John Piper

Quotes of Author: John-piper

1.
If you take joy, as an essential element, out of faith, hope, or love, you do not have Christian faith, hope, or love. Faith is the satisfying embrace of the trusted and treasured Christ. Hope is the satisfying foretaste of the future reward. Love is the overflow of joy in God that seeks to meet the needs of others, especially the need of eternal joy.

If you take joy, as an essential element, out of faith, hope, or love, you do not have Christian faith, hope, or love. Faith is the satisfying embrace of the trusted and treasured Christ. Hope is the satisfying foretaste of the future reward. Love is the overflow of joy in God that seeks to meet the needs of others, especially the need of eternal joy.      

Reference:   Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 163.


2.
Christianity is a divine project of replacing inferior joys in inferior objects with superior joys in God Himself.

Christianity is a divine project of replacing inferior joys in inferior objects with superior joys in God Himself.      

Reference:   Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 162.


3.
Bored boasting in Christ and sad exultation in Christ are oxymorons. The enjoyment is essential to making much of Christ.

Bored boasting in Christ and sad exultation in Christ are oxymorons. The enjoyment is essential to making much of Christ.      

Reference:   Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 162.


4.
Joy originates in God. It comes through Jesus his Son. And it is the fruit of his Spirit. Those who embrace Jesus as their Savior and treasure, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of the Father, enter into that Trinitarian joy.

Joy originates in God. It comes through Jesus His Son. And it is the fruit of his Spirit. Those who embrace Jesus as their Savior and treasure, by the power of the Spirit, for the glory of the Father, enter into that Trinitarian joy.      

Reference:   Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 160.


Author: John Piper
5.
The sovereignty of God [does] not make the pursuit of sinner pointless – it makes it hopeful. Nothing in man can stop this sovereign God from saving the worst of sinners.

The sovereignty of God [does] not make the pursuit of sinner pointless – it makes it hopeful. Nothing in man can stop this sovereign God from saving the worst of sinners.      

Reference:   Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 155.


6.
One measure of the greatness of a man is not only that he practices what he preaches, but also that he doesn’t consider himself above the ordinary means of grace that all Christians need.

One measure of the greatness of a man is not only that he practices what he preaches, but also that he doesn’t consider himself above the ordinary means of grace that all Christians need.      

Reference:   Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 136.


7.
The root of our problem is not ignorance. Beneath ignorance is hardness of heart against God and His ways… against the good I know.

The root of our problem is not ignorance. Beneath ignorance is hardness of heart against God and His ways… against the good I know.  

Reference:   Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 118.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Sin-Indwelling
8.
Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others… Or to say it another way: we do not merely seek to love in order to be happy, but we seek to be happy in God in order to love.

Love is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others… Or to say it another way: we do not merely seek to love in order to be happy, but we seek to be happy in God in order to love.    

Reference:   Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 53.


9.
Paul did not minimize or make light of his sufferings, but he was not embittered by them. Instead, he found contentment in God’s merciful purposes through them.

Paul did not minimize or make light of his sufferings, but he was not embittered by them. Instead, he found contentment in God's merciful purposes through them.      

Reference:   Why I Love the Apostle Paul, Copyright 2019, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Page 37.


10.
Our underlying problem is a deep desire not to find our satisfaction in God’s greatness, but our own.

Our underlying problem is a deep desire not to find our satisfaction in God’s greatness, but our own.

Reference:   Copyright, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org, https://www.desiringgod.org/interviews/god-made-me-so-doesnt-he-owe-me-salvation.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Satisfaction
11.
People ought to come to corporate worship services to get. They ought to come starved for God. They ought to come saying, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1). God is profoundly honored when people know that they will die of hunger and thirst unless they have God.

People ought to come to corporate worship services to get. They ought to come starved for God. They ought to come saying, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God” (Psalm 42:1). God is profoundly honored when people know that they will die of hunger and thirst unless they have God.    

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 56, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


12.
The great hindrance to worship is not that we are a pleasure-seeking people, but that we are willing to settle for such pitiful pleasures.

The great hindrance to worship is not that we are a pleasure-seeking people, but that we are willing to settle for such pitiful pleasures.    

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 55, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


13.
The widespread notion that high moral acts must be free from self-interest is a great enemy of true worship. Worship is the highest moral act a human can perform; so the only basis and motivation for it that many people can conceive is the moral notion of disinterested performance of duty. But when worship is reduced to disinterested duty, it ceases to be worship. For worship is a feast of the glorious perfections of God in Christ.

The widespread notion that high moral acts must be free from self-interest is a great enemy of true worship. Worship is the highest moral act a human can perform; so the only basis and motivation for it that many people can conceive is the moral notion of disinterested performance of duty. But when worship is reduced to disinterested duty, it ceases to be worship. For worship is a feast of the glorious perfections of God in Christ.

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 54, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


14.
Quit being satisfied with little 2-percent yields of pleasure that get eaten up by the moths of inflation and the rust of death. Invest in the blue-chip, high-yield, divinely insured securities of heaven. Giving your life to material comforts and thrills is like throwing money down a rat hole. But a life invested in the labor of love yields dividends of joy unsurpassed and unending

Quit being satisfied with little 2-percent yields of pleasure that get eaten up by the moths of inflation and the rust of death. Invest in the blue-chip, high-yield, divinely insured securities of heaven. Giving your life to material comforts and thrills is like throwing money down a rat hole. But a life invested in the labor of love yields dividends of joy unsurpassed and unending  

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 52, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


15.
Love is the overflow and expansion of joy in God, which gladly meets the needs of others… It is first a deeply satisfying experience of the fullness of God’s grace, and then a doubly satisfying experience of extending this joy in God to another person.

Love is the overflow and expansion of joy in God, which gladly meets the needs of others… It is first a deeply satisfying experience of the fullness of God’s grace, and then a doubly satisfying experience of extending this joy in God to another person.  

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 44-45, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


16.
The Scriptures command joy, hope, fear, peace, grief, desire, tenderheartedness, brokenness and contrition, gratitude, lowliness, etc. Therefore Christian Hedonism is not making too much of emotion when it says that being satisfied in God is our calling and duty.

The Scriptures command joy, hope, fear, peace, grief, desire, tenderheartedness, brokenness and contrition, gratitude, lowliness, etc. Therefore Christian Hedonism is not making too much of emotion when it says that being satisfied in God is our calling and duty.    

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 30, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


17.
Perhaps you can see why it is astonishing to me that so many people try to define true Christianity in terms of decisions and not affections. Not that decisions are unessential. The problem is that they require so little transformation. Mere decisions are no sure evidence of a true work of grace in the heart. People can make “decisions” about the truth of God while their hearts are far from Him.

Perhaps you can see why it is astonishing to me that so many people try to define true Christianity in terms of decisions and not affections. Not that decisions are unessential. The problem is that they require so little transformation. Mere decisions are no sure evidence of a true work of grace in the heart. People can make “decisions” about the truth of God while their hearts are far from Him.  

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 28, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


18.
If you want to glorify Christ in your dying, you must experience death as gain. Which means Christ must be your prize, your treasure, your joy. He must be a satisfaction so deep that when death rakes away everything you love – but gives you more of Christ – you count it gain. When you are satisfied with Christ in dying, He is gloried in your dying.

If you want to glorify Christ in your dying, you must experience death as gain. Which means Christ must be your prize, your treasure, your joy. He must be a satisfaction so deep that when death rakes away everything you love – but gives you more of Christ – you count it gain. When you are satisfied with Christ in dying, He is gloried in your dying.  


19.
If Christ’s honor is our passion, the pursuit of pleasure in Him is our duty.

If Christ’s honor is our passion, the pursuit of pleasure in Him is our duty.      

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 27, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


20.
Joy is not just the spin-off of obedience to God, but part of obedience. It seems as though people are willing to let joy be a byproduct of our relationship to God, but not an essential part of it. People are uncomfortable saying that we are duty-bound to pursue joy. They say things like, “Don’t pursue joy, pursue obedience.” But Christian Hedonism responds, “That’s like saying, ‘Don’t eat apples; eat fruit.'” Because joy is an act of obedience. We are commanded to rejoice in God. If obedience is doing what God commands, then joy is not merely the spin-off of obedience, it is obedience. The Bible tells us over and over to pursue our joy (Psm. 32:11; 37:4; 67:4; Lk. 10:20; Phil. 4:4).

Joy is not just the spin-off of obedience to God, but part of obedience. It seems as though people are willing to let joy be a byproduct of our relationship to God, but not an essential part of it. People are uncomfortable saying that we are duty-bound to pursue joy. They say things like, "Don't pursue joy, pursue obedience." But Christian Hedonism responds, "That's like saying, 'Don't eat apples; eat fruit.'" Because joy is an act of obedience. We are commanded to rejoice in God. If obedience is doing what God commands, then joy is not merely the spin-off of obedience, it is obedience. The Bible tells us over and over to pursue our joy (Psm. 32:11; 37:4; 67:4; Lk. 10:20; Phil. 4:4).    

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 13-14, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


21.
Any good-hearted goal, without the desire to give people eternal joy in God, is condemnation with a kind face.

Any good-hearted goal, without the desire to give people eternal joy in God, is condemnation with a kind face.  


