Sermon Notes & References

“Thy Will Be Done”

Matthew 6:9-13

July 8, 2018

A. The Third Request

    1. The Model Prayer

    2. Verse 10 in full

    3. Unwrapping the Request 1

B. God’s Secret Counsels …

    1. ... are beyond our knowledge 2

    2. … are certain 3

C. God’s Declared Will

    1. In His creation 4

    2. In His Scriptures 5

    3. In His Son 6

D. Doing His Will

    1. Submission 7

    2. Actively 8


1 Matthew 6:9-13. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . “Thy Will Be Done”

 

A. The Third Request

    1. The Model Prayer

        a. after the very personal calling upon God as “Our Father”

            (A)    reflecting the work of the Holy Spirit

                 (1)    that we have been born again /from above as His children

                 (2)    and adopted as sons and daughters

            (B)    thereby having joined in a brotherhood of all believers

            (C)   who have this freedom of access to the eternal God

        b. we have noted that there are seven distinct requests in this example prayer that Jesus Christ has given to His followers

            (A)    the first three are God-ward – exalting God

            (B)    the last four are man-ward – seeking to live for God

        c. today we are looking at the last of the God-ward requests: “Thy will be done ...

 

    2. Verses 10 In Full

        a. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.

            (A)    Pastor John Ortberg has summarizes this verse, as “God, make up there come down here.

            (B)    today we are meditating upon the last part of this verse

            (C)   Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. … or, as the order is in the Greek, “May your will be done, as in heaven, also upon earth.

 

    3. Unwrapping the Request

        a. Thy will – in English we use that word to express the future or perhaps determination: “I will not eat my parsnips!” But here it relates to our heavenly Father, and we as children are expressing concern as to what He wishes, the things that He desires, the events that give Him pleasure

            (A)    Jesus, the Son of God is our example in this, for He said, “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” (John 8:29)

            (B)    and, in Gethsemane, “Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)

        b. be done – literally, “let it become”, which sounds strange in English, but it does convey more clearly that God’s will is already existing, but that has yet fully to take place, to come to pass: as is made evident in the words that follows

            (A)    that mankind may observe, acknowledge and obey His law

            (B)    that His children may do so cheerfully, constantly, perfectly

        c. as in heaven, also in earth

            (A)    there is one place in the spiritual & physical universe where God’s will is not taking place – that is on this planet earth

                 (1)    for since sin entered mankind, earth has been in rebellion

                 (2)    Satan has usurped God’s place

            (B)    on this, Dr Harley Howard comments: God's will in Heaven is completely done. There is nothing going on in Heaven that is not God's will. The prayer of the disciple is the prayer that as there is the complete harmony to God's will in all things in heaven, may the same dominion, rule and authority be done on earth, so that the chaos, sin and rebellion against God and His will be done away with. 2

 

B. God’s Secret Counsels

    1. Are Beyond Our Knowledge

        a. Paul, in concluding the section of Romans that deals with the setting aside of the Jewish nation and the extension of the gospel of salvation to the rest of the world, concludes with this exclamation on praise and awe: “33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! 34 For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counsellor? 35 or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again? 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36)

        b. and in 1 Corinthians 2:16, he quotes that same verse from Isaiah 40:13 that these counsels are only revealed by the Spirit of God

        c. so the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures are the gradual disclosure by God of these His counsels which we can only “know in part”.

 

    2. Are Certain

        a. simply because we neither know nor understand God’s eternal will and purpose, does not mean that these will not come to pass

        b. our experiences are filled with thwarted plans; not so God’s

        c. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord, it will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21)

        d. and God Himself assures us, “9 Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9-10)

        e. so, we are not praying “Thy will be done” in this respect … for rather God has already assured us that His plans shall be done

 

C. His Declared Will

    1. In His Creation

        a. when God created man, He did so with purpose and with rules

            (A)    He was “put into the garden to Eden to cultivate it and to keep it.

            (B)    he was only forbidden to eat of the one tree

            (C)   he was assigned the task of naming the animals and birds

        b. but man was created in the image of God

            (A)    given understanding to recognize God, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

            (B)    given a moral sense, “For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, … they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness …” (Romans 2:14-15)

        c. creation still speaks to man: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge.” (Psalms 19:1-2)

        d. so that man is without excuse

 

    2. In His Scriptures

        a. from beginning to end

            (A)    from Moses to John

            (B)    line upon line; here a little, there a little

            (C)   God reveals His will, has it recorded for mankind

        b. in instruction and in examples

            (A)    how man should live and walk before God His Maker

            (B)    how man should live in relation to His fellow created beings

            (C)   “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, [and] to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NAS)

            (D)   “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 NAS)

        c. so that God’s will is clearly made known

 

    3. In His Son

        a. in the ultimate in condescension, God the Creator, stepped down into His creation, and became man, in the Person of His Son, Jesus Christ

            (A)    communicating in words His own heart to mankind

            (B)    so that Simon Peter would exclaim, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life.” (John 6:68 NAS)

            (C)   and the officers of the antagonistic Jewish rulers had to confess, “Never did a man speak the way this man speaks.” (John 7:46)

        b. but this Jesus, Son of God, also communicated God’s will in His actions

            (A)    He is the one, according to Hebrews 10:7, to whom the prophecy applies found in Psalm 40:7-8, “Then I said, ‘Behold, I come; In the scroll of the book it is written of me; I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart.’”

