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1 Thessalonians 4:3–8

“This is the will of God, your sanctification…. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness” (vv. 3–7).

An important theme that runs throughout the book of Titus, indeed throughout the entire canon of Scripture, is the importance of knowing God. Paul was commissioned to promote the “knowledge of the truth” among the elect (Titus 1:1). Elders are supposed to hold fast to the “trustworthy word” (v. 9), the apostolic doctrine that reveals nothing less than the will of our Father for His people (2 Tim. 3:16–17). All those who profess to know the Lord’s will but deny it by their evil deeds are unfit for “any good work” (Titus 1:16).

You will have noticed that we have connected knowing God, truth, and His will very closely because His will is truth itself, and it reveals to us what we need to affirm about Him and ourselves. To know our Creator’s will for us is crucial for living in a way that pleases Him, and so we will take a few days to look more closely at how we may know the will of God. Dr. R.C. Sproul will guide our study of this important topic through an adaptation of his teaching series Knowing God’s Will and The Wisdom of Counsel.

Most of us desire to know Gods’ will for us. Yet we are not always sure how to go about discerning it, especially when none of the options before us seems to present an advantage or disadvantage over the other. We might agonize over which one to choose, for every alternative may appear to be an opportunity for serving the Lord. At times like these we may ask God for special aid. Certainly, we do not want to deny that God can intervene in extraordinary ways to help us decide, such as through a telephone call from an advice-bearing friend from out of the blue, to help us make decisions. But such things are extraordinary — they are not the normal way by which our Father directs us. We need to know how to make decisions when such things do not happen and how to know if what seems like extraordinary providence is actually divine direction.

Like anything else in life, the first place we want to turn when faced with a hard choice is to the wisdom of God in Scripture. And in one sense, it is quite clear what His will is for us, namely, our sanctification (1 Thess. 4:3). Any option that is antithetical to the promotion of holiness is therefore off limits.

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

The question of God’s will is multi-faceted, as we will see in due time. But we do know the Lord is pleased as we grow in holiness, and so any act or labor that would directly violate His precepts is forbidden as an option for us. The first thing we should ask when we have a decision to make is this: Which of the available options will force me to break God’s law? The answer to that question is what we must not do.


For Further Study
  • Judges 6:36–40
  • Psalm 25:4–5
  • 1 Peter 2:15
  • 1 John 2:17

On Being Negative

The Internal and External Call

Keep Reading What Is True Unity?

From the September 2009 Issue
Sep 2009 Issue