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Our Aim to Please Him, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2024 8:46 am

Our Aim to Please Him, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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May 22, 2024 8:46 am

In 2 Corinthians 5:9, Paul says that “we make it our aim to please God for we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ” So, how do we aim to please God when only Christ’s blood can satisfy Him? If the gospel teaches that Jesus did the work on our behalf, what is our role in pleasing God? Today Pastor Rich answers these questions, explaining our call to please God within the context of the grace of the gospel.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, Pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. In 2 Corinthians 5-9, Paul says that we make it our aim to please God, for we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ. So how do we aim to please God when only Christ's blood can satisfy Him? If the Gospel teaches that Jesus did the work on our behalf, what is our role in pleasing God? Today, Pastor Rich answers these questions, explaining our call to please God within the context of the grace of the Gospel. Let's listen in.

Look at that with me, please. Therefore, we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.

But we are well known to God, and I also trust are well known in your consciences. Earlier in this chapter, actually in chapter 4, Paul said we do not look at the things that are seen, but we look at the things that are not seen. And that word look is the word scopeo. It's the word from which we get the word scope. You know, a hunter's scope.

You're looking through that, and you're looking at the objective, and as you're looking through the scope, you are rescued from the distractions of everything else that is around. In that light, the Apostle Paul, then, begins in verse 9, therefore, we make it our aim. Therefore, this is why. Because we are destined for the best. Because we are in Christ, and we have his righteousness.

He says, therefore, and when he says, therefore, it's like he's saying, this is why we make it our aim to be pleasing to him. Now, this word aim is an interesting word. Three letters in English, and yet, in the Greek, that three letter word translates a six syllable word in Greek. Philotomeomai.

How do you get aim out of that? But it is. And the word philotomeomai, it's a compound word. Philo means love. The love of. And to meomai means honor. The love of honor. In other words, to earnestly aspire for something. So he says, I love the honor of, or I earnestly aspire to, what? Be well pleasing to him.

Why is that? Because this is our Christian calling. We need to make it abundantly clear from the onset here, what the Apostle Paul is speaking of is not our justification before God. He is not saying, I'm making it my aim in life to be justified before God. That is not what he's saying. Our justification for God, if you are in Christ, your justification for God is settled once and for all.

It's a done thing. And nothing changes that. What he is speaking of here is being as an outflow of that, because it is my Christian calling, now that I am reconciled to God, and nothing changes that, then my well pleasing to him means it is an outflow of that relationship. It is what logically follows our identity in Christ. Like the branch that is taken off the ground is grafted back into the tree, and because that branch now is vitally connected to the tree, and drawing life from the tree, the natural outflow of that branch is going to be its fruit.

That fruit is what Paul is talking about here. We make it our aim. I earnestly aspire, I love the honor of being well pleasing to the one who created me and redeemed me to himself. What a lofty calling that is. And it is the logical following of our identity in Christ, because the apostle, he says here, whether present or absent, what does he mean? Well, taking from the context of the previous paragraph, whether present in the body and absent from the Lord, or whether present with the Lord and absent from the body, either way, it is my ambition, it is my objective of life to be well pleasing to him.

That's what all of our eternity will consist of. Well, one thing that becomes very clear from this, I want to present three points this morning that we glean from the text, one from each verse. And that is, first of all, we make it our aim to be well pleasing to him because we are stewards. We are stewards.

What does that mean? We please the master. Whatever stuff of life that I have, and we'll go through some specifics of that in a few moments, but whatever stuff of life that I have, it's not mine and I am not the point of it.

It is his, he has entrusted it to me, and he is the point. With that understanding, as a steward of life, I am able to be well pleasing to him. We are stewards of the stuff of life. We are stewards of life itself.

And this stewardship happens in the context of a loving, reconciled relationship. That I have been reconciled to God. I am now the branch, vitally connected to the tree and drawing life from the tree.

And therefore, I am productive. I am fruitful as that branch because I am drawing life from the source. And as that stewardship, I am well pleasing to him. This word, well pleasing, is something that is used elsewhere in scripture. And you might recognize it in the Bible, but I used elsewhere in scripture, and you might recognize it in these verses. For example, Romans 12, 1 and 2, it's mentioned two times in those verses. Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God.

That's well pleasing to him. That you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. This is to Christians, again, this is not speaking of our justification before God. You cannot earn your acceptance before God. That is only done through the imputation of Jesus Christ.

That is only done by surrendered faith in Jesus Christ. This is to Christians, those of us who are in Christ, we aspire to, we earnestly aspire to, we love the honor of being well pleasing to the one who created us and redeemed us for himself. Ephesians chapter 5 and verse 10 uses this phrase also, discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Another place that this verse is used is in Titus chapter 2 and verse 9. Exhort bond servants to be obedient to their own masters to be well pleasing in all things, not answering back.

This is the only time this word is used in the context of between man and man. All the other times in scripture, it is used of God's attitude towards the conduct of men. And so we earnestly aspire to be well pleasing to God. And what does it mean to be well pleasing to God? That term well pleasing means to positively evoke pleasure.

The God who made me and redeemed me to himself through the Lord Jesus Christ. It is my earnest aim, I earnestly aspire to evoke pleasure in him. The root of this idea is a positive relationship between two factors. And therefore, the things that I do, my stewardship of the stuff of life, I do it in a manner that is agreeable to his character and purpose. It is a life management thing. It is management of what has been entrusted to us. So it is in the context of life. It is doing life in a manner that is agreeable to his character and his purpose.

And that's what brings pleasure to him. Brother Lawrence said, let us think often that our only business in this life is to please God. Our only business in this life is to please God.

There is, what is the opposite of that? If my life in all of the stuff of life, if my ambition, if my aim is to please God as I do life, then I'm going to be pleasing God in a public way. The opposite of this is what is being forced upon us in our culture, in our context today, in a word of called privatization. Conventional thought today says, you know, if you want to have your own faith, that's fine. Just keep it private.

Don't bring it into the public arena. And that is being forced upon us very heavily these days. Let me, let me pause it to you this morning that that is diametrically opposed to the very idea of Christian faith. There is an article, a statement, shall I say, on the back of your bulletins by Ravi Zacharias. This statement, it is a redaction of the statement, but it is a statement that has appeared before the Supreme Court signed by Ravi Zacharias, along with many other statements by theologians and apologists and pastors. But it is in the current context of the case that was heard recently by the Supreme Court with regard to federal mandates in the context of health care, federal mandates upon certain organizations where those mandates would be a violation of their conscience. And essentially, it is arguing that this mandate would require one to exercise private faith, but their faith has nothing to do with the public arena. And this is Ravi's statement in response to that.

Let me read some excerpts from it. The faithful Christian cannot separate his life into sacred and secular worship and work. A Christian does not cease to worship the Lord when he or she goes to work or opens a family business. Romans 11, 36 says, for from him, through him and to him are all things to him be the glory forever. Amen. As Christians, we are called to do all things to the glory of God, including perhaps especially our work. And then he continues saying this. Later on, we know that the premise of privatization is flawed because that which is sacred to you in private is also sacred to you in public. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on weekdays at 10am.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-22 10:20:06 / 2024-05-22 10:24:33 / 4

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