Author: John Piper
Topics: Joy-God
22.
We know the principle of justice that when two legitimate rights conflict, the right that protects the higher value should prevail. We deny the right to drive at 100 miles per hour because the value of life is greater than the value of being on time or getting thrills. The right of the unborn not to be killed and the right of a woman not to be pregnant may be at odds. But they are not equal rights. Staying alive is more precious and more basic than not being pregnant.

We know the principle of justice that when two legitimate rights conflict, the right that protects the higher value should prevail. We deny the right to drive at 100 miles per hour because the value of life is greater than the value of being on time or getting thrills. The right of the unborn not to be killed and the right of a woman not to be pregnant may be at odds. But they are not equal rights. Staying alive is more precious and more basic than not being pregnant.    

Reference:   We Know They Are Killing Children – All of Us Know January 22, 2013. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Abortion
23.
High risk pregnancy specialist, Dr. Steve Calvin, in a letter some years ago to the Arizona Daily Star, wrote, “There is inescapable schizophrenia in aborting a perfectly normal 22 week fetus while at the same hospital, performing intrauterine surgery on its cousin.” When the unborn are wanted, they are treated as children and patients. When they are not wanted, they are not children.

High risk pregnancy specialist, Dr. Steve Calvin, in a letter some years ago to the Arizona Daily Star, wrote, “There is inescapable schizophrenia in aborting a perfectly normal 22 week fetus while at the same hospital, performing intrauterine surgery on its cousin.” When the unborn are wanted, they are treated as children and patients. When they are not wanted, they are not children.    

Reference:   We Know They Are Killing Children – All of Us Know January 22, 2013. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Abortion
24.
Thirty-eight states treat the killing of an unborn child as a form of homicide. They have what are called “fetal homicide laws.” It is illegal to take the life of the unborn if the mother wants the baby, but it is legal to take the life of the unborn if she doesn’t. In the first case the law treats the fetus as a human with rights; in the second case the law treats the fetus as non-human with no rights. Humanness is thus defined by the desire of the strong. Might makes right. We reject this right to define personhood in the case of Nazi anti-Semitism, Confederate race-based slavery, and Soviet Gulags. When we define the humanness of the unborn by the will of the powerful we know what we are doing.

Thirty-eight states treat the killing of an unborn child as a form of homicide. They have what are called “fetal homicide laws.” It is illegal to take the life of the unborn if the mother wants the baby, but it is legal to take the life of the unborn if she doesn’t. In the first case the law treats the fetus as a human with rights; in the second case the law treats the fetus as non-human with no rights. Humanness is thus defined by the desire of the strong. Might makes right. We reject this right to define personhood in the case of Nazi anti-Semitism, Confederate race-based slavery, and Soviet Gulags. When we define the humanness of the unborn by the will of the powerful we know what we are doing.      

Reference:   We Know They Are Killing Children – All of Us Know January 22, 2013. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Abortion
25.
Nothing keeps God at the center of worship like the biblical conviction that the essence of worship is deep, heartfelt satisfaction in Him and the conviction that the pursuit of that satisfaction is why we are together.

Nothing keeps God at the center of worship like the biblical conviction that the essence of worship is deep, heartfelt satisfaction in Him and the conviction that the pursuit of that satisfaction is why we are together.    

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 57, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


26.
If the essence of worship is satisfaction in God, then worship can’t be a means to anything else.

If the essence of worship is satisfaction in God, then worship can’t be a means to anything else.    

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 57-58, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


27.
Love is the pursuit of our joy in the holy joy of the beloved. There is no way to exclude self-interest from love, for self-interest is not the same as selfishness. Selfishness seeks its own private happiness at the expense of others. Love seeks its happiness in the happiness of the beloved. It will even suffer and die for the beloved in order that its joy might be full in the life and purity of the beloved.

Love is the pursuit of our joy in the holy joy of the beloved. There is no way to exclude self-interest from love, for self-interest is not the same as selfishness. Selfishness seeks its own private happiness at the expense of others. Love seeks its happiness in the happiness of the beloved. It will even suffer and die for the beloved in order that its joy might be full in the life and purity of the beloved.    

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 63, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


28.
Life is war. The casualties are millions, and the stakes are eternal. What we need today is not a call to simplicity, but a call to war. We need to think in terms of “wartime lifestyle” rather than a “simply lifestyle.”

Life is war. The casualties are millions, and the stakes are eternal. What we need today is not a call to simplicity, but a call to war. We need to think in terms of “wartime lifestyle” rather than a “simply lifestyle.”      

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 73, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
29.
Christian Hedonism is utterly committed to loving like Jesus. We do not presume to live by motives greater than the ones He lived by. What hinders love in the world today? Is it that we are all trying to please ourselves? No! It is because we are all too easily pleased.

Christian Hedonism is utterly committed to loving like Jesus. We do not presume to live by motives greater than the ones He lived by. What hinders love in the world today? Is it that we are all trying to please ourselves? No! It is because we are all too easily pleased.      

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 51, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


30.
Pursuing joy in God and praising God are not separate acts.

Pursuing joy in God and praising God are not separate acts.    

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 24, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


31.
When our back is to the breathtaking beauty of God, we cast a shadow on the earth and fall in love with it.

When our back is to the breathtaking beauty of God, we cast a shadow on the earth and fall in love with it.      

Reference:   The Dangerous Duty of Delight, Copyright 2001, p. 9, John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


32.
Stop complaining about the stakes in your flesh and start turning them to your advantage by seeing them as conduits of God’s strength and sufficient grace.

Stop complaining about the stakes in your flesh and start turning them to your advantage by seeing them as conduits of God’s strength and sufficient grace.        

Reference:   Used by Permission of Desiring God. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/don-t-waste-your-weaknesses-in-2014


33.
[In] baptism is an expression of the faith of the person being baptized. I [do] not see how an infant could properly receive this ordinance as an expression of his or her faith.

[In] baptism is an expression of the faith of the person being baptized. I [do] not see how an infant could properly receive this ordinance as an expression of his or her faith.

Reference:   Brothers, We are Not Professionals, Desiring God, 2002, p. 40. Used by Permission.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Baptism
34.
All the other so-called gods make man work for them. Our God will not be put in the position of an employer who must depend on others to make his business go. Instead He magnifies His all-sufficiency by doing the work Himself. Man is the dependent partner in this affair. His job is to wait for the Lord. What is God looking for in the world? Assistants? No. The gospel is not a “help wanted” ad. God is not looking for people to work for Him but people who let Him work mightily in and through them. 

All the other so-called gods make man work for them. Our God will not be put in the position of an employer who must depend on others to make his business go. Instead He magnifies His all-sufficiency by doing the work Himself. Man is the dependent partner in this affair. His job is to wait for the Lord. What is God looking for in the world? Assistants? No. The gospel is not a "help wanted" ad. God is not looking for people to work for Him but people who let Him work mightily in and through them.


Author: John Piper
35.
The church is the new covenant community – “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25) – we say when we take communion. The new covenant is the spiritual work of God to put His Spirit within us, write the law on our hearts, and cause us to walk in His statutes. It is a spiritually authentic community. Unlike the old covenant community it is defined by true spiritual life and faith. Having these things is what it means to belong to the Church. Therefore to give the sign of the covenant, baptism, to those who are merely children of the flesh and who give no evidence of new birth or the presence of the Spirit or the law written on their heart or of vital faith in Christ is to contradict the meaning of the new covenant community and to go backwards in redemptive history.

The church is the new covenant community – “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25) – we say when we take communion. The new covenant is the spiritual work of God to put His Spirit within us, write the law on our hearts, and cause us to walk in His statutes. It is a spiritually authentic community. Unlike the old covenant community it is defined by true spiritual life and faith. Having these things is what it means to belong to the Church. Therefore to give the sign of the covenant, baptism, to those who are merely children of the flesh and who give no evidence of new birth or the presence of the Spirit or the law written on their heart or of vital faith in Christ is to contradict the meaning of the new covenant community and to go backwards in redemptive history.    

Reference:   How Do Circumcision and Baptism Correspond? Copyright (1999), John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
36.
The people of the covenant in the Old Testament were made up of Israel according to the flesh – an ethnic, national, religious people containing “children of the flesh” and “children of God” [see Rom. 9:6-8; Gal. 4:22-28]. Therefore it was fitting that circumcision was given to all the children of the flesh. But the people of the new covenant, called the Church of Jesus Christ, is being built in a fundamentally different way. The church is not based on any ethnic, national distinctives but on the reality of faith alone, by grace alone in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Church is not a continuation of Israel as a whole; it is a continuation of the true Israel, the remnant – not the children of the flesh, but the children of promise. Therefore, it is not fitting that the children born merely according to the flesh receive the sign of the covenant, baptism.

