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Future Grace - Battling Unbelief - Lesson 6

How Does It Work for Holiness? (Part 2)

Bible texts that are illustrations of how hope, faith, confidence, satisfaction in future grace liberates love. The main battle to be fought in the quest for love is the battle to trust God for future grace.

John Piper
Future Grace - Battling Unbelief
Lesson 6
Watching Now
How Does It Work for Holiness? (Part 2)

How Does It Work for Holiness? (Part 2)

The origins of radical love (cont.)


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  • God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever. One aim of this course is to show that living by faith in future grace is the way of life that unites these passions.

  • We are justified by faith alone, but that faith never remains alone. Therefore, justifying faith is always and inevitably accompanied by good works.

  • Grace is the ever-arriving, moment by moment enablement to act in reliance on God. God doesn't promise us comfort or everything we want, but everything we need to do what God wants us to do.

  • [Since] God did not spare his own son but gave him up for us all, [surely] he will freely give us all things. (Romans 8:32) The motivating power of a life of obedience is faith in future grace.

  • In the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5), if the key to doing the harder thing is faith in future grace (believing it with all your heart), then the key to doing the easy thing is also faith in future grace. A legalist tends to attack a command directly with the intention of doing it. A faith-based person prays that God will change them so they will become a person who loves as an overflow of who they are.

  • Bible texts that are illustrations of how hope, faith, confidence, satisfaction in future grace liberates love. The main battle to be fought in the quest for love is the battle to trust God for future grace.

  • Sins that get in the way of holiness.

  • Learn to pray about the spiritual condition of our heart not just about our possessions or circumstances.

  • If you yield to a life driven by lustful passion, you act like you don't know God. Knowing God deeply so that God is your treasure, is a good strategy for overcoming lust. The evidence of being born of God is that you make war on sin.

  • The definition that Dr. Piper uses for bitterness is, "Holding a grudge or savoring the thought of getting even with no true desire for the salvation and reconciliation of the offending person." He defines impatience as, "Murmuring against Providence when we are forced to walk the path of obedience in an unplanned place or an unplanned pace."

God is infinitely committed and passionate to preserving and displaying his glory in all that he does from creation to redemption. In this commitment we see his zeal and love and satisfaction in his glory.

The main question that Dr. Piper attempts to answer in this class is, "Why does practical holiness (love), inevitably accompany justifying faith?"

We are thankful for John Piper's willingness to share these lectures with us. Copyright 2014 by Desiring God Ministries. Used with Permission. For more information, please visit www.DesiringGod.org.

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Future Grace - Battling Unbelief

Dr. John Piper

ld425-06

How Does It Work for Holiness? (Part 2)

Lesson Transcript

 

The following message was recorded at an event hosted by Desiring God. More information about desiring God events, conferences and resources is available at W WW dot desiring God dot org. All these texts I'm giving you are simply illustrations of how hope, faith, confidence, satisfaction and future grace liberates love. That's the point of all these texts. I hope that when we're done with this unit, there's just ringing in your mind. My goodness, there are a lot of places in the Bible that say the main battle to be fought in the quest for love is the battle to trust God for future grace. That's what I hope will be left ringing. Hebrews ten remember the former days when, after being enlightened, you endured a great struggle of sufferings. That's what happens when you become a Christian. In most places of the world, being a Christian costs. It costs. I get the stream of emails from Idol in Uzbekistan. It's documenting month by month, the cost for him and all of his converts. You had sufferings when when you first enlightened, that means converted, partly being made a public spectacle through reproaches, tribulations. Partly. Now they made some choices here to identify with those who were in trouble, partly by becoming sharers with those so treated. What that looked like for you showed sympathy to the prisoners. Okay, get the situation right. Persecution came. Some is just reproach and some is just tribulation. But some went to jail. Now, what do the people outside jail do when some of them new converts are in jail? And the jails in those days were not like our jails. They depended on who brings you food. We're not going to bring you food if you're going to live in here, friends will bring you food.

 

We'll slide it under the door. But we don't pay for it. We don't pray for prisoners. So if you take them food, you get identified with their faith and you might wind up in the prison. That's why he highlights how wonderful this is. You showed sympathy to the prisoners, and it happened. It happened. You accepted joyfully the seizure of your property. This word in the original. It's. It's not easy to know whether that word is an official or a mob. Action. Plunder, your property is just not clear. Seizure here sounds like official. And maybe it was. Or it might have been vandalism. So I picture them having a prayer meeting and saying, Lord, they're in prison and they need us. We love Christ. But if we go, Lord, we got kids. We've got kids. We got houses. We don't have any idea what this might hold for our future. And then somebody says, Let goods and kindred kindred go this mortal life. Also the body, they may kill God's truth about it. Still. Let's go. And they go. And as they're walking to the prison, somebody sets their house on fire or breaks the windows, goes in and throws all the furniture out in the street. Something like that. Seizure of your property, plundering of your property. And they did. This is not just a command now. This is an actual documentation of the crazy, ridiculous, Unbelievable. Matthew 512 Response to persecution. Rejoice for your reward is great in heaven. And they joyfully accepted this. And here's the ground knowing that they had for themselves a better possession and a lasting one. What could be clearer as the key to radical Christian living than to say, Help me. Oh God. See the superiority and the eternal duration of your reward.

