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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 God Who Strengthens His People

8 Apr

john-piperNow there is something here so wonderful I don’t want to pass over it too quickly lest you miss it. So let me say the obvious again and then draw out the less obvious. The obvious fact is that of all the things he could have said about what God does or has done that draws attention to his glory, of all the dozens of great acts of God and all the great abilities of God, he chooses to highlight one thing: “Now to him who is able to strengthen you … be glory forevermore.…” He does say that God is wise, and that God hid something for ages, and that he revealed something for the sake of the nations, and that he did all this by his eternal command. Yes. But the way Paul has set up this doxology, all of that is serving to support and explain this one main thing: God is able to strengthen you. “Now unto him who is able to strengthen you … be glory for evermore.…”

Now that is the obvious fact. Here’s what is less obvious but crystal clear once someone draws it to our attention. Many kings in history and many dictators today intend to get glory. They want to be known as strong and rich and wise. And how have they done it? By keeping their citizens weak and poor and uneducated. An educated people is a threat to a dictator. A prosperous middle class is a threat to a dictator. A strong people is a threat to the strength of a dictator. So what do they do? They secure their own power by keeping their people weak. They get their glory by standing on the backs of a broken people. Just look at the regime of Islom Karimov in Uzbekistan. And we could mention many others—little kings who keep their people weak so that they can be strong and rich.

But now contrast the way Paul draws attention to the glory of God. If any king ever had the right to display all his glory by stepping on the backs of a rebellious people, it is God. But what does he do? He displays his glory by making his people strong. “Now unto him who is able to strengthen you … be glory forevermore.…” God magnifies his glory by making you strong with his gospel. God feels no threat from your strength at all. In fact, the stronger you are in faith and hope and love through the gospel of Jesus Christ, the greater he appears. God does not secure his strength by keeping his people weak. He magnifies the glory of his strength by making his people strong. “Now unto him who is able to strengthen you … be glory.”

Therefore, when Paul makes the glory of God the ultimate goal of the gospel—when he closes his greatest of all letters by drawing attention to the supreme worth of the glory of God—this is not bad news for us. Unless we want to have that glory for ourselves. Why is this not bad news for us? Because our God draws attention to his glory by making his undeserving people strong. The greater the glory of God, the more resources for our strength. The more manifold and wonderful the glory of God, the more manifold and wonderful the source of our strength. “Now to him who is able to strengthen you … be glory for evermore.”

~John Piper~




Sermons from John Piper (2000–2009): Romans 16:25-27 – God Strengthens Us By The Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2009).

Books by John Piper

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The Works of John Piper on Logos Bible Software

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John Piper – The Only Gospel

23 Jan

The reason Paul is not ashamed of the gospel is that it is the only truth in all the world that will not let you down when you give your life to it in faith. It will bring you all the way through temptation and persecution and death and judgment into eternal safety and ever-increasing joy in the presence of a holy and glorious God. All the other “gospels” in the world that win so many converts will fail you in the end. Only one saves from the final wrath of God and leads to fullness of joy in his presence and pleasures at his right hand forever. Therefore, there is no need to be ashamed of it, no matter what others say or do. And O how eager we should be to speak this gospel to believer and unbeliever alike.

~John Piper~




Sermons from John Piper (1990–1999): Romans 1:16 – The Gospel is the Power of God Unto Salvation (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 2007).

Books by John Piper

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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 – You Have An Amazing Conversion Story

16 Nov

I don’t remember being converted at age six at my mother’s side in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (as my father reminds me). All I remember is believing. I’ve always believed as far as I can remember. I’m sure that’s not true because we come into the world bent out of shape by sin, but whatever God did in my life to make me a believer He did so early that I don’t remember it happening. A lot of you are in that position and you sort of regret it because you don’t have any stunning testimonies to tell about how you were saved. However, I learned what happened to me from Romans. I’ll tell you what happened to me. I don’t need to remember, I know from the Bible what happened to me. And as I say what happened to me, would those of you who wonder if it’s happened to you listen carefully? There are four things: 1) “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (3:23); 2) “the wages of sin is death” (6:23); 3) “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8); therefore, 4) “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (10:9). Even though I don’t remember what happened to me, I know what happened to me, from the book of Romans. The book of Romans interprets life, life that you don’t even know about, you read about in the book of Romans. Which of us, who has tasted the goodness and glory of God in this great gospel, does not count the book of Romans precious beyond reckoning?

~John Piper~




The Author of the Greatest Book Ever Written (Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God, 1998), A Sermon on Romans 1:1.

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John Piper – The Gospel Of The Glory Of The Happy God

14 Nov

There is a beautiful phrase in 1 Timothy 1:11 buried beneath the too-familiar surface of Bible buzzwords. Before we dig it up, it sounds like this: “The gospel of the glory of the blessed God.” But after you dig it up, it sounds like this: “The good news of the glory of the happy God.”

A great part of God’s glory is his happiness. It was inconceivable to the apostle Paul that God could be denied infinite joy and still be all-glorious. To be infinitely glorious was to be infinitely happy. He used the phrase, “the glory of the happy God,” because it is a glorious thing for God to be as happy as he is. God’s glory consists much in the fact that he is happy beyond our wildest imagination.

As the great eighteenth-century preacher, Jonathan Edwards, said, “Part of God’s fullness which he communicates, is his happiness. This happiness consists in enjoying and rejoicing in himself; so does also the creature’s happiness.”

And this is the gospel: “The gospel of the glory of the happy God.” It is good news that God is gloriously happy. No one would want to spend eternity with an unhappy God. If God is unhappy then the goal of the gospel is not a happy goal, and that means it would be no gospel at all. But, in fact, Jesus invites us to spend eternity with a happy God when he says, “Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:23). Jesus lived and died that his joy—God’s joy—might be in us and our joy might be full (John 15:11; 17:13). Therefore the gospel is “the gospel of the glory of the happy God.”

~John Piper~




The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God’s Delight in Being God (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 2000), 24-26

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John Piper – Righteousness Not Our Own

30 Sep

I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish in order that I might gain Christ, (9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.

When Paul says that he aims to be found “in [Christ], not having a righteousness of my own,” does he mean that the righteousness he hopes to have in Christ is the righteousness that consists in his own faith? That is highly unlikely, because the righteousness that he aims to have is his by virtue of being “in Christ” (ἐν αὐτῷ, en autō) and is said to be “through faith” (διὰ πίστεως, dia pisteōs) and “based on faith” (ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει, epi tē pistei). The conceptual framework here is not that faith is our righteousness, but that, because of faith, we are united to Christ in whom we have a righteousness “from God” (τὴν ἐκ θεοῦ, tēn ek theou). This too supports our earlier conclusion that imputed righteousness is not “righteousness that consists in our faith,” but rather an external “righteousness credited to us because of our faith.”

~John Piper~




Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2002), 62-63.

Books by John Piper

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