The Father’s Confession
In the baptism of the Lord Jesus in Matthew 3 and in the transfiguration in Matthew 17, God the Father looks directly upon His Son and says, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” (Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 17:5, ESV).
Notice that the disciples merely heard the words “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” These words were directed at Jesus and about Jesus. God’s infinite pleasure is not in the lives of men, no matter who they are.
The most important question you can ask yourself is this: If God were to evaluate my life now, what would He say about it? What does God think about my life, who I am, and what I have done?
The Law’s Accusation
The Bible reveals to us our condition. Like looking into a mirror, God’s Law shows us how God sees us before Him. Perhaps you believe the following about your life and what God would say about it (ESV):
- Do you believe you are a good person? “None is righteous … no one does good, not even one,” (Romans 3:9-12).
- Is your heart good and kind? “From within, out of the heart of man … All these evil things come,” (Mark 7:21-23).
- Or, do you believe that God is happy with your life? “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God,” (Romans 8:7-8).
Neither Peter nor John, James, Paul, Jude, or Mary pleased God by who they were. All of us are accountable to God (Romans 3:23-29) and will be required to give an account to Him (Hebrews 9:27).
How then can we please God? Who can please God?
The Gospel’s Justification
Jesus alone pleased God, He alone was perfect and free from sin (Hebrews 4:15, 7:26; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:3). Only the God who became man is pleasing to God who judges man.
And in the gospel, we can have that declaration be pronounced over sinners like us. 1 Peter 3:18, ESV, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.”
What then is our response? John 3:36, ESV, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” By faith alone we are made right with God (Romans 5:1).
By faith, God places us in his Son, his Son in us. We bear the image of Christ, united to him, wedded to him, one with him. God looks at you and see the shining face of Christ! By faith, look to Jesus Christ!
It is only in the gospel that we can please God through the work of Christ. When we feel like a failure, Jesus pleased God for you.
When we feel weak, Jesus was strong for us. When we feel impure, Jesus was pure for us.
In Christ alone are we pleasing to God. May we never build our life on another foundation.