Sometimes I pretend I don't have time. All the tasks on my to-do list are incredibly important.
I'm too busy to answer that email. Too busy to help my neighbor—anyway, I don't even speak Spanish. And I can't give my wife a hand—too much to do. I've got a meeting. I've got to get the sermon posted. I'm blogging. Terribly important, indeed.
Then there's Jesus.
When his cousin and friend John the Baptist had just been beheaded, Jesus tried to go to a lonely place to mourn, but the crowds beat him there. He healed their sick and he served them all dinner. Only then, in the evening, did he get a chance to be alone. And even that was interrupted (Matthew 14:10-25).
Two things show if someone is selling the Gospel, and two things should be preached in order to avoid it: Only in Christ is there satisfaction and only in Christ is there justification.
What Are the Signs of a Gospel-Peddler?
- Craves earthly pleasure
- Dreads earthly pain
What Does a Gospel-Peddler Preach?
- Human prosperity is the gift of salvation. This appeals to the desire for earthly pleasure and replaces God’s worth with money.
- Human obedience is the price of justification. This appeals to the desire for earthly achievement and replaces God’s …
A few years ago Piper preached 7 Wednesday night messages on racial harmony. We are going to offer them here as a blog series. You can subscribe to the RSS feed if you would like to see when a new installment is posted. Or you can just check back—I will try to post a new one each week.
His first message answers the question, "Why even deal with racial issues?"
(The intro is good, but long. If you are pressed for time, start the audio about 11 minutes in.)
From the Intro—This Is a Hard Issue
A bunch of you could do a better job, because I’m learning and you’ve dealt with it all you life, some of you.
But that would not have the same impac…
Last night brought to an end a 27-year tradition. I baptized my last child and read for her the last baptismal poem. Indulge a happy dad's desire to extend that celebration a few hours longer by posting the poem here. May the Lord keep her with sovereign grace (Jude 1:24-25).
For Talitha at Her Baptism
The Lord himself once stood
With John the Baptist in the river, just
The way you stand with me
Tonight, the Son of Man with perfect trust,
Required of us, as if a spotless Lamb
Should there repent, as if,
Immersed and hushed, the great I AM
Could choose to sink in death
And bury there alone in the abyss
Our sin, a parable
Of love and hope and suffering—…
When we teach that our right standing with God is attained through the imputation of Christ’s obedience to our account (Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 4:6, 11; 10:3), does this imply that the work of Christ on the cross—his final suffering and death—is insufficient for our justification?
This question arises in part because of texts that connect the cause of justification specifically to the cross of Christ. For example:
- Romans 3:24-25: “[They] are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood.”
- Romans 4:25: “[He] was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”
- Romans 5:9…
Noel Piper tells the story of one of her sons really enjoying the books The Cross and the Switchblade and Run, Baby, Run. This son did not generally like reading, so it was especially exciting that he had gotten into these stories. When he finished both books, he went to the library and asked if the librarian could direct him to more stories that he might enjoy. She asked him what he liked and he replied, “Christian books about gang warfare.”
Encouraging your children in their own peculiar interests and making sure they know the neighborhood librarian are two ways to help them enjoy reading. Kathy Zahler compiles a list of other strategies in her book 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Rais…
For Noël on Mother’s Day
May 14, 2000
Where Was Mary?
“After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.”
Where was Mary, Jesus’ mother
When he sang his final song?
Where was Mary on the evening
Of the world’s most wicked wrong?
Where was Mary at the moment
Jesus broke the tender bread?
Where was Mary when he blessed it
With his mercy and his dread?
Where was Mary in the darkness
When he poured the cup of wine?
When he spoke of blood and promise,
And he whispered, “This is mine”?
Where was Mary when the Sovereign
Put his garment to the side,
When he washed the feet of sinners
On his knees before he died?
Where was Mary on the night when
Jesus sang his final song?
Where was Mar…
On this day two hundred years ago, Robert Morrison boarded the ship, the Trident, in New York to complete his journey to China as the first Protestant Missionary.
He was born in 1782 in Scotland and was brought up in the Scottish Presbyterian Church. He took a dissolute detour from the faith but was converted in 1798 and began to dream of being a missionary. His mother made him promise, however, not to be a missionary while she lived. She died in 1804 and Morrison applied to the London Missionary Society that had been founded in 1795 and was accepted. January 8, 1807 Morrison was ordained in the Scots Church in London. He was appointed for China while still a single man and set sail f…