Wednesday, 20 April 2011

God's delight in Himself

God is His own object of infinite delight, in that since God is the source of all joy and joy itself, therefore, it stands to reason that the being which could give God the most Joy, is God himself. If there was another being in the universe which could excel God in happiness and pleasure, then God must by necessity turn to this being and admire the surpassing nature of the being’s happiness compared to His. Therefore, this being becomes the fountain and the source of superior pleasure and happiness. But it is impossible for a being to possess a higher degree of pleasure and happiness than God, because God is the creator of all things, therefore all beings must be inferior to him in all things pertaining to godliness and those things which are of God’s nature. 

Some may think that God’s ultimate delight is to be found in his creatures, that those things which he made delightfully by his hands are the end and beginnings of his pleasure and happiness. But this view itself is deceptive and erroneous, for it naturally maintains that God began to have the feeling of happiness and pleasure when He created; and thus for all eternity past He was a sad and miserable being. But scripture is wise to this error and thus takes us to the conversation of our Lord Jesus Christ just before his final hour when he prayed to his heavenly Father, ‘And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed’ (John 17:5). This text illuminates that before the World began Jesus had a glory with the Father before anything was created. Other passages illuminates that Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of His being, (Hebrews 1). Thus John opens his gospel with the introduction of the Logos; 'In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God’, (John 1:1-2). We hear more of Christ’s divine nature when Paul writes; ‘He is the image of the invisible God. For by him all things were created… and in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,' (Colossians 1). And agian Paul writes in Philippians, 'Though he was in the form of God, He did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing,' (Philippians 2:6). So we see from the preceding passages that before creation, there was in existence the Father and the Son which constituted the being of God, and to complete this representation is the eternal existence of the Holy Spirit who is described in the scriptures as being the Spirit of the Father and of the Son. Some theologians have ascribe Him to be the love which radiates between the Father and the Son. The Spirit is also a person and equal with the Father and the Son.

Before creation, there was the trinity, The Father, Son and Holy Spirit and what was the essence of their relationship? John tells us that God is love and we as humans (believers) know what love is because God first loved us. But what are the foundations of this love or whence did it first commence? Was it at the birth of creation or before creation? It was before creation for this love already existed among the trinity or else John could not say that God is Love. If then God is love and has for all eternity been a Loving God then we maintain that creation was birthed out of this love so that creation itself may behold this love and enjoy it by being drawn into it. This is why we read of the redeemed that they are in Christ and are to be like Him. Even more, the purpose of the revealing of the Son of God was so that the Love in which the Father has eternally loved the Son may be experienced by them and possess the glory in which the Father gave the Son. Man was made to be in communion with the Triune God and to spend all eternity searching and delighting in the Love of God. This is the portion of the redeemed, and what a joyous eternity it will be! Such enjoyment begining at the moment of conversion awaits the vessels of mercy.

The Psalmist can rightly say ‘delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart’ (Psalm 37:4) - now one cannot naturally delight in that which is not intrinsically lovely and one cannot truly delight in that which is not enjoyable or satisfying to the soul. God is all of these things, He is Lovely and enjoyable for He is the source of all pleasures just as the scattered beams all points back to the sun likewise pure pleasure are but beams of the true pleasure. God is the source of happiness and Joy, therefore he made the world that He might communicate this to his creatures and that they may receive it to enjoy and delight in it. God made us for himself in order that we may behold is glory, his loveliness and delight ourselves in his glory which is our chief happiness. 

This is why the gospel is the gospel of the glory of the blessed (happy) God and that all who believe and hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1). The gospel is foremost about God not his creatures, it is first about vindicating and promoting God’s glory rather than the gospel being about the felt needs of sinners. Because God is the chief of all things and all things exist because of Him and all things were made to worship him and be satisfied in Him; it stands to perfect reason that God should be the object of His own delight and happiness in which naturally overflow to the best of the creatures and leads to the fullness of their happiness and satisfaction. 


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