John Piper – Advice to the newly married (audio) and Sexual Relations in Marriage (video)

bride and groomIn a recent “Ask Pastor John” episode, John Piper gave Christ-centered advice to newly-wed husbands. The renowned Christian author and former pastor relayed key guidance that he would have given a younger version of himself when entering into the life-long covenant with his wife, Noel. “Behold the mystery of this amazing, God-wrought union,” he would have said.

Piper reminded listeners that Mark 10:9 calls marriage an act of God which joins man and wife together – it is not a man-made union. Marriage was instituted long before Christ had come into the world, and was created by God to point to His Son’s future redemptive work on the cross. While many may look at Jesus’ covenant with His bride, the church, and describe marriage as it relates to Christ, Piper says that it should be the other way around; God used the picture of marriage to hint at a future relationship for Christ and His church. Marriage came first so that the body of believers could better understand their intimate, covenanted relationship with Christ – one that is given to them by grace through faith (see Ephesians 2:1-9).

A “bottomless ocean of wisdom” is found when a husband loves his wife like Christ loves the church – “You love her to make her lovely,” Piper said. Though we are sinners saved by His grace, Jesus loves His redeemed people and helps us to become more holy as we fix our eyes on Him. We are sanctified more and more as we journey with our God, eternally clothed in Christ’s righteousness. “You don’t love her merely because she is lovely – she’s not going to be as 20-something lovely at 70-something, so you had better love her into loveliness,” said Piper. He also advised husbands to draw their strength to love their wives well from Christ’s love for them.

The former pastor also encouraged husbands to bring hope and strength to their families, welling up in them from the power of Christ. He warned against idolatry – viewing their wives or their children as their means to find happiness. He also steered husbands away from returning hurt for hurt in an argument – “a soft answer may restore her soul,” he said, paraphrasing Proverbs 15:1.

In closing, Piper encouraged married couples to savor the intimacy and friendship that is unique to marriage; ultimately, though, he wants to remind newly-weds marriage is a “parable” which points to Christ. Source: http://www.gospelherald.com PHOTOGRAPH by http://rebekahwestover.blogspot.com

Click here for the link to the AUDIO

And here is another great resource from John Piper, theJohnPiperchannel:

Marital sex is a great joy that also proves to be a fearsome weapon against our ancient foe.
-uploaded in HD at http://www.TunesToTube.com

Sexual Relations in Marriage

February 15, 1981 by John Piper

John Piper at Liberty University September 16,2013

Story, video and Photo credit http://www.liberty.edu

Theologian and Pastor John Piper speaks at Liberty University for the first time, kicking off the university’s biannual Global Focus Week during Convocation.

Liberty University’s biannual Global Focus Week kicked off at Monday’s Convocation with messages from theologian and Pastor John Piper and Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedin who is imprisoned in Iran.

Piper is the founder of desiringGod.org and is the chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He also served as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn., for 33 years and is the author of more than 50 books. This was his first visit to Liberty.

Piper spoke on Hebrews 10-13, challenging students to embrace the opportunity to suffer for Christ and emphasizing the importance of being satisfied in Christ.

“Confidence in fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore in the presence of Jesus on the other side of this so-called dying is the root of love that is willing to lay down its life for the sake of the nations,” he said. “This confidence that you cannot die but only have increased pleasures produces martyrs who die in love, not martyrs who kill from hate.”

Piper also reminded students that loving their heavenly home is more important than loving their earthly one.

“All the students at Liberty aiming to pour their life into the city of man for her good will serve her better if they love the other city (Heaven) more. If you love the city that is to come, and the world that is to come more than this city (earth) you will serve this city better,” he said. “You will go to the hardest places and peoples on the planet in order to make plain the value of the other city and the other king.”

John Piper – Advance ’13 Conference Message – Nobody will sustain authentic love for the world who is not profoundly satisfied in Jesus

The Christian Post: One of the most popular re-tweeted statements from Piper’s message found under the conference Twitter hashtag #advance13 was „Nobody will sustain authentic love for the world who is not profoundly satisfied in Jesus.”

5PIPER12xx.jpgHaving your own hunger for God is an essential foundation for ministry work, well-known pastor and theologian John Piper told those attending and watching the Internet livestream of a Christian leadership conference held in Raleigh, N.C. on Tuesday.

„The foundation of your ministry is a hunger for God,” said Piper at the Advance 13 conference. „Above that, the foundation for your ministry is being satisfied in all that God is for you in Jesus. The goal of that ministry is to help people go there. All your life, give yourself to that – to bring those people from loving the world, being satisfied in the world, until they put all that to death and to praise Jesus as their all satisfying treasure. That’s the goal in ministry, to help them get there.”

Piper, whose last sermon as the lead pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis will be on Easter Sunday, said he believes that ministry leaders should have the joy of Christ inside them in order to lead well.

„Whether or not a hunger for God is an essential foundation for a faithful and effective ministry will depend on what you believe the goal of ministry is,” he explained. „If you believe, as I do, that the goal of ministry is the all satisfying gladness of your people’s hearts in the glory of Christ, or in all that God is for them in Christ, then it will follow that your joy in Christ is an essential foundation for that ministry.”

The theme for the Advance13 conference, which is being held at the Duke Energy Center, is „Building Faithful and Effective Churches.” The conference is hosted by Advance the Church, a partnership of local churches in Raleigh/Durham that focus on the planting and revitalization of Gospel-centered churches.

Piper said the foundation of his message on Tuesday is centered on 2 Corinthians 1:24, which reads: „Not that we have lorded over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for your stand firm in your faith.”

„It is so helpful to have crystal clear, apostolic statements about what you are supposed to try to do in ministry because there are just a thousand things you are told to do as you read magazines and books – it just becomes very overwhelming and discouraging at times,” he said.

„That was Paul’s clear apostolic goal in his ministry – ‘I am working with you so that you will have joy.’ That’s what I think pastors should do. That’s what a faithful and effective ministry inspires to,” he added.

