Tuesday, January 3, 2012
“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17 KJV).
One of the Bible’s prevailing teachings is mankind’s free will. God is God, whether or not mankind wants to acknowledge it. Man can choose to cooperate with God, or he can decide to work against Him. Either way, God’s will—His “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:11)—will still be accomplished.
In today’s Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ speaks of individuals who “will do [God’s] will.” If someone truly desires to do God’s will, the Bible says that God will give him or her the capacity to first know His will. No one will be without excuse because everyone has a chance to know God’s will. Those who do not want to know the will of God will remain in spiritual ignorance (Romans 1:18-32).
There were many ignorant Jews during Christ’s earthly ministry. These Jews viewed Jesus Christ as a devil-possessed, mentally disturbed imposter (Matthew 9:34; Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:21-23; John 9:16; et al.). In their sinfulness, they refused to acknowledge the truth (that He was their Messiah), so they remained spiritually blind. But, those who wanted to see God’s truth saw and believed it (Jesus’ apostles and disciples).
The context of today’s Scripture explains that as Jesus taught in temple (verses 14,15), “the Jews marveled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” Rather than focusing on the doctrine Jesus taught, His audience was sidetracked, bewildered by His literacy! (Ridiculous!)
If you want to know if what you are reading here is true, ask God (that is, refer to His written Word, the Bible). Jesus told His audience that if they wanted to know if He was telling the truth (speaking on behalf of God), or lying (speaking of Himself), they could find out. They were to compare His doctrine to what they knew from the Old Testament (there was no New Testament written at that time).
So, do you will to know God’s doctrine? You have the Bible, so you are without excuse.