Blog Posts by John Piper
The Leniency of Excommunication
The worst discipline that the church is authorized to render toward its worst offender is excommunication.
And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:17)
This means he is not welcome to be a member of the church, nor to partake of the Lord’s supper. It means that Christians love him, not as a brother,…Continue Reading
Signs and Wonders, Heresy, and Love for God
Does God have designs for deceptive signs and wonders? Does he have purposes for heresies?
From the time of Moses to the end of history, this has been and will be an issue. Jesus promised that “false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24). These are not little tricks. They are great…Continue Reading
Beware of Proclaiming Yourself
The great challenge of the preacher is to follow Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:5, “What we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.”
But there are more ways to preach ourselves than one might think. This word from James Denney has exerted a sobering effect on me since I first read it in 1982. He had these words framed and…Continue Reading
6 Months Gone at Easter Time
I asked my son Abraham if we could include as our Easter blog entry his personal post from yesterday. He was willing.
6 Months Gone at Easter Time
Empty hangers, empty closet, empty clothes.
Empty crib, empty bath.
Empty bottles, empty breasts.
Empty lungs, empty blood, empty heart.
Did Jesus Spend Saturday in Hell?
The Apostles’ Creed says, “[He] was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He arose again from the dead.” There are many meanings given to this phrase. I simply want to ponder the traditional interpretation that Christ went to the place of the dead to preach the gospel to Old Testament saints that he might set them free for the full experience of heaven.…Continue Reading
A Good Friday Meditation: Christ and the Meaning of the Universe
Why did God create the universe and why is he governing it the way he is? What is God achieving? Is Jesus Christ a means to this achievement or the end of the achievement?
Jesus Christ is the supreme revelation of God. He is God in human form. As such he is the end not a means. The manifestation of the glory of God is the meaning of the universe.…Continue Reading
Thursday of the Commandment
Today is Maundy Thursday. The name comes from the Latin mandatum, the first word in the Latin rendering of John 13:34, “A new commandment (Mandatum novum) I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” This commandment was given by the Lord on the Thursday before his crucifixion. So Maundy Thursday is the “Thursday…Continue Reading
The Intensity of Christ’s Love and the Intentionality of His Death
The love of Christ for us in his dying was as conscious as his suffering was intentional. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16). If he was intentional in laying down his life, it was for us. It was love. “When Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own…Continue Reading
Jesus Gives You to the Father
What happened on Wednesday of Jesus’ final week before the cross? According to Matthew 26:2, "after two days the Passover is coming.” That probably means it’s Wednesday. We can’t be sure because fragments of days count as days, and because when Passover starts is reckoned in different ways. But it’s close.
The next verse says, “Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of…Continue Reading
Let Judas Shake You
Judas left the fellowship of the twelve apostles after the anointing in Bethany and arranged to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-15). But when they met again at the last supper, there he was! Near enough to dip in the Savior’s cup.
When our family read this for devotions last night I was angry at the absolute wickedness of Judas coming back to eat Passover with the…Continue Reading
Evangelism of the Humorous Type
William Robertson Nicoll (d. 1923) was a pastor in Scotland who edited the Expositor and founded the British Weekly. During one illness of six months duration he read the entire collection of Charles Spurgeon’s sermons (over 60 volumes!). He wrote something concerning Spurgeon relevant to our day:
Evangelism of the humorous type [we might say, church growth of the marketing type] may attract multitudes, but it lays the soul…
Pride in Preachers
From one of the best books on preaching that I know comes this word on the danger of pride in us preachers:
Pride is without doubt the chief occupational hazard of the preacher. It I has ruined many, and deprived their ministry of power.... In some it is blatantly obvious. They are exhibitionists by temperament and use the pulpit as a stage on which they show off.... Other preachers are…
6 Aspects of Humility
If humility is not compliance with relativism and is not sophomoric skepticism, what is it? This is important, since the Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5), and “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). God has told us at least six things about humility.
