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Thread: The difference between the Perfect and Permisive Will of God

  1. #1
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    The difference between the Perfect and Permisive Will of God

    Someone asked me in Church today about the difference between the permissive and the perfect will of God. My strugle is to find Scriptures that back up such a doctrine. I have not studied this subject before, so I do not know the answer. Help please. What I am looking for are Scriptures pointing towards:

    1. Perfect Will
    2. Permissive Will
    3. and the, Not allowed Will

    Thanks in advance,

    Peace

  2. #2

    Re: The difference between the Perfect and Permisive Will of God

    I'd love to see scriptures on this as well. I used to hear people talk about it, but that's all it was talk. I never saw any scripture to back it up.

  3. #3
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    Re: The difference between the Perfect and Permisive Will of God

    In the way that I've heard it used "permissive will" is basically a means of explaining the big problems of pain & evil - so someone may say, "It is not God's perfect will that there is suffering in the world, but rather His permissive will. He doesn't wish for there to be suffering in the world, but He permits it." It's a means of taking away any perceived blame for His not "fixing" things, or, as it were, stopping them from getting broken in the first place.

    I have problems with this viewpoint, stemming from how I view God's great, overarching plan. I don't see it as an attempt to make the best of a bad situation, as if He were caught unaware by the fall (or anything else, for that matter!) - I see His overarching plan as the very best that it could ever conceivably be; by any rational definition, perfect. If the big picture could by any means be any better, He would have made it that way! And, if we see the big plan as being perfect, it seems foolish to label any part of the plan as imperfect.

    We can look at the fall, at the beginnings of mankind, and say that yes, God did not wish for us to sin, and only allowed it to happen as part of His perfect plan; we can look at the centrepoint of mankind and say that God did not wish for the sacrifice of His Son, but allowed it to happen as part of His perfect plan; were we able to follow the strands and understand the will of God, we could say the same of countless things in between - but when we know that the overarching plan incorporating all this "permissive will" is in fact perfect, it strikes me as disingenuous to lay down a heavy handed distinction.

    It seems wiser to me to say "God despises evil, but uses evil acts to accomplish good ends" than to talk about God not wanting things to happen... But then, my understanding of God's perfect plan incorporates absolutely everything within creation - that, as I said before, if absolutely anything could be better, He would make it that way. To someone who doesn't understand "the big plan" in this way, for example, if you were to believe that there are only certain key points amidst creation which are a part of His plan and everything else is kinda irrelevant or incidental, and as such couldn't say that evil bearing down on men is necessarily part of a greater good - then "permissive will" would accommodate God's allowing awful things to happen of which no good will come. A rather ghastly thought, to my mind.

    Thinking about it, I suppose the real problem for me is that the terms are, ultimately, almost worthless in helping us to understand God, or life: God's perfect will is that everything be perfect - but He permits it to be otherwise. Bad thing happens - that's His permissive will. Perfect thing happens - that'd be His perfect will! The terms are in actuality almost meaningless - when the world has already fallen, what can we possibly point to which is perfectly as God would have it? If we can only really use "perfect will" to point to a hypothetical world without sin ever having entered, and "permissive will" in practice having to apply to everything else, the terms become even more limited in worthwhile application.

    And that's not even taking into account that we'd be desperately foolish to presume to understand what God would determine perfect, except in the broadest possible terms...

    I'll be really interested to see any scriptures other posters may have to offer, but suspect that I'll continue to see "He doesn't want it to happen, He just lets it happen" a rather clumsy, short-sighted and deeply flawed means of dealing with the problem of pain. We have better, solidly scriptural means.
    Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. Jeremiah 33:3
    You put the stars in the sky and you know them by name, You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same, You are amazing, God.
    I do not 'hope' I am saved and I do not 'think' I am saved, I know it with an absolute conviction. I know that I am saved just as I know that I think and I know that I feel. I am purchased and sealed, His possession.

  4. #4
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    Re: The difference between the Perfect and Permisive Will of God

    Here's a few...

    1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

    Mar 14:7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.

    It is good to serve the poor and help them, and yet when the disciples had a mind for the poor, Jesus corrected them for not seeing further and not seeing that what the lady did was the perfect will of God.

