I penciled some time into my schedule today to rake up and sweep up some leaves. After this, I planted succulents and ground cover into two ‘rooms’ below the Log Rock Garden. Jenny and I were rather pleased with the results and look forward to the growth and development of these plants in the future. Considering us being pleased with the planting results got me asking whether I am pleased with God planting His Spirit in me. Then … is God pleased with my salvation? Is He looking forward to the spiritual life of Jesus in me growing and developing and imaging Christ? Please join me on a short journey …
The primary task of the church … and preachers (pastors) is gospel preaching! It is extremely interesting that Paul’s ministry was preaching the Cross … not getting into the peripheral! Look at
1Co 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel.
Some churches and preachers make more of an issue about baptism that about preaching the gospel. And by the way, this applies to other rites and rituals as well. For Paul the main thing remained the Cross.
1Co 2:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
He saw the Cross central to the gospel message and central to the church’s ministry. There was Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. See that? The Cross was central. Not baptism, not Communion, not socials and fellowship, not the physically ill or the poor … however good and right these things are … they are secondary to Gospel Preaching. The primary task of the church and of preachers (pastors, Sunday School leaders, youth leaders, etc.) is Gospel Preaching. Lose this and you lose the main purpose of the church.
Gospel Preaching has power to save and transform the hardest, wickedest heart! Much is said about “power” these days … to the point where so many in the church want power … power to lead, power to perform miracles (healing, the supernatural), power to sing or make music, power to overcome, power over satan, etc. … but not power to preach the powerful message which is the crucifixion of Jesus, a sacrifice given substitutionally for all who would fall in repentance and faith and be saved. Paul got it so right when he excluded all preaching and other ministries, maintaining that one ministry was to top the work of the preacher, pastor, missionary and church … the proclamation of the Gospel.
Ro 1:16 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
1Co 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
See that? The gospel which is the message of the Cross is the power of God to save the hardest heart … even mine … even yours.
When souls are saved, God is pleased! What we tend to forget is that God’s greatest achievement in the context of man is not the Genesis 1 creation. God’s greatest achievement in the context of man is the new creation through the Cross of Calvary! The whole purpose of creation and the whole purpose of man must be seen in Jesus’ salvific work at Calvary. Actually, the whole purpose of the Bible is the Cross! Now if this is so, then the results of the Cross must bring pleasure to God! You see, there is no plan or scheme or strategy greater than God’s rescue plan in Jesus and the Cross. This is the most masterly plan ever because through it dead souls and brought to life; wicked people are transformed into saints; those far away are brought close; rebels are made children; hell and damnation are replaced by heaven, glory and bliss. Yes … God is pleased when souls are saved. Each time a soul repents and believes God is pleased with the success and the merits His Son achieved on the Cross. Look at Zephaniah:
Zep 3:17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Lk 15:10 “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Are you pleased with your salvation? You ought to be! God is pleased and pleasured by your salvation because you were a target of the Cross! Before the creation of the world God chose you in Christ to be holy and blameless in His sight. To be holy and blameless, you need to be saved. You cannot achieve that status without the Cross applied to your account through the operation of the Holy Spirit. Put another way, God had you in mind when Jesus died on that cruel Cross! So … are you pleased with your salvation? If yes … then you need to make a concerted effort to stop hankering after the world and all its magnetic attractions and be delighted with what you have in Jesus and through His Blood Sacrifice. If not … consider yourself a non-Christian. See yourself as in the world, locked in the claws of the enemy and in great and urgent need of redemption. My counsel to you would be to work through the gospel message carefully so that you understand what Jesus has done for believers but also to understand what is required of you to be a Christian … then confess your sins to God. Tell Him you believe the gospel to be true and the only power that can save your soul from eternal hell. Plead for salvation, repent and prove repentance through holy living … and rejoice and be pleased that God has counted you worthy of salvation and heaven.
Dear God, thank You that You are pleased with my salvation. As I enjoy my salvation, help me to share the gospel with as many as I am able so that others too will bring pleasure to You through their salvation. Thank You that nothing can be more powerful and stop Your Gospel from breaking hard hearts and saving sinners. Amen.