Piper said there must be a hunger for God because „when there is no hunger for what you are eating there is no pleasure for what you are eating.”

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/john-piper-to-christian-leaders-foundation-of-your-ministry-is-hunger-for-god-92205/#iwvZUkgrm5OPf9dQ.99

from Advance 13 Conference – http://www.advance13.com/

A hunger for God

FREE Ebook – Doctrine Matters by John Piper – Ten Theological Trademarks from a Lifetime of Preaching

Click on photo of book, or click here for download of FREE Online book in pdf, EPUB (iBooks,Nook) and MOBI (Kindle).

“What the world needs from the church is our indomitable joy in Jesus in the midst of suffering and sorrow” (p. 177).

About the Book

Doctrine Matters is the theological summary of one preacher’s lifetime of investment in a local church. Completing three decades of pastoral ministry at Bethlehem Baptist, John Piper gave a final sermon series on the doctrinal emphases from his years of preaching. These ten emphases, delivered as ten sermons in 2012 and now edited into this volume, embody the legacy Piper hopes to leave.

But don’t think that these messages are the memoirs of a retired pastor. You don’t store these truths away to collect dust. The vision of God in these pages doesn’t take a pat on the head—it turns the world upside down.

These doctrines are, as Piper says, “wildly untamable, explosively uncontainable, and electrically future-creating.” They make a difference. When you read these truths and immerse yourself in this biblical vision of our great God, you will want to act. You will want to build something. You will want to start things. You will be compelled to dream big and risk bigger for the glory of Jesus Christ. And we pray for nothing less.

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface
1. God Is
2. The Glory of God
3. Christian Hedonism
4. The Sovereignty of God
5. The Gospel of God in Christ
6. The Call to Global Missions
7. Living the Christian Life
8. The Perseverance of the Saints
9. Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
10. Sorrowful Yet Always Rejoicing

Fathers, Bring Them Up in the Discipline and Instruction of the Lord by John Piper

A Tribute to My Father, William Solomon Hottle Piper -from  www.DesiringGod.org

Videourile Vodpod nu mai sunt disponibile.

Fathers, Bring Them Up in the Discipline & Inst…, posted with vodpod

Ephesians 6:1-4

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. „Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), „that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

My aim in this message is threefold. First, in obedience to Ephesians 6:1-2, to honor my father. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.’” When children are younger and moving toward adulthood, they should honor their father especially by obeying him. I don’t mean to the exclusion of mothers. But the focus today will be on fathers. As children move out of childhood into adulthood the way we honor our fathers is not primarily in the category of obedience, but rather by tribute and care. Today I pay tribute to my father even as the days of increasing care have come.

The promise in verse 3, taken from Deuteronomy 5:16, “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land,” I take to be a general encouragement based on the fact that in the days of Israel when there was humility and respect and obedience to parents God protected the people from their enemies and prospered them. But when they forsook his laws and became arrogant and disrespectful and disobedient he gave them over to their enemies. The point is not that every child who is obedient will live a long life. The point is that God delights in obedience and gives special blessings to families and churches and peoples where that kind of humility and respect and obedience prevails. So the first part of my aim in this message is to honor my father by paying him public tribute.

The second part of my aim is to inspire fathers to be worthy of this kind of tribute—to help you see the glory of your calling to exhibit the fatherhood of God to your children and lead them to faith and Christian maturity. I pray that Christ will take what I say about my own father and will use it to make you better fathers.

Third, my aim is to glorify the Fatherhood of God whose Fatherhood is the source and pattern of all human fatherhood. Human fatherhood exists to display the beauty of God’s Fatherhood. Our highest calling as fathers is to be the image of God’s fatherhood to our children. I think this is implied in the words of verse 4b: “Bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” What does it mean that our discipline and instruction should be “of the Lord”?

It means, in part, that in our fathering we take our cues from the Lord Jesus. Jesus, in his human nature and in his earthly ministry directed the disciples again and again to the Father in heaven. And in his life and death he modeled for us how to relate to God as our Father. His longest prayer in John 17 begins, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you’ (v. 1). The discipline and instruction of the Lord takes its cues from the Lord Jesus who lived and died to glorify his Father in heaven. No father here should do less. Our calling as fathers is to exhibit the glory of the Fatherhood of God.

So I turn with a sense of deepest gratitude and joy to pay tribute to my father publicly and through this to honor my Father in heaven who adopted me, an undeserving sinner, into his everlasting and supremely happy family on the basis of Christ’s blood and righteousness alone.

My father is 86 years old and lives in home called Shepherd’s Care owned and operated by Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina—the school from which he graduated and which conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. His short term memory is weak, but his memory of Christ and his word is strong. And for that I thank God.

Here is a fragment of the legacy of truth imparted to me by my father. And I hope that you will see before we are done that the word “imparted” is no mere transmission of information, but involves a whole life of demonstration of what he taught. I will mention eleven precious truths imparted to me by my father.

1. There is a great, majestic God in heaven, and we were meant to live for his glory not ours.

Most of these truths that I will mention are rooted in my memory of particular texts that were branded on my mind at home. Few texts were more often on Daddy’s lips in relation to me than 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” I am sure that in heaven some day the Lord will make plain the unbreakable chain of influences that led from that verse when I was a boy to the mission statement of this church: “We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.” This won’t be the only influence you will see of my father on that mission statement.

2. When things don’t go the way they should, God always makes them turn for good.

Even more prominent in my growing up was the presence of Romans 8:28 in our family: “God works all things together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.”

I have several vivid memories of this truth. One was in 1974 when I rode with my father in the ambulance from Atlanta to Greenville with my mother’s body in the hearse following behind. They had just been flown in from Israel where Mother had been killed in an accident and Daddy was seriously injured. All the way home, for three and a half hours, he would weep and talk and weep and talk. He was 56. They had been married 36 years. And when he talked it was Romans 8:28. I remember the very words: “God must have a reason for me to live. God must have a reason for me to live.” In other words, God governs our accidents and makes no mistakes.

