Is there any insight to understand how God Himself doesn't wish any to fall away (His preceptive will) and the fact that His decretive will states that some will?

Further, Zachariah and Romans speak to how God loved Jacob and hated Esau. This was nothing more than a matter of God's choice according to the bible. So, how does this decretive will get rationalized with the desire God has for none to fall away?

This may need some clean up to reach it's final form and maybe someone has better examples to use.


1 Answer 1


God's preceptive will or revealed will is made known in His word, but His decretive will or secret will is His own hidden counsel. When we speak of God's revealed will, this defines OUR duty and our standard responsibilities. The reason we should do or take certain courses in our lives is because God has revealed His will for us in His word. But suppose that I disobey God's word, have I crossed His will and if so, how can it still be true that God's will is always done and His counsel accomplished at all times?

We frequently cross God's revealed will but His secret will is never broke. The distinction is clear in scripture.

"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification" (1Thessalonians 4:3)

"For who hath resisted His will?" (Roman's 9:19)

Can we truly declare or think that God's will has the same meaning in these two passages.? The 1st passage is God's revealed will and the 2nd is His secret will. The first passage concerns OUR duty our responsibilities. The second passage declares that God's secret purpose is immutable and must come to pass in spite of our insubordination.

We will never be able to do Gods revealed will perfectly or fully but His secret will, will never fail to be accomplished.

His secret will is His eternal, unchanging, purpose concerning everything He has created. These things will be brought about by certain ways of accomplishing their appointed ends. God declares,

"My counsel shall stand, and I will do my pleasure" (Isaiah 46:10)

This is the absolute, efficacious will of God; always effective and always fullfilled.
Whatever God has decided within Himself, whether he does this by Himself, through others or permits it to be done and as long as it is within his own attributes and not revealed by divine intervention, precept or prophecy, it is His secret will. These are the counsels of His mind and are unfathomable to us as His creatures.

God's will of decree is not His will in the same sense as His will of command. Therefore there is no difficulty in supposing that one may be contrary to the other, His will, in both senses is His inclination. Everything that concerns His revealed will is perfectly agreeable to His nature like when He commands love, obedience and service from us. But His secret will concerns His ultimate goal or His ultimate end which all things are now working. He has decreed the entrance of sin into the universe, though His own holy nature hates sin infinitely, yet because it is one of the means by which His appointed ends is to be reached, He has allowed it to enter.

Gods revealed will is a matter of our responsibilities and the determined of our duty. We have nothing to do with His secret will because these are of His concern alone. Tho His secret will is unknown to us, His secret wills are unconsciously fullfilled in and through us.

What a mighty and sovereign God full of grace we have that has made known to us the fulfillment of salvation and His eternal plan. His revealed will, He has gracefully given. His secret or decretive will is His alone. We can only pray we use His revealed will to obey and glorify His holy name.

My studies and understanding of Gods will are contributed to RC Sproul, AW Pink and reformed theology..thank you for your time

  • 1
    Thanks for this answer. Very enlightening. Commented Dec 30, 2018 at 1:58
  • @Little miss piper For this is the will of God even your sanctification, you quote this without perhaps saying who it applies to. If it applies to the world then God's will is not done, but if "your" refers to the church then God's will will be done.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Aug 12, 2019 at 12:15
  • All that are predestined, the Church.. this should have been evident as it is scripture. 1 Thessalonians 4:3, sanctification begins only after regeneration. Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 18:32
  • @C. Stroud. I came back to re-read my answer to you and I must say that I sounded pretty arrogant. Please excuse my behavior, my answer was not intended to sound so impolite and arrogant. Thank you for your time. I have enjoyed many of your answers to questions in the past. In fact I make it a habit to look for your input. Commented Aug 13, 2019 at 18:53
  • @Little miss piper No problem.
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 10:43

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