Philippians 2:13 'It is God who works in you both to will & do of His good pleasure'
Romans 9:16 'It is not of him who wills or runs, but of God who shows mercy.'
Romans 3:11 'There is none that seek after God.'
John 5:40 'You will not come to Me that you might receive life.'
John 1:12-13 'as many as received Him who believed in His Name to them gave He power to become sons of God who were born not of blood, nor the will of the natural man, nor the will of man, but born of God.'
Can anyone come? Of course they can, but they are like the man with the withered hand who only could stretch it out as Jesus enabled him.
Man needs to be born again. The Holy Spirit needs to do His work in man “both to will & to do of God’s good pleasure.
Ephesians 2:8 'For by grace are you saved through faith & that not of yourself, it is the gift of God'
There was a time in your life when you were unwilling to come to Christ?
Did not the Holy Spirit bring about change in your will? Why not in so many others?
Questions? What is the human will? Does it control the mind or does the mind control the will? Is the will a servant of something else? As a man thinks so is he.
Genesis 3:6 The woman saw the tree was good for food & a tree to be desired, she took it & ate. Prior to the fall she had a choice & a will free of sin. Post fall, her will a slave of sin.
The will is the faculty of choice, conditioned by the mind but what is needed is a mind that has been renewed.
Proverbs 4:23 'Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life'
Mark 7:21 'For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts.'
The heart, not the will Jesus taught, is in control.
Matthew 15:8 'This people honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.'
Why do people prefer to sin? Because his heart is sinful. God gives the Christian a new heart
Jeremiah 17:9 'The heart is deceitful above all things & beyond cure.'
Bondage of the Human will. A bias for evil Romans 6:20 'When you were slaves of sin, you were free of righteousness.'
The Human will is without power, sin dominates every aspect of his life, servants of the devil Ephesians 2:2; John 8:44 'You are of your father the Devil & the lusts of your father you will do'. Sin is a condition producing sins which dominate the will. No one seeks after God Romans 3:11
We need God intervention: John 6:44 'No one can come to Me except the Father who has sent me, draws him.'
JN Darby (Brethren): If Christ came to save that which is lost, free will has no place. Force is never used. Man is a slave of sin, his will is not free.
John 8:36 'If the son of Man shall set you free, you will be free indeed.' Man needs a work of God. Man acts according to his nature.To be saved:
God the Father has to purpose his salvation. God the Son had to purchase it. God the Spirit apply it.
1 Corinthians 1:21 It pleased God by the foolishness of what was preached, to save them that believed.
We are to proclaim what God has done and trust God to intervene in the lives of sinners and open their hearts to accept eternal life as a gift. We rely on the Holy Spirit to change the lives of people through new birth. Thereafter is is an ongoing work of the Spirit. Our part is to keep obeying Him. He will reveal the truths of the Bible provided we keep on living according to the light we have already received. Today if you hear His voice, harden not your heart.
Gods Sovereignty in Prayer
1 Samuel 2:6-8 'The Lord kills & makes alive, He brings down to the grave & He brings up. The Lord makes poor & He makes rich. He brings low & He lifts up. He raises the poor out of the dust & lifts up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes & make them inherit the throne of glory'
Ephesians 1:11 'He works all things after the counsel of His own will.'
Ephesians 3:11 'The eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord'
Why should we pray? That God should be honoured. Isaiah 57:15 'The high & lofty One that inhabits eternity'. Prayer is an act of worship. It is accepting God’s goodness, unchanging, power, in control.
Jesus called the Temple a house of prayer.
We acknowledge we need him as we owe everything to him. Our life, our new life, our spiritual growth. We need grace at the start of new life and thereafter grace upon grace.
We restate our trust in the Triune God. A reminder of who God is & who we are. We exercise our faith in God as we pray. Psalm 116:1 'I love the Lord because He has heard my voice & my request.'
We pray to admit our needs in every aspect of life. Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. We are admitting our need of His involvement in our lives. God values communication.
God’s sovereignty & prayer?
God has chosen people to be saved through the preaching of the good news. Prayer is our part it prepares us for our role. We need to know what to say & how to say it. God uses us as we rely on Him. Elijah knew God was going to give rain but still prayed for it.
Jeremiah 29:11-12 'I know the thoughts that I think towards you says the Lord, thoughts of peace & not of evil to give you an expected end. Then you shall call upon me & you shall pray unto Me & I will listen to you.'
Ezekiel 36:37 God promised what would happen & said the house of Israel would ask Him & He would act. He would bring it about by His own means.
Note Jesus praying: He knew he would be exalted by the Father after His death & burial. Yet He prayed: O Father glorify Me with your own self. He knew His own would not be lost, yet prayed that they would be kept.
In prayer we make known our need and leave it to the Father to meet that need as He chooses God acts according to His nature and eternal purpose. He wants us to be involved. To accept His will, His time, His way, allowing God the freedom He has and accepting that with grace.
Jesus loved Lazarus. Was told he was ill. Did not tell Him what to do. He delayed. He acted in line with the will of His Father.
Paul & his thorn in the flesh. Prayed three times. Told to accept it as from God. Grace given to cope with it.
