Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.


« This Week in Housekeeping | Main | Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy 15 »

Theological Term of the Week

preceptive will
God’s revealed law or commandments; what God has declared that we should do. Also called revealed will, moral will, will of command, expressed will, or signified will.

  • From scripture:

    Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21 ESV)
    Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV)
  • From The Westminster Shorter Catechism:
    Q. 39. What is the duty which God requireth of man?
    A. The duty which God requireth of man, is obedience to his revealed will.
  • From Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof:

    [God’s] decretive will includes many things which He forbids in His preceptive will,  and excludes many things which he commands in His preceptive will, cf. Gen 22; Ex. 4:21-23; II kings 20:1-7; Acts 2:23. Yet it is of great importance to maintain both the decretive and the preceptive will, but with the definite understanding that, while they appear to us as distinct, they are yet fundamentally one in God. Though a perfectly satisfactory solution of the difficulty is out of the question for the present, it is possible to make some approaches to a solution. When we speak of the decretive and the preceptive will of God, we use the word “will” in two different senses. By the former God has determined what He will do or what shall come to pass; in the latter He reveals to us what we are in duty bound to do. At the same time, we should remember that the moral law, the rule of our life, is also in a sense the embodiment of the will of God. Is is an expression of His holy nature and of what this naturally requires of all moral creatures. 

Learn more:

  1. R. C. Sproul: Examining the Preceptive Will of God
  2. Kevin DeYoung: The Whole Duty of Man
  3. Curt Daniel: The Will of God (mp3)
  4. Tim Keller: God’s Secret and Revealed Will (mp3)

Related terms:

Filed under Reformed Theology

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it. I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>