John Piper Sermon Notes Vol. 2

Faith Alone: How (Not) To Use A Reformed Slogan Romans 1:18-23, 8:31

  • The greatest problem the world has is that we have exchanged the glory of the Creator for the (low) pleasures of Creation.

  • God's wrath and our rebellion is relevant to every part of our lives.

  • Likewise, a reversal of those two things would also be relevant.

  • This reversal is the apex of everything and you won't want to waste your life on it.

  • Justification alone by faith in Christ is the reversal.

  • 8:31, God is for us and our holiness.

  • 8:35, when they try to slaughter you they serve you.

  • 8:33, God has justified me.

  • Jesus was the only perfect/sinless man. Therefore He was the only one who could take the wrath of my sin and thus removing God's wrath against me. And He is now for me.

  • Live our life according to this truth.

  • Law keeping-based on your own perfection.

  • The way of faith-based on Christ's perfection.

  • Faith is a receiving of Christ for who He really is. And He is the most beautiful, all-satisfying treasure and our Divine substitute and Sovereign.

  • We show our faith through our works.

  • The only faith that produces justification is love.

  • Which leads to holiness which leads to Heaven.

  • You don't get into Heaven by faith alone. Justification is by faith alone. In order to get into Heaven that faith must bear the fruit of love-love of people and God and His holiness.

  • Put sin to death from a position of justification where God is for you.

 

Treasure God, Magnify Christ, Love People. The Way of Christian Hedonism. Philippians 1:20-23, 4:4, 2 Corinthians 8:1.

  • Pleasure in God and God alone.

  • Christian Hedonism is God telling us to pursue maximum pleasure in quality and duration that is only found in Him alone.

  • Love means to delight/enjoy God. Loving God is enjoying God.

  • Nothing is more satisfying than God.

  • We lost our joy/enjoyment in God when we sin. Sin is preferring anything to God.

  • Christ came, lived, and died to give us back our full eternal pleasure in God.

  • My sin was condemned in the flesh of Christ because He had no sin to condemn.

  • Forgiveness is a means to getting God.

  • Without the enjoyment of God, you will not be able to glory God or love people. Joy/pleasure in God is the key to glorifying Him and loving people.

  • God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him especially in seasons of loss or suffering.

  • People are most loved (by me) when my joy in God overflows to draw them into it with Him forever.

  • Paul's joy is to magnify Christ whether by life or death.

  • IE experiencing Christ as great in my dying makes Him look great in my dying.

  • Joy in severe trial and extreme poverty. Their joy is in God and thus can not be touched by trial or poverty.

  • Be happy in God in all things or you're not a real Christian; you're an idolater.

  • Love is the overflow of the joy of God that meets the needs of others, especially in suffering.

  • Love is the inner-impulse in joy in God to expand and include others in it because when their joy in God joins my joy is fuller/deeper/purer.

  • "Deepen my love and pleasure for you O God."

 

Gospel Depths: Why God Revealed the Depths of Salvation in Eternity Past John 1:1-3, 14

  • We know what the Gospel is if we know why He created the Universe and in order to know both of those things we have to know who God is.

  • Christ is the word. He is God. He was with God and He isn't created.

  • Before creation, there was a Father and a Son existing in love and harmony with one another.

  • As well as a Spirit, a Consoler, a Teacher who also delighted with them before creation.

  • God is perfect. Infinite in beauty and value. Greater than all the universe.

  • It is good to be still and think about this. Understand this, to understand the Bible.

  • Why did God create? He created, with Humans as the apex of creation, for His glory. (Psalm 19:1, Romans 1:20).

  • What does "for His glory" mean?

  • 1) God created for His glory so His glory would be known as the greatest treasure in the universe.

  • 2) So His glory would be enjoyed as the greatest pleasure in the universe.

  • 3) So His glory would be shown by the greatest treasure (knowing) and pleasure (enjoying).

  • The central story of the universe is the history of man. Through this God shows His glory.

  • Main Plot: Sin entered the world by Adam and Eve. Sin is falling short of the glory of God (Romans 1:23). So what becomes of man and God's glory?

  • Man is against God in sin. We are in rebellion against Him.

  • But the King has come! As a Savior and not an executioner; this is good news.

  • But how are we to be saved by this? John 10:15, Romans 4:25, 1 Thess. 5:9, Isaiah 53.

  • God reigns, the kingdom and king have come! But He is a bloody savior (Romans 8:3).

  • By this rebels become adopted sons. For those in Christ God's wrath is satisfied!

  • In all this, He brought eternal life, justification, peace, enjoyment of His promises.

  • God is the Gospel. Enjoyed, known, shown.

  • Jesus brought us everything that serves our eternal good (Romans 8:32).

  • Jesus' blood secured the good that all trial and temptation and work of Satan will do for you.

  • And all those things (as well as all the gifts given) are meant to know/show His glory.

  • But these promises are for those brought by Christ's blood.

  • The mark of union with Christ is faith in Christ.

  • Gospel depth: Christ crucified in the mind of God before the universe existed and who will be chosen in Him before the universe (1 Corinthians 1:21).

