The Good News for All Sinners

This excerpt from John Piper begins as the 24:03 mark of this week's sermon.

Here's the transcript:

The good news of Jesus is that God saves heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners who trust Jesus, by counting them righteous because of Jesus, and by helping them through his Spirit to live lives pleasing to him in their disordered brokenness.

Now we go to verse 11, the most important verse I will read in this message. After warning the Corinthians not to fall back into lives of sinful practice Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 6:11, the implications are huge for us, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

This is the heart of biblical Christianity. “Such were some of you.” There were Christians in the church at Corinth that everybody knew had been fornicators and adulterers and thieves and drunkards and "men who practiced homosexuality." Everybody knew it. Paul knew it. They were not driven away. They were folded in.

And the way they were folded in was that they were “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ." So they heard the gospel, they turned to the Lord Jesus, and turned away from those practices, and held onto Jesus and were by faith united to Jesus and God looked upon them and said, "Not guilty. Innocent. Righteous in my son. Justified!"

They were washed. “Christ himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). Not only were they clothed with a righteousness that is imputed to them because of Christ, their shame and sin is washed away as far as the east is from the west, buried at the bottom, forgotten, as it were, by an infinite God.

And then they were “sanctified," which means, by the Holy Spirit they were set apart for God. You're mine! You're sanctified. You're consecrated. You're not that anymore. You're mine. And I'm pouring my Holy Spirit into you. And when I pour him into you I am going to swallow up your disordered desires in something greater and more beautiful and more desirable so that you can walk in a way that pleases to me even in your brokenness.

We've me them. you know them. Life that seemed to be reduced to eroticism has now been swallowed up into something so much more. This hasn't been healed totally. We know men who have married. it hasn't totally gone away. They deal with it. Others deal with other things. The relationship is unique and different. But the life is swallowed up. Love is so much more. Relationships are so much more. The erotic is now a piece of life, it isn't the consuming all of life. That's the sanctification. That's the Holy Spirit just enlarging and enlarging until there are so many fields and mountains and plains and glorious flowers and meadows in life that you don't have to stay there in that compost pile of eroticism all the time, no matter which orientation it has. He does that.

The heart of Christianity is that God saves sinners through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The best news in all the world is that Jesus Christ died and rose again so that the most bizarre sexual predator — homosexual or heterosexual — can be rescued from his path of destruction, washed, justified, sanctified and given a place in God’s all-satisfying presence, forever. This is the heart of Christianity.

 

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.