Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God’s pleasure is possibly the most important subject in the world ever!

The Pleasure of God 19th April 1997

• Main text- Ephesians 1:1-14 (New King James)

1. Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus:

2. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

4. just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,

5. having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,

6. to the praise and glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.

7. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace,

8. which He made to abound towards us in all wisdom and prudence,

9. having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,

10. that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth- in Him,

11. in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

12. that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.

13. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

14. who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

• Introduction- ‘God’s pleasure’ is the most important subject in the whole world ever!!

 WHO should we please- God or us?

Theology, not Anthropology. Being a Christian is about pleasing God, not ourselves:

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Revelation 4:11(KJV).

[Note: He also specifically made us diverse- “God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as he pleased” 1 Corinthians 12:18.]

“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever” Question 1 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

 WHY should we please God?

Who better to please?

Our problem is that pleasing ourselves often means being sinful, i.e. that which is pleasurable to us, is not good for us! “The passing pleasures of sin” Hebrews 11:25.

But: the GOODNESS and PLEASURE of God are always the same thing!

(a) “Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good” Gen. 1:31

(b) Revelation 4:11 above- “For thy pleasure they are and were created”.

So, if God is always good by His very nature, then all His desires and pleasure must be the best possible goal for us humans, whose “every intent of the thoughts of the heart is only evil continually” Genesis 6:5.

And we know that God wants to bless us. We can trust Him to treat us better than we treat ourselves- “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” Jeremiah 29:11 (cf. Matt. 6:33).

Another good reason to please God is that He will always get what He wants, so it’s rather stupid to resist Him:

“But He is unique, and who can make Him change? And whatever His soul desires, that He does. For He performs what is appointed for me, and many such things are with Him. Therefore I am terrified at His presence; when I consider this, I am afraid of Him” Job 23:13-15; cf. Isaiah 46:10.

Whilst some people may see that as tyrannical, I see it as a tremendous comfort. If God always wants what is best, and He always gets what He wants, then that’s great! Praise Him!

• 1. WHAT things please God?

“When we bless God, we speak well of Him; when He blesses us, He powerfully confers blessings on us” (Scott).

From God to us

 It pleases God to bless us…

vs3. “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ”

(a) Not just some but every spiritual blessing (Pray! 1 John 5:15).

(b) Not carnal, earthly or worldly but spiritual blessing (James 4:2,3).

(c) Nature (Luke 12:32- the Kingdom), origin (James 1:17; Matt. 6:1) and locality (Luke 6:23; 2 Cor. 4:17)- heavenly.

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