  • All boasting in God because He chose us (Revelation 13:8).

  • We have life in Christ; we believe because we are in the book of life.

  • I have faith in Christ because God said that I would.

  • Why would He reveal this to us?

  • 1) God intends for the Gospel depths of His choosing to deepen your humility but rooting it in Him in eternity.

  • 2) God intends for Gospel depths to deepen our zeal for holiness (Eph. 1:4).

  • 3) God intends for Gospel depths to deepen our confidence/commitment in the Great Commission.

  • 4) God intends for Gospel depths to deepen/sweeten your experience of being loved by God with a personal love that has no beginning or end.

  • His love for me isn't passive it is active.

  • He did all this so we stand in wonder of being loved individually before eternity.

  • "Help me to be humble and holy, and a great enjoyer of your love. And courageous in mission and driven in love for the glory of your name O God."

 

Gospel-Shaped Mind: Knowing the Glories of Christ

  • Right thinking about God leads to the right feelings about God.

  • God is glorified in a Gospel-shaped heart because it is most satisfied in Him.

  • We can't know in the heart what we don't know in the mind.

  • Both heart and mind must be redeemed by God's Gospel.

  • John 3;19-20, Our problem is that we hate the light and love darkness.

  • Meaning that the heart must be set free from its love of darkness for the mind to begin treasuring the truth (Eph. 4:18).

  • the hardness of heart=hating light. This must be overcome for the mind to do its work. It needs the Gospel.

  • The Gospel is a spoken message as a transforming power.

  • The mind understands the truth and the heart is being opened to the beauty of the truth. So both are serving each other by the Spirit.

  • Under the Gospel the mind has been set free from bondage so it can see the beauty of Christ for what it is; that is supreme and all-satisfying.

  • The goal is not just to know God lightly but for the heart to love God.

  • Romans 10:1-3, The Jews have zeal-its a zeal for God, but it's not based on right knowledge. They weren't saved. It is possible to have a zeal for God and still be lost.

  • 2 Timothy 2:7, using the mind to meditate doesn't replace the Spirit giving understanding. We are to pray for the Spirit's help/enlightenment and think through the text.

  • Luke 12:54-57, clouds mean rain; there are clouds in the west. Therefore it will rain. Use logic/reasoning to fuel your heart's love for God.

  • The job of the preacher is to read and understand the text and to make it plain for others.

  • God chose to speak to us via a book therefore we must study the book to know God.

  • To read well you must think well.

  • Mind=thinking. Heart=feeling. Thought fuels our feelings for God/our zeal for God. We fuel our mind with reading and thinking much of His word and Himself which in turn increases our zeal for Him.

 

Gospel-Shaped Heart: Treasuring the Glories of Christ

  • God created mankind for His glory (Isaiah 43:7).

  • There is no truth greater than God. There is no treasure higher than God.

  • We were made to make God look great.

  • We do this by knowing Him with our mind and treasuring Him with our hearts. God shines brightly through His people when they know Him well and more so when we treasure Him most.

  • Thus the mind is given to serve the heart.

  • Scriptural doctrine is for the sake of spiritual delight.

  • The mind fuels the heart's love for God. The mind is to give new fuel to the heart.

  • Only God can make the heart satisfied in God.

  • Without the Gospel, our hearts are spiritually dead in sin.

  • We can't enjoy God without the Gospel because of sin.

  • God sent Christ to deal with these issues. We are sinful, God is holy, God must deal with this.

  • This is why Christ had to die (Romans 8:10). God is no longer angry with us in Christ.

  • God is now for you in Christ. He purchased the promises of the new covenant with His blood.

  • The central promise is giving us a heart of flesh.

  • When He died He brought our transformation. A new heart was brought at Calvary.

  • We are to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

  • We glorify Him by enjoying Him.

  • His glory must be seen and delighted, rejoiced in.

 

Gospel-Shaped Mouth: Preaching the Glories of Christ

  • Preach the unsearchable riches of Christ. And that will lead us to a supreme love of God and hate for sin. This preaching feeds the mind to fuel the heart.

  • Preaching the glories of Christ means making clear to the people that all exists and everything happens for the glory of Christ. God is God-centered.

  • I am made by God to praise God by the work of God. I was created to admire God.

  • Preaching the glory of Christ means showing the people that God does and plans everything for the glory of Christ which is God's own glory (Colossians 1:16).

  • Preaching the glories of Christ two the people means that the love that Christ has for us puts Him at the center; not ourselves.

  • Preaching Christ's love to the people doesn't mean that He draws attention to our value, but rather, enables us to enjoy His value.

  • John 11:1-6, what does it mean to be loved by Christ?

  • 1) Twice John point out that Christ loved Martha and Lazarus

  • 2) Notice the logical connection to 11:6 and what comes before it-Christ loved Martha and Lazarus so He stayed where He was and let him die. That is love.

  • 3) 11:4, notice the explanation that Christ plans to do something better. It is more important for Christ to show His love by magnifying His glory rather than save Lazarus' life.