            (B)    so He could fearlessly challenge His opponents, “Which one of you convicts Me of sin?” (John 8:46 NAS)

            (C)   and of whom it could be truthfully written, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as [we are, yet] without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15 NAS)

        c. the Son is the centre of God’s will, through whom His plan and purpose is brought into being

            (A)    “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in [His] Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;” (Hebrews 1:1-3 NAS)

            (B)    that plan being salvation for mankind: “The Lord is not slow about His promise … but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NAS)

        d. Thy will be done … that many should come to Christ & eternal life

            (A)    there are manifold other ways by which God declares His will

            (B)    on a personal level this is by the moving of His Holy Spirit

            (C)   in ways that are unique to each individuals

            (D)   this prayer is that as His will is declared, so it may be performed

 

D. Doing His Will – making this personal

    1. Submission

        a. Father, May our will be conformed to, and subordinated to Your will.

        b. to the dispensations of Providence

            (A)    remember those vows?

                 (1)    “... in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse ...”

                 (2)    the relation of God to the nation of Israel was likened to marriage

                 (3)    so also that of Christ to the church

            (B)    so the believer in relationship with the Father, is encouraged to submission in all circumstances

                 (1)    in both ease and hardship

                 (2)    in both fulness and want

                 (3)    in both life and death

            (C)   the hymn, “Abide with Me” reflects such an attitude, as for example in its closing verse:

Hold Thou Thy Word before my closing eyes,

Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;

Heav'n's morning breaks and earth's vain shadows flee–

In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me! 3

        c. as an expression of faith

            (A)    of confidence in the one Father who truly knows best

            (B)    “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. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined [to become] conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;” (Romans 8:28-29 NAS)

            (C)   Thy will be done: that Your plan be accomplished in me

 

    2. Actively – in carrying out His commands

        a. in the way we work at our calling: "not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart." (Ephesians 6:6 NAS)

        b. the long-term work of the Holy Spirit in us: 1 Thessalonians 4:3, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification…”

        c. gratitude: 1Thessalonians 5:18, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

        d. the things that accompany salvation: Colossians 1:10, “that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”


Footnotes

Endnotes

1

© 2018 by Garth Hutchinson, Faith Fellowship Baptist Church of Aurora (Ontario): may be distributed or quoted freely, only let this be done to the glory “of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus Christ” (Titus ii.13). Except as noted otherwise, quotations are from the New American Standard version, used by permission. Various other English versions of the Holy Bible may be used in this sermon. Explanatory additions to the Bible text are shown in [braces]. Version identifiers are:

 

              AV          Authorized (King James) Version of 1769

              NAS        New American Standard version © 1960, 1995 The Lockman Foundation (usually the 1995 edition)

              NIV         New International Version © 1984 by the International Bible Society

              NKJV              New King James Version © 1979 Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers

              NLT         New Living Translation © 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust

              NRSV             New Revised Standard Version © 1989 Division of Christian Education of national Council of Churches of Christ

              JBP         The New Testament in Modern English, J. B. Phillips, Geoffrey Bles Ltd

              RSV        Revised Standard Version © 1946, 1952 National Council of Churches of Christ; Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd

              UBS        Greek text of the United Bible Societies; particularly that published in 1954 by The British and Foreign Bible Society

              WEY               The New Testament in Modern Speech © 1902, 1912 R. F. Weymouth


Some of the commentaries and resources used in the preparation of this message are identified as follow:


              Barnes –  Notes on the New Testament by Alfred E. Barnes

              Calvin –   Commentaries on the Bible, by Jean Calvin; translated into English & published in the Online Bible.

              EBC             The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, © 1986 Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 49530, MI:

              EGT             The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Hodder & Stoughton; 1903

              JFB  -      Commentary on the Old and New Testaments, Jamieson, Fausset & Brown; S. S. Scranton & Co. 1872

              Gill       Exposition of the Old Testament, Exposition of the New Testament, by John Gill, D.D.

              Kerux –   The sermon & illustration data base compiled by Rev. David Holwick at the web-site, www.holwick.com.

              Lightfoot –      Commentary on the New Testament by Bishop John Lightfoot

              RWP             Robertson’s Word Pictures of the New Testament, by Dr. A. T. Robertson

              TTB      Thinking Through the Bible, Rev’d John McNicol, D.D., © 1944 by the author; The Upper Canada Tract & Book Society.

2

‘Study Notes on the Sermon on the Mount’, by Dr Harley Howard, Kerux sermon #149

3

‘Abide with Me’, by Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847)