The people of the covenant in the Old Testament were made up of Israel according to the flesh – an ethnic, national, religious people containing “children of the flesh” and “children of God” [see Rom. 9:6-8; Gal. 4:22-28]. Therefore it was fitting that circumcision was given to all the children of the flesh. But the people of the new covenant, called the Church of Jesus Christ, is being built in a fundamentally different way. The church is not based on any ethnic, national distinctives but on the reality of faith alone, by grace alone in the power of the Holy Spirit. The Church is not a continuation of Israel as a whole; it is a continuation of the true Israel, the remnant – not the children of the flesh, but the children of promise. Therefore, it is not fitting that the children born merely according to the flesh receive the sign of the covenant, baptism.    

Reference:   How Do Circumcision and Baptism Correspond? Copyright (1999), John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Baptism
37.
Some Reasons Baptists Do Not Baptize Infants: 1. In every New Testament command and instance of baptism the requirement of faith precedes baptism. So infants incapable of faith are not to be baptized. 2. There are no explicit instances of infant baptism in all the Bible. In the three “household baptisms” mentioned (household of Lydia, Acts 16:15; household of the Philippian jailer, Acts 16:30–33; household of Stephanus, 1 Corinthians 1:16) no mention is made of infants, and in the case of the Philippian jailer, Luke says explicitly, “They spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house” (Acts 16:32), implying that the household who were baptized could understand the Word. 3. Paul (in Colossians 2:12) explicitly defined baptism as an act done through faith: “…having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God.” In baptism you were raised up with Christ through faith – your own faith, not your parents’ faith. If it is not “through faith” – if it is not an outward expression of inward faith – it is not baptism. 4. The apostle Peter, in his first letter, defined baptism this way, “…not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is “an appeal to God for a good conscience.” It is an outward act and expression of inner confession and prayer to God for cleansing, that the one being baptized does, not his parents. 5. When the New Testament church debated in Acts 15 whether circumcision should still be required of believers as part of becoming a Christian, it is astonishing that not once in that entire debate did anyone say anything about baptism standing in the place of circumcision. If baptism is the simple replacement of circumcision as a sign of the new covenant, and thus valid for children as well as for adults, as circumcision was, surely this would have been the time to develop the argument and so show that circumcision was no longer necessary. But it is not even mentioned.

Some Reasons Baptists Do Not Baptize Infants: 1. In every New Testament command and instance of baptism the requirement of faith precedes baptism. So infants incapable of faith are not to be baptized. 2. There are no explicit instances of infant baptism in all the Bible. In the three “household baptisms” mentioned (household of Lydia, Acts 16:15; household of the Philippian jailer, Acts 16:30–33; household of Stephanus, 1 Corinthians 1:16) no mention is made of infants, and in the case of the Philippian jailer, Luke says explicitly, “They spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house” (Acts 16:32), implying that the household who were baptized could understand the Word. 3. Paul (in Colossians 2:12) explicitly defined baptism as an act done through faith: “…having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God.” In baptism you were raised up with Christ through faith – your own faith, not your parents’ faith. If it is not “through faith” – if it is not an outward expression of inward faith – it is not baptism. 4. The apostle Peter, in his first letter, defined baptism this way, “…not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21). Baptism is “an appeal to God for a good conscience.” It is an outward act and expression of inner confession and prayer to God for cleansing, that the one being baptized does, not his parents. 5. When the New Testament church debated in Acts 15 whether circumcision should still be required of believers as part of becoming a Christian, it is astonishing that not once in that entire debate did anyone say anything about baptism standing in the place of circumcision. If baptism is the simple replacement of circumcision as a sign of the new covenant, and thus valid for children as well as for adults, as circumcision was, surely this would have been the time to develop the argument and so show that circumcision was no longer necessary. But it is not even mentioned.      

Reference:   How Do Circumcision and Baptism Correspond? Copyright (1999), John Piper. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Baptism
38.
Our working is not added to God’s working. Our working is God’s working.

Our working is not added to God’s working. Our working is God’s working.  

Reference:   Together for the Gospel 2016.


39.
What is necessary is that we have a renewed mind, that is so shaped and so governed by the revealed will of God in the Bible, that we see and assess all relevant factors with the mind of Christ, and discern what God is calling us to do.

What is necessary is that we have a renewed mind, that is so shaped and so governed by the revealed will of God in the Bible, that we see and assess all relevant factors with the mind of Christ, and discern what God is calling us to do.  

Reference:   Used by permission. What is the Will of God and How Do We Know It? www.DesiringGod.org.


40.
When you know the truth about what happens to you after you die, and you believe it, and you are satisfied with all that God will be for you in the ages to come, that truth makes you free indeed. Free from the short, shallow, suicidal pleasures of sin, and free for the sacrifices of mission and ministry that cause people to give glory to our Father in heaven.

When you know the truth about what happens to you after you die, and you believe it, and you are satisfied with all that God will be for you in the ages to come, that truth makes you free indeed. Free from the short, shallow, suicidal pleasures of sin, and free for the sacrifices of mission and ministry that cause people to give glory to our Father in heaven.


41.
Love is motivated by the joy of sharing our fullness, but the works of the flesh are motivated by the desire to fill our emptiness… [The flesh is] man’s ego which feels a deep emptiness and uses the means within its own power to fill that emptiness. If it is religious, it may use law; if it is irreligious, it may use booze… [Yet] when God frees us from guilt and fear and greed and fills us with His all-satisfying presence, the only motive left is the joy of sharing our fullness.

Love is motivated by the joy of sharing our fullness, but the works of the flesh are motivated by the desire to fill our emptiness... [The flesh is] man’s ego which feels a deep emptiness and uses the means within its own power to fill that emptiness. If it is religious, it may use law; if it is irreligious, it may use booze... [Yet] when God frees us from guilt and fear and greed and fills us with His all-satisfying presence, the only motive left is the joy of sharing our fullness.

Reference:   Freed to Love, June 12, 1983, Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Sin-Indwelling
42.
God’s family, which comes into being by regeneration, is more central and more lasting than the human family that comes into being by procreation.

God’s family, which comes into being by regeneration, is more central and more lasting than the human family that comes into being by procreation.

Reference:   This Momentary Marriage – A Parable of Permanence, Desiring God Foundation, 2008, p. 117, www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Family-God's
43.
Finishing life to the glory of Christ means resolutely resisting the typical American dream of retirement. It means being so satisfied with all that God promises to be for us in Christ that we are set free from the cravings that create so much emptiness and uselessness in retirement. Instead, knowing that we have an infinitely satisfying and everlasting inheritance in God just over the horizon of life makes us zealous in our few remaining years here to spend ourselves in the sacrifices of love, not the accumulation of comforts.

Finishing life to the glory of Christ means resolutely resisting the typical American dream of retirement. It means being so satisfied with all that God promises to be for us in Christ that we are set free from the cravings that create so much emptiness and uselessness in retirement. Instead, knowing that we have an infinitely satisfying and everlasting inheritance in God just over the horizon of life makes us zealous in our few remaining years here to spend ourselves in the sacrifices of love, not the accumulation of comforts.

Reference:   Rethinking Retirement: Finishing Life for the Glory of Christ, Crossway Books, 2008, p. 6.


44.
Sometimes people are careless and speak disparagingly of all human righteousness, as if there were no such thing that pleased God. They often cite Isaiah 64:6 which says our righteousness is as filthy rags. It is true – gloriously true – that none of God’s people, before or after the cross, would be accepted by an immaculately holy God if the perfect righteousness of Christ were not imputed to us (Romans 5:19; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). But that does not mean that God does not produce in those “justified” people (before and after the cross) an experiential righteousness that is not “filthy rags.” In fact, He does; and this righteousness is precious to God and is required, not as the ground of our justification (which is the righteousness of Christ only), but as an evidence of our being truly justified children of God.

Sometimes people are careless and speak disparagingly of all human righteousness, as if there were no such thing that pleased God. They often cite Isaiah 64:6 which says our righteousness is as filthy rags. It is true – gloriously true – that none of God’s people, before or after the cross, would be accepted by an immaculately holy God if the perfect righteousness of Christ were not imputed to us (Romans 5:19; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21). But that does not mean that God does not produce in those “justified” people (before and after the cross) an experiential righteousness that is not “filthy rags.” In fact, He does; and this righteousness is precious to God and is required, not as the ground of our justification (which is the righteousness of Christ only), but as an evidence of our being truly justified children of God.  

Reference:   Future Grace, Copyright: Desiring God, 1995, p. 151. Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


45.
[God] commands us to let Him work for us before commanding us to work for Him.

[God] commands us to let Him work for us before commanding us to work for Him.

Reference:   Sermon, Anxieties: To be Cast not Carried, June 13, 1993, Used by Permission from DesiringGod.org.


46.
We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self. Indeed, what could be more ludicrous in a vast and glorious universe like this than a human being, on the speck called earth, standing in front of a mirror trying to find significance in his own self-image? It is a great sadness that this is the gospel of the modern world. The Christian Gospel is about “the glory of Christ,” not about me. And when it is—in some measure—about me, it is not about my being made much of by God, but about God mercifully enabling me to enjoy making much of Him forever.