1. Humility begins with a sense of…Continue Reading
Let These Results of the Resurrection of Jesus Revive Your Passion for His Supremacy Over All Things
As Easter approaches, let’s stir up our thankfulness and joy and admiration and amazement at what the resurrection of Jesus means for us. The curse of our fallen nature is that what once thrilled us becomes ordinary. The reality hasn’t changed. We have changed.
This is why the Bible exists. Peter says of his two letters that they are written to “stir up” or “arouse” by means of “reminder.”
Why We Do What We Do
Why do we say we exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples?
Because of Psalm 40:16.
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation say continually,
“Great is the LORD!”
We love the salvation of the Lord. Therefore we say continually, “Great is the Lord!” We say…Continue Reading
God's Sovereignty, Paul's Conversion
Ponder the conversion of Paul, the sovereignty of Christ, and what Paul's sins have to do with your salvation.
Paul said that God “set me apart before I was born,” and then on the Damascus road “called me by his grace” (Galatians 1:15). This means that between Paul’s birth and his call on the Damascus road he was an already-chosen but not-yet-called instrument of God (Acts 9:15; 22:14).
This means…Continue Reading
Enjoy Something Bigger than Yourself
Today a year ago, my father and grandfather were reunited. William S. H. Piper and Elmer Albert Piper were both preachers and both Bible-saturated.
My father said several times to me that he felt his father could pick up and recite from memory any place in the New Testament that you started for him.
And I have several of my father’s Bibles. They are at places so densely marked they…Continue Reading
Muslim and Christian Martyrdom
In Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz wrote about some Muslims' love affair with death. It raises the question of how Christian martyrdom is different. He writes:
“We are going to win, because they love life and we love death,” said Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah. He has also said: “[E]ach of us lives his days and nights hoping more than anything to be…
The Unbelieving Poet Catches a Glimpse of Truth
Since all humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), and the work of God’s law is written on every heart (Romans 2:15), and the heavens are telling the glory of God to everyone who can see (Psalm 19:1), and God has put eternity in man’s heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and by God’s providence every person is set to grope for God (Acts 17:27), and in God we all…Continue Reading
Calvinism, Arminianism, & Education
In the notes that we posted from my talk last week at Resurgence I asked,
But how should we regard these errors [Wesleyanism and Arminianism] in relationship to the teaching office of the church and other institutions?
The answer I gave was not precise enough. Here is what I said:
Here’s my rule of thumb: the more responsible a person is to shape the thoughts of others about God, the…
Sin No More
Your life hangs on how you relate these two statements:
- “If anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous” (1 John 2:1).
- “Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you” (John 5:14).
Do you experience the first one weakening the second?
Or do you experience the first one joyfully empowering the second?
Your life hangs on your answer.Continue Reading
A Thankful Man
What kind of man would send his wife and 12-year-old daughter to Kenya by themselves?
The answer I wish I could give is: The kind of man who was smart enough to marry such a woman.
But, alas, when I married her I didn’t know that’s what I was getting.
So all I can answer is: A thankful man.Continue Reading
Nothing Stands Against Christ
What about those hungry fellows who promised not to eat till they ambushed Paul?
We read about them in Acts 23:12, “When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.” It didn’t work. Why? Because a string of unlikely events happened.
- A boy over heard the plot.
- The boy was the son of Paul’s…
Why Desiring God Exists
Desiring God, like all fallen, finite human ministries and people, sees “in a mirror dimly” (1 Corinthians 13:12). We do not claim to be perfect in what we know. And we do not claim to know all that can be known. Nor do we claim to see what we know more clearly than others may see it.
But we do say with Paul, “Since we have the same spirit of…Continue Reading
The Tragedy of Langston Hughes and a Warning I Will Heed
It’s Black History Month. The biggest book in my entire library is The Norton Anthology: African American Literature. It has 2,665 pages. Flop it open to the middle (like Psalms in the Bible) and you land on Langston Hughes—1902-1967.
In 1926, he wrote what became a manifesto for black artists of the time, “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain.”
We younger Negro artists who create now…