Trending Words: Will

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Sun, Oct 27, 2019

Teacher: Josh Wall Series: Trending Words


Will Definition

noun: the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions (ie. it’s the power of choosing one’s own actions.

verb: to wish, to desire, or to like



Hebrew for “to breathe, to consent, to rest, or to be willing.”

Hebrews 4:12

The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


“abah” occurs 55 times in the Old Testament (but most of them aren’t translated to “will” in the English translations.

“abah” in those other places is represented with other words, like “yield,” “refuse,” “unwilling,” “consent,” “disregard,” and “have none of it.”



Greek for “choice, purpose, decree, desire, pleasure, or will”


Greek for “to choose or prefer, to wish or be inclined,”


What I see when I look at the list of the uses of these words is that Jesus actually uses them. 89 times, in fact, Jesus himself says either “thelema” or “thelo” to God or another person in the gospels.

It’s almost as if his use of the words stress the importance of will and desire for the rest of the New Testament writers.


Here are some noteworthy examples you’ll probably recognize:


Matt 6:10
“your kingdom come, your will (thelema) be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Matt 7:12 
“ to others what you would have (thelo) them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Matt 7:21
“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will (thelema) of my Father who is in heaven.”

Matt 12:50
“...whoever does the will (thelema) of my father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Matt 15:28
“...woman, you have great faith! Your request (thelo) is granted...”

Matt 16:24
“...Whoever wants (thelo) to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants (thelo) to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

Matt 23:37
“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I longed (thelo) to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wing, and you were not willing (thelo).”

Matt 26:39
“My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will (thelo), but as you will.”

There is one from one of the other gospels that needs to be mentioned, though.

John 6:38-39 
“For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will (thelema) but to do the will (thelema) of him who sent me. And this is the will (thelema) of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.”

You look at this list, and you can’t get around it: will, desire, want—it’s a big deal to Jesus. 

Jesus was pretty clear that his sole objective in his time on earth was to do his Father’s will

Jesus acknowledges the wills of others.

Jesus has his own will.

Romans 7:15

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want (thelo) to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

1 John 1:8

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”




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