  • What does it mean for me to be loved by Christ? He will not rescue us from suffering and dying-but He will show us His glory for our everlasting joy.

  • Preaching the glory of Christ to the people means that Christ will do anything/everything to satisfy me with His glory.

  • Preaching the glory of Christ to the people the Cross is Christ-centered. He died, ultimately, for His own glory.

  • 2 Timothy 1:9, God planned Christ's death and the forgiveness/grace from that before creation and we will be magnifying this forever.

  • He will give us all things to endure in this life and to be satisfied in Him.

  • Preaching the glories of Christ to the people means that being born-again means God opening the eyes of our hearts to what is eternally valuable-that is Christ.

  • Christ is now no longer boring, or a myth. He is all satisfying to me.

  • Preaching the glories of Christ to the people means that our transformation into more Christ-like-ness comes from beholding Christ Himself (2 Cor. 3:18). Being like Christ means overcoming sin.

  • We sin because we want to. It promises happiness.

  • Sin makes promises and they're all lies.

  • How do we break the false promise of pleasure? With the power of a Superior Pleasure.

  • We behold Christ and His glory in His word.

  • Thus we read the word to get Christ and be satisfied in Him.

 

Gospel Worship: Holy Ambition For All the Peoples to Praise Christ Romans 15:8-12

  • 4 Realities for Global missions (Focus on preaching of the Gospel in order to transform the culture).

  • The reality of Global Mission #1: God is up to something unprecedented.

  • The reality of Global Missions #2: Unfinished, but finishable.

  • The reality of Global Missions #3: joyful, self-sacrificing courage.

  • The reality of Global Missions #4: Gospel change leads to social change.

  • 6 Biblical truths for missions:

  • 1) The Gospel is God's mercy in Christ.

  • 2) The worship of God for that mercy.

  • 3) The importance of seeing people's not just people.

  • 4) The Gospel ambition of Paul the pioneer.

  • 5) The sending of a Gospel church.

  • 6) The praying of a Gospel people.

  • What people revere they resemble.

  • 1) The Gospel is God's mercy in Christ. There's a purpose for Christ coming as a servant. He came to show God's truthfulness to confirm promises to Patriarchs. And so the Gentiles could glorify God in His mercy and therefore worship Him. Christ confirms God's promises and His mercy is shown to the nations through Him.

  • 2) The worship of God for that mercy. Romans 15:9, not just know His mercy but to glorify Him. The Gospel is not man-centered. The aim of the Gospel is God- to glorify Him for His mercy. Mercy is a means not an end. Glorifying God for His mercy is the end. Joyful knowledge of Him. The essence of Gospel worship is heartfelt, hope full joy in the God of mercy overflowing in fitting expressions.

  • We get mercy. God gets the glory.

  • 3) The importance of seeing people's not just people. Everyone will praise Him. He must be known to all the peoples.

  • 4) The Gospel ambition of Paul the pioneer. Romans 15:19-24, Paul was a missionary. Continue your work Lord and raise up more Pauls. Paul's ambition must continue 15:20. What is your ambition?

  • 5) The sending of a Gospel church. Some are sender, some are go-ers. Both glorify God.

  • 6) The praying of a Gospel people. Paul never made it to Spain. He was arrested in Jerusalem. Real things happen in prayer that won't have happened if you hadn't prayed.

 

The Ultimate Essence of Evil: The Majesty of God, The Triumph of Christ, and the Glory of Human Life.

  • The root of evil vs. the fruit of evil.

  • 1) Jeremiah 2:10-13, All Creation should be in shock because His people have exchanged His glory for worthlessness. The glory in 2:11 is God-a fountain of living water. The first sin/evil is that Israel has lost its taste for God. The second sin/evil is that they trusted in themselves. Nothing apart from God can hold the water of life. The essence of evil is to lose a taste for God or to prefer anything over God.

  • 2) Genesis 3:1-6, Romans 5:12, all humans are infected by sin/evil. Saw it was good, pleasing to eyes, desirable for wise. Adam and Eve desired the fruit more than God-that's the ultimate essence of evil. Command keeping=good; command breaking=bad. If you continue in that thought you'll never know who you are, you'll never see the greatness of God and triumph of Christ. Evil is preferring anything over God.

  • Obeying commands or delighting in God? Which is the root of the other? It was evil to prefer anything to God even before the Fall.

  • 3) Romans 1 & 3, Paul defines evil in relation to God, not man. Romans 3:23 is explained best in Romans 1:21-23. We fail, fall short, to treasure God according to His worth.

  • Application: Until we see this we will fail to know God. How? Because God's greatness is magnified in you when you are satisfied in Him more than anything (especially in suffering).

  • Until we know and hate the essence of evil you'll diminish what Christ achieved when we died and rose. He achieved forgiveness for sin and satisfied God's wrath, defeated the devil but ultimately He died to bring you to God!

  • We are being trained to think of the good in ways that have nothing to do with God.

  • Faith is the embrace of everything God is in Christ.

  • The essence of evil is preferring anything over God.

  • Hate sin, embrace God in Christ and then let the majesty of God be magnified in your life.





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