I will never cease to be thankful that I heard and saw the truth of Romans 8:28 in my father’s life, “When things don’t go the way they should, God always makes them turn for good.”

3. God can be trusted.

How many times did I hear the words of Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” And Philippians 4:19, “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

I can see us as a family when I was just a child. We were all (Mother, Daddy, my older sister, Beverly) sitting around a card table my parents’ bedroom folding letters and stuffing envelopes which would be sent to pastors asking them to consider having my father come lead their churches in evangelistic meetings. This was Daddy’s life—he was a full time evangelist—and our livelihood. The answers to these letters meant bread on the table and paid bills. Then we prayed over these envelopes and Daddy closed in a spirit of utter confidence: God will answer and meet every need. He can be trusted.

He told me more than once of a financial crisis when I was six years old in which he almost lost everything. And he said that God used Psalm 37:5 to sustain him and bring him through: “Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him and he will act.”

And so I saw and I learned: God can be trusted.

4. Life is precarious, and life is precious. Don’t presume that you will have it tomorrow and don’t waste it today.

My memory of my Father’s preaching was that he always began with humor but within seconds he was blood earnest and talking about heaven and hell, and sin and Christ and life and death. One text above all others rings in my ears with terrible seriousness. He squinted when he said it and his mouth pursed tightly the way it does after you taste a lemon: “It is appointed unto men once to die, after that comes judgment” (Hebrews 9:27) It made a huge impression on me as a boy.

The motto on Daddy’s college wall was, “The wise man prepares for the inevitable”

The plaque in our kitchen when I was growing up was: “Only one life ’twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

The stories of wasted lives tumbled from his mouth:

“During a South Carolina [campaign] a lovely high school senior attended every night but refused to accept Christ. Shortly after the crusade while driving her car over a treacherous railroad crossing, she was killed instantly by a freight train she failed to see coming.”

“While in a Pennsylvania campaign, I witnessed a whole town shaken by the sudden deaths of six young men. Driving home from an afternoon football practice, they failed to stop at a major intersection and were struck broadside by a heavy truck. Six were dead within three hours.”

“I’ve seen babies die in their mothers’ arms. I’ve seen little boys and girls struck down before their lives had scarcely begun. I’ve witnessed men die in the prime of life and others at the height of success.” (Menace, pp. 49-50)

He told story of a girl who said she would give her life to God when she was old. A wise old woman sent her a bouquet of dead flowers, and when the girl expressed offense, she said, “Isn’t that the way you are treating God?”

And most memorable of all to my young mind: The old man saved in the eleventh hour of his life weeping in Daddy’s arms: “I’ve wasted it. I’ve wasted it.”

5. A merry heart does good like a medicine and Christ is the great heart-Satisfier.

That’s a quote from Proverbs 17:22. My father has been the happiest man I have ever known. Here is the kind of things he said in a sermon called “A Good Time and How to Have It.”

“Right from the start, let’s get one thing straight; a Christian is not a sour puss. I grant you that some of them look and act that way, but you simply can’t blame God for it.”

“Some folks seem to have been born in the objective case, the contrary gender and the bilious mood.”

“Mama, that mule must have religion too, he looks just like Grandpa.” (Good Time, p. 7).

He preached another sermon called “Saved, Safe and Satisfied.” He said, “He is God. When you fully trust Him you have all that God is and all that God has. You cannot be otherwise than satisfied with the perfect fullness of Christ.” (Good Time, p. 48).

He said worldly Christians are like a cow with her head stuck through fence eating stubby grass on the highway while a beautiful green pasture lies behind her.

A merry heart does good like a medicine and Christ is the great heart-Satisfier. What a legacy of joy my father has left!

6. A Christian is a great doer not a great don’ter.

We Pipers were fundamentalists without the attitude. We had our lists of things not to do. But that wasn’t the main thing. Here’s what my father preached in a sermon called The Greatest Menace to Modern Youth.

Millions insist upon thinking that Christianity is a negative religion. You don’t do this and you can’t do that. You don’t go here and your can’t go there. To the contrary, the Bible constantly sounds the triumphant and positive note. “Be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only.” . . . “Whatsoever your hand findeth to do, do with all your might.”

God wants us to be doers, not don’ters. A Christian who is only a don’ter is a sour saint who spread gloom wherever he goes. A don’ter is usually a hypocritical Pharisee. Years ago, I heard the late Dr. Bob Jones say. “Do so fast you don’t have time to don’t.” That sums it up.

That left an indelible mark on my life. We had strict standards, but I never chaffed under them. They were not the point. Enjoying Christ, doing good and loving people was the point. The rest was just fencing to protect the good field of faith and purity.

7. The Christian life is supernatural.

I have one precious DVD of my father preaching. It is a message on new the new birth. John 3:7 “Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” Becoming a Christian was not a mere decision. It was a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.

And therefore he believed in prayer—crying out to God to do the miracle of the new birth. We prayed together every night as a family, because the great need in life is supernatural, divine power to live with joy—and that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, not a work of our own.

I saw that my father’s work was not a human work. It was divine work. Impossible work. But with God all things are possible.

8. Bible doctrine is important but don’t beat people up with it.

At this point he admitted openly to me with grief that our fundamentalist tradition let him down. There was great truth, but too many of them were not great lovers. I can remember him saying: If they only understood Ephesians 4:15, “Speaking the truth in love.” So from as early as I can remember he showed me the importance of both right doctrine and the way of love. They must never be separated.

9. Respect your mother.

If you wanted to see Daddy angry, let one of his children sass our mother. He not only knew the command of God to honor our mothers; he also knew the extraordinary debt that every child owes a mother. Time and again he would compare true love not to married love but to mother’s love. He knew the price my mother paid for him to be away so much. Therefore, he would tolerate no insolence or disrespect toward her. I trembled at the fierce gaze in his eyes if I said something sarcastic to my mother.

