John Piper – Together for the Gospel 2014 – Persuading, Pleading, and Predestination: Human Means in the Miracle of Conversion

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John Piper – Together for the Gospel 2014

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Romans 9

The 9th chapter of Romans is the fullest, most forthright, blunt chapter on the freedom  of the sovereignty of God’s sovereign grace in all the Bible. It contains statements like this,

  • For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
  • Verse 6-„But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,
  • Verse 10 „And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.”
  • Verse 13 – „ As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”
  • Verse 15  „For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
  • Verse 16 – „So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
  • Verse 17 ” 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 
  • Verse 18 – „So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
  • Verse 19 – „You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?”  20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?

Statements like that. Most people are shocked when they read Romans 9. Very few people are so steeped in the biblical spirit of the majesty and the freedom of God, that these things make sense. Here’s my main question: Why is this here (Romans9)? I mean, generally, why it’s here, specifically at this point in Romans, why is it here? Why just here? Now, I am assuming this is Scripture and therefore is inspired and infallible, or as Paul says, profitable for teaching, for corrections, for proof, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be equipped for  for every good work, including the work of evangelism and the work of world missions. I am assuming these words are not here to undermine personal evangelism. These words are not here to undermine global missions. They are here to strengthen and empower, and stabilize, and deepen, and make more fruitful your personal witnessing efforts and your corporate evangelism and your global efforts to reach the unreached people of the world. That’s why these verses are here. I am just assuming that in the big picture, because they are Scripture and all Scripture is that. It’s profitable. None of it is there by accident or to undermine  any other part of it, or any duty of the Christian life.

I’m assuming that if Romans 9 was rightly understood and rightly felt, more people would enter the kingdom of God with white hot affection of God, than if this chapter were not in the Bible. So, my main question: Why is it here? Right here in Romans? Why does Paul take us there, into these weighty matters of election and predestination, and the absolute sovereignty and the freedom of God? Why does he go there, here? That’s the main question. I’ll tell you where I’m going after that. I have one main question, then I’m gonna ask 3 short questions at the end. In view of that, what effect does Romans 9 and its truth and reality have on Paul’s relationship to lost people? That’s where we’re going.

Paul has just finished writing Romans 1-8. These are the greatest 8 chapters in the Bible. And they reach a crescendo in Romans 8 with promises that are spectacular, off the charts precious to us. Let’s just walk through it and bullet these unspeakably precious promises:

  • Verse 1 – There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus
  •  Verse 11 – If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
  • Verse 16 – The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, thenheirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
  • Verse 18 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
  • Verse 21 –  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
  • Verse 28 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose.
  • Verse 30 – And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
  • Verse 31 –  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
  • Verse 32 – He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
  • Verse 33 – Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
  • Verse 35 – Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
  • Verse 37-39 – No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

And right here, Paul pours out Romans 9, concerning the freedom of God and the sovereignty of God and election. Why?

The God of Israel has just embraced the world. He sent His Son, He inaugurated a new covenant. He set in motion a global mission to rescue sinners. He promised a glorious consummation for the entire universe. And all of it is totally dependent on the faithfulness of God, totally dependent  on the integrity of God, totally dependent on the righteous promise keeping job. If God is not faithful, Romans 8 means nothing. And as Paul takes up Romans 9, that horrible possibility is precisely the issue. Israel, God’s chosen covenant people with untold privileges have rejected their Messiah and en masse are accursed, and cut off from Messiah Jesus. Gentiles are streaming into the kingdom from east and west and north and south and the sons of the kingdom are being thrown into outer darkness. Matthew 8:11

So, people look and they say, „So, God’s covenant people are lost. What good is a covenant? What good are such promises? What good is a history of Israel? His word has fallen. He’s not faithful to his covenant. That’s what Paul is dealing with now. Why? Because if He’s not faithful to His covenant with Israel, you Christians have no warrant to think He will be faithful to you and Romans 8 falls to the ground, along with Israel. That’s the issue.

