Sunday School: Christian Ethics (Intro: Pt.3)
“How to Know God’s Will: Factors to Consider in Making Ethical Decisions” (Grudem)
We should consider four dimensions to every action:
• The action itself
• The person’s attitudes about the action
• The person’s motives for doing the action
• The results of the action.
“Knowing the Will of God” (Gary Friesen)
The goal of the Christian is to make decisions that are pleasing to God. God’s word
establishes four principles for decision making according to God's will.
1. The Principle of OBEDIENCE: Where God commands, we must obey.
2. The Principle of FREEDOM: Where there is no command, God gives us freedom (and
responsibility) to choose
3. The Principle of WISDOM: Where there is no command, God gives us wisdom to choose.
4. The Principle of HUMBLE TRUST: When we have chosen what is moral and wise, we
must trust the sovereign God to work all the details together for good.
“Just Do Something” (Kevin DeYoung)
• Will of decree: What God had ordained. Everything that comes to pass is
according to God’s sovereign decree.
• Will of desire: What God has commanded – what he desires from his creatures.
How things ought to be. “Get happy and holy in Jesus!”
• Will of direction: Does God have a secret will of direction that he expects us to
figure out before we do anything? No. God does have a specific plan for out
lives, but it is not one he expects us to figure out before making a decision.
1. We should trust God’s “will of decree,” follow his “will of desire,” but not wait for
him to reveal to us his “will of direction.”
2. Christians desperately want to figure out God’s “will of direction” for five reasons:
1. We want to please God.
2. We are timid.
3. We want perfect fulfillment.
4. We have too many choices.
5. We are cowards.
3. “Some Christians need encouragement to think before they act. Others need encouragement to act after they think.”
4. The mystical, “magic 8-ball” approach to discovering God’s will has five problems:
1. It tends to focus on non-moral decisions.
2. It portrays God as sneaky.
3. It is anxiously preoccupied with the future.
4. It undermines personal responsibility and initiative.
5. It is hopelessly subjective. “If we say ‘God told me to do this’ or ‘God’s
leading me here,’ this puts our decisions out of reach from criticisms or
4. There is a better way: Don’t worry, but instead focus on God’s “will of desire.” “In
short, God’s will is that you and I get happy and holy in Jesus.”
5. God guides us in decision-making but does not expect us to discover every aspect of his plan for our lives ahead of time. “Apart from the Spirit working through Scripture, God does not promise to use any other means to guide us, nor should we expect him to.”
6. Four “tools of the trade” for discerning God’s will “can be instruments of
foolishness”: open doors, fleeces, random Bible verses, and impressions. “If a
thought or impulse pops into your head, even if it happens while reading Scripture,
don’t assume it is a voice from heaven.”
7. There are three ways to access wisdom
• Read the Bible responsibly
• Seek wise counsel from others
• Pray for illumination, wisdom, and what you already know is God’s will.
8. “So the end of the matter is this: Live for God. Obey the Scriptures. Think of others
before yourself. Be holy. Love Jesus. And as you do these things, do whatever else
you like, with whomever you like, wherever you like, and you’ll be walking in the will
More in Sunday School: Christian Ethics
March 15, 2020Sunday School: Christian Ethics (Pt. 16.1: Marriage)
March 1, 2020Sunday School: Christian Ethics (Pt. 15.2: Illness and Death)
February 23, 2020Sunday School: Christian Ethics (Pt. 15.1: Illness and Death)