I received a study book titled “Understanding The Will Of God More Accurately” a few weeks back. The title itself amuses me. I am not sure why it is amusing because we should all want to understand the will of God more accurately. It is probably situational based upon who I received it from.
It is about 100 pages and I was walked through the first 21 pages. I did not want to dissect it and honestly I do not even want to make time for it but alas I have begun to do just that.
I did not even get very far – the preface on page three and the second line of text. Philippians 2:12 is referenced but the remaining text is left out – verse 13. I do not like that at all. It would not be too critical except at the end of the first paragraph they reference Jeremiah 10:23 and imply that the verse is saying “It’s God’s Way or No Way.” The idea is about obedience and neither of these scriptures is a good reference for obedience.
Philippians 2:13 says from the NET translation “for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and effort – for the sake of his good pleasure – is God.” The one bringing forth both the desire and effort is God. Not a good verse for obedience if you ask me. Now verse 12 is a great verse for obedience but you must leave verse 13 off for it to have any strength at all.
Jeremiah 10:23 – It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. I prefer the NET translation “People do not control their own destiny.” Regardless of the translation used (the one from the book or the NET), it is clearly not a good verse for obedience.
I am not taking away your responsibility nor am I saying you should sin without regard to the grace God gives. It just seems like churches are trying to trick people into believing what they believe. How can I take this seriously? Yet I continued on to pages four and five. At which point I stopped. I will continue on making notes on the rest of it as I make time. I have already written five or six questions on page 21 based on conversations over the book.
On page three I even began to contemplate how I would have started this book. There is a clear understanding that sin separates us from God but they do not define what sin is. This is a critical point because many people do not have an understanding of sin. We need to see our sinful nature and that we are separated from God. Of course the person must believe in God first so this would have to be taken into account.
I should probably get back to my good friend Augustine.