Bought by the Blood

November 30, 2011

John Piper on Living the Most Significant Life Imaginable

Filed under: Glory of God,John Piper — cubsfan1980 @ 2:19 pm
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“As individual Christians with many hard things in front of you, let’s not miss either of these—the hard and the glorious. If we only see the hard part, we will miss the power and the freedom. If we only see the glorious part, we will minimize the sacrifice…Remember this: the glory Jesus’ promises compensates for the hardness of it all. In fact, the glory turns the hardness into the most significant life imaginable.”

From “If a Grain of When Dies it Bears Much Fruit” By John Piper © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

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June 21, 2011

Interpreting Abortion Biblically

The problem in American society when conservatives or liberals think about abortion is they think about the rights of women or the rights of the unborn.  Before any discussion about abortion happens, the first thought has to be about the rights of God.  John Piper has the following to say about the idea of God’s creator rights

The biblical mindset is not simply one that includes God somewhere in the universe and says that the Bible is true. The biblical mindset begins with a radically different starting point, namely, God. God is the basic given reality in the universe. He was there before we were in existence – or before anything was in existence. He is simply the most absolute reality.

And so the biblical mindset starts with the assumption that God is the center of reality. All thinking starts with the assumption that God has basic rights as the Creator of all things. He has goals that fit with his nature and perfect character. Then the biblical mindset moves out from this center and interprets the world, with God and his rights and goals as the measure of all things.

What the biblical mindset sees as basic problems in the universe are usually not the same problems that the secular mindset sees. The reason for this is that what makes a problem is not, first, that something doesn’t fit the rights and needs of man, but that it doesn’t fit the rights and goals of God. If you start with man and his rights and wants, rather than starting with the Creator and his rights and goals, the problems you see in the universe will be very different.

Is the basic riddle of the universe how to preserve man’s rights and solve his problems?(You can listen to or read the rest of that message here)

Today and yesterday Focus on The Family had a great program on helping men heal who have lost children to abortion.  One of the great points that they made is that you can’t just ask for forgiveness for taking the life of the unborn.  Healing is not found until we are reconciled to God by asking God for forgiveness for taking the life of His Son.

As the hymn, “I will glory In My Redeemer” states, “Mine was the sin that drove the bitter nails and hung Him on that judgement tree.”  Abortion can’t be rightly understood apart from the cross. The greatest offense isn’t an infringement upon a woman’s right or the loss of the unborn’s life.  The greatest offense is that God has been taken off of his throne so that we may live as we want with a disregard for His rule and way.

Once God is the starting point of the abortion debate, there is no middle ground or gray area.  He is the creator of life, all humans, born and unborn are made in His image.  Without the Bible as the standard of truth then there is no way to say if abortion is right or wrong.  If the cross is taken out of the equation then there is no healing for those who have chosen abortion.  A sovereign God who intends good has to be our guide or what reason is there to choose life?

July 16, 2010

The Gospel Keeps Believers Believing

Filed under: Faith,Gospel,imputed righteousness,John Piper,Romans,Unbelief — cubsfan1980 @ 9:53 am
[16] For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. [17] For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 ESV)

What saves is persevering faith (Mark 13:13Colossians 1:23). If that’s true, now it makes clear sense why verse 17 explains how God saves believers by saying that in the gospel God reveals a righteousness for us that is first perceived and embraced by faith, and then has the effect of awakening all the necessary future faith that we need in order to be saved. The gospel saves believers because the gospel keeps believers believing. (See 1 Peter 1:5.)

In Romans 8:13 Paul says, “If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” But the problem is, we all know that in our war with sin we do not win often enough to have peace in our consciences. So if our life hangs on perfect winning in the war with sin, we are going to despair and not persevere to the end. We will simply give up, because there is no use trying.

What then will keep us going and fighting so that we will live?Romans 1:16,17 answers: the gospel is the power of God to save believers because in the gospel we can see revealed every day that our standing with God is not based on our own righteousness but on God’s, freely given to us by faith. And when we see that over and over in the gospel, day after day, as long as we live, our faith is renewed and sustained, and we press on in the fight. Our confidence that God will help us in life and save us from the wrath to come is based on our ever-renewed assurance that our acceptance with him is based on the gift of his own righteousness, not ours.