10. Be who God made you to be and not somebody else.

My father was short, a good bit shorter than I am. But he was content and could joke about it. The one I remember is that he said he was part of a football team as boy, and the name of the team was “Little potatoes but hard to peel.” I think God delights to make short men great preachers. (Remember John Wesley!)

For me this contentment with being who God made you to be meant freedom. He never forced me or pressured me to be an evangelist or a pastor or anything else. His counsel was always: seek God and be what he has made you to be. And then what your hand finds to do, do it with all your might for the glory of Christ.

I close with one more truth, the central truth of my father’s life. This was what he preached and what he loved. So I will let him preach it one more time to you as we close:

11. People are lost and need to be saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

My father was an evangelist. His absence from home two thirds of the year (in and out, in and out) meant one main thing. Sin and hell are real and horrible, and Jesus Christ is a great savior. Here’s a direct quote from my Dad:

“In my evangelistic career I have had the thrill of seeing people from all walks of life come to Christ. I have seen many professional people saved. I have knelt with Ph.D.’s and led them to Jesus. College professors, bankers, lawyers, doctors. I have seen them all saved.

Then I have seen many from the other side of life come to the Lord. I have put my arm around drunkards in city missions and prayed with them. I have sat by the bedside of dying alcoholics and led them to Christ. I have seen the poor, the forsaken, the derelicts, the outcasts all come to the Savior. Yes, God takes them, too. Isn’t it wonderful that anyone who wants to can come to Christ.” (Grace for the Guilty, p. 111)

Perhaps you never had a father like that, but right now you hear your heavenly father calling, “Come home, come home!” Father’s Day would be a good time to stop running and come home.

I thank you heavenly father for my earthly father. What a legacy he has left to me and my children and grandchildren—and to this church. O, raise up fathers in this church with great legacies of faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.

© Desiring God

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

God’s moral Will and God’s Sovereign Will by John Piper

John Piper from Feb. 9, 2011

I would like to help you distinguish between God’s moral will and his sovereign will. This will help you make sense of the apparent contradiction between these two statements:

1. God does all things according to his will (sovereign will).

“He does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand” (Daniel 4:35).

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalms 115:3).

2. Some things happen that are not God’s will (moral will).

“Whoever does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17)—implying some don’t.

“The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9)—yet some do perish.

In other words, the Bible makes a distinction between God’s will, understood as his purpose that is never frustrated in any event; and God’s will, understood as his moral command to act a certain way.

One of the clearest evidences of the difference between God’s sovereign will and his moral will is the fact that God morally forbids murder:

“Do not kill the innocent” (Exodus 23:7).

And yet he willed the murder of his Son:

“Truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:27–28).

One of the high and holy truths about God that we embrace in submitting to biblical truth is that God does not sin in willing that sin be. This is crucial, because the design of God in the cross hangs on it.

God’s ways and will are pure. He has his holy purposes in ordaining all that comes to pass.

“He works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11).

“All his works are right and his ways are just” (Daniel 4:37).

Let us worship and bow down.

(via) © 2011 Desiring God

Family Series 18 A – Fathers who give hope by John Piper

Proverbs 23:24

 The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

You can listen to the audio sermon here at DesiringGod.org.

Colossians 3:21

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.

Our text is straightforward and simple this morning: „Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” It divides naturally into three parts:

  1. First, there is the address, „Fathers.”
  2. Second, there is the command, „Do not provoke your children.”
  3. Third, there is the purpose of the command, „Lest they become discouraged.”

We will look at these three parts of the text one at a time in reverse order. First, we will direct our attention to the goal of Christian fathers, namely, rearing children who are not discouraged. Second, we will look at the duty of Christian fathers, namely, not to do those things that discourage children. And finally, we will focus on the leader in Christian parenthood, namely, fathers.

But first a word about the fatherhood of God.

The Fatherhood of God

Mai mult

Family Series 16 A – How should singleness be different for Christians?

You can listen to the audio here. (DesiringGod.org) by John Piper.

The following is an edited transcript of the audio.

How should singleness be different for Christians?

I don’t think that a lot of the singleness that we see happening today is designed to increase devotedness to the Lord. That’s what Paul said it should be. He said that the problem with marriage in crisis situations that he found himself in was that it would distract a person from full devotion to the Lord.

Well, when I look around at the kind of secular singleness we see today, that’s the last thing on many singles’ minds. „I’m keeping myself free from the entanglements of marriage in order that there might be a more radical focus on and devotion to Jesus Christ”—that kind of thinking is not what is dictating the change of statistics in our culture.

No, it’s probably almost the reverse. Many people are afraid of commitments and relationships, and many people are eager to stretch their wings and do their own thing. And then maybe later, when they’ve traveled the world and done lots of things that satisfied them, then maybe they will lock in to somebody…maybe.

So there’s a lot of the independence and a lot of desire to satisfy their own immediate desires, which has nothing to do with what Paul was talking about, namely, increased devotion to the Lord.

How would you challenge a Christian who has these selfish desires?

I would say that singleness is a gift for as long as you have it. Some people God means to have it for a lifetime, and some people God means to have it for a season. But while you have it, consult the Scriptures to see how you can maximize the freedoms of singleness for the glory of Christ, because there are advantages to being married, and there are advantages to singleness when it comes to serving Jesus.

And I would just encourage Christian single people to ask, „For this chapter in my life, while I am single, what is it about my singleness that could make me especially fruitful for Christ?” And then I would encourage them to give themselves to that.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Family Series 14 B – Lionhearted and Lamblike: The Christian Husband as Head, Part 2 What Does It Mean to Lead – Desiring God

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Jesus—The Pattern for Manhood

The reason I am using the title “Lionhearted and Lamblike” to refer to the Christian husband as head of his wife is because the husband is called to lead like Jesus who is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5) and the Lamb of God (Revelation 5:6)—he was lionhearted and lamblike, strong and meek, tough and tender, aggressive and responsive, bold and brokenhearted. He sets the pattern for manhood.

