is pure and holy.

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:19-23 )

His peace,
Royce Ogle