We are all starved for the glory of God, not self. No one goes to the Grand Canyon to increase self-esteem. Why do we go? Because there is greater healing for the soul in beholding splendor than there is in beholding self. Indeed, what could be more ludicrous in a vast and glorious universe like this than a human being, on the speck called earth, standing in front of a mirror trying to find significance in his own self-image? It is a great sadness that this is the gospel of the modern world. The Christian Gospel is about "the glory of Christ," not about me. And when it is—in some measure—about me, it is not about my being made much of by God, but about God mercifully enabling me to enjoy making much of Him forever.


47.
We battle the unbelief of anxiety with the promises of God. When I am anxious about some risky new venture or meeting, I battle unbelief with the promise: “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God; I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). When I am anxious about my ministry being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise, “So shall my word that goes forth from my mouth; it will not come back to me empty but accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbelief with the promise of Christ, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9), and “As your days so shall your strength be” (Deuteronomy 33:25). When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, “I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Psalm 32:8). When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, “If God is for us who can be against us!” (Romans 8:31). When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise that “tribulation works patience, and patience approvedness, and approvedness hope, and hope does not make us ashamed” (Romans 5:3–5). When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise, “Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4). When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise that “none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself; if we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose again: that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living” (Romans 14:8–9). When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promise, “He who began a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:6). “He who calls you is faithful. He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). “He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

We battle the unbelief of anxiety with the promises of God. When I am anxious about some risky new venture or meeting, I battle unbelief with the promise: "Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God; I will help you, I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). When I am anxious about my ministry being useless and empty, I fight unbelief with the promise, "So shall my word that goes forth from my mouth; it will not come back to me empty but accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:11). When I am anxious about being too weak to do my work, I battle unbelief with the promise of Christ, "My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9), and "As your days so shall your strength be" (Deuteronomy 33:25). When I am anxious about decisions I have to make about the future, I battle unbelief with the promise, "I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you" (Psalm 32:8). When I am anxious about facing opponents, I battle unbelief with the promise, "If God is for us who can be against us!" (Romans 8:31). When I am anxious about being sick, I battle unbelief with the promise that "tribulation works patience, and patience approvedness, and approvedness hope, and hope does not make us ashamed" (Romans 5:3–5). When I am anxious about getting old, I battle unbelief with the promise, "Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save" (Isaiah 46:4). When I am anxious about dying, I battle unbelief with the promise that "none of us lives to himself and none of us dies to himself; if we live we live to the Lord and if we die we die to the Lord. So whether we live or die we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and rose again: that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living" (Romans 14:8–9). When I am anxious that I may make shipwreck of faith and fall away from God, I battle unbelief with the promise, "He who began a good work in you will complete it unto the day of Christ" (Philippians 1:6). "He who calls you is faithful. He will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:23). "He is able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).

Reference:   Sermon, Battling the Unbelief of Anxiety, September 25, 1988, Used by Permission from DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Anxiety
48.
The new birth introduces a person into a life of warfare [and]…the most basic battle of our life is the battle to believe in the living God, and not to allow our heart to become an evil heart of unbelief.

The new birth introduces a person into a life of warfare [and]…the most basic battle of our life is the battle to believe in the living God, and not to allow our heart to become an evil heart of unbelief.

Reference:   Sermon, Battling the Unbelief of Anxiety, September 25, 1988, Used by Permission from DesiringGod.org.


49.
Unbelief is the root of evil and the essence of evil. All our sinning grows out of unbelief in the living God and what He has said to us in Scripture.

Unbelief is the root of evil and the essence of evil. All our sinning grows out of unbelief in the living God and what He has said to us in Scripture.

Reference:   Sermon, Battling the Unbelief of Anxiety, September 25, 1988, Used by Permission from DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Unbelief
50.
As unbelief gets the upper hand in our hearts, one of the results is anxiety… Much anxiety, Jesus says, comes from little faith.

As unbelief gets the upper hand in our hearts, one of the results is anxiety... Much anxiety, Jesus says, comes from little faith.

Reference:   Sermon, Battling the Unbelief of Anxiety, September 25, 1988, Used by Permission from DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Anxiety
Unbelief
51.
We battle unbelief by the book of God, the Spirit of God, and the promises of God.

We battle unbelief by the book of God, the Spirit of God, and the promises of God.

Reference:   Sermon, Battling the Unbelief of Anxiety, September 25, 1988, Used by Permission from DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Unbelief
52.
The command is, Cast your anxiety on God. The promise is, God cares for you [1 Pet. 5:7].

The command is, Cast your anxiety on God. The promise is, God cares for you [1 Pet. 5:7].

Reference:   Sermon, Anxieties: To be Cast not Carried, June 13, 1993, Used by Permission from DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Anxiety
53.
Real guilt is the crushing sense of fear and remorse at the thought of having despised almighty God by casting a vote of no-confidence against his word of promise and counsel. Real guilt is radically God-centered. Satan’s substitute is the bad feelings we get from a wounded ego… It is based squarely on pride… This kind of guilt produces no repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Real guilt is the crushing sense of fear and remorse at the thought of having despised almighty God by casting a vote of no-confidence against His word of promise and counsel. Real guilt is radically God-centered. Satan’s substitute is the bad feelings we get from a wounded ego… It is based squarely on pride… This kind of guilt produces no repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).

Reference:   Real Guilt Is Rare, June 20, 1983, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Guilt
54.
Hardly anyone experiences the crush of real guilt! We have failed to see that what usually passes for guilt is in fact just more sin, because it is the bad feeling we have, not from our failure to trust God’s promises but from our failure to preserve our image as cool, self-sufficient people. Most of what passes for guilt feelings is an expression of pride. We do something impulsive that hurts someone and feel remorse. But does our remorse come from a deep spiritual grief that we have despised God by not trusting His promises and not waiting for His wisdom and help? Or does it more often come from the fact that we did not preserve our image as cool and self-sufficient? Real guilt is very rare!

Hardly anyone experiences the crush of real guilt! We have failed to see that what usually passes for guilt is in fact just more sin, because it is the bad feeling we have, not from our failure to trust God’s promises but from our failure to preserve our image as cool, self-sufficient people. Most of what passes for guilt feelings is an expression of pride. We do something impulsive that hurts someone and feel remorse. But does our remorse come from a deep spiritual grief that we have despised God by not trusting His promises and not waiting for His wisdom and help? Or does it more often come from the fact that we did not preserve our image as cool and self-sufficient? Real guilt is very rare!

Reference:   Real Guilt Is Rare, June 20, 1983, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Guilt
55.
If you think that the guilt which prepares us to receive the gospel is merely the bad feeling that comes from a low self-image or sagging self-esteem, then the gospel you preach will be just the kind of man-centered, ego-stroking pap that has emasculated the pulpits of our land and obscured the glory of God’s mercy.

If you think that the guilt which prepares us to receive the gospel is merely the bad feeling that comes from a low self-image or sagging self-esteem, then the gospel you preach will be just the kind of man-centered, ego-stroking pap that has emasculated the pulpits of our land and obscured the glory of God’s mercy.

Reference:   Real Guilt Is Rare, June 20, 1983, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Guilt
Self-Esteem
56.
In the case of well-placed shame for sin the pain ought to be there but it ought not to stay there. If it does, it’s owing to unbelief in the promises of God.

In the case of well-placed shame for sin the pain ought to be there but it ought not to stay there. If it does, it's owing to unbelief in the promises of God.

Reference:   Battling the Unbelief of Misplaced Shame, October 2, 1988, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Shame
57.
The biblical criterion for misplaced shame says, don’t feel shame for something that honors God, no matter how weak or foolish or wrong it makes you look in the eyes of men. And don’t feel shame for bad circumstances where you don’t share in dishonoring God. The biblical criterion for well-placed shame says, DO feel shame for having a hand in anything that dishonors God, no matter how strong or wise or right it makes you look in the eyes of men.

The biblical criterion for misplaced shame says, don't feel shame for something that honors God, no matter how weak or foolish or wrong it makes you look in the eyes of men. And don't feel shame for bad circumstances where you don't share in dishonoring God. The biblical criterion for well-placed shame says, DO feel shame for having a hand in anything that dishonors God, no matter how strong or wise or right it makes you look in the eyes of men.

Reference:   Battling the Unbelief of Misplaced Shame, October 2, 1988, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Shame
58.
God’s holiness and righteous glory have been desecrated, defamed, and blasphemed by our sin. It is with a holy God that we have to do in our guilt! And there can be no justification, no reconciliation, no cleansing of our conscience, unless the holiness of God is honored and the defamation of His righteousness is repaired. The urgency of our problem with guilt is not that we feel miserable, but that God’s name has been blasphemed. We live in a day with such a horrendously inflated view of human potential and such a miserably tiny view of God’s holiness that we can scarcely understand what the real problem of guilt is. The real problem is not, “How can God be loving and yet condemn people with such little sins?” The real problem is, “How can God be righteous if He acquits such miserable sinners as we?” There can be no lasting remedy for guilt which does not deal with God’s righteous indignation against sin. That’s why there had to be a sacrifice. And not just any sacrifice, but the sacrifice of the Son of God! No one else, and no other act, could repair the defamation done to the glory of God by our sins. But when Jesus died for the glory of the Father, satisfaction was made. The glory was restored. Righteousness was demonstrated. Henceforth it is clear that when God, by grace, freely justifies the ungodly (Romans 4:5), He is not indifferent to the demands of justice. It is all based on the grand transaction between the Father and the Son on the morning of Good Friday at Calvary. No other gospel can take away our guilt because no other gospel corresponds to the cosmic proportions of our sin in relation to God.

