The Will of God

There are profound and mysterious questions that arise in connection with the Will of God. Are things right or wrong because God forbids them, or does God forbid things because they are right or wrong for some other reason than His Will? Are things right because God wills them or does He will certain things because those things are right for some other reason than the will of God? The power and the will of God make up the sovereignty of God. The sovereignty of God is manifested in His power and in His will.

“The will of God” has different meanings and we need to define them, for we will misunderstand what the Bible says concerning the will of God. Occasionally, the term “the will of God” refers to the whole moral nature of God. We may say that the will of God—that is, His whole moral nature—would include His love, holiness, justice, and so on. We usually say something is “against the will of God” when it is against His whole moral nature. Sometimes it refers to the faculty of determination—that faculty by which you determine to do certain things. It is also the power to realise the purpose of God—that is, the will—in action (Hebrews 2:4).

God’s will is His delight in Himself; He is the supreme good for Himself and His creatures. However, we do not think that self-love is very good. Today, we occasionally hear people, when talking about self-love, use the terms dignity or self-esteem; and that is supposed to be very good—having a lot of self-esteem. Many preachers speak about the dignity of man. However, this is unscriptural. There is a sense that men remain in the image of God, and if the last point is what is meant by that, then the image is marred.

To say that man possesses great self-dignity and should have great self-esteem, it is clear that scripture does not speak along those lines because as a result of the fall in the garden of Eden, it is not good for man to have self-love, generally speaking. However, in God’s case, self-love is perfectly proper because He is the supreme good of the universe, and if He is to exercise His will towards an object it must towards Himself.He is the only one who can delight Himself. He is never delighted in us unless He sees Himself in us. He is never delighted in us as we are, but only as He is found in us. His delight is in Himself and in His creatures for His own sake, or for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We therefore, are created for His glory, and it is for the further manifestation of Himself that creation has taken place. We so often hear preachers illustrate a God who was lonely and needed us. He did not need us, except insofar as through us there may be a manifestation of the glory of God. Does this mean that the Christian God is a God consumed with self-love? That is correct! He is consumed with self-love in this sense because to love something else would be to love what is inferior to Himself. Therefore, it is proper to speak of His self-love and His being consumed with self-love; but in the process of the manifestation of Himself, He has in wonderful grace included us! We share in the consumption of His self-love insofar as we have come to be identified with Him; through us, He manifests His own great attributes. In the final analysis, He is not an egotistical person in the sense which we speak of people who are egotistical. This connotation is blasphemous if we think of God as egotistical. In the case of this one perfect being, He can only ultimately be satisfied in Himself.

Categories: Theology

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