Over the past six days, we have discovered a lot about the meaning of life from a Biblical perspective. Jesus explained that the purpose of his existence is to help other people experience abundant life. He offers not only eternal life but also being able to live life more abundantly. As a Christian philosopher, Aquinas determined that the goal for all human beings in life is perfect happiness. He presented several ways in which many people waste their time going about trying to achieve perfect happiness such as striving for wealth, fame, or power, but they’ll always end up missing the ultimate achievement of perfect happiness. He agrees with Jesus that many people are on the road to destruction. The ultimate way to find perfect happiness, according to Aquinas, is in knowing and delighting in the divine essence of our Heavenly Father’s presence. Delighting in His presence means that we value His nature and His character, and we gladly participate in His work. In order to participate in His work, we need to know His divine plan.
Yesterday, we found out that the meaning of life directly relates to learning and experiencing the divine plan that has already been set for us. His divine plan includes His hidden will, revealed will, sovereign will, and the work He does in human beings, which is called His preceptive will.
Today we will find out the will of God for all people everywhere.
Q7/10: What is the divine plan for His work in individuals? Is His divine plan for individuals good? Is it good for everyone? Can everyone participate in the divine plan?
Simply put, the divine plan for His work in individuals is redemption and restoration. I read a book over twenty years ago on knowing the will of God, according to the Bible. It said that the will of God includes salvation, sanctification, surrendering to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to authority, suffering for doing what is right and good, giving thanks, and using our gifts and talents for the kingdom. I couldn’t agree more.
Ever since the Garden of Eden, we see time and time again that people need to repent from disobeying the divine moral law. All throughout history, we see divine intervention where the Lord God Almighty has provided what is good for the people in that culture. After Adam and Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit, in hindsight, we see divine intervention where a four-fold act of divine redemption had been given. 1.) God placed Adam Even in the Garden of Eden, gave them good things to do, and loved them very much. 2.) Adam and Eve experienced a divine confrontation, “Adam and Eve, have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 3.) Adam, Eve, and Satan all received consequences for what they had done. 4.) A divine covering was made to cover Adam and Eve, and then they had to leave the Garden of Eden. The divine plan for Adam and Eve was for them to be perfectly happy as complete human beings in the Garden of Eden. However, after eating the forbidden fruit, they felt naked and ashamed. Their state of perfect happiness was broken. Since Adam and Eve had the free will to either eat the forbidden fruit or not eat it – and they disobeyed by eating it when they were not supposed to eat it – God took action to reconcile them back to Him through His loving act of redemption.
Today, everyone can also personally experience divine redemption. It has been the same message of salvation for the past 2,000 years, and we can continue to pass the message along. Many people still do not know the message of salvation nor have they cherished it in their heart. The message of salvation is as follows: 1.) Omni-benevolence: In His kindness, God gives us the divine moral law to help us live a good life. 2.) Confrontation: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 3.) Consequences: The wages of sin is death. 4.) Divine Covering: The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. We call the gift of Jesus Christ the New Covenant; the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived to tell us about the kingdom on earth. He willingly died on the cross to pay the penalty for all our sin. Three days later, He conquered death and rose from the dead.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
With his heart a man believes, and with his mouth a confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Salvation is the divine plan for everyone. Let us take a look at an analogy for whether the divine plan is for everyone, whether the divine plan is good, and whether everyone participates in that divine plan. An engineer hydrologist plans the operation of providing clean water for all the people. The engineer can see to it that clean water is available to all people. If a person continues to go to a dirty well to get his water, then that person is not participating in the engineer’s plan. The person who continues to go to the dirty well will even receive consequences for it. It is the same with the plan of salvation. The divine plan has already been given and carried out in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If a person continues to avoid this salvation, deny it, or think little of it, then he or she will miss out on the gift of eternal life and living life more abundantly.
Psalm 90:15-16 says, Because he loves me, says the Lord, I will rescue him. I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.
After a person is saved by grace through faith in the divine work of Jesus Christ, that born-again believer can share in fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. After salvation, the purpose of man is to be transformed by allowing him or her to take in more of the divine goodness. After receiving Christ as Savior, we are to be “transformed” daily by the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is even called the Bread of Life because it nourishes our individual lives.
The second aspect of the divine will for each human being is called sanctification. Sanctification means to be set apart, to be made holy. It is the process of being purified. It is a life long process where we are walking in step with the Holy Spirit.
Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing, and perfect will.
1 Thess. 4:3-4, Paul said, It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable.
During the process of sanctification, a person can discover other aspects of the divine will in his or her life. These include surrendering to the Lordship of the Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to authority, suffering for doing what is right and good, giving thanks, and using our gifts and talents for the kingdom on earth.