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Understanding God's Will (Ephesians Chapter 5)

(5)

Sermon shared by David Richardson

November 2005
Summary: Augustine of Hippo, once said, "Love God and do as you please." What do you say?
Denomination: Calvary Chapel
Audience: General adults
About Sermon Contributor
Sermon:
Series Title: The Heavenly Reserve Bank of God (Ephesians)
Message Title: Understanding Godís Will, Ephesians Chapter 5
Scripture: Ephesians 5:17

10 and find out what pleases the Lord.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lordís will is.

I must first apologize before we undertake this task of Understanding Godís Will, for it is more an attempt at making clear of this topic in my own mind as it is giving you an explanation on the understanding. What I am about to present is something that some of you may disagree with, since you may have a more Ďtraditional wayí of understanding Godís will for your lives. However, my presentation is Biblically-based and supported by Augustine, Henry, the Wesleys, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Murray, and Randy Alcorn (of all people).
Augustine of Hippo, once said, "Love God and do as you please." Now, that seems to be a contradiction to what the present day church teaches about knowing the will of God for your own life. The church and seminaries tend to say itís a more than that. They say, itís much more complicated than that! But, to say itís more than that is in itself to say that a simple-minded person may not be able to follow Godís will for their lives, simply because he or she would be too simple minded to understand the churchís directions to understand Godís will for their lives.
Godís desire, Godís willÖ In Scripture, in the Greek, the same word is used for both. And, itís Godís desire that all should be saved. Or, rather itís Godís will that all be saved. A matter of preference in translation. So, you see, we owe some of our understanding of the matter, however clouded it might be, to the interpretation or translation that we are currently using, NIV, KJV, NKJV, etc. And, we owe some of our misunderstanding of the matter, to those same translations. But, the problem doesnít really lie with the translation, itís how some selfish scholars and churches have taken Godís simple intentions, and complicated them.
So whatís the real deal? Whatís the Bible tell us? What do the respected Bible scholars tell us about Godís will? That knowing Godís will is as simple as Augustine said it was, ďLove God and do as you please.Ē For in loving God you will realize through the manifestation of His Spirit in you what is the will of God for your life. Or, in other words, if you love God, youíll know what He wants. So, itís who you are!
My friends, the will of God for your life, for this church, for this world is not just wrapped up in what we do, but who we are! What builds us personally into what God wants or desires, or wills us to be? Is it those back-breaking, mind-wrenching decisions that we believe shape our character, or could it be also, and yes it is, those daily, or minute by minute, Ďfrom the hipí [quick or snap] decisions that collectively mold us into what God wants us to be.
What God cares about for your life, and His will, is that we choose to follow His direction in spiritual and moral choices. Psalm 37:3-7 says,
3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and
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