God's holiness and righteous glory have been desecrated, defamed, and blasphemed by our sin. It is with a holy God that we have to do in our guilt! And there can be no justification, no reconciliation, no cleansing of our conscience, unless the holiness of God is honored and the defamation of His righteousness is repaired. The urgency of our problem with guilt is not that we feel miserable, but that God's name has been blasphemed. We live in a day with such a horrendously inflated view of human potential and such a miserably tiny view of God's holiness that we can scarcely understand what the real problem of guilt is. The real problem is not, "How can God be loving and yet condemn people with such little sins?" The real problem is, "How can God be righteous if He acquits such miserable sinners as we?" There can be no lasting remedy for guilt which does not deal with God's righteous indignation against sin. That's why there had to be a sacrifice. And not just any sacrifice, but the sacrifice of the Son of God! No one else, and no other act, could repair the defamation done to the glory of God by our sins. But when Jesus died for the glory of the Father, satisfaction was made. The glory was restored. Righteousness was demonstrated. Henceforth it is clear that when God, by grace, freely justifies the ungodly (Romans 4:5), He is not indifferent to the demands of justice. It is all based on the grand transaction between the Father and the Son on the morning of Good Friday at Calvary. No other gospel can take away our guilt because no other gospel corresponds to the cosmic proportions of our sin in relation to God.

Reference:   Jesus Is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt, February 21, 1982, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


59.
The universal problem of guilt is not just a problem of how to feel better, but how to be right with God. The secular devices to lessen the misery of our guilt will always fail sooner or later because they ignore the main problem of human existence. We are guilty before God. It is His law we have broken. It is His glory from which we fall so short (Romans 3:23). Every person in this [world] is personally accountable to God and will meet Him some day either guilty and condemned, or acquitted and destined for joy.

The universal problem of guilt is not just a problem of how to feel better, but how to be right with God. The secular devices to lessen the misery of our guilt will always fail sooner or later because they ignore the main problem of human existence. We are guilty before God. It is His law we have broken. It is His glory from which we fall so short (Romans 3:23). Every person in this [world] is personally accountable to God and will meet Him some day either guilty and condemned, or acquitted and destined for joy.

Reference:   Jesus Is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt, February 21, 1982, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Guilt
60.
The universal problem of guilt is not owing to the fact that we have failed our fellow man, but because we have failed God.

The universal problem of guilt is not owing to the fact that we have failed our fellow man, but because we have failed God.

Reference:   Jesus Is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt, February 21, 1982, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Guilt
61.
God has dealt with our guilt. It is the best news in all the world. It is the only strategy that owns up to the truth of God’s righteousness and the depth of our debt before him. Once you have been grasped by God’s way of dealing with your guilt, every other way will seem thin and superficial and utterly inadequate by comparison. And you will rejoice with me that “Jesus Is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt.”

God has dealt with our guilt. It is the best news in all the world. It is the only strategy that owns up to the truth of God's righteousness and the depth of our debt before Him. Once you have been grasped by God's way of dealing with your guilt, every other way will seem thin and superficial and utterly inadequate by comparison. And you will rejoice with me that "Jesus Is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt."

Reference:   Jesus Is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt, February 21, 1982, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Guilt
62.
The oldest and most revered tactic for avoiding the misery of guilt is religion. This tactic may be the most deceptive because it comes closest to the truth. It recognizes what the intellectual and physical strategies generally ignore: that the ultimate cause of guilt is that there is a righteous God whose will for his creatures is ignored or defied. It recognizes that under every pang of conscience in the human soul there is the silent, often unexpressed conviction, “I have gone against God.” The means that religion has developed to deal with this guilt is to try to placate or appease God with good works or religious ritual. Religious people know they owe God a great debt for their disobedience. But they often make the terrible mistake of thinking they can pay it back through good works and the performance of religious duties.

The oldest and most revered tactic for avoiding the misery of guilt is religion. This tactic may be the most deceptive because it comes closest to the truth. It recognizes what the intellectual and physical strategies generally ignore: that the ultimate cause of guilt is that there is a righteous God whose will for his creatures is ignored or defied. It recognizes that under every pang of conscience in the human soul there is the silent, often unexpressed conviction, "I have gone against God." The means that religion has developed to deal with this guilt is to try to placate or appease God with good works or religious ritual. Religious people know they owe God a great debt for their disobedience. But they often make the terrible mistake of thinking they can pay it back through good works and the performance of religious duties.

Reference:   Jesus Is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt, February 21, 1982, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Guilt
Religion
63.
Guilt is a universal experience. Everybody at some time or other has had the bad feeling of not doing what he ought to have done. Even people who deny that there is any such thing as right and wrong are trapped by the law of God written on their hearts.

Guilt is a universal experience. Everybody at some time or other has had the bad feeling of not doing what he ought to have done. Even people who deny that there is any such thing as right and wrong are trapped by the law of God written on their hearts.

Reference:   Jesus Is Precious Because He Removes Our Guilt, February 21, 1982, Used by Permission of DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Guilt
64.
Wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians. And wimpy Christians won’t survive the days ahead.

Wimpy worldviews make wimpy Christians. And wimpy Christians won’t survive the days ahead.

Reference:   Secret Church 2012.


65.
The tendency today is to stress the equality of men and women by minimizing the unique significance of our maleness or femaleness. But this depreciation of male and female personhood is a great loss. It is taking a tremendous toll on generations of young men and women who do not know what it means to be a man or a woman. Confusion over the meaning of sexual personhood today is epidemic. The consequence of this confusion is not a free and happy harmony among gender-free persons relating on the basis of abstract competencies. The consequence rather is more divorce, more homosexuality, more sexual abuse, more promiscuity, more social awkwardness, and more emotional distress and suicide that come with the loss of God-given identity.

The tendency today is to stress the equality of men and women by minimizing the unique significance of our maleness or femaleness. But this depreciation of male and female personhood is a great loss. It is taking a tremendous toll on generations of young men and women who do not know what it means to be a man or a woman. Confusion over the meaning of sexual personhood today is epidemic. The consequence of this confusion is not a free and happy harmony among gender-free persons relating on the basis of abstract competencies. The consequence rather is more divorce, more homosexuality, more sexual abuse, more promiscuity, more social awkwardness, and more emotional distress and suicide that come with the loss of God-given identity.

Reference:   Secret church 2011.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Gender-Identity
66.
Who is this serpent? The fullest answer is given in Revelation 12:9: “The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” So the serpent in the garden is the devil (which means slanderer), and Satan (which means accuser), and the deceiver of the whole world. Jesus calls him “the evil one” (Matthew 13:19) and “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). The Pharisees call him “;Beelzebul, the prince of demons” (Matthew 12:24). Paul calls him “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).

Who is this serpent? The fullest answer is given in Revelation 12:9: “The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world – he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.” So the serpent in the garden is the devil (which means slanderer), and Satan (which means accuser), and the deceiver of the whole world. Jesus calls him “the evil one” (Matthew 13:19) and “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). The Pharisees call him “;Beelzebul, the prince of demons” (Matthew 12:24). Paul calls him “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4) and “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2).

Reference:   The Fall of Satan and the Victory of Christ, August 19, 2007, Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
67.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” is not a command to love yourself. It is a command to take your natural, already existing love of self and make it the measuring rod of your love for others. There is not a harder command in the Bible than this one. It means: Want to feed the hungry as much as you want to feed yourself when you get hungry. It means: Want to find your neighbor a job as much as you are glad you have a job. Want to help your fellow student get A’s as much as you want to get A’s. Want to help the person stalled on the freeway as much as you are glad you are not stalled on the freeway. Want to give the poor softball player a chance to play as much as you want to play the whole game. Want to share Christ with your neighbor as much as you are glad you know Christ yourself.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” is not a command to love yourself. It is a command to take your natural, already existing love of self and make it the measuring rod of your love for others. There is not a harder command in the Bible than this one. It means: Want to feed the hungry as much as you want to feed yourself when you get hungry. It means: Want to find your neighbor a job as much as you are glad you have a job. Want to help your fellow student get A's as much as you want to get A's. Want to help the person stalled on the freeway as much as you are glad you are not stalled on the freeway. Want to give the poor softball player a chance to play as much as you want to play the whole game. Want to share Christ with your neighbor as much as you are glad you know Christ yourself.

Reference:   Freed to Love, June 12, 1983, Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
68.
There is a lot of confusion today about the self-love referred to in this verse: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal. 5:14). The most common error is to assume that this is a command to loveyourself and that self-love means self-esteem. Both of these assumptions are wrong. Paul and Moses (Lev. 19:18) and Jesus (Lk. 10:27) assume that all people love themselves; they don’t command it: “You shall love your neighbor as you (already) love yourself.” And the self-love they assume is not self-esteem but self-interest: all people want to be happy, even if they often don’t know what will really make them happy.