But it may not yet be crystal clear to some that the concept of headship involves leadership as its main meaning. That is what I think is the case. The key verse on headship here is Ephesians 5:23: “The husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.” So the husband is to take his unique cues in marriage from Christ in his relationship to his church. I take that to mean that the husband bears a unique responsibility for leadership in the marriage.

The Husband as Leader

I suggested last time that a biblical definition of headship would be: Headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. The more I have thought about those three facets of headship—leadership, protection, and provision—the more it seems to me that they really resolve into one thing with two expressions. Leadership is the one thing, and protection and provision are the two expressions. In other words, a husband’s leadership expresses itself in taking the lead in seeing to it that the family is protected and provided for. So protection and provision are not separate from leadership. They are the two most fundamental areas where the husband is called upon to bear primary responsibility.

So what we need to do is see the support for this in the text and then some application or illustration of what it means. Let’s give a few arguments from the text for why we think the word head in verse 23 involves a unique responsibility of leadership.

The Husband as Head

1) Head is used for leader in the Old Testament. For example, Judges 11:11, “So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and leader over them (eis kephalēn kai eis archēgon).” (See also 10:18; 11:8, 9; 2 Samuel 22:44; Psalm 18:43; Isaiah 7:8.)

2) Ephesians 1:21–23 says that Christ is “above every name that is named . . . and God has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body.” The focus in this text is on Christ’s rule and authority when he is called head of the church. So the emphasis falls on his leadership over the church.

3) In Ephesians 5:25, Paul says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” While the stress here falls on Christ’s sacrifice for his bride and so tells the husband to love like this, we must not miss the inescapable truth that Christ took an absolutely decisive action here. He was not responding to the church. The church did not plan its salvation and sanctification. Christ did. This is leadership of the most exalted kind. But it is servant leadership. Christ is taking the lead to save his bride, and he is doing it by suffering for her.

But we see leadership in Christ’s sacrifice not just because he planned it and took the initiative rather than responding to her initiative, but also in the fact that he died to give an example to us. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). In other words, I have taken the lead in suffering for love’s sake; now you take up your cross and follow me. This is why leadership is not mainly a right and privilege, but a burden and a responsibility.

4) Finally, in view of these three reasons why headship involves leadership, the fourth argument is that the concept of submission, when related to headship, implies that headship is leadership. Paul says in verses 22-23, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife.” When the ground of submission is expressed as the headship of the husband, it is clear that headship involves the kind of leadership that a woman can honor.

The definition of submission that we will unfold after Easer is: “Submission is the divine calling of a wife to honor and affirm her husband’s leadership and help carry it through according to her gifts.” The point today is simply that when submission is correlated with headship, it implies that headship involves leadership. The wife honors and affirms her husband’s leadership and helps carry it through according to her gifts.

So from these four observations—and there are more for other parts of the Bible that we could look at—I conclude that headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Protection

Now where in this text do we see the idea that this leadership takes special responsibility for protection and provision in the family? First, consider protection. In verses 25-27, Paul shows the husband how to love his wife—that is, how to exercise the kind of servant leadership that Christ did: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

In the words “gave himself up for her,” we hear the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When Christ gave himself up for us, he took our place. He bore our sins (1 Peter 2:24) and became a curse for us (Galatians 3:13) and died for us (Romans 5:8); and because of all this we are reconciled to God and saved from his wrath. Romans 5:10: “If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

If there ever was an example of leadership that took the initiative to protect his bride, this is it. So when Paul calls a husband to be the head of his wife by loving like Christ when he leads, whatever else he means, he means: Protect her at all costs.

Provision

And what about provision? I am contending that headship is the divine calling of a husband to take primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home. Are there evidences in this text that a husband’s leadership should take primary responsibility for the provision for his wife and family? Yes. If anything, this is even more explicit. Consider verses 28-29: “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.”

The words “nourish and cherish” are significant. The word nourish (ektrephei) is most often used in the Bible for raising children and providing them with what they need, but the part of that meaning that applies here is not that the husband is a parent but that he is a caring provider. It’s used more in the sense of Genesis 45:11 where Joseph says to his brothers, “There I will provide (ekthrepsō) for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come.” So the point is at least that the husband who leads like Christ takes the initiative to see to it that the needs of his wife and children are met. He provides for them.

Similarly, the other word in verse 29 points in the same direction but even more tenderly. The husband “nourishes and cherishes (thalpei) it [his body, his wife], just as Christ does the church.” This word for cherishing is used by Paul one other time, namely, to refer to his tender love for the church in Thessalonica. He compares himself to a mother caring for her infant. First Thessalonians 2:7: “We were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.” The point was not at all to belittle the church; the point was to emphasize his tender care and that he would do anything he could for them the way a mother does her child.

So I conclude that there is good reason just from Ephesians 5—not to mention Genesis 1-3 and elsewhere—to lift up the divine calling of the husband as bearing a primary responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership, protection, and provision in the home.

Life Hangs on Protection and Provision

Now notice something about protection and provision. The reason they stand out is that they are so basic. Without protection and provision, life itself is threatened. So the reason these two rise to the surface so quickly is that if a husband fails in his leadership here, there may not be any other place to exercise it. The life of the family hangs on protection and provision. Life itself must be protected and nourished, or it ceases to exist.

But there is another reason these two stand out. Protection and provision both have a physical and a spiritual meaning. There is physical food that needs to be provided, and there is spiritual food that needs to be provided. Husbands need to protect against physical threats to the life of the family and spiritual threats to the life of the family. So when you think it through, virtually everything a husband is called upon to do in his leadership is summed up in one of these four ways: 1) physical provision (like food and shelter), 2) spiritual provision (like the word of God and spiritual guidance, instruction, and encouragement), 3) physical protection (as from intruders or natural disasters or disease), and 4) spiritual protection (like prayer and warnings and keeping certain influences out of the home). Provision: physical and spiritual. Protection: physical and spiritual.

