Summary: There is a difference between the "will of the Lord" and the "pleasure of the Lord." There are times when God may allow a thing and yet take no pleasure with it. We ought to be truly interested in whatever our Lord takes pleasure in. If He has no pleasure
Intro: There is a difference between the "will of the Lord" and the "pleasure of the Lord." There are times when God may allow a thing and yet take no pleasure with it. We ought to be truly interested in whatever our Lord takes pleasure in. If He has no pleasure in a thing, neither should His people. We shall now notice the pleasure of the Lord —
I. With Regards to Christ. Here we see the pleasure of the Lord in a threefold aspect—
A. IN THE PERSON OF CHRIST (Matt. 3:17; 17:5). Here we have the Lamb that will take away the sin of the world brought before the holy sight of God for examination. Not only is He without spot and blemish, but with all that He did God was well pleased. There was actually more than mere satisfaction with God. There was fullness of pleasure in Him!
B. IN THE SUFFERINGS OF CHRIST (Isa. 53:10). In bruising Him (His beloved Son) He was bruised Himself. It is the pleasure of the Lord to bruise Him instead of us, to save man through Him, and this pleasure shall prosper in the hand of the bruised One. That is why He is able to save to the uttermost (Heb. 7:25).
C. IN THE MEDIATION OF CHRIST (I Tim. 2:5). He is the Mediator between God and men. The Father had pleasure in committing all that pertains to our reconciliation with Him and our ultimate salvation from eternal punishment into the hands of the Son; so that we might not only be reconciled with the Lord, but be filled with all His fullness (Col. 1:19).
II. With Regards to His Word (Isa. 55:11). His word went forth over the void creation in the beginning, and turned emptiness into fruitfulness. He says it shall not, even now, return unto Him void. We cannot always tell what His word is accomplishing when it is spoken, but we are assured that it will accomplish that which is pleasing unto the Lord.
III. With Regards to a Preached Gospel (I Cor. 1:21; Rom. 1:16). God takes pleasure in saving them that believe through the “foolishness of preaching”...Not certainly through foolish preaching! Sadly though, there is much preaching everywhere in which God can have no pleasure, because a minister or his ministry is lifted up and Christ and the Bible are either eclipsed or secondary! It is a comforting thought that God is actually pleased to save them that believe, not them that work. That is why if a truly repentant sinner has nothing but faith, it will please God to save him!
IV. With Regards to the Believer’s Prospect (Luke 12:32). Then it must be His good pleasure to take us there and fit us for it. "My kingdom is not of this world," said Christ (John 18:36). "In the world ye shall have tribulation" (John 16:33). The lust of this world passes away, but the kingdom we are about to receive "cannot be moved" (Heb. 12:28). Our title to it cannot be disputed, for He will make us kings and priests unto God (Rev. 1:6). God’s promise of royal and holy reign is not just for 1000 years on earth but forever in eternity!! (Rev. 22:5)
V. With Regards to the Wicked’s Situation (Ezek. 33:11a). That the wicked will die and perish is certain if they repent not...but that God has no pleasure in their death and subsequent condemnation is just as certain (II Pet. 3:9; I Tim. 2:4). The question then is why will the wicked die still and eternally perish? Answer: Because they choose death rather than life by preferring the passing pleasures of sin; they incur its wages (Jas. 1:15; Rom. 6:23).