Blog Posts by Jonathan Parnell
God's Plan Before the Ages Began
Grace was given to you, Christian, before the universe was made. And it was given to you in Jesus Christ.
In this video, looking at Ephesians 1:5 and 2 Timothy 1:9, John Piper explains God's plan for our redemption before the ages began.
This excerpt is taken from the recent sermon, "Why Did God Create the World?"Continue Reading
The Apex of the Glory of God
The glory of God is the most important thing in the universe. But what about the most magnificient aspect of his glory?
John Piper explains in this three-minute video:
This excerpt is from the latest sermon, "Why Did God Create the World?"
Join us this weekend for the free live-stream of our National Conference.
You can also read the full manuscript of John Piper's Friday night message, "…Continue Reading
This Week's Sermon: "Why Did God Create the World?"
The ultimate purpose for which God created this world is the praise of the glory of his grace in the death of Jesus for sinners.
There you have it, the most important thing we could ever know.
Recognizing that God exists isn't enough. The question is: why does anything else exist? Why did God create the world? And in particular, why this world?
Working through key texts, John Piper shows…Continue Reading
Staying for the Best Things
I can't shake the scene of that little room where Passion and Patience sit waiting. The boys' sitter instructed them to stay still, to rest side by side, to hold out for what's best. What we come to find is a quest for pleasure so intense we're compelled to take note.
John Bunyan is telling that kind of story in The Pilgrim's Progress. He brings us along with Christian…Continue Reading
We Should Learn This Verse
"I can't imagine any greater verse in the Bible," says John Piper of Jeremiah 32:40. The infinite heart of God is engaged in doing us infinite good. And that is what Jesus paid for with his blood.
In this three-minute excerpt, John Piper explains how the cross of Jesus is connected to our persevering in faith.
This excerpt begins at the 27:18 mark of this week's sermon.Continue Reading
Behind the Blog: Come Outa Philly
Simple? Complex? How should we understand the process of sanctifcation? We've recently featured a series of videos from our friends at CCEF that detail the biblical and practical dynamics of growing in grace, which Tony discusses in this latest episode of Behind the Blog. David also gives some helpful background to recent posts, along with a few highlights on upcoming events and resources.
As always, it is a great pleasure…Continue Reading
This Week's Sermon: "Eternal Security Is a Community Project"
God will keep his children. This is the basic and glorious truth in the doctrine of eternal security. God will never let those who are his fall away. He will complete the work he began in us. And one of the essential means by which he does this is the faith-sustaining truth we speak into one another's lives. So says the writer of Hebrews, "exhort one another every day, as…Continue Reading
Tell Your Co-Worker the Gospel
What will you say when the door opens for communicating the gospel?
Imagine for a moment a co-worker asks you, "What is this "gospel" you Chrisitans keep talking about?" You're both taking a quick break, and you don't have long to explain. He is wanting the best one-minute summary you can muster. What do you say?
Granted, this is hypothetical, but it's not far-fetched. This is typically how we have…Continue Reading
John Piper's latest poem, "Calvary Love."
He held the world between his thumb and finger
like a tender grape.
And when the spike was driven through his hand,
his muscles flinched with world-creating force,
and crimson wine dripped from his fingertips.
But with omnipotent resolve
he neither dropped nor crushed his grape.
A Weighty and Necessary Topic
"This is a very weighty, very painful, and very necessary topic," explains John Piper. In this short video he extends his invitation to Desiring God's November conference on disability, "The Works of God: God's Good Design in Disability."
Speakers at this conference include Nancy Guthrie, Greg Lucas, Mark Talbot, and John Piper. Visit the event page to learn more and register.Continue Reading
This Week's Sermon: "I AM WHO I AM"
God absolutely is. This is the most basic and ultimate fact there has ever been. The triune God — the Lord — is. He always has been and always will be. He is not to be assumed. He is not a mere foundation upon which we move on to more important things. The great driving passion of our lives should be to know him and make him known as…Continue Reading
You Need to Change
Sanctification is a long word. Even though we know it's important biblically, still it manages to get stuck in the abstract. And truth be told, our old self likes it better that way.
The abstract, after all, is much more comfortable. As long as we keep sin in vague terms — as long as sanctification stays out there instead of in here — things can stay the same. That's why…Continue Reading
Now Available: The Pleasures of God Seminar
"The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love," Henry Scougal wrote in his 17th-century work, The Life of God in the Soul of Man. And if this is true of humans, might it also be true of God?