Romans 9:1-3 – I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. Paul lives with sorrow and anguish that he says is unceasing because he says that his jewish kinsmen, for the most part, have rejected the Messiah and are therefore anathema. He uses that word elsewhere, accursed, and cut off from the Redeemer. Paul stands ready to be damned for his kinsmen, if it were possible, if God were the kind of God that would damn a person who would love someone so much, they’re willing to be damned. He is not that kind of God, therefore Paul says that  provisionally, it can’t happen. But he’s willing, in that world which doesn’t exist. Of course, not all of them are lost. Paul is an Israelite, and he makes much of that in chapter 11. As a whole, though, the jewish people have turned away from the Messiah, the kingdom has been taken away form them and given to a people bearing the fruits. Matthew 21 This, in spite of spectacular benefits.

Verse 4 –  They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promisesTo them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. In spite of all that, they’re lost. Many, many individual jews are lost, accursed, cut off from Christ. What can this mean? Messiah arrives, en masse rejected, en masse they go to hell, cursed, cut off from Redeemer. What can that mean? 

Paul preempts the objection in Verse 6 – But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, – God’s covenant people are perishing as a whole. What good is a covenant? And Paul responds: „It’s not that the word of God has fallen. And the rest of Romans 9-11 supports that. So the issue is: Is God faithful to His covenant? Is God faithful to the promises? Is the God of Romans 8 reliable? Oh how we love Romans 8. We could live all our lives in Romans 8. We will live all our eternity in Romans 8, and if Roman’s 8 falls to the ground, cause God can’t keep His covenant, even with Israel, what good is it? That’s why these next 3 chapters are in the Bible (Romans 9-11) and that’s why the verses we’re gonna look at are here. That’s the issue. (I transcribed from the first 21 minutes of the message, there are another 40 minutes of the message remaining)

 from Desiring God on Vimeo

How to Lead Family Worship from Desiring God

Photo from

As John Piper says in the introduction, even if you haven’t grown up in a family that spends time in devotion to God through prayer and reading of the Scripture, you could start your own tradition of family devotions with your children, yourself. And, although this message is geared towards pastors, for it was delivered to an audience of pastors at the Desiring God National Conference for Pastors, it is a useful message for any family looking to raise their children up with affection for the word of God and for the intimacy that a prayer life brings into the every day walk with Christ.

The video and the notes below are from can also listen to the mp3 here.

Turn with me to Joshua 24:14-24. This is part of Joshua’s farewell address to Israel. Look at also at Deuteronomy 6:4. I don’t know where you are at in family worship, but just as in private worship, we all fall short—as in private prayer and reading, so in family prayer and reading. My prayer is that those who are engaged in strong, regular family worship will grow. And those who struggle in it or have never engaged in family worship would learn how and be encouraged to start worshiping as a family regularly.

The Necessity of Family Worship

In my family growing up, we would pray before and after the meal. My father would also read Pilgrim’s Progress with us on Sunday evenings. However, we would never discuss or engage each other in family worship. So when I was asked once to speak on family worship, I was convicted that I had not been leading my family in worship how I ought. My siblings and I all have agreed that we are most grateful for my mother’s prayer life and my father’s reading of Pilgrim’s Progress and teaching us from it. Family worship time is the most important thing I do in my life. I wouldn’t miss it for anything in the world. It isn’t perfect but it is critical.

The commander of Columbia shuttle that disintegrated in mid-air was so devoted to family worship that he recorded eighteen videos for his family, one for each day that he was supposed to be gone. How valuable do you think those videos are to his family now? What a legacy he has left.

As pastors, we need to lead the way in family worship so that when people come into our homes, they see what family worship is like. We must strive to have our families be mini-churches, which function as the backbone of the local church. I want to lay out for you a paradigm for leading family worship, … , challenge you to commit to leading your church in family worship, and encourage you to train men in leading their families.

The Puritans saw family worship so foundational that they would bar a man from communion if he failed to lead his family in worship. Family worship is the foundation of child rearing. As family worship goes, so will go the family. The Puritans thought family worship was the whole backbone of society.

Our God is a family God. He is a triune God. He is an intra-trinitarian relationship. That is the basis of family relationships. We ought to emulate him in family worship. The head of the family in leading his family in covenant faithfulness to God is perhaps the most significant way God has used as a means of saving grace.

The Duty of Family Worship

Joshua concludes the passage I read with “We will worship the Lord.” Joshua enforces the service of God in his whole family by his own example. Joshua is going to die but he is so confident in his influence in his family that he says, “We will worship the Lord.” He says it is a future reality because of his example. Now look at Joshua 24:31. Most of the nation followed his example for at least one generation. Joshua’s example pervades throughout Israel for a whole generation. Would that everyone of us would say tonight with conviction, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” It is possible for God to bless our families and our children if we have failed in this, but it is his normal operation to bless those families who are regular in family worship.