There is a lot of confusion today about the self-love referred to in this verse: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal. 5:14). The most common error is to assume that this is a command to loveyourself and that self-love means self-esteem. Both of these assumptions are wrong. Paul and Moses (Lev. 19:18) and Jesus (Lk. 10:27) assume that all people love themselves; they don’t command it: “You shall love your neighbor as you (already) love yourself.” And the self-love they assume is not self-esteem but self-interest: all people want to be happy, even if they often don't know what will really make them happy.

Reference:   Freed to Love, June 12, 1983, Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
69.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” does not command, but rather presupposes, self-love. All human beings love themselves. Furthermore, the self-love Jesus speaks of has nothing to do with the common notion of self-esteem. It does not mean having a good self-image or feeling especially happy with oneself. It means simply desiring and seeking one’s own good.

“Love your neighbor as yourself” does not command, but rather presupposes, self-love. All human beings love themselves. Furthermore, the self-love Jesus speaks of has nothing to do with the common notion of self-esteem. It does not mean having a good self-image or feeling especially happy with oneself. It means simply desiring and seeking one's own good.

Reference:   Desiring God, 1996, p. 281, Used by Permission, www.desiringGod.org.


70.
One hundred [people] are dying [every] minute. If you could hear them all, you’d hear so many screams you’d go insane. Only God can hear them all and not go insane. God parcels out our awareness in small amounts lest we go under. How can you live in a world like that as a loving person and rejoice in the Lord?

One hundred [people] are dying [every] minute. If you could hear them all, you’d hear so many screams you’d go insane. Only God can hear them all and not go insane. God parcels out our awareness in small amounts lest we go under. How can you live in a world like that as a loving person and rejoice in the Lord?

Reference:   Secret Church 2013.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Death-Certainty
71.
Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God. Once a day God sends us to bed like patients with a sickness. The sickness is a chronic tendency to think we are in control and that our work is indispensable. To cure us of this disease God turns us into helpless sacks of sand once a day. How humiliating to the self-made corporate executive that He has to give up all control and become as limp as a suckling infant every day.

Sleep is a daily reminder from God that we are not God. Once a day God sends us to bed like patients with a sickness. The sickness is a chronic tendency to think we are in control and that our work is indispensable. To cure us of this disease God turns us into helpless sacks of sand once a day. How humiliating to the self-made corporate executive that He has to give up all control and become as limp as a suckling infant every day.

Reference:   Secret Church 2014.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Rest
72.
Sleep is a parable that God is God and we are mere men. God handles the world quite nicely while a hemisphere sleeps. Sleep is like a broken record that comes around with the same message every day: Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Don’t let the lesson be lost on you. God wants to be trusted as the great worker who never tires and never sleeps. He is not nearly so impressed with our late nights and early mornings as He is with the peaceful trust that casts all anxieties on Him and sleeps.

Sleep is a parable that God is God and we are mere men. God handles the world quite nicely while a hemisphere sleeps. Sleep is like a broken record that comes around with the same message every day: Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Man is not sovereign. Don’t let the lesson be lost on you. God wants to be trusted as the great worker who never tires and never sleeps. He is not nearly so impressed with our late nights and early mornings as He is with the peaceful trust that casts all anxieties on Him and sleeps.

Reference:   Radical Church 2014.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Rest
73.
Today singleness is cherished by many because it brings maximum freedom for self-realization. You pull your own strings. No one cramps your style. But Paul cherished his singleness because it put him utterly at the disposal of the Lord Jesus …. The contemporary mood promotes singleness (but not chastity) because it frees from slavery. Paul promotes singleness (and chastity) because it frees for slavery—namely slavery to Christ.

Today singleness is cherished by many because it brings maximum freedom for self-realization. You pull your own strings. No one cramps your style. But Paul cherished his singleness because it put him utterly at the disposal of the Lord Jesus …. The contemporary mood promotes singleness (but not chastity) because it frees from slavery. Paul promotes singleness (and chastity) because it frees for slavery—namely slavery to Christ.

Reference:   Secret Church 2014.


Author: John Piper
74.
Most of our bitterness and anger towards others is rooted in an inability to be profoundly amazed at Christ’s love for us in our sin. If you are struggling with bitterness then it may be that the Lord is letting the very sin that is flowing from your inability to see Christ be the means by which you come to see him. In other words, perhaps this season of rage, anger, and a fed-up “I’m out of here and don’t want anything to do with you” spirit is where you have had to come in order to see the greatness of your sin as a forgiven and justified saint. And the Lord has done it so that you would be stunned at his grace in a deeper way than you’ve ever been stunned by the grace of God before. And now, out of that experience can flow grace towards others.

Most of our bitterness and anger towards others is rooted in an inability to be profoundly amazed at Christ's love for us in our sin. If you are struggling with bitterness then it may be that the Lord is letting the very sin that is flowing from your inability to see Christ be the means by which you come to see him. In other words, perhaps this season of rage, anger, and a fed-up "I'm out of here and don't want anything to do with you" spirit is where you have had to come in order to see the greatness of your sin as a forgiven and justified saint. And the Lord has done it so that you would be stunned at his grace in a deeper way than you've ever been stunned by the grace of God before. And now, out of that experience can flow grace towards others.

Reference:   Why Can't I Overcome My Bitterness and Anger?


75.
Praying without ceasing means at least three things. First it means that there is a spirit of dependence that should permeate all we do… So even when we are not speaking consciously to God, there is a deep, abiding dependence on Him that is woven in to the heart of faith. Second… [it] means praying repeatedly and often. Third, [it] means not giving up on prayer. Don’t ever come to a point in your life where you cease to pray at all.

Praying without ceasing means at least three things. First it means that there is a spirit of dependence that should permeate all we do… So even when we are not speaking consciously to God, there is a deep, abiding dependence on Him that is woven in to the heart of faith. Second… [it] means praying repeatedly and often. Third, [it] means not giving up on prayer. Don’t ever come to a point in your life where you cease to pray at all.

Reference:   Summarized from: The Practice of Prayer in the Fight for Joy by John Piper taken from When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper, copyright 2004, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 157.


76.
The example of Jesus and the testimony of lovers of Christ throughout the centuries points us to early morning prayer as decisively important… First, it signals to our conscience that this is of first importance in the day. Second, it strikes the first blow in the battle of the day, instead of waiting till we are besieged from all sides. Third, what we do daily and do early shapes the spirit of our minds and brings us into a disposition of humility and trust that will bear better fruit than anxiety or self-reliance. Fourth, since beginning the day with the Word of God is crucial, prayer is equally crucial since the Word will not open its best wonders to us without prayer (Psm. 119:18). Fifth, it is uncanny how Satan can use even good things to squeeze prayer out of our schedule if we miss the early-morning hour. I have seen it again and again. If I say to myself, “I will give some time to prayer later,” it generally does not happen.

The example of Jesus and the testimony of lovers of Christ throughout the centuries points us to early morning prayer as decisively important… First, it signals to our conscience that this is of first importance in the day. Second, it strikes the first blow in the battle of the day, instead of waiting till we are besieged from all sides. Third, what we do daily and do early shapes the spirit of our minds and brings us into a disposition of humility and trust that will bear better fruit than anxiety or self-reliance. Fourth, since beginning the day with the Word of God is crucial, prayer is equally crucial since the Word will not open its best wonders to us without prayer (Psm. 119:18). Fifth, it is uncanny how Satan can use even good things to squeeze prayer out of our schedule if we miss the early-morning hour. I have seen it again and again. If I say to myself, “I will give some time to prayer later,” it generally does not happen.

Reference:   Summarized from: The Practice of Prayer in the Fight for Joy by John Piper taken from When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper, copyright 2004, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. Page 159.


77.
Bread magnifies Christ in two ways: by being eaten with gratitude for His goodness, and by being forfeited out of hunger for God Himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food – the Bread of Life. And when we fast we say, “I love the Reality above the emblem.” In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ. Both send the heart – grateful and yearning – to the Giver. Each has its appointed place and each has its danger. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our will-power.

Bread magnifies Christ in two ways: by being eaten with gratitude for His goodness, and by being forfeited out of hunger for God Himself. When we eat, we taste the emblem of our heavenly food – the Bread of Life. And when we fast we say, “I love the Reality above the emblem.” In the heart of the saint both eating and fasting are worship. Both magnify Christ. Both send the heart – grateful and yearning – to the Giver. Each has its appointed place and each has its danger. The danger of eating is that we fall in love with the gift; the danger of fasting is that we belittle the gift and glory in our will-power.

Reference:   A Hunger for God, Crossway, 1997, p. 21.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Fasting
Food
78.
If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestations of the glory of God. It is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things and there’s no room for the great. God did not create you for this. There is an appetite for God. And it can be awakened.

If you don’t feel strong desires for the manifestations of the glory of God. It is not because you have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because you have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Your soul is stuffed with small things and there’s no room for the great. God did not create you for this. There is an appetite for God. And it can be awakened.

Reference:   A Hunger for God, Crossway, 1997, p. 23.


