Preceptive Will

The Preceptive Will of God is the will of God for man.  "The preceptive will relates to the rule of duty for his rational creatures."1  It has also been called the prescriptive will.  For example, God wills that man does not sin, that we do not lie, do not steal, etc.  It is the will of God for man that is revealed through his Law (Exodus 20:1-17) where God is concerned with man following his precepts.  It is also the will of God for us to be holy, repent, love, etc. (1 Pet. 1:16; Acts 17:30; John 13:34)

  • Rom. 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."
  • Eph. 6:6, "not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.".
  • 1 Thess. 4:3-6, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you."


  • 1. Hodge, Charles (2011-10-20). Systematic Theology, Complete; Vol. 1: Introduction, Vol. 2: Part 1, Theology Proper; Part 2, Anthropology; Part 3, Soteriology; Vol. 3: Part 4, Eschatology (With Active Table of Contents) (Kindle Locations 8824-8825).  . Kindle Edition.
About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.