Future Grace is one of John Piper’s most important books. Here’s how he explains it in the new preface of the revised edition.
In my own effort to live the Christian life in a way that magnifies the worth of Christ, the message of this book is central.
In the battle against my own sin, this book is my war manual.
In the quest to become a more sacrificial, servant-hearted lover of people, this book is my coach and my critic.
In the never-ending question of how Christians, who are counted righteous in Christ by faith alone, should nevertheless pursue righteousness, this book is my answer. It is my fullest attempt to explain why the faith that justifies also sanctifies, without mingling or confusing those two glorious works of God. (XI, paragraphing added)
A New Title and More
In the last ten years, Piper has worked to keep up to date his four foundational titles, originally published from 1986 to 1995 (Desiring God, Pleasures of God, Let the Nations Be Glad, and now Future Grace) by giving extended time to revising key sections and expanding content where helpful.
Of Piper’s revised versions thus far, this fresh edition of Future Grace is the most extensive revision. Not only has the title changed (from The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in FUTURE GRACE to Future Grace: The Purifying Power of the Promises of God), but chapter 11 (“A Love Affair with God’s Law”) is totally rewritten and the new preface catalogs the substantive edits and clarifiers appearing throughout the book.
Perhaps the most noteworthy clarifier relates to justification by faith alone. Here’s how John describes it.
Since publishing the first edition of Future Grace in 1995, I have walked through extended controversies surrounding the nature, ground, and instrument of justification. These controversies have sharpened my own grasp of what the Bible teaches. Some of that sharpening is captured in Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness? (Crossway, 2002), The Future of Justification: A Response to N. T. Wright (Crossway, 2007), and Finally Alive: What Happens When We Are Born Again? (Christian Focus, 2009). Some people have felt tension between the first edition of Future Grace and the message of those books. I hope that this revised edition will remove those tensions. (XI)
Other important revisions and clarifications in this new edition of Future Grace include
- the message of the book God Is the Gospel — that God himself, and not his gifts, is the highest, deepest, and final enjoyment given to us by God's grace,
- various christological clarifications on the centrality of Jesus's person and work, and
- clarifications on the relationship between the “past grace” of the gospel, accomplished in history two thousand years ago, and the "future grace" of the present into eternity: “The Christ we embrace every moment, and the Christ we look to for help in the future (whether ten seconds from now or ten centuries from now), is the crucified and risen Christ. . . . [T]he gospel events of history have an ever-present impact on the believer” (XIV).
Whether you’ve read the original 1995 version of Future Grace or not, we think it’s well worth getting your hands on the new revised edition. And Westminster Bookstore is helping us make this a reality by offering the book for only $10 per copy for a limited time.
With 31 chapters, ready to be savored one per day for a full month, we hope your reading of the new Future Grace will prove richly rewarding, as it has for so many of us over the last two decades.
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