Some Thoughts On The Will, Purpose, And Pleasure Of God As It Pertains To Salvation

The Gospel in light of the
will, pleasure, and purpose of God

It has been rightly said by many faithful men that God does all things on purpose and in accordance with His eternally decreed purpose.

1. God purposed, from before the foundation of the world, that Adam would fall, and that sin would enter into the world, for the express purpose of glorifying the Godhead, (a) through God the Son, in the salvation of sinners based solely upon the atoning blood and imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ; and (b) through the damnation of rebellious sinners for all eternity;

2. God purposed, that Adam’s sin would pass onto all mankind, knowing that all mankind would be so thoroughly enslaved to their sin, and to Satan and this corrupt world, that they would never seek after the True and Living God in their own strength or capability (choosing rather to serve their own lusts, enslaved wills, and corrupted notions of God, religion and spirituality).

3. God purposed, from before the creation of the world that God the Father would elect (choose) certain people out of the mass of mankind that was yet to be created, to save them from eternal damnation and certain people that were created for this destruction to make known God’s wrath against sin and rebellion. Those who are to be saved are called the elect, and those who are to be damned are called the reprobate. The elect constitute a number that no man can count;, but are yet a remnant, a chosen few, compared to the unelect masses.

4. God purposed, from before the creation of the world, that God the Son would have the sins of the elect imputed (legally charged) to Him so that His righteousness would be imputed back (legally charged) to them. This righteousness stems from Jesus becoming incarnate, keeping the law of God perfectly on behalf of the elect, and yet suffering unto death on their behalf as the willing propitiation and substitute for His people. As a result, the Christian is perfectly righteous (legally-speaking) before God, and the reprobate are utterly without any righteousness at all (for even their best attempts at good works are as used menstrual rags – “filthy rags” as the King James version puts it).

5. God purposed, from before the creation of the world, that God the Holy Spirit would make effectual the work of Christ in an elect sinner’s heart, and that He would write the spiritual law of God . The elect by nature, before they are given a saving faith, are just as wicked as the reprobate and just as unable and unwilling to seek God, turn to Him, choose His ways, etc. They are utterly devoid of any will or desire to seek and serve God. The work of the Holy Spirit is to regenerate an elect sinner and bring him to saving faith.

  1. God the Holy Spirit saves an elect sinner at His foreordained and pre-appointed time by (1) convicting them of their sin, showing them their miserable state and how they could never repent, turn to God of their own volition, or have genuine faith in Him, (2) showing them that they are deserving of Hell and that God would be perfectly Just, Righteousness, Holy, and Good were He to send them there for all eternity, and (3) that God has provided a righteousness for them through the Person and Work of Christ that guarantees all aspects of their salvation. God the Father, through God the Holy Spirit, grants unto them the free gift of faith to believe the True Gospel. He grants unto them the free gift of repentance to repentant from dead works and immorality. He also grants every other good and perfect gift through the workings of the Holy Spirit – all based on the finished work of Christ. This includes preserving them unto final glory in Heaven.

  2. Although the saved sinner doesn’t become perfectly holy in this life, he will desire more and more to forsake this wicked world and walk more closely with his Saviour. He will grow to see his ever-present natural wickedness, and his obvious inability to do anything good and holy without the Spirit of God working in him. He will see the LORD alone, as his righteousness, forsaking his own self-righteousness. He will cry out to God, asking God to increase his faith, grant him a greater fear of the Lord, and to guide his paths so that he may walk more uprightly before God and men. Again, he strives to do this more and more, but never to perfection in this life.

6. God purposed, (foreordained) all aspects of the life of both His elect and the reprobate. God declares that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [His] purpose (Romans 8:28). However, with the wicked (reprobate), it is not so, there will be no peace, joy, rest, or hope for them.  

Some passages on thewill, pleasure, and purposeof God as it relates to salvation

Note in particular, the use of the pronouns “I,” “He,” “His,” and “Him” as it relates to the total sovereignty of God over these vital matters.

Psalm 5:4 For Thou [art] not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with Thee. 5 The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man. 7 But as for me, I will come [into] Thy house in the multitude of Thy mercy: [and] in Thy fear will I worship toward Thy holy temple. 8 Lead me, O LORD, in Thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make Thy way straight before my face.

Isaiah 23:9 The LORD of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, [and] to bring into contempt all the honourable of the earth.

Isaiah 46:8 Remember this, and shew yourselves men: bring [it] again to mind, O ye transgressors. 9 Remember the former things of old: for I [am] God, and [there is] none else; [I am] God, and [there is] none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times [the things] that are not [yet] done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken [it], I will also bring it to pass; I purposed [it], I will also do it.

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because He not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel. 21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth [them]; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 23 That all [men] should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 6:37 All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [His] purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: and whom He justified, them He also glorified.31 What shall we then say to these things? If God [be] for us, who [can be] against us? 32 He that spared not His own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth.

Romans 9:11 (For [the children] being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.14 What shall we say then? [Is there] unrighteousness with God? God forbid.15 For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.16 So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my Name might be declared throughout all the earth.18 Therefore hath He mercy on whom He will [have mercy], and whom He will He hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth He yet find fault? For who hath resisted His will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed [it], Why hast Thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the Potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 [What] if God, willing to shew [His] wrath, and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

Ephesians 1:3 Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ: 4 According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasuere of His will, 6 To the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace; 8 Wherein He hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; [even] in Him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 3:1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all [men] see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly [places] might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: 12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [His] good pleasure.

II Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9 Who hath saved us, and called [us] with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, 10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

James 1:18
Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

II Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.I John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.

Revelation 4:10 The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

by Curt Wildy

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