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Summary: Help for Christians who struggle with understanding ’why’ God’s will is what it is

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‘Understanding the Will of God’

Series

Part I

“The Letter vs. The Spirit”

II Cor. 3:6

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Introduction

· If you are to every understand the will of God for your life, you have to stop looking at the LETTER, and start searching for the SPIRIT!

· ILL.: The kids have three dogs, Sunny, Diamond, and Star. The live in a 50X50 kennel. They each have their own house. Yet, every time the kids go down to the kennel to feed them, those dogs try to get out. Rarely, they squeeze by one of the kids, and run wild for a few minutes. I have warned the kids, that if they get out, there is a chance that they may get hit by a car and die. My instructions are simple: when they try to get out, tap them on the nose with a piece of paper, and say ‘No!’ It may not feel good, but they tap on the nose won’t kill them, a car traveling 50 mph will!

· When it comes to the will of God, we should know that sometimes God ‘taps’… on the fiancés… on our health… in our plans, to stop us from getting killed by running wild!

· Although we are called to OBEY the will of God, whether we understand it or not, this series will show you some of the behind the scene reason for WHY God does what He does!

I. Remember, WHO you are!

A. We are Able Ministers

1. This means we are equipped to serve, Eph. 4:11-12

2. This means we are qualified to serve, I Tim. 1:12 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”

3. This means we are called to serve,

a. Mt. 9:35-38, ‘the harvest is plenteous’

b. Mt. 28:18-20, ‘go ye therefore…’

B. We are New Testament Ministers

1. This is a ministry of GRACE in the World

2. This is a ministry of the SPIRIT of the Word

II. Remember, WHICH SIDE you are on!

A. NOT the side that KILLS

1. The Letter kills because there is no forgiveness

2. The Letter kills because there is no flexibility (grace)

3. The Letter kills because there is no forbearance (patience)

B. The side that HEALS

1. Healing comes when you read not only WHAT it say, but WHY it says it (the spirit)

a. I Cor. 2:14 ‘But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.’

b. In order to understand the will of God, you MUST stop looking only at the WORDS in the Bible, and start looking at the spirit (meaning) behind the Words.

2. Healing comes when you understand, not only WHAT the Bible means, but WHY it means it means what it menas

a. John 15:1-7 (vs. 2)

b. ILL.: I read recently the story of a 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training, the master had taught him only one move.

"Sensei," the boy finally said, "Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?" "This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know," the sensei replied. Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match.

Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals. This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. "No," the sensei insisted, "Let him continue."

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and the sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind: "Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?" "You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm."

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