Encouragement of Husbands

Before I give some examples, let me give a word of encouragement and caution. The encouragement is to men. If this sounds new and overwhelming, be encouraged that Christ does not call you to do what he won’t empower you to do. My father loved to quote to us as a family Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Husbands are called to do some very hard things. Leadership is not easy. That’s part of what being a Christian means: Take up your cross and follow me. But with every command comes a promise. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). So be encouraged. Leadership is hard. But you’re a man. You’re a man. If your father never taught you how to lead, your heavenly Father will.

A Caution to Wives

The caution is to women. You cannot demand that your husband take leadership. For several reasons: 1) Demanding is contradictory to the very thing for which you long. It is out of character. If you become the demander, he’s not the leader. 2) Demanding will be counterproductive because if he had any impulse to try harder, your demanding will take the heart out of it, because it won’t feel like leading any more; it will feel like acquiescence. 3) It has to come from inside him worked by the word of God and the Spirit of God. So, instead of demanding, 1) pray earnestly for him that God would awaken his true manhood. 2) Ask him for a time when the two of you alone, when you are neither tired nor angry, can talk about your heart’s desires. When you express your longings, do it without sounding any ultimatums, and with a sense of hope grounded in God, not man. Express appreciation and honor for any ways that he is leading.

Examples and Explanations

That’s the encouragement and the caution. Now some examples and explanations. These must be brief and provocative rather than complete and an attempt to answer all your questions. Consider what leadership is in each of the four spheres mentioned earlier.

1. Leadership in Spiritual Provision

To provide spiritual food for the family, you must know spiritual food. This means that a man must go hard after God. You can only lead spiritually if you are growing in your own knowledge of God and love for God. If you are feeding your soul with the word of God, you will be drawn to feed your wife and your children.

Gather your wife and children for family devotions everyday—call it whatever you want: family prayers, family worship, family Bible time. Take the initiative to gather them. If you don’t know what to do, ask some brothers what they do. Or ask your wife what she would like to do. You don’t have to be a loner here. Remember, headship takes primary responsibility, not sole responsibility. The wife, we pray, is always supporting and helping. And regularly has gifts that the husband doesn’t. What women rightly long for is spiritual and moral initiative, from a man, not spiritual and moral domination.

And remember there is no necessary connection between being an effective leader and being more intellectual or more competent than your wife. Leadership does not assume it is superior. It assumes it should take initiatives. See that the family prays and reads the Bible and goes to church and discusses spiritual and moral issues, and learns to use the means of grace and grows in knowledge, and watches your example in all these things.

2. Leadership in Physical Provision

The husband bears the primary responsibility to put bread on the table. Again the word primary is important. Both husbands and wives always work. But their normal spheres of work are man: breadwinner; wife: domestic manager, designer, nurturer. And that never has meant that there are not seasons in life when a wife cannot work outside the home or that the husband cannot share the domestic burdens. But it does mean that a man compromises his own soul and sends the wrong message to his wife and children when he does not position himself as the one who lays down his life to put bread on the table. He may be disabled and unable to do what his heart longs to do. He may be temporarily in school while she supports the family. But in any case his heart, and, if possible, his body, is moving toward the use of his mind and his hands to provide physically for his wife and children.

3. Leadership in Spiritual Protection

The spiritual dangers that beset the family today are innumerable and subtle. We need valiant warriors like never before. Not with spears and shields, but with biblical discernment and courage. First, husbands, pray for your family everyday, “Lead them not into temptation but deliver them from evil.” Fight for them in prayer against the devil and the world and the flesh. Pray the prayers of the Bible for them. Don’t grow weary. God hears and answers prayer for our wives and children.

Set standards for your wife and children. Work them through with your wife. Remember the path of leadership here is primary responsibility, not sole responsibility. Wives are eager to help here, but what frustrates them is when we don’t take any initiative and they are left to try to determine and enforce the standards alone. Take the initiative in thinking through what will be allowed on TV. What movies you and the children will go to. What music will be listened to. And how low your daughter’s necklines will be. I am tempted to preach a whole message on the relationship between dads and the way their daughters dress. Yes, mom is the key player here in helping a young woman learn the meaning of modesty and beauty. But dad’s role for both of them is indispensable both in celebrating what they look like and telling them when the way they dress means what they don’t think it means. Dads, you know exactly what I mean. What you need here is courage. Don’t be afraid here. This is your daughter, and she must hear from you what she is saying to men with her clothes.

One other example of leadership in spiritual protection: Paul says in Ephesians 4:26-27, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” In other words, one wide open door to the devil in your house is unresolved anger as you go to bed. In the children and in the marriage. Leadership means we must take the lead in reconciliation.

I don’t mean that wives should never say they are sorry. But in the relation between Christ and his church, who took the initiative to make all things new? Who left the comfort and security of his throne of justice to put mercy to work at Calvary? Who came back to Peter first after three denials? Who has returned to you again and again forgiving you and offering his fellowship afresh? So husbands, your headship means: Go ahead. Take the lead. It does not matter if it is her fault. That didn’t stop Christ. Who will break the icy silence first? Who will choke out the words, “I’m sorry, I want it to be better”? Or: “Can we talk? I’d like things to be better.” She might beat you to it. That’s okay. But woe to you if you think that, since it’s her fault, she’s obliged to say the first reconciling word. Headship is not easy. It is the hardest, most humbling work in the world. Protect your family. Strive, as much as it lies within you, to make peace before the sun goes down.

4. Leadership in Physical Protection

This is too obvious to need illustration—I wish. If there is a sound downstairs during the night and it might be a burglar, you don’t say to her: This is an egalitarian marriage, so it’s your turn to go check it out. I went last time.” And I mean that even if your wife has a black belt in karate. After you’ve tried, she may finish off the burglar with one good kick to the solar plexus. But you better be unconscious on the floor, or you’re no man. That’s written on your soul, brother, by God Almighty. Big or little, strong or weak, night or day, you go up against the enemy first. Woe to the husband—and woe to the nation—that send their women to fight their battles.

