Blog Posts by John Piper

What Does It Mean to Serve God?

John Piper

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). What does that mean?

  • It means to do what he says in a way that makes him look supremely valuable in himself.
  • It means to submit to him in a way that makes him look thrilling.

There are ways to submit to God that only make him look threatening, not thrilling. There are ways to do what…

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Christ Died to Sin and Lives to God

John Piper

“The death he died he died to sin, once for all,
but the life he lives he lives to God”
(Romans 6:10).

How are sin and God coordinate in this text? Died to sin. Lives to God.

Sin causes death;
God causes life.

Sin is the sting of death—gives death its eternal horror;
God is the spring of life—gives life it eternal glory.

Christ's death was infinitely effective in nullifying…

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Letter to an Incomplete, Insecure Teenager

John Piper

Four years ago a teenager in our church wrote to me for advice about life in general, and identity in particular. Here is what I wrote, with a big dose of autobiography for illustration.

Dear ________,

My experience of coming out of an introverted, insecure, guilty, lustful, self-absorbed adolescent life was more like the emergence of a frog from a tadpole than a butterfly from a larva.

Larvae disappear into…

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Indulge My Effusive Overflow for a Dead Friend

John Piper

I read Jonathan Edwards’ sermon, “Christ’s Agony.” Stunning. I could not stop till I was done. So penetrating. So full of wine from the crushing and wringing of these grape-texts. So many questions posed. Such answers!

It is simply amazing to me that almost all of Edwards’ published works are available online, or in multiple Kindle editions (for $.99 or $1.99, the one I have).

May God…

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11 Ways God Works for Us

John Piper

Only a few things have gripped me with greater joy than the truth that God loves to show his God-ness by working for me, and that his working for me is always before and under and in any working I do for him.

At first it may sound arrogant of us, and belittling to God, to say that he works for us. But that’s only because of the connotation that…

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Four Waves of Change in Missions

John Piper

If God would be pleased to breathe on the ripples from the pebbles these speakers drop at our conference this year, they might become waves that break over thousands of lives and churches. The waves I am praying for are:

Wave #1: Putting world evangelization into the passions of a new generation.

Missional is the in word today. But missions is not always in the word. Missions means crossing an…

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The Authority of Preaching for Readers and Non-Readers

John Piper

The authority of preaching is rooted finally in the absolute authority of God. That root passes through the infallible Word of God, the Bible. This book is the only access we have today to an infallible message from God.

Therefore authority is not intrinsic to the preacher. It is intrinsic only to God and his written word. Only the scriptures are “inspired” infallibly by God (2 Timothy 3:16). Preachers may…

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Be Encouraged to Pray This Summer

John Piper

Where to pray is not the issue. But whether.

Let J. C. Ryle stir you up as he has me.

I dare not lay down too strict rules on such points as these. I leave them to your own conscience. You must be guided by circumstances.

Our Lord Jesus Christ prayed on a mountain;
Isaac prayed in the fields;
Hezekiah turned his face to the wall as he lay upon…

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Finding Care in the Calamity of Gay Pride

John Piper

For those caught in the calamity of the normalization, celebration, and institutionalization of homosexual behavior, there are resources for help. Today let me just mention one cluster.

Probably the most authoritative scholarly work on homosexuality and the Bible is Robert Gagnon, The Bible and Homosexual Practice (Abingdon, 2001). Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard Divinity School, Gagnon teaches at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

He has a web site, www.robgagnon.net, with numerous

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“My Eyes Shed Streams of Tears”—
Thoughts on the New Calamity

John Piper

Jesus died so that heterosexual and homosexual sinners might be saved. Jesus created sexuality, and has a clear will for how it is to be experienced in holiness and joy.

His will is that a man might leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and that the two become one flesh (Mark 10:6-9). In this union, sexuality finds its God-appointed meaning, whether in personal-physical unification, symbolic representation,…

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It’s Now or Never: Love Your Enemies

John Piper

I have heard preachers say, the only thing we do on this earth that we won’t do in the age to come, is witness to unbelievers. So be about it. This is your only chance. It’s now or never.

Well, it is now or never. And we should be about it. The point is well made.

But there is another now-or-never.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). He clearly…

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Why This Year's Conference May Be the Most Strategic

John Piper

I wrote yesterday that the upcoming Desiring God National Conference may be the most strategic one we’ve ever held. Besides the reasons I gave in the four minute video invitation, there are others. I will mention only one in this blog post.

I believe there are hundreds of people ("Finishers" in their 50's and 60's and 70's, as well as students and younger adults) whom God will call into vocational…

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Why Read About the Beheading of Christians?

