Saturday, 5 February 2011

Knowing God's will?

In continuing our look at God's policy of communication we need to examine some verses that claim Christians will be able to know God's will. Some Christians might argue that the "will" referred to is God's will for our individual lives, stuff like what house to buy, what career to pursue, who to marry etc. Are they right? Let's look at one such example,

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)

The passage doesn't explicitly say that this "individual will" is what's in view here, so let's be careful not to read that into the text. Rather it seems likely that it is just God's "moral will" that is being discussed, after all Paul is instructing believers to be holy in this passage. So the passage is saying that our behaviour will be transformed when our thinking is renewed by it's alignment with God's truth. We will then be more readily able to discern what is morally good according to God and thus we shall worship him as he desires.

Absent any counter-observations by the individual will camp, this seems like the best way to read the passage. Next time you encounter the phrase "God's will" in a passage, consider what presumptions you might be reading into the text!


carmen said...

great blog, martin!

Martin said...

Thanks Carmen! =)