    Luk 10:38 Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.
    Luk 10:39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word.
    Luk 10:40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
    Luk 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
    Luk 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
    That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,


    Earnestly contending for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints

  5. #5

    Re: The difference between the Perfect and Permisive Will of God

    Rom 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

    All things include the positive and the negative, the good and the bad.

    I think that what is meant by permissive will, is such things like sufferings. God will allow (permit) such things to happen, with the purpose of bringing about His perfect will.

    Rom 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up on behalf of us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

    Rom 8:36 Just as it is written: "For Your sake we are put to death the whole day long; we are accounted as sheep for slaughter."
    Rom 8:37 But in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

  6. #6
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    Re: The difference between the Perfect and Permisive Will of God

    Oh, sorry! I guess I was thinking of it as what is God's permissive and perfect will according to what we do, and not what he does.

    Maybe it'll still be useful
    That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,


    Earnestly contending for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints

  7. #7
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    Re: The difference between the Perfect and Permisive Will of God

    I like the feedback, keep it coming !

    Shalom

  8. #8
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    Re: The difference between the Perfect and Permisive Will of God

    Quote Originally Posted by ImmenseDisciple View Post
    In the way that I've heard it used "permissive will" is basically a means of explaining the big problems of pain & evil - so someone may say, "It is not God's perfect will that there is suffering in the world, but rather His permissive will. He doesn't wish for there to be suffering in the world, but He permits it." It's a means of taking away any perceived blame for His not "fixing" things, or, as it were, stopping them from getting broken in the first place.

    I have problems with this viewpoint, stemming from how I view God's great, overarching plan. I don't see it as an attempt to make the best of a bad situation, as if He were caught unaware by the fall (or anything else, for that matter!) - I see His overarching plan as the very best that it could ever conceivably be; by any rational definition, perfect. If the big picture could by any means be any better, He would have made it that way! And, if we see the big plan as being perfect, it seems foolish to label any part of the plan as imperfect.

    We can look at the fall, at the beginnings of mankind, and say that yes, God did not wish for us to sin, and only allowed it to happen as part of His perfect plan; we can look at the centrepoint of mankind and say that God did not wish for the sacrifice of His Son, but allowed it to happen as part of His perfect plan; were we able to follow the strands and understand the will of God, we could say the same of countless things in between - but when we know that the overarching plan incorporating all this "permissive will" is in fact perfect, it strikes me as disingenuous to lay down a heavy handed distinction.

    It seems wiser to me to say "God despises evil, but uses evil acts to accomplish good ends" than to talk about God not wanting things to happen... But then, my understanding of God's perfect plan incorporates absolutely everything within creation - that, as I said before, if absolutely anything could be better, He would make it that way. To someone who doesn't understand "the big plan" in this way, for example, if you were to believe that there are only certain key points amidst creation which are a part of His plan and everything else is kinda irrelevant or incidental, and as such couldn't say that evil bearing down on men is necessarily part of a greater good - then "permissive will" would accommodate God's allowing awful things to happen of which no good will come. A rather ghastly thought, to my mind.

    Thinking about it, I suppose the real problem for me is that the terms are, ultimately, almost worthless in helping us to understand God, or life: God's perfect will is that everything be perfect - but He permits it to be otherwise. Bad thing happens - that's His permissive will. Perfect thing happens - that'd be His perfect will! The terms are in actuality almost meaningless - when the world has already fallen, what can we possibly point to which is perfectly as God would have it? If we can only really use "perfect will" to point to a hypothetical world without sin ever having entered, and "permissive will" in practice having to apply to everything else, the terms become even more limited in worthwhile application.

    And that's not even taking into account that we'd be desperately foolish to presume to understand what God would determine perfect, except in the broadest possible terms...

    I'll be really interested to see any scriptures other posters may have to offer, but suspect that I'll continue to see "He doesn't want it to happen, He just lets it happen" a rather clumsy, short-sighted and deeply flawed means of dealing with the problem of pain. We have better, solidly scriptural means.
    ok....

    Is 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

    Ex 4:11 And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

    Lam 3:37 Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
    38 Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
    39 Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
    40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.

    Shalom

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