John Piper

World Magazine received a two-minute video of Islamic militants beheading a man for becoming a Christian. The article is called “Brutal Beheading”. I hope many of you read it.

Why?

Because we can’t get into the reality of most of the Bible without some real emotional connection with terror. Every book of the New Testament has terror in it, something like a beheading. The situation in the first…

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Thank you, Blaise Pascal

John Piper

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematical genius who was born June 19, 1623. After running from God until he was 31 years old, on November 23, 1654 at 10:30 pm, Pascal met God and was profoundly and unshakably converted to Jesus Christ. He wrote it down on a piece of parchment and sewed into his coat where it was found after his death eight years later. It said,

Year of…

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Fathers, Display to Your Children All of God

John Piper

I am thanking God today that my father displayed a robust biblical God to me. I see God as fearful and I see him as the happiest and kindest being in the universe — "Behold then the kindness and the severity of God" (Romans 11:22).

Fathers, with all your sins and weaknesses, show your children as much of God as you can. Both his severity and his joyful kindness. Help…

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Happy Birthday, John Wesley. Two Silver Spoons.
And Thousands of Souls.

John Piper

Thank you, John Wesley, for your practicing what you preached about money. John Wesley was born on this day 1703 (same year as Jonathan Edwards). He was one of the great evangelists of the 18th century. Today I want to celebrate his attitude toward money.

He is famous for saying: “Having, first, gained all you can, and, secondly saved all you can, then give all you can. (Sermon 50, "The…

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The Price of Freedom in Egypt

John Piper

Ramez Atallah is the General Director of the Bible Society of Egypt. This update from Cairo is a reminder that there are not unambiguous events in this fallen world. Things cut both ways. Reading this careful assessment from the inside, makes me all the more thankful that Ramez will be one of our speakers at the Desiring God Conference for Pastors next February. Read, learn, and pray:

June 15, 2011

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Should I Want to Be "Such a Worm?"

John Piper

I tweeted this morning that I would like to be "such a worm". I said: "William Carey died today 1834. Epitaph: 'A wretched poor and helpless worm, on thy kind arms I fall.' O to be such a worm!"

Not everyone thinks it is biblically sound to call a new creature in Christ a worm, let alone to aspire to be one. It's a good question.

First of all, my…

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What Tone Should Preachers Aim At?

John Piper

Phillips Brooks who died in 1893—and who along with Jesus, Paul, John Stott, Dick Lucas, and other preachers never married—most famously said that preaching is “truth through personality.”

This personality factor raises the question of preaching tone. What should a preacher aim at in the tone of his preaching?

By “tone” I mean the feel that it has. The spirit it emits. The emotional quality. The affectional tenor.…

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John Piper Interviews John Knight on Disability

John Piper

This video is serious, on-the-ground sermon "application." I preached, May 22, 2011, on disability—a man born blind—from John 9:1-4. This interview is with the father of a boy (almost 16) born blind. 

John Knight is the director of development here at Desiring God. He blogs at www.theworksofGod.com, and, with his wife, loves Jesus, and trusts the sovereign wisdom and goodness of God.

But it has not always…

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Another Incentive to Read Christian Biography

John Piper

Perhaps, Hebrews 11 is still the most compelling biblical mandate for reading Christian biography. Together with Hebrews 13:7 all those biographical lessons in faith seem like an overwhelming summons to keep finding such stories and “considering” them.

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” (Hebrews 13:7).

But Philippians 3:17, together with…

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John Piper Interviews Rick Warren on Doctrine

John Piper

This 98 minute interview that I did with Rick Warren was recorded on May 1, 2011, during the Desiring God Regional Conference at Saddleback Church. It's the fulfillment of a commitment we made when Rick was not able to come in person to the Desiring God National Conference in Minneapolis in October, 2010.

The nature of the interview is mainly doctrinal. I read Rick’s The Purpose Driven Life with great…

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Bob Dylan Turns Seventy Today

John Piper

Yes, I still pray that he will find that the encounter with Jesus in 1978 was real, and that he will come to the end singing and believing his song, “Saved.”

Saved

I was blinded by the devil
Born already ruined
Stone-cold dead
As I stepped out of the womb

By His grace I have been touched
By His word I have been healed
By His hand I have been…

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Thoughts on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment

John Piper

On May 21, 2011, the proposed Minnesota Marriage Amendment passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 70 to 62. This means that the question will be put on the ballot in the 2012 election.

If the amendment passes in November of next year, Article XIII will be amended to include the words, “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage…

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