79.
Paul would not surrender his singleness, nor even allow it to be despised. It had its unique advantages of freedom for Christ, and he wants others to join him in it. Singleness was not curse; it was an opportunity. The biblical implication is that sexual intimacy is not an ultimate need for a full and well-spent life. Jesus Christ never experienced it. And when our culture says you can have it all, married or single, it not only contradicts the teaching of Jesus (Matthew 15:19) but makes Him out to be a fool for choosing chastity and claiming to give fullness – mark the word, FULLNESS of joy – to all who trust Him: “That My joy might be in you and your joy might be FULL” (John 15:11).

Paul would not surrender his singleness, nor even allow it to be despised. It had its unique advantages of freedom for Christ, and he wants others to join him in it. Singleness was not curse; it was an opportunity. The biblical implication is that sexual intimacy is not an ultimate need for a full and well-spent life. Jesus Christ never experienced it. And when our culture says you can have it all, married or single, it not only contradicts the teaching of Jesus (Matthew 15:19) but makes Him out to be a fool for choosing chastity and claiming to give fullness - mark the word, FULLNESS of joy - to all who trust Him: “That My joy might be in you and your joy might be FULL" (John 15:11).

Reference:   He Must Manage His Household Well, May 1, 1988, Used by permission of Desiring God, www.DesiringGod.org.


80.
Praying over the Word…has the effect of shaping our minds and hearts, so that we desire what the Word encourages us to desire, and not just what we desire by nature. That is why the prayers of Bible-saturated people sound so differently. Most people, before their prayers are soaked in Scripture, simply bring their natural desires to God, In other words, they pray the way an unbeliever would pray who is convinced that God might give him what he wants: health, a better job, safe journeys, a prosperous portfolio, successful children, plenty of food, a happy marriage, a car that works, a comfortable retirement, etc. None of these is evil. They’re just natural. You don’t have to be born again to want any of these. Desiring them – even from God – is no evidence of saving faith. So if these are all you pray for, there is a deep problem. Your desires have not yet been changed to put the glory of Christ at the center.

Praying over the Word...has the effect of shaping our minds and hearts, so that we desire what the Word encourages us to desire, and not just what we desire by nature. That is why the prayers of Bible-saturated people sound so differently. Most people, before their prayers are soaked in Scripture, simply bring their natural desires to God, In other words, they pray the way an unbeliever would pray who is convinced that God might give him what he wants: health, a better job, safe journeys, a prosperous portfolio, successful children, plenty of food, a happy marriage, a car that works, a comfortable retirement, etc. None of these is evil. They're just natural. You don't have to be born again to want any of these. Desiring them - even from God - is no evidence of saving faith. So if these are all you pray for, there is a deep problem. Your desires have not yet been changed to put the glory of Christ at the center.

Reference:   The Practice or Prayer in the Fight for Joy taken from When I Don’t Desire God by John Piper, copyright 2004, Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton Illinois 60187, www.crosswaybooks.org. p. 165-166.


81.
God considers it right and suitable that those who rejected Christ see Him triumphant, pure, and justified over all who considered Him unworthy of their trust [Rev. 14:10]. The focus…is not that those in hell have the privilege of seeing what they enjoy, but that they have the remorse of seeing what they rejected.

God considers it right and suitable that those who rejected Christ see Him triumphant, pure, and justified over all who considered Him unworthy of their trust [Rev. 14:10]. The focus...is not that those in hell have the privilege of seeing what they enjoy, but that they have the remorse of seeing what they rejected.

Reference:   Used by permission of Desiring God Ministries, www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-presence-of-the-lamb-and-the-sufferings-of-hell.


82.
So the meaning of away from the presence of the Lord does not mean that God is absent in every sense, but in those senses [His love which produces His pleasures forevermore/fullness of joy]. God will be terribly present in another sense. All reality continues to say: In Him we live and move and have our being. And it is still in hell that no one can hide from the Lord or escape the terrible countenance of His anger. So God’s power is present in hell as the One who sustains our being and the One who enforces justice and the One who maintains suffering. He is present in all the ways men do not want Him to be present and none of the ways that believers enjoy His presence.

So the meaning of away from the presence of the Lord does not mean that God is absent in every sense, but in those senses [His love which produces His pleasures forevermore/fullness of joy]. God will be terribly present in another sense. All reality continues to say: In Him we live and move and have our being. And it is still in hell that no one can hide from the Lord or escape the terrible countenance of His anger. So God's power is present in hell as the One who sustains our being and the One who enforces justice and the One who maintains suffering. He is present in all the ways men do not want Him to be present and none of the ways that believers enjoy His presence.

Reference:   Used by permission of Desiring God Ministries, www.desiringgod.org/interviews/is-god-everywhere-and-absent-from-hell.


83.
The ultimate form of church discipline (excommunication) is never a simple response to past sin. It is always a response to sin that a person continues to affirm or practice. No past sin that is renounced, confessed and forsaken is a ground of church discipline.

The ultimate form of church discipline (excommunication) is never a simple response to past sin. It is always a response to sin that a person continues to affirm or practice. No past sin that is renounced, confessed and forsaken is a ground of church discipline.

Reference:   Bethlehem Baptist Church, A Statement on Divorce and Remarriage in the Life of Bethlehem Baptist Church, May 2, 1989, www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
84.
A Christian is not a person who believes in his head the teachings of the Bible. Satan believes in his head the teachings of the Bible! A Christian is a person who has died with Christ, whose stiff neck has been broken, whose brazen forehead has been shattered, whose stony heart has been crushed, whose pride has been slain, and whose life is now mastered by Jesus Christ. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!”

A Christian is not a person who believes in his head the teachings of the Bible. Satan believes in his head the teachings of the Bible! A Christian is a person who has died with Christ, whose stiff neck has been broken, whose brazen forehead has been shattered, whose stony heart has been crushed, whose pride has been slain, and whose life is now mastered by Jesus Christ. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!”

Reference:   I Do Not Nullify the Grace of God, Galatians 2:15-21, March 6, 1983, Used by Permission, www.DesiringGod.org.


85.
The native hardness of our hearts makes us unwilling and unable to turn from sin and trust the Savior. Therefore conversion involves a miracle of new birth. Thus new birth precedes and enables faith and repentance. Nevertheless, faith and repentance are our acts. We are accountable for them. By the miracle of new birth, by pure grace, God grants the inclination we need.

The native hardness of our hearts makes us unwilling and unable to turn from sin and trust the Savior. Therefore conversion involves a miracle of new birth. Thus new birth precedes and enables faith and repentance. Nevertheless, faith and repentance are our acts. We are accountable for them. By the miracle of new birth, by pure grace, God grants the inclination we need.

Reference:   Desiring God, Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1996, p. 62, Used by Permission, www.desiringGod.org. Get this book!


86.
Evangelism can never be finished, but missions can be finished. The reason is this: missions has the unique task of crossing language and culture barriers to penetrate a people group and establish a church movement; but evangelism is the ongoing task of sharing the gospel among people within the same culture.

Evangelism can never be finished, but missions can be finished. The reason is this: missions has the unique task of crossing language and culture barriers to penetrate a people group and establish a church movement; but evangelism is the ongoing task of sharing the gospel among people within the same culture.

Reference:   Desiring God, Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1996, p. 64, Used by Permission, www.desiringGod.org. Get this book!


Author: John Piper
Topics: Born_Again
87.
People who don’t believe in Christ are blind. They can’t see Christ as supremely valuable, and so they won’t receive him as their Treasure and so they are not saved. A work of God is needed in their lives to open their eyes and give them life so they can see and receive Christ as Savior and Lord and Treasure of their lives. That work of God is called new birth.

People who don’t believe in Christ are blind. They can’t see Christ as supremely valuable, and so they won’t receive him as their Treasure and so they are not saved. A work of God is needed in their lives to open their eyes and give them life so they can see and receive Christ as Savior and Lord and Treasure of their lives. That work of God is called new birth.

Reference:   I am Sending You to Open their Eyes, 2 Cor. 4:1-7, www.desiringgod.org, Used by Permission.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Born_Again
88.
Saving faith is the cry of a new creature in Christ. And the newness of the new creature is that it has a new taste. What was once distasteful or bland is now craved. Christ Himself has become a Treasure Chest of holy joy. The tree of faith grows only in the heart that craves the supreme gift that Christ died to give: not health, not wealth, not prestige, but God!

Saving faith is the cry of a new creature in Christ. And the newness of the new creature is that it has a new taste. What was once distasteful or bland is now craved. Christ Himself has become a Treasure Chest of holy joy. The tree of faith grows only in the heart that craves the supreme gift that Christ died to give: not health, not wealth, not prestige, but God!

Reference:   Desiring God, 1996, p. 68, Used by Permission, www.desiringGod.org. Get this book!


Author: John Piper
Topics: Faith-Saving
89.
Love is an essential part of the process of salvation. It is not optional whether you love one another. No one can say, “I am saved by faith regardless of whether I love people or not.” For the only faith which saves is “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Saving faith always gives rise to love and love gives evidence of genuine faith.