 

But American Christians, by and large, just live on the horizontal. And expect pay off now. And therefore we don't rejoice. What do we do when we are when we are plundered? We murmur, we sue people, we go on the radio and bellyache about this is our country liberals get out of our lives. It's just a tone that is so different than my possession that I really care about is in heaven and it's better and it's eternal. And when you know that it liberates this joy, which liberates this love. You see the sequence faith in future grace producing absolutely counter-intuitive joy, releasing visitation at the prison, which may cost you your life. I don't know any other way to get people there than to preach on the superiority of the treasure. Here's the next text. This runs right through to the end of Hebrews is a theme. This is not an isolated way of thinking. This is the whole way of Hebrews thought. This is the structure of the author of Hebrews and how he understands the way love or holiness is produced by faith. Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing crazy choice, rather, to endure ill treatment with the people of God, then to enjoy. Yes, he rejected a kind of joy. The passing passing. Who wants those? Who wants fleeting pleasures? Who wants pleasures that only last 80 years as stupid pleasures. The fasting pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Egypt greater riches. Now, that's amazing statement. The reproach themselves are riches, then the treasures. Is there a reason for all that crazy behavior and affection for? He was looking to the reward. Couldn't be clearer. This is. This is not rocket science.

 

This a six year old can understand. In fact, a nine year old can understand. My mortalita in school is now studying Egypt. In world history. And so they just watch the Ted Turner Moses video and. And had to make a few corrections. But mainly the point was to understand what's going on and what's going on back there in Moses. A nine year old can see he looked to a reward and so he was willing to count reproach for the Messiah, which is. He saw, he weighed certain joys. He looked at the joy that Egypt could offer and he looked at the joy that this reward could offer. And he said, no comparison, no comparison. I'm embracing long term, high yield, blue chip investment of my life. None of this low yield to bid, short term. Chapter 11 Vulnerable Investment on this life. I'm going for broke. And when he goes for broke, he's a free man. Absolutely free. Oh, that The Church of Jesus Christ would break free from its bondage to materialism and living in this world. Here's here's the most powerful, amazing illustration in Hebrews of this point. Jesus. Therefore, since we have so great. The cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us and let us run with endurance. The race set before us. See he that's in its holiness. You run with endurance in the path of obedience and love. It's a costly path. How do you do it? You fix your eyes on something. Jesus. The author and perfector of our faith who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame and has set his set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

And I've talked to some of you recently about those. Pronouns there. I mean, the preposition for the joy. And I do believe it's right to think here just the way. 1032 and 1124 and 1312 sets up the pattern, namely Jesus as he contemplated the agony of the cross. This would be like not going to prison if he didn't go to the cross. It would be like chapter ten. We're not going to the prison. We're not going to love. And Moses saying, I'm not going with this people. I don't dare to cry. I'll stay right here and enjoy myself in Egypt. And this would be Jesus saying, I'm not going to the cross. I'm going to to Arabia and getting a little house on the lake. Instead for the Chapter ten Superior Possession. Chapter 11 Reward. Chapter 12 Joy set Before him, he endured the cross. Jesus was sustained by the confidence. The hope that on the other side of these days, I will rise from the dead. I will have a resurrection body that won't be bloody and in pain anymore. I will have all authority in heaven and on Earth. I will be exalted to my father's right hand. I will gather over the next couple thousand years a people from my name who I will blast with unspeakable joy for all eternity. And for that. For that I'll endure the cross. For that joy, I'll endure the cross. Frankly, I get bent out of shape when people suggest by way of criticism that the pursuit of joy as a foundation for love is sub moral. And you can see why I get bent out of shape, because the implications for Jesus are blasphemous. He was sustained by his expectation of resurrection, joy through his suffering, and it did not minimize his love for us.

 

Don't presume to have a motive higher than Jesus at the cross. That would be dangerous. Last one. Chapter 13. To finish the sequence of thought running from Chapter 1011. 12, 13. Therefore, Jesus also that He might sanctify the people through his own blood suffered outside the gate. So let us go out to him outside the camp bearing his reproach. So this is a call to suffer. Jesus suffered outside the gate. Now you join him outside the camp. What? What would that be, I wonder? The people he was writing to, they didn't live in camps. They were scattered through the Roman world. There's a picture. Going outside the comfortable place that the secure place, the non Golgotha place. Let's go outside the camp. Let's go knock on a few doors in Mounds View. We're in the City of Mounds View right here. And what, three Sundays ago? Two Sundays ago, whenever it was. We knocked on every house in mounds. You tried to anyway. And the stories that came back were mixed, right? The we knocked my wife and the and I knocked on six doors on our block. Three of them opened to us. Even though I think some of the others were home. Nobody likes to go to their door when three people are standing there that look religious. The three that opened. One had a big dog who said that's why she wouldn't open the door but was courteous. And we left our little bag hanging on the knob. The other two were the first two we knocked on and the first guy, as soon as he heard the word church, said, Get off my porch and don't ever come back here. And the second guy did exactly the same thing. So three out of 16 encounters efforts were negative.

