Making Wise Choices

(Galatians 4:4-7 KJV) But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, {5} To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. {6} And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. {7} Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

In Mark 14:36, Jesus calls the Father, Abba. We have a privilege status to come to God the Father as a son, an adult, as one that is free to make their own decisions. In the Old Testament, God empowers Israel; for us He gives us the truth, the doctrine, and implores us to live in the reality of His grace. We are free to make a choice; it is up to us to do God's will. Under grace, we are free and with the completion of His word we are able to live as He made us.

(1 Corinthians 6:12 KJV)  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

All things are lawful means that all things are within the revealed limits of who you are, a son. Paul says that all things are lawful but not all things are expedient for him. The word expedient means the best thing to get the job done in this particular situation. When we know how God thinks we can think how God thinks then we are able to make wise choices. God gives us the responsibility to make decisions.

(Colossians 4:12 KJV)  Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
(Colossians 1:10-11 KJV)  That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; {11} Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Here we see Paul writing "that ye might walk worthy of the Lord" and that he gives no specific instruction as to how we are to accomplish that walk. We are free and competent to make wise decisions based upon His revealed will to us.

(Philippians 1:9-10 KJV)  And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; {10} That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;

Approving things that are excellent means being able to discern the thing that is of greatest value, the things that come by the Word of God rightly divided. As we gain knowledge and judgment we are able to approve the things that are excellent. We are to make decisions based upon spiritual expediency.

When we read Paul's writings we find that there are specific instructions in how we should live: abstain from fornication, in all things give thanks, etc. We know what we are to do; there is no question about that. It is up to us to make the decision to do the things that will be spiritually expedient.

We are free and competent to make choices and decisions based upon God's Word to us. We walk by faith and it is our faith standing in the facts of Calvary, who we are in Christ. As we renew our mind to God's way of thinking, the Holy Spirit is then able to bring that finished work of Jesus Christ into our lives. As we walk by faith we are able to we make wise decisions and take wise actions based upon our renewed mind within the revealed limits of His Word rightly divided.

Paul uses certain terminology when it comes to how we are to make decisions based upon God's revealed will.

Terminology not found in Paul's Epistles Concerning God's Will

  • God showed me...
  • God is leading me...
  • I'm seeking God's will...
  • God opened the door
  • It's divine providential intervention
  • I prayed and I have peace about it

Paul Uses Renewed Mind Terminology

  • We thought it good
    (1 Thessalonians 3:1 KJV)  Wherefore when we could no longer forbear, we thought it good to be left at Athens alone;
    • They thought about what was the best thing to do in their present circumstance.
  • I supposed it was necessary
    (Philippians 2:25-26 KJV)  Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. {26} For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
    • He responded to the need in the most appropriate way, not because God was leading him or there was some impression. He looked at the situation based upon a renewed mind, motivated by grace to handle the situation in the most appropriate way.
  • I have determined
    (Titus 3:12 KJV)  When I shall send Artemas unto thee, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.
    • Paul had just decided that Nicopolis is where he will spend the winter. It is what he decided to do, no signs or wonders to confirm that he should do so.
  • If it be meet
    (1 Corinthians 16:3-4 KJV)  And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. {4} And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
    • In this particular situation, Paul is going to wait and see how large the offering is before he decides if it will be fitting for him to go; he will decide to go based on the best use of his time and energy. If it is a small offering then he will not go. There is no "God spoke to me and told me to go" just when the time comes I'll make a decision based upon wisdom.
  • His will was not at all to...
    (1Corinthians 16:12 KJV)  As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
    • Apollos made up his own mind as to what he was going to do; he decided not to come. Here Apollos had an Apostle telling him he should go; most people would take that to be a "sign" that they should go. But Paul thought Apollos was responsible and competent to make up his own mind.
  • Perhaps (I suppose)
    (Philemon 1:15 KJV)  For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;
    • This one is more of hindsight, after an event happened. He does not say it was a divine providential appointment that God arranged. Paul looked at it like a wise opportunity after the incident happened.
  • Liberty
    (1 Corinthians 7:39 KJV)  The wife is bound by the law as long as her husband liveth; but if her husband be dead, she is at liberty to be married to whom she will; only in the Lord.
    • The wife is to free to make a decision to remarry but needs to make the decision based upon God's revealed will, that is marry a believer.

God has a plan and it is fully revealed to us in His Word. We are a part of this plan because we are in Christ and that plan is to be applied to our lives with our eyes wide open in the walk of faith.

The Word of God completely and thoroughly equips, informs, instructs, and gives all the information that we need to do God's will. We are free and competent because of His grace. As we need to take the Word of God and allow it to work effectually in us we will understand what God's will is for us and then be able to make wise decisions based upon a renewed mind.

It is a joy to be a grace believer, to be fully intellectualized saint; not knowing everything but having sufficient knowledge, being able to stand lacking nothing.

Reference used:
My notes from teaching by Richard Jordan
From tape series: Understanding the Grace Alternative
Understanding God's Will