For God’s Glory and Our Good

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden and God came to call them to account, it didn’t matter that Eve had sinned first. God said, “Adam, where are you?” (Genesis 3:9). That’s God’s word to the family today: Adam, husband, father, where are you? If something is not working right at your house and Jesus comes knocking on the door, he may have an issue with your wife, but the first thing he’s going to say when she opens the door is, “Is the man of the house home?”

When a man joyfully bears the primary God-given responsibility for Christ-like, servant leadership and provision and protection in the home—for the spiritual well-being of the family, for the discipline and education of the children, for the stewardship of money, for holding of a steady job, for the healing of discord—I have never met a wife who is sorry she married such a man. Because when God designs a thing (like marriage), he designs it for his glory and our good.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Sex, Romance, and the Glory of God: What Every Christian Husband Needs to Know

You can listen to the audio here. by C.J.Mahaney (from the 2004  Desiring God Conference)

The Word Was God and Became Flesh by John Piper

You can listen to the John Piper sermon audio here.

John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the Light, but he came to testify about the Light. 9 There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about Him and cried out, saying, „This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'” 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. 17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION

We began the last decade of the 20th century by putting up a building for exultation; God willing, we will begin the first decade of the 21st century by putting up a building for education. That is the order of priority, but it is not the order of life. Exultation in God is first in the order of importance. But it doesn’t come first in life. In life, true education precedes true exultation. Learning truth precedes loving truth. Right reflection on God precedes right affection for God. Seeing the glory of Christ precedes savoring the glory of Christ. Good theology is the foundation of great doxology. That’s the order of life.

So we call the vision behind and beneath this new building, EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION. The word „for” means that what we know and believe and teach about God is foundational for all our worship – not just the corporate worship in this building, but the exultation in God that overflows in lives of love, where others will see the glory of God (Matthew 5:16). Our education of children and youth and adults aims at exultation. Or, which is the same thing, it aims at „spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples.”

God Is Alone and God Is Sovereign

I said last week that my task in these next ten weeks is to relate this vision of EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION to the larger picture of what we are about here at Bethlehem. What do we as a church exist for, and how does this vision – this plan and this building – fit in to that larger picture? We began with the foundation of the foundation. We began with God. And in particular with the deity of God – the God-ness of God – or the sovereignty of God. „You are My witnesses, declares the LORD (Yahweh), and I am God. Even from eternity I am He, and there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:12b-13). „I am God . . . I am He” – that’s the deity of God. „I act and no one can turn it” – that’s the sovereignty of God (see also Isaiah 14:27; 45:5-7; 46:9-10). And of this, God says, „You are my witnesses.”

This is the foundation of our EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION. We will teach that Yahweh is God and that God is sovereign, and that this is wonderful news because it is the foundation of all his grace and all his promises. Therefore, it is the foundation of true and high and passionate exultation. We will say to our children and to our youth and to each other and to anyone who will listen the words of Deuteronomy 4:39, „Know [!] therefore today, and take it to your heart [!], that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.” That is the foundation of EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION: God is God alone, and God is sovereign.

Jesus Is God

Today, I add one thing to this, one huge thing: Jesus is God. When we say EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION – IN GOD, we mean EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION – IN JESUS. When we say „We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples,” we mean, „We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of Jesus Christ in all things for the joy of all peoples.”

To see the basis of this from the Bible, look with me at our text and let’s make three observations.

1. Jesus Christ, who is called „the Word,” is the eternal God.

John 1:1-3, „In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”

The main thing to see here is the statement at the end of verse 1: „The Word was God.” Here Jesus Christ is called „the Word.” We will see that in just a moment from verses 14 and 17. Verse 3 clarifies what it means for „the Word” to be God. „All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” In other words, he did not come into being. All that did come into being came into being through him. He has always existed.

This clarifies what is meant by „in the beginning.” Not just „at the time of creation,” but at the time before anything came into being. The Word was with God and the Word was God because the Word never had a beginning. The Word is co-eternal with God the Father. He is not the Father, because he was „with God” the Father. But he is equally God with God the Father because „the Word was God.”

That is the first observation.

2. The Word became flesh; that is, God was united with a human nature in one Person, and was truly man and truly God who lived in history as Jesus Christ.

Verse 14: „And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Then in verse 17 this Person called „the Word” is named: „For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” So Jesus Christ is „the Word” who was in the beginning with God and who was God.

3. If you receive him, you become a child of God and enjoy everlasting waves of grace.

Combine verses 12 and 16: „But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name. . .. For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” If you receive him for who he really is, you are granted to be a child of God and that means receiving „grace upon grace” that corresponds to his fullness -which is an infinite fullness. And so the waves never cease. And so our exultation in Jesus Christ will never cease. His fullness is inexhaustible and it will overflow with waves of grace forever and ever and never run dry or become stagnant.

This is because, as Colossians 2:9 says, „In Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” His fullness is the fullness of „deity”. Therefore, it is an infinite fullness, and the grace that flows from infinite fullness is infinite grace. Therefore, we will exult in Jesus Christ with ever-new and ever-increasing joy forever and ever. This is the aim of all our education – namely, exultation in Jesus Christ, who is God – forever and ever.

The Price We must Pay

We will talk next week about why the Word was made flesh – why Jesus Christ came: the central act of history, the death of the Son of God for sin. But this morning I want to draw attention to a price we must pay if we are going to pursue EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION in Jesus as God. The price is going to be controversy. On the way to exultation in Jesus, education inevitably leads to disputation. Why is this?

We live in a world of sin and futility and finitude. 2 Timothy 4:3 makes it clear that „the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.” In Acts 20:30 Paul warns the elders of Ephesus, „From among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” And 1 John 4:1-2 says specifically, „Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. . . . By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.”