 

That's outside the camp. It's not a big sacrifice. I promise you. Not a big sacrifice. Then I said to my little girl, I mean, Talitha was. She's nine. She was totally taken aback by this response. I mean, she did not know that's what we'd signed up for. We're just going to go meet people and invite them to church. And the first guy said where she'd never heard before. And was mad at us and it. What a little nine year old girl trying to obey Jesus. And as we walk to the next house, which was going to be just as bad, I said to her. Tabitha in Bangkok, the IndyCars. Have to play at a church with people like this. They don't just invite people and then go back to 3000 people who love them. They have to start it by knocking on doors. Isn't it wonderful to share with some of the experience of a missionary? Here's the ground for that kind of willingness to go outside the camp. We ought to be doing that kind of thing a lot for here. We don't have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city, which is to come. There it is again. So when you contemplate the feeling, I don't like reproach. I don't like to be made fun of. I don't like it when people roll their eyes. I don't like it when they call me names. I don't like it when they slam doors. I don't like it when they whisper in the office. I don't like this. Jesus didn't like getting crucified. The what sustains you is remembering this city called World Earth. Minneapolis. America is not going to last. I just read this morning in my devotions. Isaiah 40. The nations are like a drop from a bucket.

 

When the judgment arrives on planet Earth some day, it will make Katrina look like a thimble compared to the Pacific Ocean of terror. It's not going to last. It's coming down. Every catastrophe is a symbol of what's coming. Wake up, New Orleans. Wake up. Minneapolis. Wake up. Bethlehem Baptist Church. Everything's coming down. But one thing. The Kingdom of God. So if you put your eggs here in this basket, they're going to break rather. Seek a city to come. Rest in that city. Delight in that city. So this unit has been to show texts and there are many more that when you ask. What life style or what dynamic of living the Christian life will yield holiness or love? Radical risk taking, countercultural, counterintuitive, free sacrificial love that lays down your life on the mission field or Phillips neighborhood or in Mounds View. What is it? Every one of these texts is said to use my language, faith in future grace or being satisfied. More satisfied, way more satisfied. In all that God promises to be for us now and forever. That is the liberation for love. That's the pathway to holiness. That's where the battle is to be fought. When I think about my whole parenting role, my husband role, my pastoral role, my on the street witnessing role, the thing that that drives me most is what can I say that will accomplish the negative in the positive? To make people tremble with the insecurity that this world offers and to help people see the magnificence of what has been bought by Jesus Christ for everlasting joy for all who will receive him. That's the whole goal, is how to help people see the superior pleasures. You show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy.

 

At your right hand. Our pleasures forever more. Fullness forever. Fullness forever. My whole life is devoted to trying to figure out ways to handle the Bible so that people will fall out of love with the world. I forget which old Puritan said it. The goal of a pastor is to put people's taste their mouths out of taste for the bait of Satan. It's not. How do you get your jaw off the hook? That's important once you're there. The main goal of the ministry is don't let the bait be attractive. And how do you put people out of taste for the bait of the devil? And the answer is spread a table that is superior. We pray. And then we're going to take a break and come back in a few minutes. Let's pray. Father in heaven. I pray that you would apply this to my life first, because I so long to love better and to love my wife better, my daughter and sons better, my church better, the neighbors that I have, better unknown people that cross my path. Lord, I want to grow in love. I want to be a more holy person, pure person, radically set apart for God, not copying the world. All the nations seek these things. Jesus said, seek first the kingdom in His righteousness. That stuff will be added to you as you need it. Just seek my radical will of love toward enemy, friend, family, church, people that like you and people that don't. Oh God, that's what I want for me. And I pray it for those who are listening. Lord make us satisfied with all that you are and promised to be for us in Jesus so that we are set free from our need for payback now.

 

And can give our lives away in love. Pray this in Jesus name, you mean. Thank you for listening to this message from Desiring God, the Ministry of John Piper, Pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Feel free to make copies of this message for others, but please do not charge for those copies or alter the content in any way without permission. We invite you to visit desiring God online at WW w dot desiring God dot org where you'll find hundreds of sermons, articles, radio broadcasts and more all available at no charge. Our online bookstore carries all of Pastor John's books, audio and video resources, and you can also stay up to date on what's new at Desiring God. Again, our website is w WW dot desiring God dot ohaji. Or call us toll free at 1888346 4700. Our mailing address is. Desiring God. 2601 East Franklin Avenue. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 55406. Desiring God exists to help you make God your treasure because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.