1 John 5:14 'If we ask anything according to His will He hears us.' If not, then He does not hear us. If we ask anything in the name of Christ we are asking as though Jesus was doing that & He would only ask in line with the will of the Father.
Prayer is an attitude of dependence upon God. Our inability admitted, relying totally on God’s ability. Without faith it is impossible to please God. We do not dictate but submit our requests.
We identify with the will of God. Accepting He knows what He has planned & how to act.
Jeremiah 10:23 'It is not in man that walks to direct his steps.'
The Value of this Teaching
2 Timothy 3:16-17 'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. (It is God breathed). It is useful for teaching, for reproof, correction, instruction, in righteousness that the man of God may be mature equipped to carry out good works.'
The Holy Spirit uses Scripture to feed, grow in grace, be an effective witness. Proverbs 23:7 'As a man thinks so is he.' John 8:32 'You shall know the truth & it shall set you free.' From ignorance, error, prejudice, power of evil & freedom will be enjoyed.
Note how the letters were written : teaching followed by application.
Lack of understanding of justification leads to lack of assurance. Lack of insight of sanctification leads to error of perfectionism.
2 Timothy 4:3 People unwilling to endure sound teaching.
Good Biblical teaching leads to a deeper knowledge of God & the unsearchable riches of Christ.
Sound Teaching exalts the character of God
The mystery of His will:
Acts 15:18 Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world. God allowed evil to enter His creation. He has allowed conflict with the Devil. God so loved the world that He allowed His Son to enter it. He is the God of grace yet not all experience that grace.
Romans 11:33 'How unsearchable are His judgements & His ways past finding out.'
God’s will like Him never changes. Malachi 3:6 'I am the Lord I do not change.' He purposed to glorify Himself in the church by Christ Jesus . Revelation 13:8 'the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.'
His grace is magnified and He bestows it on whom He pleases.
Grace breaks down the hostility of the human heart causing His chosen ones to love Him.
Grace is the love of God extended to those utterly unworthy to make then acceptable to Him.
God planned for us to be conformed to the image of His Son. To be like Him. 'Take My yoke upon you and learn of me for I am meek & lowly of heart & you will find rest for your souls.'
Salvation by works rejected.
Proverbs 14:12 'There is a way that seems right to a person but in the end it leads to death'
God saves those unable to save themselves. Romans 9:16: Not him that will, nor him that runs, but of God that shows mercy. Man brings nothing to the meeting with God who does everything to find & restore him.
Salvation is of The Lord. It is by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ – His life, death & resurrection resulting in 'a people born not of the will of the flesh nor the will of man but born of God' John 1:13. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to Your cross I cling.
The Sovereignty of God causes a sense of security
Deuteronomy 33:26 The eternal God is your refuge & underneath are the everlasting arms.
Psalm 91:1-2 'He that lives in the secret place of the Most High shall remain in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge & my fortress. My God in Him will I trust.' None shall pluck me out of His hand.
2 Timothy 1:12 'I know whom I have believed & am persuaded He is able to keep that which I have entrusted to Him against that day.'
It supplies comfort in times of sorrow.
Psalm 139 'Where shall I go from your Spirit? Where shall I flee from your presence?...The Lord gives & the Lord removes. Blessed be the name of the Lord.'
We are to prove what is the good, perfect & acceptable will of God Romans 12:2
Accepting the ordering of God. Let Him do to me as seems good to Him 1 Samuel 15
It results in Praise: rejoice in the Lord & again I say rejoice.
Romans 8:28 'We know that all things work together for good to them that love God to them that are called according to His purpose.' Why do we know? Because our Father seeks our spiritual welfare out of love.
God’s sovereignty & the believers growth in grace
1 Timothy 4:7 We are to exercise ourselves unto godliness.
God has good works planned in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10; Titus 3:8 Be careful to maintain good works. Philippians 3:14 'Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.'
2 Corinthians 12:10 When we are weak then are we strong. Our weakness enables us to appreciate the help the Lord gives. Apart from the Lord we achieve nothing. Isaiah 40:29 'He gives power to the faint & to them that have no might he increases strength.'
Love your enemies – relying on the Lord we are able to do that.
Be not anxious – relying on the Lord we will know Him giving us perfect peace whose minds are stayed on You. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the old nature. In any situation clothe yourself with Jesus. (Lord your peace please !) Romans 13:14
God is taking out of the world a people for Himself Acts 15:14
'Paul planted, Apollos watered but God gave the increase' 1 Corinthians 3:6
'All that the Father gives Me shall come to me.' John 6:37
'Be steadfast, unmovable always, abounding in the work of the Lord for you know your labour is not in vain in the Lord' 1 Corinthians 15:58
God fore ordains everything that comes to pass Romans 11:36 'For of Him & through Him & to Him are all things. He initiates, regulates & completes what He began.'
1 Corinthians 8:6 'There is one God the Father of whom are all things & we in Him & one Lord Jesus Christ by whom are all things & we by Him.'
Ephesians 1:11 'According to the purpose who works all things according to the counsel of His own will.'
God will one day be ultimately vindicated.