Blog Posts by Josh Etter
How to Live Like Christ
In Ephesians 5:1 Paul tells us to be "imitators of God". How can we obey such a holy commandment? William Temple writes:
"It is no good giving me a play like Hamlet or King Lear, and telling me to write a play like that. Shakespeare could do it — I can’t. And it is no good showing me a life like the life of Jesus and telling me to live… Continue Reading
How Awesome Is That Day to Me
Ponder these words as Holy Week begins. You might consider using this poem in your personal or family devotions this week:
How awesome is that day to me-
O day of hallowed history!
Set time in God’s determined plan
To sacrifice the Son of Man.
What famous work that day was done
By Jesus Christ, His Perfect Son!
The Second Adam, sent to save,
Humbly obeying to the grave!
Advice to Young Pastors
Learn the Secret of Gutsy Guilt
Part of our Christian confidence is that even when we fall into sin and experience God's Fatherly discipline, we will rise again. John Piper calls this "gutsy guilt":
To the fallen saint, who knows the darkness is self-inflicted and feels the futility of looking for hope from a frowning Judge, the Bible gives a shocking example of gutsy guilt. It pictures God’s failed prophet beneath a righteous frown, bearing his…
The Difference Between a Christian and non-Christian
What is a distinguishing mark of a believer? At our 2009 Pastors Conference Mark Dever gave us a helpful and memorable word:
The difference between a Christian and non-Christian: When a non-Christian is convicted of sin, he sides with his sin. When a Christian is convicted of sin, he sides with God, against himself."
For further thought, see John Piper's 1992 article "What Is a Christian?"Continue Reading
How Far We Have Fallen
Jonathan Edwards' vivid description of what happened when we fell from God into sin:
The ruin that the fall brought upon the soul of man consists very much in his losing the nobler and more benevolent principles of his nature, and falling wholly under the power and government of self-love. Before, and as God created him, he was exalted, and noble, and generous; but now he is debased, and ignoble,… Continue Reading
Grace is not a "Thing"
In the Christian life we can easily find ourselves using jargon without knowing what we're really saying. What exactly is "grace"? Sinclair Ferguson clarifies:
It is legitimate to speak of "receiving grace," and sometimes (although I am somewhat cautious about the possibility of misuing this langauge) we speak of the preaching of the Word, prayer, baptism, and the Lord's Supper as "means of grace." That is fine, so long as…
The Aseity of God
God is self-sufficient. Theologians refer to this attribute as "the aseity of God." In his classic book Knowldge of the Holy, A. W. Tozer writes:
Almighty God, just because He is almighty, needs no support. The picture of a nervous, ingratiating God fawning over men to win their favor is not a pleasant one; yet if we look at the popular conception of God, that is precisely what we…
Clothed in Righteousness
R. C. Sproul has written a beautiful hymn that you might consider using in your personal, family, or congregational worship:
Fallen race in Eden fair, exposed and full of shame. Fled we naked from Thy sight, far from Thy holy name.
Sent from the garden to the east, outside of Eden's gate, Banished there from Thy pure light were Adam and his mate.
Scarlet souls are now like snow by…
In this morning's message at the Ligonier Confernece, Pastor John recommended checking out Joshua Project as one tool to help engage our hearts and minds in the cause of world missions.
If you aren't familar with Joshua Project, it is a leading research initiative that highlights the most unreached ethnic people groups of the world. By identifying these people groups and the progress of evangelism, the Church is guided in fulfilling…Continue Reading
How to Get God's Attention
Isaiah 66:2 —
But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
I.O.U.S is one prayer that helps us to humble ourselves before reading God's Word. You might consider printing it out and sticking it in your Bible.
Ask God to Incline our hearts to him, not to money or fame or power…
The Importance of Being Under the Ministry of the Word
At our 2008 National Conference, Sinclair Ferguson connects the way we talk to the ministry of the Word in our lives:
Here's an excerpt:
The most important single aid to my ability to use my tongue for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ is allowing the word of God to dwell in me so richly that I cannot speak in any other accent.
Dear brothers and sisters, that's…
The Early Beginnings of Desiring God
But John Piper's thinking on Christian hedonism is echoed in a sermon preached over sixty years ago titled "Saved, Safe, and Satisfied." It was preached by a clear—but often overlooked—influence on Piper: his father Bill Piper.
Here's an excerpt:
Yes, [Christ] satisfies. Satisfies because God with him gives us all things. He satisfies because though him every… Continue Reading
Imparting A Passion: A Challenge to Youth Workers
In 2002 John Piper delivered a powerful challenge to men and women who are responsible for leading youth and college ministries:
I want to begin by asking you a question that comes from the book of Acts. When your present generation of students graduates will you be able to say what the Apostle Paul says in Acts 20:26, "I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the…
The Cross: The Greatest Pro-Life Initiative Ever Taken
LIFE International understands that the horror of abortion is a global tragedy. Their mission is to multiply life-giving ministries wherever abortion is provided around the world. To see a little more of the heart that drives their mission, Kurt Dillinger responds to a few questions I recently asked him.
What biblical truth is the primary foundation for your ministry's approach to the global mission field created by abortion?
Jesus says…Continue Reading
John Piper Does Not Deny That God Makes Much of Us
At Passion 2011 in Atlanta, Pastor John gave a message titled “Getting to the Bottom of Your Joy.” In it John clarifies if and how God makes much of us:
Let it be said loud and clear: John Piper does not deny and and never has denied that God makes much of us. The question is ranking—what’s at the bottom of your joy. Where does it finally rest?
A Song by John Piper
O Jesus, take my bent away
For thinking much of me,
And kill my pride, and from this day
With mercy make me free.
O Jesus, grant the gift to see
The treasure that you are,
And as the night eclipses me,
O be my…
D.A. Carson on the Central Message of the Bible
John Calvin on the Pursuit of Success
How do we as Christians battle against the sinful pursuit of success, wealth and power that the world pursues?
Therefore, to avoid similar entanglements, the course which Christian men must follow is this: first, they must not long for, or hope for, or think of any kind of prosperity apart from the blessing of God; on it they must cast themselves, and there safely and confidently recline.
How, then, can… Continue Reading
How to Grow in Grace in General and in Particular
Piper Poem on Suffering
What is God’s sovereign grace?
Not grace to bar what is not blissNor flight from all distress but this:The grace that orders our trouble and painAnd then, in the darkness, is there to sustain.
This poem was taken from the sermon by John Piper, “Sustained by Sovereign Grace—Forever”.Continue Reading