John Piper – Six reasons the Son of God came into the world

christmas

I want to let six of the witnesses speak and testify to why the Son of God came into the world. The witnesses are Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, and the writer to the Hebrews. The answers they give are six reasons for Jesus’ coming:

  1. To ransom many – Mark 10:45, „The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”The reason we need a ransom to be paid for us is that we have sold ourselves into sin and have been alienated from a holy God. When Jesus gave his life as a ransom, our slavemasters, sin and death and the devil, had to give up their claim on us. And the result was that we could be adopted into the family of God.Paul put it like this in Galatians 4:4–5, „When the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons.” In other words the redemption or the ransom frees us to be a part of God’s family. We had run away and sold ourselves into slavery. But God pays a ransom and redeems us out of slavery into the Father’s house.To do that, God’s Son had to become a human being so that he could suffer and die in our place to pay the ransom. That is the meaning of Christmas. Hebrews 2:14 puts it like this, „Since the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death.” In other words, the reason Christ took on human flesh was so that he could die and in dying pay a ransom and free us from the power of death.
  2. To call sinners to repentance –Luke 5:31–32, „Jesus said to them, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'”Jesus came to call sinners to repentance. First, there needed to be a ransom to be paid for sinners. Then, there could be a successful call to sinners. The call is based on the ransom. And Jesus says he came for both of these things.He does not leave the ransoming or the calling to others. He ransoms and he calls. Even today he is calling through the Bible and through the preaching of the Bible. He is calling this morning.That is the meaning of Christmas. He came to call sinners.
  3. To give sight to the morally blind – John 9:39, „Jesus said, ‘For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see.'” And John 12:46, „I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me might not remain in darkness.”Jesus did not merely come to ransom and to call, he also came to open people’s eyes so that they can see the light and walk in it. Our problem is not just slavery needing a ransom, and lostness needing a call; our problem is also moral blindness, needing the gift of sight. We are simply blind to some spiritual realities that are utterly crucial to see and embrace.This is why Christ came: that those who do not see may see. This is the meaning of Christmas.
  4. To divide households – Matthew 10:34, „Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.”The point of this word is not that God loves division and strife. The point is that strife and division caused by true allegiance to Jesus are better than no strife and division with no allegiance to Jesus. The point is that when a person is ransomed and called and given sight, something really radical happens to them.They see everything differently with that new sight, and they have a new master because of that sovereign call, and they are wonderfully free from fear and guilt because of that sufficient ransom. And so they think differently and feel things differently and act differently. And for some in the family, that can be very threatening, and so tension develops. For this Jesus came into the world. That too is the meaning of Christmas.
  5. To save from divine condemnation – John 3:17–18, „For God sent not the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He who believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already.”God sent his Son to save us from his own just condemnation and wrath. The need for salvation implies that there is a danger we need to be saved from. That danger is sin and death and the devil. But the most serious danger of all is the danger of the condemnation of God. If God is for us, then sin and death and the devil will fail to destroy us. But if God is against us, then nothing can save us.Christmas, the coming of Jesus, is God’s way of being for us — if we will believe. „He who believes is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already.”
  6. To give eternal life – John 3:16, „For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”Christmas means that God sent his Son so that we could believe and have eternal life.This is what Patty was talking about when she said last night, with her dead child in her arms, „How do people bear it who have no hope?” The hope she meant was eternal life. And that life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ.

John Piper at Desiring God via http://www.sermoncentral.com/

 

Reclame

12 Reasons for Christmas

Photo credit Crosscards.com via GodVine

by John Piper at www.DesiringGod.org website

1) “For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (JOHN 18:37).

2) “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 JOHN 3:8; cf. HEBREWS 2:14-15).

3) “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (MARK 2:17).

4) “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (LUKE 19:10).

5) “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (MARK 10:45).

6) “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (GALATIANS 4:5).

7) “For God so loved the world that whoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved” (JOHN 3:16).

8) “God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 JOHN 4:9).

9) “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (JOHN 10:10).

10) “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against . . . that the thoughts of many may be revealed” (LUKE 2:34F).

11) “He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (LUKE 4:18).

12) “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarches, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (ROMANS 15:7-8; cf. JOHN 12:27F).

8 things Christians should be known for

Photo credit truth-saves.com

  1. Love (1 John 4:8)
    Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
  2. Grace (Ephesians 4:32) 
    Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
  3. Purity (Philippians 4:8)
    Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
  4. Patience (Galatians 5:22)
    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
  5. Sacrifice (John 3:16)
    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
  6. Selflessness (Philippians 2:4)
    Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
  7. Commitment (Matthew 5:37)
    Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.
  8. Respect (1 Peter 2:17)
     Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Read the article here – http://www.churchleaders.com

David Platt – The Urgency of Eternity

David Platt, India 2011- Photo David Platt (Instagram)

David Platt India

TEXT2 Thessalonians 1:8-9;  in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his mightPhilippians 3:20;  20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

The Urgency of Eternity…

Knowing this Gospel Thread…

  • Our eternal destiny hinges on our response to Jesus.
  • Hell is a dreadful reality for those who turn from Jesus. (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9)
  1. A place of continual rebellion.
  2. A place of final separation.
  3. A place of eternal duration.

Heaven is a glorious reality for those who trust in Jesus. (Philippians3:20)

  • A place of full reconciliation.
  • A place of complete restoration.
  • A place of ultimate reunion.

Will you turn from Jesus or will you trust in Jesus? (John 3:16)

  • Will you turn from Jesus?
  1. Live without Christ now.
  2. Die without Christ forever.
  • Will you trust in Jesus?
  1. Die with Christ now.
  2. Live with Christ forever.

Weaving this Gospel Thread…

  • Minimize your conversations about temporal things.
  • Maximize your conversations about eternal things.

