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John Piper – What Christianity Is

10 Apr

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Christianity is not the conclusion at the end of a syllogism. It is a meeting with God. It is a living supernatural power, called the Holy Spirit, moving into our hearts, shedding abroad the love of God experientially…

So Christianity, While not being merely the conclusion at the end of an argument is neither an experience at the end of a needle… Christianity is a supernatural experience of the Holy Spirit mediating the love of God to you through a historical person who did a historical act, namely, dying and rising to bear your sin…

To become a Christian is not to draw a conclusion at the end of a syllogism and sign a card that you think it is good logic. That makes nobody a Christian. To be a Christian is as the syllogism unfolds the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the heart so that in the truth of the gospel being presented… as the gospel is unfolded and the historical events of Jesus embodying the love of God are pointed to the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of your heart and you see them as glorious, true, beautiful. You see God in Christ and He stands forth in those historical facts mediated along the news of the gospel into your mind and then down into your heart as the Holy Spirit pours out the love of God as your eyes are opened by the Spirit to see the love of God as the most precious treasure in all the world. That’s how you got saved.

~John Piper~




Sermons from John Piper (1990–1999): Romans 5:3-8 – God Demonstrates His Love Toward Us (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 1999).

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John Piper – The Calvinist

4 Dec

See him on his knees,
Hear his constant pleas:
Heart of ev’ry aim:
“Hallowed be Your name.”

See him in the Word,
Helpless, cool, unstirred,
Heaping on the pyre
Heed until the fire.

See him with his books:
Tree beside the brooks,
Drinking at the root
Till the branch bear fruit.

See him with his pen:
Written line, and then,
Better thought preferred,
Deep from in the Word.

See him in the square,
Kept from subtle snare:
Unrelenting sleuth
On the scent of truth.

See him on the street,
Seeking to entreat,
Meek and treasuring:
“Do you know my King?”

See him in dispute,
Firm and resolute,
Driven by the fame
Of his Father’s name.

See him at his trade.
Done. The plan is made.
Men will have his skills,
If the Father wills.

See him at his meal,
Praying now to feel
Thanks and, be it graced,
God in ev’ry taste.

See him with his child:
Has he ever smiled
Such a smile before,
Playing on the floor?

See him with his wife,
Parable for life:
In this sacred scene
She is heaven’s queen.

See him stray. He groans.
“One is true,” he owns.
“What is left to me?
Fallibility.”

See him in lament
“Should I now repent?”
“Yes. And then proclaim:
All is for my fame.”

See him worshipping.
Watch the sinner sing,
Spared the burning flood
Only by the blood.

See him on the shore:
“Whence this ocean store?”
“From your God above,
Thimbleful of love.”

See him now asleep.
Watch the helpless reap,
But no credit take,
Just as when awake.

See him nearing death.
Listen to his breath,
Through the ebbing pain:
Final whisper: “Gain!”

~John Piper~




The Calvinist (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2013),

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John Piper – God is Happy and Sovereign

13 Aug

Can you imagine what it would be like if the God who ruled the world were not happy? What if God were given to grumbling and pouting and depression, like some Jack-and-the-beanstalk giant in the sky? What if God were frustrated and despondent and gloomy and dismal and discontented and dejected? Could we join David and say, “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1)?

I don’t think so. We would all relate to God like little children who have a frustrated, gloomy, dismal, discontented father. They can’t enjoy him. They can only try not to bother him, or maybe try to work for him to earn some little favor.
Therefore if God is not a happy God, Christian Hedonism has no foundation. For the aim of the Christian Hedonist is to be happy in God, to delight in God, to cherish and enjoy His fellowship and favor. But children cannot enjoy the fellowship of their Father if He is unhappy. Therefore the foundation of Christian Hedonism is the happiness of God.

But the foundation of the happiness of God is the sovereignty of God: “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3). If God were not sovereign, if the world He made were out of control, frustrating His design again and again, God would not be happy.

Just as our joy is based on the promise that God is strong enough and wise enough to make all things work together for our good, so God’s joy is based on that same sovereign control: He makes all things work together for His glory.

~John Piper~




Desiring God (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2003) p. 32-33.

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John Piper – The Chief End of God

31 Jul

The ultimate ground of Christian Hedonism is the fact that God is uppermost in His own affections:

The chief end of God is to glorify God
and enjoy Himself forever.

The reason this may sound strange is that we are more accustomed to think about our duty than God’s design. And when we do ask about God’s design, we are too prone to describe it with ourselves at the center of God’s affections. We may say, for example, that His design is to redeem the world. Or to save sinners. Or to restore creation. Or the like.

But God’s saving designs are penultimate, not ultimate. Redemption, salvation, and restoration are not God’s ultimate goal. These He performs for the sake of something greater: namely, the enjoyment He has in glorifying Himself. The bedrock foundation of Christian Hedonism is not God’s allegiance to us, but to Himself.

If God were not infinitely devoted to the preservation, display, and enjoyment of His own glory, we could have no hope of finding happiness in Him. But if He does in fact employ all His sovereign power and infinite wisdom to maximize the enjoyment of His own glory, then we have a foundation on which to stand and rejoice.

~John Piper~




Desiring God (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2003) p. 31-32.

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John Piper – Witness-Bearing Pleasure

12 Jun

Our calling here is to fight for joy — ours and the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. The aim is that God’s worth — his infinite desirability — be known and prized and praised in all the world. This is what we mean by God being glorified. He is most glorified in and through his people when we are most satisfied in him. The intensity of our pleasure and our desire bear witness of his worth to the world, especially when we are freed by this (present and hoped for) pleasure to leave the pleasures of this world for a life of sacrifice and love
for others.

~John Piper~




When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2004) p. 29.

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John Piper – Battling Unbelief With the Superior Promises of God

23 Apr

“Battling unbelief,” is another way of saying, “Living by faith in future grace.” The “unbelief” that I have in mind is the failure to trust the promises of God that sustain our radical obedience in the future. These promises refer to what God plans to do for us in the future, and that is what I mean by future grace. It is grace, because it is good for us and totally undeserved. And it is future in that it hasn’t happened to us yet but may in the next five seconds or the next five thousand years.

For the Christian the promises of God are spectacular. They relate to our immediate future, before this minute is over, and our eternal future…

The ultimate gift at the end of them all is God himself… The final, best, highest, most satisfying gift of future grace is seeing and savoring God himself.

~John Piper~




Battling Unbelief: Defeating Sin With Superior Pleasure (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2007) p. 14-15.

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John Piper – A Liberating and Devastating Doctrine

4 Apr

Christian Hedonism is a liberating and a devastating doctrine. It teaches that the value of God shines more brightly in the soul that finds deepest satisfaction in him. Therefore it is liberating because it endorses our inborn desire for joy. And it is devastating because it reveals that no one desires God with the passion he demands.

~John Piper~




When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2004) p. 13.

Books by John Piper

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Other Piper Quotes at the Cross Quoter