The Importance Of Discerning God's Will In The Bible

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Introduction

The Statement of the Problem So many Christians sincerely want to live God’s will, but how does a person know with some certainty what God wants them to do? With so many decisions in life, both major and minor, will a person be permanently damaged or at least hindered if they do not find that one will for their life? Is there one perfect will for every believer’s life or does God’s will include the various decisions a person might make, making it bigger than just one perfect will? Men like Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul have faced this sincere and heartfelt pursuit, and this search to discern the will of God continues in the church today. There are numerous suggestions on how to discern God’s will, and even some will
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An adequate understanding of the Greek text is imperative for this study. Information is cited from commentaries in both Greek and English texts, and the works of many authors. The heart of the study will be done on the verse listed above in “The Scope of the Study.” All quotations from the English New Testament are from the New English Translation unless otherwise noted.

Discerning the Will of God As stated above, the key phrase to be studied, “εἰς τὸ δοκιμάζειν ὑμᾶς τί τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ,” is central to the topic of discerning God’s will. Prior to the Christian “discerning” the will of God, however, it is necessary to examine several factors. At times, followers of Christ think or feel that knowing the will of God is a matter of applying a simple formula, but certain matters must be considered. First, to find the will of God one must know what it is, or define it, and second, one must know how the will of God is “discerned” (δοκιμάζειν).

The Lexical Understanding of τὸ
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The best solution in this case is to take θέλημα from an objective point of view. This does not negate the reality that Paul sees God’s superseding hand guiding all things to a wonderful conclusion. That would be to miss his discussion of chapters nine through eleven. In this case, however, the objective view fits best as a beckoning of His people to join Him in this great plan. Paul’s use of παρακαλῶ in verse one, his urging and beckoning of God’s saved ones in light of “the mercies of God,” seems to bolster this point. The doing of His will in this passage, then, is intentionally carrying out the preferences or desires of God. So, for the purposes of this paper, it will be defined as “willfully choosing to live God’s gracious

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