Let Us Understand What the Will of the Lord Is (Ephesians 5:17)
1. Rather than pursue foolishness, this verse teaches us to "understand what the will of the Lord is." 2. To understand what the Lord's will is we must listen to Him as He speaks through the Scriptures. 3. In our lesson we are concentrating on 3 principles that we must observe as we listen to the Lord so we can properly understand His will.
I. TO PROPERLY UNDERSTAND THE LORD'S WILL, WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE SCRIPTURES ARE GOD'S INSPIRED WORD
A. A key passage is 2 Timothy 3:16-17. 1. God used men in revealing the Scriptures, but the Scriptures did not come from men (1 Corinthians 2:9-13; Ephesians 3:3-5). 2. The Scriptures are from God. 3. God has given us the Scriptures so we can profit from them -- they are profitable in 4 areas. 4. Those who profit from the Scriptures will be complete in God's sight. B. We have plenty of evidence that proves the Scriptures are inspired. C. It is through His Word that the Lord has revealed His will. D. We cannot understand what the Lord's will is from any other source.
II. TO PROPERLY UNDERSTAND THE LORD'S WILL, WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE NEW TESTAMENT IS IN EFFECT TODAY
A. The Old Testament is certainly inspired (2 Peter 1:21). B. However, the Old Testament is no longer in effect. 1. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) The old covenant prophesied that it would be replaced by a better covenant. 2. The new covenant of Christ replaced the old covenant (Hebrews 8:6-13). C. When Christ died, His new covenant became effective (Hebrews 9:15-17). D. Seeking to be justified by the old covenant is a serious mistake (Galatians 5:4). E. Although it was written for our learning (Romans 15:4), we cannot understand what the Lord's will is today from the Old Testament. F. It is through the New Testament that the Lord speaks today.
III. TO PROPERLY UNDERSTAND THE LORD'S WILL, WE MUST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE SCRIPTURES ARE NOT TO BE ALTERED
A. (2 Timothy 2:15) We must "rightly divide" [handle accurately] the Scriptures. B. Altering God's Word is a serious mistake (Galatians 1:8-9; Revelation 22:18-19). C. We cannot properly understand the Lord's will while altering the Scriptures.
1. Understanding the Lord's will involves communication, and God communicates with us through His Word, the Bible. 2. To properly understand the Lord's will, let us always remember that: a. the Scriptures are God's inspired Word b. the New Testament is in effect today c. the Scriptures must not be altered.