That is the starting place to John Piper's book, The Pleasures of God: Meditations on God's Delight in Being God. He…Continue Reading
What Is Love?
Growing up my dad told me that "love" is the most over-underused word in existence. Some toss it out like pennies in a wishing well. Others never mention it when it needs to be heard. His exhortation to me was simple: talk as if words mean something.
Good counsel as it is, this adage points to the bigger question of, well, what love means. For starters, Hollywood depictions of the…Continue Reading
Resources Related to This Weekend's Seminar
This weekend's seminar on The Pleasures of God has just ended. If you attended the seminar or joined us on the live-stream, thanks so much for being a part of this event. We hope you can join us on the live-stream tonight at 7:10 (EDT) for John Piper's sermon at Bethlehem Baptist Church (Downtown campus).
Here's a list of resources mentioned by Pastor John during the seminar or…Continue Reading
Nine Ways the Gospel Transforms Marriage
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered on the cross in our place and was raised triumphantly from the dead. He ascended to the Father's right hand and is now enthroned, sending his Spirit who by the Word gathers for himself a new people from every tribe and tongue and nation. This new people — the church — are those who by repentance from sin and faith in Jesus are…Continue Reading
Saving Faith Is Wanting Jesus
2 Timothy 4:7–8 tells us that the apostle Paul will get a reward. The "crown of righteousness" awaits him. But why? What is this reward for?
Answer: fighting the fight of faith.
And there's more. The reward is not just for Paul, who has fought the fight of faith, but it's also for everyone who loves the appearing of Jesus.
Expounding these verses, John Piper explains how they teach us…Continue Reading
Biblicism: Right or Wrong?
Biblicism. Is this good or bad?
Don Carson explains that there are at least two kinds, one that should be cautioned, and another commended.
Selective proof texting — pulling single verses out of context to prove a doctrine — are often used to support conclusions that need to be challenged on a more comprehensive level. Case in point: propitiation. Commenting that this word occurs rarely in the New Testament, Carson…Continue Reading
What Is Preaching?
A Little More of Jesus Today
Imagine your life completely conformed to the image of Christ.
Sanctification has ceased. Glorification has arrived. There's perfect joy in Jesus at every moment. Your entire character — every thought and feeling and word and action — completely saturated with Jesus and the good news of what he has done. Imagine that.
And now remember that it won't happen in this life. It is not a reality we will attain…Continue Reading
Five Reasons Why Catechisms Are Important
The English word "catechize" simply means to teach biblical truth in an orderly way. In his introduction to The Baptist Catechism, John Piper explains the biblical support for a pattern of doctrine: there is a "pattern of teaching" (Romans 6:17), a "pattern of sound words" (2 Timothy 1:13).
But not only is there a precedent, such authoritative instruction is absolutely vital. Pastor John gives five reasons why:
- We are…
"The Baptist Catechism" — with Commentary from John Piper
Written in 1677, "The Baptist Catechism" was patterned after the Heidelberg and Westminster catechisms to teach Reformed doctrine from a Baptist perspective.
John Piper added commentary to the catechism during his early years at Bethlehem in hopes of "building a 'stable and firm' generation who hopes in God" [Colossians 1:23]. He explains the purpose is to lay an ordered foundation from which the church may “keep growing in the grace…Continue Reading
It Is Amazing That We Have This Book
We believe that the Bible, consisting of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments, is the infallible Word of God, verbally inspired by God, and without error in the original manuscripts.
So begins the Bethlehem Elder Affirmation of Faith — a document ascribed to by John Piper and the elders at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Lingering on the fact that we have the Bible, Pastor John revels in the wonder that…Continue Reading
Four Things We Can Learn from Jonathan Edwards
Jonathan Edwards wasn't always "Jonathan Edwards," Sean Lucas reminds us.
In the closing appendix of his book, God's Grand Design, Lucas explains that in many ways Edwards was "a man just like us." Sinner as he was, Edwards struggled and grew and learned, all desperate for God's grace (like you and me). Much of this process is seen in his early years as he prepared for ministry. And we…Continue Reading
John G. Paton Biography (Free eBook)
It wasn't until 1606 that Spanish explorer Fernandez de Quiros discovered a chain of eighty islands stretched across 450 miles in the South Pacific. Later named the New Hebrides, the islands were inhabited by peoples whose existence had been unknown to the rest of the world for centuries.
It would be another 230 years before two London missionaries made the first earnest attempt to bring the gospel to these unengaged…Continue Reading