Love is an essential part of the process of salvation. It is not optional whether you love one another. No one can say, “I am saved by faith regardless of whether I love people or not.” For the only faith which saves is “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6). Saving faith always gives rise to love and love gives evidence of genuine faith.

Reference:   Freed to Love, June 12, 1983, Used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Faith-Saving
90.
In one sense saving faith is the easiest thing in the world – as easy as being clay in the potter’s hands. But in another sense it is the hardest thing in the world, because human clay hates being shaped and formed by Christ so that He gets all the glory for what we become.

In one sense saving faith is the easiest thing in the world – as easy as being clay in the potter’s hands. But in another sense it is the hardest thing in the world, because human clay hates being shaped and formed by Christ so that He gets all the glory for what we become.

Reference:   O, That Christ Would Be Formed in You, Galatians 4:12-20, May 15, 1983, Used by Permission, www.DesiringGod.org.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Faith-Saving
91.
Saving faith is the confidence that if you sell all you have, and forsake all sinful pleasures, the hidden treasure of holy joy will satisfy your deepest desires. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.

Saving faith is the confidence that if you sell all you have, and forsake all sinful pleasures, the hidden treasure of holy joy will satisfy your deepest desires. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.

Reference:   Desiring God, Bethlehem Baptist Church, 1996, p. 96, Used by Permission, www.DesiringGod.org. Get this book!


Author: John Piper
Topics: Faith-Saving
92.
When there is a famine of the word of God in the land the spiritual nutrients that enable the eye to spot sin as sin is gone. And the spiritual protein that gives strength the moral muscle of the soul to do what is right is missing. The spiritual eye becomes diseased through malnutrition, and the clear lines between sin and righteousness begin to blur. The moral muscle of the will atrophies, and weakens, and the result is that the beckoning of the world wins because there is no strength to stand against it. When the ministry of the word goes wrong, many are caused to stumble.

When there is a famine of the word of God in the land the spiritual nutrients that enable the eye to spot sin as sin is gone. And the spiritual protein that gives strength the moral muscle of the soul to do what is right is missing. The spiritual eye becomes diseased through malnutrition, and the clear lines between sin and righteousness begin to blur. The moral muscle of the will atrophies, and weakens, and the result is that the beckoning of the world wins because there is no strength to stand against it. When the ministry of the word goes wrong, many are caused to stumble.

Reference:   Let None be Faithless to the Wife of his Youth, Sermon, Nov. 22, 1987, www.DesiringGod.org. Used by Permission.


Author: John Piper
Topics: Bible-Priority
93.
Satan’s number-one objective is to destroy our joy of faith. We have one offensive weapon: the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). But what many Christians fail to realize is that we can’t draw the sword from someone else’s scabbard. If we don’t wear it, we can’t wield it. If the Word of God does not abide in us (Jn. 15:7), we will reach for it in vain when the enemy strikes. But if we do wear it, if it lives within us, what mighty warriors we can be!

Satan’s number-one objective is to destroy our joy of faith. We have one offensive weapon: the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). But what many Christians fail to realize is that we can’t draw the sword from someone else’s scabbard. If we don’t wear it, we can’t wield it. If the Word of God does not abide in us (Jn. 15:7), we will reach for it in vain when the enemy strikes. But if we do wear it, if it lives within us, what mighty warriors we can be!

Reference:   Desiring God, 1996, p. 129, Used by Permission, www.desiringGod.org. Get this book!


Author: John Piper
Topics: Bible-Priority
94.
God has ordained that the eye-opening work of His Spirit always be combined with the mind-informing work of His Word. His aim is that we see the glory of His Son (and be changed). So He opens our eyes when we are looking at the Son – and not at soaps or sales. The work of the Spirit and the work of the Word always go together in God’s way of true spiritual self-revelation. The Spirit’s work is to show the glory and beauty and value of what the mind sees in the Word.

God has ordained that the eye-opening work of His Spirit always be combined with the mind-informing work of His Word. His aim is that we see the glory of His Son (and be changed). So He opens our eyes when we are looking at the Son – and not at soaps or sales. The work of the Spirit and the work of the Word always go together in God’s way of true spiritual self-revelation. The Spirit’s work is to show the glory and beauty and value of what the mind sees in the Word.

Reference:   Wonderful Things from Your Word, Sermon, January 11, 1998, www.DesiringGod.org. Used by Permission.


95.
The primary work of the Holy Spirit in [Bible study] is to abolish the pride and arrogance that keep us from being open to the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit makes us teachable because He makes us humble. He causes us to rely wholly on the mercy of God in Christ for our happiness so that we are not threatened if one of our views is found to be wrong. The person who knows Himself finite and unworthy, and who thus rejoices in the mercy of God, has nothing to lose when his ego is threatened.

The primary work of the Holy Spirit in [Bible study] is to abolish the pride and arrogance that keep us from being open to the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit makes us teachable because He makes us humble. He causes us to rely wholly on the mercy of God in Christ for our happiness so that we are not threatened if one of our views is found to be wrong. The person who knows Himself finite and unworthy, and who thus rejoices in the mercy of God, has nothing to lose when his ego is threatened.

Reference:   Biblical Exegesis, p. 13. www.DesiringGod.org.


96.
If our pride has not been crucified by the Holy Spirit, the Bible will be a wax nose and we will call it foolish or mold it to fit our own natural desires.

If our pride has not been crucified by the Holy Spirit, the Bible will be a wax nose and we will call it foolish or mold it to fit our own natural desires.

Reference:   How the Spirit Helps Us Understand, 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, May 20, 1984. www.DesiringGod.org. Used by Permission.


97.
The work of the Spirit is not to tell us what the [Bible] means. That we must determine by a disciplined study of the text. The Spirit inspired these writings and He does not short-circuit them by whispering in our ear what they mean. When we pray for His help we do not pray that He will spare us the hard work of rigorous reading and reflection. What we pray is that He would make us humble enough to welcome the truth. The work of the Spirit in helping us grasp the meaning of [the Bible] is not to make study unnecessary but to make us radically open to receive what our study turns up, instead of twisting the text to justify our unwillingness to accept it.

The work of the Spirit is not to tell us what the [Bible] means. That we must determine by a disciplined study of the text. The Spirit inspired these writings and He does not short-circuit them by whispering in our ear what they mean. When we pray for His help we do not pray that He will spare us the hard work of rigorous reading and reflection. What we pray is that He would make us humble enough to welcome the truth. The work of the Spirit in helping us grasp the meaning of [the Bible] is not to make study unnecessary but to make us radically open to receive what our study turns up, instead of twisting the text to justify our unwillingness to accept it.

Reference:   How the Spirit Helps Us Understand, 1 Corinthians 2:14-16, May 20, 1984. www.DesiringGod.org. Used by Permission.


98.
The work of the Holy Spirit in the process of interpretation is not to add information, but to give to us the discipline to study and the humility to accept the truth we find without twisting it. 

The work of the Holy Spirit in the process of interpretation is not to add information, but to give to us the discipline to study and the humility to accept the truth we find without twisting it. 

Reference:   The Supremacy of God in Preaching, Baker, p. 42.


99.
Often our misunderstanding of God’s Word is due not to innocent intellectual slips or lack of information, but rather to a deep refusal to submit to God’s demands.  A person who intends to manage his own affairs, maintain his pride, and secure esteem and glory from his fellow human beings will twist the words of Jesus to support his own self-esteem.  The evil of the human heart precedes and gives rise to many of our apparently intellectual misunderstandings of Scripture.

Often our misunderstanding of God's Word is due not to innocent intellectual slips or lack of information, but rather to a deep refusal to submit to God's demands. A person who intends to manage his own affairs, maintain his pride, and secure esteem and glory from his fellow human beings will twist the words of Jesus to support his own self-esteem. The evil of the human heart precedes and gives rise to many of our apparently intellectual misunderstandings of Scripture.

Reference:   Desiring God, p. 279, copyright Bethlehem Baptist Church, used by permission. www.DesiringGod.org. Get this book!


100.
I believe that the Bible is God’s Word. Therefore I must define the ultimate goal of exegesis so as to embrace the heart as well as the head. The Scriptures aim to affect our hearts and change the way we feel about God and his will. The exegete, who believes that this aim is the aim of the living God for our day, cannot be content with merely uncovering what the Scriptures originally meant. He must aim, in his exegesis, to help achieve the ultimate goal of Scripture: its contemporary significance for faith. It is the will of God that his Word crush feelings of arrogance and self-reliance and that it give hope to the poor in spirit.

I believe that the Bible is God’s Word. Therefore I must define the ultimate goal of exegesis so as to embrace the heart as well as the head. The Scriptures aim to affect our hearts and change the way we feel about God and his will. The exegete, who believes that this aim is the aim of the living God for our day, cannot be content with merely uncovering what the Scriptures originally meant. He must aim, in his exegesis, to help achieve the ultimate goal of Scripture: its contemporary significance for faith. It is the will of God that his Word crush feelings of arrogance and self-reliance and that it give hope to the poor in spirit.

Reference:   Biblical Exegesis, p. 9, Used by Permission, www.DesiringGod.org.