There are three aspects of family worship. First, daily instruction. That means reading daily from the Bible and explaining it. We should instruct our families with the same earnestness that we preach with on Sunday.

Second, daily prayer to the throne of God. We must engage in prayer with our family. It doesn’t matter when but we must seek to bring our families into heavenly places and rain down heavenly benediction upon them through prayer.

Third, daily singing the praise of God. The Lord is to be worshiped daily by the singing of psalms and hymns in our homes (cf. Colossians 3:16).

Dear brothers, we must implement and teach our congregations and families to implement family worship in our homes. God requires it of us as heads of our families. Your family owes its allegiance corporately to God. You have a position of authority in your family not as their buddy or friend but as their prophet, priest and king, showing them the way to God. As pastors, we must lovingly inform the heads of households in our congregations to lead their families in worship.

The Implementation of Family Worship

Family worship does require some preparation. It requires some forethought. Choose a text to read, a place to meet, a song or hymn to sing and be ready. Expect everyone to be there. Family worship is to be jealously guarded.

Aim for brevity. Ten minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the evening is sufficient for most families. Don’t over do it. Don’t do forty-five minutes on Monday and skip it on Tuesday. Do it every day.

Don’t make excuses to avoid family worship. When you get home and you’re tired, don’t make excuses to skip it. If the Lord Jesus was not too tired to die for him, you shouldn’t be too tired to live for him. If you just got angry at your children, don’t skip family worship—that is the best time to do it! Ask for forgiveness and get beyond it.

Lead with a firm, fatherly hand and a soft, penitent heart. Encourage warmth and abiding love. Talk naturally with your children.

Daily Instruction

Now for some more specifics. In regards to the reading of Scripture, have a plan and be sure to read the whole Bible. Perhaps read ten to twenty verses from the Old Testament in the morning and ten to twenty from the New Testament in the evenings. Do account for special occasions in your plan. Involve the whole family in the reading. And as each reads, teach them how to read out loud.

For biblical instruction, be plain in meaning. Involve your children. Ask them how a text applies. Don’t ask the same question to each child lest they begin to compete or feel insecure. Don’t ever make them feel belittled. And if you don’t know an answer, have a commentary or two beside you to reference.

Be pure in doctrine.

Be relevant in application. Explain how a text as affected you in your life or church history. That will give your children the feeling that the Bible is a real book with real applications.

Be affectionate in manner. Show them the way to fear, delight in and love the Lord. Our children need to feel that we love our children but that we love their soul. Pray earnestly for their salvation out loud in front of them. Little children see you as a God-figure and that is a profound responsibility. Embrace your children in the way God embraces sinners.

Require attention. As loving as you are, never allow slouch behavior. No one ever answers the phone. We are in family worship and God requires our attention.

Daily Prayer

In prayer, be short. Three to five minutes is sufficient. Don’t teach in your prayers. Be simple without being shallow. Be direct—plead your case before God. Ask your children what to pray for and bring all those things in prayer. When your children know that you want to know what their needs are and that you will pray for them, they will come to you with their needs for prayer. The power of that is when they get older and are tempted to sin, maybe the power of prayer and your example will hold them back, even if they are not saved yet.

Be varied in your prayers as well. Teach your people to use the “A.C.T.S.” acronym—Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. Pray for the congregation.

Train your children how to pray. Start by having them repeating you.

Daily Singing

Sing doctrinally pure songs and don’t forget the psalms. The psalms were the original hymnbook. If a child doesn’t want to sing, have discipline for not singing. At the end of the night, pray with your wife.

Objections to Family Worship

Here are some objections to family worship. “We don’t have time.” Well, you may need to have two family worship times or you need to teach your family priorities. “Our family is too small.” “Where are two or three are gathered in my name, I will be with them.”

“Our family is too diverse to profit.” You tailor make it to each one. “I’m not good at leading family worship.” Get a cyclical book on family worship and teach your people to read one. Start small and build. You can do it. The problem is not ability but commitment to do it.