Talking about hell…

  • Speak about God’s character with humble confidence.
  • Speak about God’s judgment with healthy fear.
  • Speak about God’s wrath with honest compassion.

Talking about heaven…

  • Talk like this world is not your hope.
  • Live like this world is not your home.
  • Talk about your anticipation of being with God.
  • Talk about your realization that dying is gain.
  • CALLing people to turn and trust…

Clarify the Gospel.

  • Ask…
  1. If they have any questions.
  2. If they have ever turned from their sin and themselves and trusted in Jesus as Savior and Lord.
  3. If they would like to turn from their sin and themselves and trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord now.
  • Let the Holy Spirit work.
  1. Invite them to call out to God to save them.
  2. Be willing to let them be alone with God.
  • Lead them as a new follower of Christ.
  1. We don’t want to manufacture decisions.
  2. We do want to make disciples.

The Church at Brook Hills…
• Do we realize people’s condition?
• Do we possess the heart of Christ?
• Do we want our lives to count?

Watching Bill Maher’s mockumentary prompted search for teaching on Christianity and then Salvation

A testimony from John Joseph at Together for the Gospel 2012:

power of gospelFrom an early age I was totally immersed in sin, and as I grew older the nature and degree of my sin became more grievous. As I transitioned into college and early adulthood, the roots of sin that have taken hold in the past began to flourish and define my life in every possible way. Giving myself completely to sin I eventually became an alcoholic, a drug user, and a cocaine dealer. I dishonored my parents, I was a liar. I used everyone and everything for personal gain and was full of lust, greed and hate.

But, God in His mercy, removed me from my surroundings and brought me to Baltimore, Maryland. In late 2008, while at Blockbuster, I came across Bill Maher’s mockumentary entitled ‘Religulous’. After watching the documentary I was annoyed at Maher’s  bias and his portrayal of religion.

English: Ravi Zacharias signing books at the F...

And so, I got on google and searched for a debate on Christianity. What I found was Ravi Zacharias, and after the course of one year, Ravi completely dismantled everything I believed in. As I continued to search for more teaching on the web, God in His mercy would eventually lead me to the Desiring God ministries. On January 5th of 2010, I sat down to listen to a message on John 3:16, and prior to beginning the sermon, John Piper prayed that someone would be brought form the darkness and into the light. Being faithful and true, our Father answered. Not 5 minutes into the message, as I sat devastated  by the reality of my sin and the impending judgment that awaited, I knew that I deserved hell. I knew that I was going to hell.  I was, however, then overwhelmed by the knowledge that my sins have been forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. And our Father’s kindness and mercy did not stop at salvation,  as He has continued giving in ways beyond what I could imagine.

He eventually led me to a good church, where through sound teaching and fellowship He has called me to grow. And, He has changed my heart to want to serve Him in every area of my life, for the rest of my life, and for the glory of His name. Had you seen me 3 years ago, you would have thought me as unreachable. Seriously, there’s no reason for me to be standing here, outside of God’s power. But, I stand here by grace, as a testament to the Gospel. There is not a soul in this world that is too lost, or too dead, or too far from God’s reach. You need to tell everyone this Gospel.

Do not underestimate the power of the Gospel!

“Should” or “Will” Perish? – John 3:16 (Monday with Mounce 91)

From Koinonia Blog (biblical-theological conversations for the community of Christ)

Monday with Mounce We teach students in first year Greek that the subjunctive mood carries the idea of “should” or might.” But then they come to a verse like John 3:16 and read, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that (ινα) whoever believes in him should (αποληται) not perish but have eternal life” (ESV).

The confusing part is that to some people’s mind, the “should” introduces an element of uncertainty. They “should” perish, but does that mean in fact they “will perish”?

The indicative mood is the mood of “reality.“ It is used to describe “what is.“ Of course, this is a simplistic definition, otherwise we could not lie or ask a question. Daniel Wallace is correct in his frequent assertion that the indicative mood is the mood of the portrayal of reality. It describes what we think “is,“ or what we want people to believe “is.“ Which, of course, is why we lie in the indicative.

The normal definition of the subjunctive is that it is the mood of what may or might be. It is one step removed from reality (as opposed to the optative, which is two steps removed from reality, describing what we wish would be). Wallace defines the subjunctive as representing “the verbal action (or state) as uncertain but probable” (page 461), clarifying that it is not the mood of uncertainty (which is the optative) but of probability.

So is Jesus saying that it is probably that those who believe in him will not perish?

I hope not. I believe there is no uncertainty that his gift of righteousness through our faith secures our future salvation, which of course it does.

This illustrates the problem of first year Greek and why we can’t be too simplistic in language. The older I get, the more complicated I realize language is.

ινα introduces a purpose clause. The clause is not stating what is but rather the purpose of something. There is your one step removed from reality, from what is. God gave his only Son on the cross, and the purpose of that giving is so that (i.e., purpose)  those who believe in him will  most certainly not perish. Because it is a purpose clause, it cannot be in the indicative. It is not stating what is (in the sense of the indicative) but rather is stating the purpose of something.

But that does not mean there is any uncertainly, any idea of probability or possibility. That God gave his son is a fact. That the purpose of giving his Son was so that believers will most certainly have eternal life. Which is why we must be careful in translating purpose clauses as if they were conditional.

Hence the NASB and NIV (“that whoever  believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”) and HCSB (“so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life”).Mouncew

Good job!

William D. [Bill] Mounce posts about the Greek language, exegesis, and related topics at Koinonia. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Basics of Biblical Greek, and is the general editor for Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words. He served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version Bible translation, and is currently on the Committee for Bible Translation for the NIV. Learn more and visit Bill’s blog (co-authored with scholar and his father Bob Mounce) at www.billmounce.com.

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