Church Society logo              
    Equipping God's People to Live God's Word  
Twitter Facebook
Podcast Youtube

We update our blog several times a week, with news and comment on ministry, theology, the Bible, liturgy and issues of the day.

  Click for information and to download our summer sermon series here   Information and booking for JAEC 2020   Walk This Way: the latest book from Church Society  

Support the work of Church Society


Pleasing the Impassible God

Photo of contributor

Posted by Lee Gatiss, 6 Jul 2020

Lee Gatiss looks at the question of whether we can please the already perfectly happy God, in this half hour teaching video from a recent meeting.

The Bible says, “find out what pleases the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10). But can we really make God smile, or even perhaps grieve him and make him sad? Is he not already perfectly happy, and not susceptible to changeable emotional reactions as we so often are?

We chase after certain things because we think they will make us happy. Knowledge, power, wealth, respect, fame, relationships — these things fuel our ambitions and give us pleasure. But does God need any of these things? Does he seek after such pleasure? He knows everything. He governs the whole universe. He’s completely self-sufficient, and doesn’t need us or anything else to “complete” him. So what does the Bible mean when it says certain things delight him, or that he hates something?

In this video of a talk I gave recently for the Southwark Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship, I unpack the issues here to do with divine speech and the doctrine of impassibility (the idea that God is “without passions” as Article 1 puts it). There’s lots of Bible, and some help from Christians across the centuries, as well as application for us today. I hope you’ll find it an engaging half hour (perhaps with a coffee and a biscuit or two).

Listen to the audio version.

Revd Dr Lee Gatiss is the Director of Church Society and co-author of our latest book, Walk This Way.

Add your comment

Let us know what you think on our Facebook page


Church Society blog

August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019