Motivations for Family Worship

Why should we do family worship? God may use it to save souls. Do you want solid young men and women to grow up in your church? Then teach your congregation to engage in family worship. God uses family worship to draw people to himself. Remember that at every gathering of family worship, you are ushering your family into the presence of God.

The satisfaction of a good conscience is another motivation. Teach and pray with your family so that when you are on your deathbed, you have a free conscience, knowing you have done your best to raise your children in the fear of the Lord.

Third, family worship assists in child rearing. It makes a family able to speak more openly about anything. Talking with each other becomes normal. It helps you have more open communication.

Fourth, the shortness of time calls for it. The time when your children are in your house will fly by. See everyday as a gift of God to bring the Word of God to your children.

Start Today

In conclusion, I want to address two things. Some might say, “What if I failed?” Begin today. Confess to your wife; confess to your children. If you have adult children, equip them to lead their families. Start leading your grandchildren in worship. Family worship will set the tone for your entire home.

Second, I want to read something to you from John Paton. He said that his father is the one who had such significant influence on him. God blessed his father’s family worship.

Dr. Ravi Zacharias keynote speaker at Mission ConneXion NW in January 18 – 19, 2013 at Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, WA.

Dr. Ravi Zacharias will be a keynote speaker at Mission ConneXion NW in January (18 & 19) 2013 at Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, WA.

Dr. Zacharias is Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with additional offices in Canada, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong.

Mission ConneXion is pleased to have Dr. Zacharias join us in January. If you would like to learn more about him, visit:  Published on Nov 13, 2012 by 


Conferinta Tineretului la Biserica Emanuel Anaheim – Revive 2012 Noiembrie 16 – 17

Biserica Emanuel anunta Conferinta Tineretului 2012

  • November 16 at 7:00pm until November 17 at 10:30pm in PST
  • Emanuel Church
  • REVIVE 2012Theme: RestorationHeal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
    Save me and I will be saved,
    For You are my praise.
    Jeremiah 17:14 (NASB)Friday + Saturday will be held at Emanuel Church @ 7pm
    1770 Cerritos Avenue
    Anaheim, CA 92804Worship led by:
    New Hope Worship Team & Emanuel Youth Band

    Speakers: Rev. Dorin Druhora + Pastor Kurt Koerth!

    Check out our blog for updates:

VEZI programele video de la a 25-a Aniversare

a Bisericii Emanuel Church of God aici

Panel discussion SBTS – Helpful question & answer session on marriage and ministry

A great session at the end of a one day conference at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, geared towards pastors and ministry leaders, however every couple (even the one not in active ministry) can learn and apply most of the answers given  in this very candid conversation.

See previous messages on marriage and ministry at SBTS by-

  1. After Russell’s message this morning, just talking about something as serious as pornography, having a discussion- husband and wife- about that, CJ (Mahaney) had some things to add from his years of shepherding, where something like this has to occur, (what is) the process…?
  2. What if you have a pastor who is leading the church, pronounced leadership, but, he’s not leading in the home? How is the wife to respond. We say ‘love covers a multitude of sins’, it doesn’t cover all sins, here’s a wife who sees inconsistency, she’s hearing him preach, but at home he is not a good leader. What would you recommend?
  3. How do we deal with the inconsistency that we experience? We preach a better message at times. So, we have the standards and we can’t lower the Scriptures to our lifestyle. How do we work through that? That can be a challenge at times. I mean, you’re going to church and a fight breaks out and you’re gonna stand before the people of God… and that’s tough.
  4. Where do we go for help, as pastors in the local church?
  5. What are some of the early warning signs in a Gospel ministry couple of indications where they need to get help? There’s obviously some sins that we handle through grace induced progressive sanctification, others you need to get intensive, you need to nip it in the bud. What are these early warning signs?
  6. How do you work through a dry season? ( a dry, flat [or too busy] time in your marriage)
  7. Sometimes, in your church you come across a couple who says they never fought. What do you think about them?
  8. (Give) some principles, real practical, of how to fight fair. What does a good fight look like in your home?

Panel Discussion from Southern Seminary on Vimeo.


Think Hard, Stay Humble: The Life of the Mind and the Peril of Pride – Francis Chan at Desiring God 2010 National Conference Video

The preaching is extremely powerful at about the 20th minute when Francis Chan starts talking about his anguish for unbelievers.

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