So every time the Bible demands you to do something do not think, “I must do this to take away my guilt or to get forgiveness or to get a right standing with God.” Rather think, “I will do this because my guilt is already removed, I am already forgiven, I already have the gift of God’s righteousness, and so I know that God is for me and will help me. So I will trust him and obey him and display by my radical, risk-taking obedience the glory of God’s grace. And I will draw nearer and nearer to him in the fellowship of his sufferings and the joy of his companionship.

February 19, 2010

Teaching A Toddler Scripture Memory

Filed under: communion with God,Family,John Piper,parenting — cubsfan1980 @ 10:02 am
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Traffic in the DC area is still pretty bad due to Snowpocalypse.  While driving in today I decided to listen to an old Piper sermon.  In the message I listened to Piper was talking about teaching his two month old daughter scripture memorization.  Prior to listening to this I had not thought about when to teach Miya Scripture verses, but Piper makes a good point about the sooner the better.

Talitha is now two. She is beginning to learn Bible verses by heart. She is also learning the forms of prayer. Why? Why go to the trouble of taking time and effort to repeat over and over the Bible to her? Very simple – when she is a teenager I want her to be godly and pure and holy and loving and humble and kind and submissive and wise. And the Bible says, as plain as day, this comes by treasuring up the Word of God in your heart. “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against you.”

Jesus put it like this in his great prayer for us in John 17:17, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” “Sanctify” is a Biblical word for making a person holy or godly or loving or pure or virtuous or spiritually wise. And these things I want for myself and for my children and for you. So what then should we do this year? If we are sanctified by the truth, and the Word of God is truth, what should we do?

If a doctor says, “You’re very sick and may die of your sickness, but if you will take this medicine, you will get well and live,” and you neglect to take the medicine – too busy, the pills are big and hard to swallow, just forgetful – you are going to stay sick and you may die. That’s the way it is with sin and spiritual immaturity. If you neglect what God tells you will sanctify you and make you mature and strong and holy, then you will not be mature and strong and holy. Reading, and meditating on and memorizing and cherishing the Word of God is God’s appointed way of overcoming sin and becoming a strong, godly, mature, loving, wise person.

via Open My Eyes That I May See :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library.

January 29, 2010

Shifting Priorities

Filed under: cross,Gospel,John Piper — cubsfan1980 @ 3:23 pm
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Priorities are changing a bit these days, so blogging has been a bit down.  One priority will always remain the same.

There is a center of history and it is the cross.  It is Christ crucified in the place of sinners and rising triumphantly over the devil and hell and sin and death. – John Piper

November 6, 2009

Fighting Anxiety With Scipture

“When you think about your life or your food or your clothes — or your spouse or your or your job or your mission — don’t fret about them.  Instead, make God the King in that affair and in that moment.  That is, hand over the situation to his kingly power, and do his righteous will with the confidence that he will work for you and meet all your needs.  If we believe in the kingship of our heavenly Fathers, we do not need to be anxious about anything…the more primary and central his kinship becomes in our live, the less anxiety we will  have.” John Piper

September 28, 2009

Matt Redman on God’s glory

Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

I’ve been wanting to write a devotional on the glory of God and haven’t gotten around to it yet.  I may still do that, but until I do, here are some excellent thoughts on the glory of God from Matt Redman!

Glory has to be one of the most used worship words these days (and for good reason) – but because of that, we need to be really clear about what we mean by it. For many people it’s one of those words we kind of know what we’re talking about conceptually, but would find it hard to express the meaning if were asked for a concise definition. That’s where Mr Piper comes in. I love the way he describes to us what the word ‘glory’ is all about:

“ The glory of God is the manifestation of his holiness. God’s holiness is the incomparable perfection of his divine nature; his glory is the display of that holiness.”

So in other words, the holiness of God is everything about God that makes Him matchless, perfect and high above all others – and His glory is the shining of that holiness. Or as Piper goes on to explain:

“ ‘God is glorious’ means God’s holiness has gone public. His glory is the open revelation of the secret of his holiness… The holiness of God is his concealed glory. The glory of God is his revealed holiness.”

I love that – it’s what inwardly and instinctively we already knew, but defined in a few concise sentences that really help get a handle on what we’re talking about.

via THE GLORY OF GOD | worshipcentral.

