Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Passion for the Pleasure of God's Presence.

In chapter 2 of Desiring God, Piper reveals his theological stripes. Yet even though I may not agree with all of his system, I still found some wonderful truths in this chapter.
"It does no good to tell these people to believe in the Lord Jesus. The phrase is empty. My responsibility as a preacher of the gospel and a teacher in the church is not to preserve and repeat cherished biblical sentences, but to pierce the heart with biblical truth." --Piper
There truly is a "lost and dying world" that needs our compassion. But part of my calling is not just to repeat this phrase, but to prayerfully preach so that the people in our pews would have their hearts pierced by the call of the lost and the dying.

Here is a great description of sin. It reminds me of how Joseph felt when he was tempted by Potiphar's wife. He was much more worried about sinning against God, than any other damages he might incur.
"The wickedness of sin is owing to the implicit disdain for God. When David committed adultery with Bathsheba and even had her husband killed, what did God say to him through the prophet Nathan? He did not remind the king that marriage is inviolable or that human life is sacred. He said, "You have despised me. . . . You have utterly scorned the Lord" (2 Samuel 12: 10,14)." --Piper

From Sin to Salvation...
"This means that saving faith in Christ always involves a profound change of heart. It is not merely agreement with the truth of a doctrine. Satan agrees with true doctrine (James 2: 19). Saving faith is far deeper and more pervasive than that." --Piper
This is so true. Worship is so much more than doctrinal acceptance. It is a change in the heart. I've been reviewing the doctrines about the deity of Christ recently. And yet this reminds me that even the Devil believes the truth. It must hit us straight in the heart. We cannot go on just worshipping through the rules taught by men.

Faith is more than just the idea "I can depend upon Jesus." It is also the idea, I want to know Jesus more than anything else.

Piper's take on this...
"Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction that Christ is both solidly reliable and supremely desirable."
The Apostle Paul's take on this...
Philippians 3:7 But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.
More Piper...
"The tree of faith grows only in the heart that craves the supreme gift that Christ died to give: not health, not wealth, not prestige, but God!"
Piper basically says that at the root of conversion is a passion for the pleasure of God's presence. How thirsty are you?

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