God's Good, Pleasing and Perfect Will

Wednesday: Good, Pleasing and Perfect

Romans 12:2 In this week’s studies, we learn what the will of God is for us, and that it is always the best.
Good, Pleasing and Perfect

The will of God that we are talking about is good, pleasing and perfect. In other words, it teaches about the nature of God’s will for us as well as the fact that God has one. 

1. The will of God is good. In a general way the will of God for every Christian, regardless of who he or she is, is revealed in the Bible. Romans 8 contains a broad expression of this plan: that we might be delivered from God’s judgment upon us for our sin and instead be made increasingly like Jesus Christ. The five specifically highlighted steps of this plan include: 1) foreknowledge, 2) predestination, 3) effectual calling, 4) justification, and 5) glorification. 

But there are also many specifics. The Ten Commandments contain some of these. It is God’s will that we have no other gods before Him, that we do not worship Him by the use of images, that we do not misuse His name, that we remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, that we honor our parents, that we do not murder or commit adultery or steal or give false testimony or covet (Exod. 20). The Lord Jesus Christ amplified upon many of these commandments and added others. It is God’s will that we be holy (1 Thess. 4:3). It is God’s will that we should pray (1 Thess. 5:17). Above all Jesus taught that we are to “love each other” (John 15:12). 

These things often do not seem good to us, because we are far from God and are still thinking in the world’s way. Nevertheless, they are good, which we will discover if we will obey God in these areas and put His will into practice. 

2. The will of God is pleasing. When Paul encourages us to prove that God’s will is a pleasing will, he obviously means that it is pleasing to us as well as to God. That is, if we determine to walk in God’s way, refusing to be conformed to the world and instead being transformed by the renewing of our minds, we will not have to fear that at the end of our lives we will look back and be dissatisfied or bitter, judging our lives to have been an utter waste. On the contrary, we will look back and conclude that our lives were well lived and be satisfied with them. 

I was talking with a Christian man whose mother was dying. The mother was not a Christian, and she had become very bitter although she had not been a bitter person before. She felt that everyone was turning against her, even her children, who actually were trying to help her. This man said to me, “I am convinced that Christians and non-Christians come to the end of their lives very differently. Those who are not Christians feel that they do not deserve to end their lives with failing health and pain, and they think their lives have been wasted. Christians are satisfied with what God has led them through and has done for them. It is better to die as a Christian.” 

I think that is exactly right. It is what Paul is saying. 

3. The will of God is perfect. There are a number of words in the Greek language that are translated by our word “perfect.” One is akribos, from which we get our word “accurate,” meaning correct. Another is katartizo, which means well fitted to a specific end, like a perfect solution to a puzzle. The word in Romans 12:2 is different. It is teleios, which has the thought of something that has attained its full end or is complete. It can be used of one who is mature, a mature adult. It is used of Jesus who became a complete or perfect man. It is used of the end of history. In our text it means that those who do the will of God discover that it is not lacking in any respect. There is a satisfying wholeness about it. 

To put it in negative form, it means that if we reach the end of our lives and are dissatisfied with them, this will only mean that we have been living in the world’s way and have been conformed to it rather than having been transformed by the renewing of our minds. We will have been living for ourselves rather than for God and others.

Study Questions
  1. How do we know what God’s will is?
  2. Who finds God’s will pleasing? And why do they find it so?
  3. Why is God’s will perfect?
  4. How can you be sure that life will be satisfying?

Application: Are there areas of your life about which you are dissatisfied? Why is it wrong to feel this way? How can you specifically begin to put Romans 12:2 into practice?

Key Point: When Paul encourages us to prove that God’s will is a pleasing will, he obviously means that it is pleasing to us as well as to God.

For Further Study: Download for free and read James Boice’s booklet, “How to Know the Will of God.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)

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