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 about the essence of faith, namely, that at the core of saving faith is wanting Jesus.

This excerpt begins at the 24:24 mark of this week's sermon.

Right at the core of saving faith is wanting Jesus, desiring Jesus, craving fellowship with Jesus. Faith is not simply acknowledging facts about Jesus, it is wanting his appearing. And you don't want somebody's appearing if you don't like them, if you don't love them, if you don't want them to be near.

Jonathan Parnell (@jonathanparnell) is a writer and content strategist at Desiring God. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Melissa, and their four children, and is the co-author of How to Stay Christian in Seminary .