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John Piper – The Deepest Cure to Our Pitiful Addictions

9 May

How Then Does the Knowledge of the Supremacy of Christ (Opened to Us by the Gospel) Guide and Guard and Govern Our Sexual Lives?

How does it make our sexuality sacred, satisfying, and Christ-exalting? Of all the ways this works, I will mention only two.

First, knowing the supremacy of Christ enlarges the soul so that sex and its little thrills become as small as they really are. Little souls make little lusts have great power. The soul, as it were, expands to encompass the magnitude of its treasure. The human soul was made to see and savor the supremacy of Christ. Nothing else is big enough to enlarge the soul as God intended and make little lusts lose their power.

Vast starry skies seen from a mountain in Utah, and four layers of moving clouds on a seemingly endless plain in Montana, and standing on the edge of a mile-deep drop in the Grand Canyon can all have a wonderfully supplementary role in enlarging the soul with beauty. But nothing can take the place of the supremacy of Christ. As Jonathan Edwards said, if you embrace all creation with goodwill, but do not embrace Christ, you are infinitely narrow. Our hearts were made to be enlarged by Christ, and all creation cannot replace his supremacy.

My conviction is that one of the main reasons the world and the church are awash in lust and pornography (by both men and women— 30 percent of Internet pornography is now viewed by women) is that our lives are intellectually and emotionally disconnected from the infinite, soul-staggering grandeur for which we were made. Inside and out- side the church Western culture is drowning in a sea of triviality, pettiness, banality, and silliness. Television is trivial. Radio is trivial. Conversation is trivial. Education is trivial. Christian books are trivial. Worship styles are trivial. It is inevitable that the human heart, which was made to be staggered with the supremacy of Christ, but instead is drowning in a sea of banal entertainment, will reach for the best natural buzz that life can give: sex.

Therefore, the deepest cure to our pitiful addictions is not any mental strategies—though I believe in them and have my own (called ANTHEM). The deepest cure is to be intellectually and emotionally stag- gered by the infinite, everlasting, unchanging supremacy of Christ in all things. This is what it means to know him. Christ has purchased this gift for us at the cost of his life. Therefore, I say again with Hosea, “Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD” (Hos. 6:3).

~John Piper~




Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, Part 2 (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2005) p. 43-44. (Free PDF)

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Other Piper Quotes at the Cross Quoter