If you believe in Truth and make it the foundation of your education, you will have adversaries. I say this because I want you to have a realistic view, and not a romantic one, about what it will mean in the coming years to be a part of Bethlehem Baptist Church and a part of EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION. Most of us love exultation. But we don’t love disputation. We would love to move straight from education to exultation all the time. From learning the truth to leaping with joy. From meditation to celebration without any disputation. That would be wonderful. But it would be cheap and short-lived, perhaps a generation or so. And then true celebration would collapse.

An Illustration of the Cost

Let me give you just one illustration so that you can count the cost, whether you want to be a part of a fellowship that will have to pay the price of controversy. Last September I wrote an editorial that was printed in the Minneapolis StarTribune. It had to do with the deity and supremacy of Jesus Christ, and specifically, it had to do with whether Christians should try to win Jewish people to Christ. In it I said,

According to the New Testament, Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all the hopes of Israel. He is the yes to all God’s promises (2 Corinthians 1:20). He is the Messiah (Mark 14:61-62; Matthew 16:16; John 20:31; Acts 9:22; 1 John 2:22; 5:1). To reject him is to reject God the Father, and to confess him as Lord of your life is to be reconciled to God. „Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also” (1 John 2:23). . . . Even though it is perceived as offensive by many Jewish people, the . . . call for prayer that Israel would believe on her Messiah is a profoundly loving act. For „he who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:12).

In other words, if you don’t worship Jesus, you don’t worship God. „He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23). This is what it means to educate on the basis of the radical truth that Jesus is God. And if we do this, we will bring out strong opposition.

Four pastors of major, influential churches in Minneapolis (three Protestant and one Catholic) signed a letter to the editor that said this:

The Rev. Piper . . . claims that the . . . appeal [to pray that Jewish people accept Jesus as their Messiah] is a „profoundly loving” act. But genuine love does not harbor the kind of aggressive agenda that is implicit in visions of „Christianizing” the world. Love, including the agape that lies at the heart of the Christian gospel, is more respectful and less intrusive, more open and less controlling than that. Unfortunately, „arrogant” is the right word to describe any attempts at proselytizing – in this case the effort of Christians to „win over” their Jewish brothers and sisters. Thoughtful Christians will disassociate themselves from any such effort. (Letter submitted to the Editor of the StarTribune, Oct. 12, 1999, and faxed to me. Part of it was published in the paper.)

The saddest thing about this letter is not that it puts you and me in the category of arrogant, unthinking, and unloving people (which it does), but that the shepherds of major Christian churches do not believe faith in Christ is essential for salvation.

True Education Is Founded on Biblical Truth

So let’s be very clear as we move forward in the vision of EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION. We love exultation. That is the goal of all things: joyful, loving, humble, soul-satisfying exultation in Jesus Christ, „who is over all, God blessed for ever” (Romans 9:5). We don’t love disputation and confrontation. We long for the day when controversy will no longer be necessary for „the defense and confirmation of the Gospel” (Philippians 1:7). But until then, true education will be founded on Biblical truth. And Biblical truth will include the glorious realities that Yahweh is God and God is sovereign and Jesus is God. And „he who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (John 5:23). And „he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life” (1 John 5:12).

So in the coming weeks, as you ponder whether you want to be a part this vision of EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION, weigh seriously whether you believe it is loving or arrogant to say that Jesus is God and to call all people who don’t believe in him to be reconciled to God through him. Don’t be naive. Christianity is a life and death issue. It is not a therapy to make things go better. It is a conviction about reality and a faith that in some places can get you killed, and in other places will get you criticized. We are not playing games.

At stake in EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION are the lives of our children and our own lives and the lives of many others. But we have learned as a church from hard experience and from Romans 5:3 to „exult in tribulation” because it produces hope. And so, even the tribulation of controversy can lead to deeper and sweeter exultation in God. John Owen put it like this, over three hundred years ago: „When we have communion with God in the doctrine we contend for – then shall we be garrisoned by the grace of God against all the assaults of men.”* Communion with God. There’s the key. We will not just argue about Christ or discuss him or analyze him. But we will know him and trust him and commune with him and exult in him. That’s the goal of EDUCATION FOR EXULTATION. And not for us only, but for the whole world. Pray earnestly as we move toward it, and ask God to show you where you fit.

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

Message using Bible verses only (16 min) John Piper

I just have to add here at the beginning that I have never seen anything like this before. This man who has written scores of books, and continues to write, just last year (2010) he wrote 4 new books. For a list of his books click here. He also offers many of this books online at his website  DesiringGod (at no charge). He has authored 4,300 articles!!! I will be posting  some of them here, occasionally. John Piper is  the Pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota where this Friday night they will host an ‘All night of prayer’ at their downtown campus. He has pastored at Bethlehem since 1980.

in this classic message; John Piper uses (only) Bible verses for the first 16 minutes of the  message. He also recounts how Bible memorization and recital affected his ministry. This is one powerful message to download and listen to from time to time and pay close attention to minute 19.

You can read the transcript for the message at DesiringGod.org. But I encourage you to listen to at least the first 20 minutes of the video for something we have never seen done before.


Over on Justin Taylor’s blog Between Two Worlds, you can listen to a recent 18 minute video in which John Piper addresses  the importance of the Bible:

How Important Is the Bible?

John Piper suggests five questions you can ask of anything to determine its importance:

  1. What would happen if it did not exist?
  2. What would you give to have it or keep it?
  3. What does it make possible?
  4. How does it weather critics and detractors?
  5. How much effort should be given to spread it and preserve it?

In the link to the video below he answers these questions at a breakfast gathering at Lausanne:

http://player.vimeo.com/video/18432932

John Piper @ GELF Breakfast – Lausanne 2010 from Crossway on Vimeo.

Blogosfera Evanghelică

Vizite unicate din Martie 6,2011

free counters

Va multumim ca ne-ati vizitat azi!


România – LIVE webcams de la orase mari