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Verse 17. If any man will do his will. Literally, if any man wills or is willing to do the will of God. If there is a disposition in anyone to do that will, though he should not be able perfectly to keep his commandments. To do the will of God is to obey his commandments; to yield our hearts and lives to his requirements. A disposition to do his will is a readiness to yield our intellects, our feelings, and all that we have entirely to him, to be governed according to his pleasure.

He shall know. He shall have evidence, in the very attempt to do the will of God, of the truth of the doctrine. This evidence is internal, and to the individual it is satisfactory and conclusive. It is of two kinds.

1st. He will find that the doctrines which Jesus taught are such as commend themselves to his reason and conscience, and such as are consistent with all that we know of the perfections of God. His doctrines commend themselves to us as fitted to make us pure and happy, and of course they are such as must be from God.

2nd. An honest desire to obey God will lead a man to embrace the great doctrines of the Bible. He will find that his heart is depraved and inclined to evil, and he will see and feel the truth of the doctrine of depravity; he will find that he is a sinner and needs to be born again; he will learn his own weakness, and see his need of a Saviour, of an atonement, and of pardoning mercy; he will feel that he is polluted, and needs the purifying influence of the Holy Spirit. Thus we may learn,


1st. That an honest effort to obey God is the easiest way to become

acquainted with the doctrines of the Bible.


2nd. Those who make such an effort will not cavil at any of the

doctrines of the Scriptures.


3rd. This is evidence of the truth of revelation which every man can

apply to his own case.


4th. It is such evidence as to lead to certainty. No man who has

ever made an honest effort to live a pious life, and to do all the

will of God, has ever had any doubt of the truth of the Saviour's

doctrines, or any doubt that his religion is true and is fitted to the

nature of man. They only doubt the truth of religion who wish to live

in sin.


5th. We see the goodness of God in giving us evidence of his truth

that may be within every man's reach. It does not require great

learning to be a Christian, and to be convinced of the truth of the

Bible. It requires an honest heart, and a willingness to obey God.

Whether it be of God. Whether it be divine.

Or whether I speak of myself. Of myself without being commissioned or directed by God.

{i} "if any man do his will" Joh 8:43

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