September 12, 2009

God is Spirit

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”-John 4:24

In 2007 the most googled question was “Who is God?”  Using Westminster Confession Faith as my aid I want to tackle this question.  The Westminster Confession of Faith has a 15 part answer, so this will be a 15 part series.

Q. 7. What is God?
A. God is a Spirit, in and of himself infinite in being, glory, blessedness, and perfection; all-sufficient, eternal, unchangeable, incomprehensible, everywhere present, almighty, knowing all things, most wise, most holy, most just, most merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.

God is not constrained by physical limitations.  He is omnipresent and there is no place where His spirit is not present.  Our human senses cannot touch Him, but because we are made in His image we have a spirit that is made to commune with Him.  There are other spiritual beings in the universe, but only God is “pure Spirit.”  The full meaning of God being Spirit is past our understanding, this should humble us and lead us to worship.  This should drive away all complacency and bring us to a place of awe.  Our view of God should be more exalted then any person or created thing because He is immaterial and cannot be contained by the earth, heavens or even our imaginations.

Saying that God is Spirit shows the incredible condescension of Christ in the incarnation.  In the incarnation the Spirit of God put on flesh so that He could be born in the likeness of man, but without our sin nature.  God the Son was with God in the beginning and is eternal like God, but was born to die in the place of sinful man, so that God’s Spirit can be poured out on those whose spirits God the Father has redeemed for Himself.  Our redemption is for the purpose of our worship.  We are created to be worshipers and spend our lives praising and glorifying God in all that we say and do.  Thus, it is of utmost importance that we understand who God is.

Our view of God as Spirit has huge implication for how we view the trinity, prayer and worship.  If God is Spirit, then we will not try to put him into a finite concept.  If I said I am three persons with one substance, power and eternity you would send me to the looney bin.  God being pure spirit is free to “be three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity.”*  When I pray, I pray to God The Father by the power of the Holy Spirit with confidence because it is through the Son**.  My worship can be any place and any time because the Spirit of God is everywhere.  I do not created images for my worship because no created thing can mirror the Spirit of God, but will only turn into an idol.  The only two requirements for those that are seeking true worship are the Spirit of God and the truth of His Word.

*Westminster Confession of Faith – Chapter 2: Of God and of the Holy Trinity http://www.opc.org/wcf.html
** Ask Pastor John: Does it Matter Which Person of the Trinity we Pray to http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/AskPastorJohn/ByTopic/35/3491_Does_it_matter_which_Person_of_the_Trinity_we_pray_to/

July 10, 2009

Happy 500

Filed under: John Calvin,John Piper — cubsfan1980 @ 9:31 am
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Today is the big day when we celebrate John Calvin’s birthday!  A ton is going in twitter and the internet as well as real life actual conference to commemorate the reformer.  If you are American and don’t know  much about Calvin, be sure to read this article about how we as American owe much to him for his shaping and influence of our live: America’s Debt to John Calvin by John Piper

June 1, 2009

Thoughts on the Tiller murder

Filed under: Abortion,John Piper,links,Matthew — cubsfan1980 @ 12:28 pm
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Some of the best thoughts that I’ve read on this are on Justin Taylor’s blog.

I first heard about this through reading blogs yesterday and I read a news article on it in the DC examiner that made my heart break.

Although I am unashamedly pro-life, I am ashamed of some of the people that call themselves pro-life. What this person did was absolutely contradictory to believing in the sanctity of life. I am not going to repeat what I’ve said previously. If you want to know my sentiments please read “Abortion is a Gospel Issue” and how the protestors at Notre Dame should have reacted.

The person who murdered Tiller had no grasp on the gospel. They had no mercy or compassion towards him and unfortunately does not know the grace of Christ. We are all sinners and all deserving of death, but God has shown his unconditional love to all mankind.

44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? – Matthew 5:44-46

It is actions like this that turns people off to the pro-life movement and why the Department of Homeland Security called pro-lifers extremist and potential terrorist. There is more power in prayer then there is firing a gun. Norma McCovey, “Roe” from Roe V. Wade, is now a Christian and one of the most ardent pro-life supporters. Imagine what an impact Tiller could have made if he was reached out to with the love of Christ and transformed by the Gospel.

This war will not be won by bullets. It will be won by brokenness and humility and sacrifice. It will be won when we identify with the children in our suffering rather than with the abortionist in his killing. -John Piper

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