The following is an excerpt from a sermon preached by Pastor Jason from Galatians 1:10 at TRBC on February 18, 2018 titled “The Pleasure of God.” The full audio of the sermon can be found here.
So, the question at hand is . . . in what does God delight? In what does he take pleasure? What is it that pleases God the most by giving him maximum pleasure, maximum delight and satisfaction and fullest joy?
In order to answer that question, we have to step outside of ourselves. We have to remove ourselves and every other created thing from the equation. A little later we will want to know what we can do that pleases God; but in order to reach that point, we have to consider the question from a perspective that removes all the noise of the created realm . . . because it is too easy to look at the world around us and say, “Well, that over there pleases God, and this thing over here doesn’t.” But if that is our perspective and we only see God in light of what he has created, then we conceive of him as infinitely smaller than he really is.
We have to consider the question from a perspective outside of the created realm. We have to travel in our minds to a place where the created realm does not exist, where it has not yet been created. We have to go to the place where God is the only thing that exists and ask what it is in that place that God delights in. We have to conceive of God in the time and place when and where he has not created anything and ask what it is, in that place, in which he takes pleasure.
Scripture answers this question for us on numerous equations. We are going to observe a handful of them.
Isaiah 42:1, “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations.”
Isaiah 53:10–11, “But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.”
Ps 22:8 (My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?), “Commit yourself to the Lord; let Him deliver him; Let Him rescue him, because He delights in him.”
Matt 3:17, Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22, “and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.’”
Matt 12:18 (quoting Isa 42:1), “Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen; My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased.”
Matt 17:5 (transfiguration), “While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!’”
2 Pet 1:17 (Peter’s reference to the transfiguration), “For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased.’”
Galatians 1:15–16, “But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me.”
Colossians 1:19, “For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him.”
Scripture is clear in its claim that God is satisfied, takes pleasure and delight in, the Son. Before God created anything, he beheld the image of himself in the Second Person of the Trinity and experienced infinite satisfaction, pleasure, and delight to a degree that cannot be improved upon. God delights in himself as he beholds the image of himself in the Son.
Consider for a moment what this says about the worth of the Son. God, with his infinite capacity for delight, beholds the Son and delights in him. Jesus Christ is so delightful that he is able to delight the perfect, eternal, amazing God. If Jesus Christ can fill God with delight, then surely the hearts of God’s people can be not only filled but overwhelmed with the same delight.