12-SPIRIT WALK—YOU CAN DO GOD'S WILL
YOU CAN DO GOD'S WILL
Matthew 7:21-27 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? (23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (24) Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: (25) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (26) And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: (27) And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
7:21 DOETH THE WILL OF MY FATHER. Jesus emphatically taught that carrying out the will of His heavenly Father was a condition of entering the kingdom of heaven (cp. vvs. 22-27; Mat. 19:16-26; 25:31-46).
However, this does not mean that we can gain or merit salvation by our own efforts or works.
This is true for the following reasons:
- (1) The forgiveness of God comes to us through faith and repentance made possible by the grace and sacrificial death of Christ (Luke 15:11-32; 18:9-14); Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
- (2) The obedience to the will of God demanded by Christ is indeed an ongoing condition for salvation, but Christ also declares that it is a grace belonging to the salvation of the kingdom. As such we must continually pray for it, receive it, and put it into effect by a sincere faith and earnest endeavor. Note the Lord's Prayer (Mat. 6:9-13) and the many admonitions directed toward believers to put sin to death and to present ourselves to God as living sacrifices (cp. Rom. 6:1-23; 8:1-17; 12:1-2; see Mat. 5:6).
- (3) We are capable of doing God's will and living a righteous life by virtue of this gift, i.e., God's grace, power, and spiritual life continually given to us through Christ — Eph. 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
- (4) Scripture declares that "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God ... for we are his workmanship" (Eph. 2:8-10).
- (5) Thus, God always makes available the obedience He demands of us. It is ascribed to God's redemptive action. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil. 2:13).
- (6) Yet God's gift of grace does not annul human responsibility or action. We must respond positively to God's gift of obedience (Eph. 4:22-32; Jude 20-21,24; Phil. 2:12), for we remain free to reject God's grace, to refuse to draw near to God through Christ (see Heb. 7:25), and to refuse to pray for and accept the life of obedience.
- (7) God's will is His Word. Study the Word and the Holy Spirit will illuminate your spirit to understand the things of Scripture — 1Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. (10) But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (11) For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. (13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (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. (15) But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. (16) For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
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