Rebuilding Some Basics of Bethlehem: The Purifying Power of Living by Faith in Future Grace

John Piper

Grace is not only God’s disposition to do good for us when we don’tdeserve it. It is an actual power from God that acts and makes goodthings happen in us and for us. For example, Paul says,

By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)

God’s grace was God’... Continue Reading

Real Choice, Divine Sway, and the Way Paul Lived

John Piper

One of the most influential passages in the Bible that God used to open my mind to his sovereignty over my will is Philippians 2:12-13.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

So my working and willing are necessary. They are real. But they are not first or ultimately decisive. God’s willing and working is decisively under and in my willing and working. The word “for” is... Continue Reading

We Will Be Glorified for the Glory of God

John Piper

Someday, at the coming of the Lord Jesus, all who are in Christ will be glorified.

Those whom he justified he also glorified. (Romans 8:30)

The creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:21)

That is, we will be glorious.

The righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. (Matthew 13:43)

But our glory will not be our own but the glory of Christ who is... Continue Reading

Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality

Jon Bloom
It's very important that we count the cost of sexual immorality beforetemptationhits. That's the time for clear thinking. Temptation clouds ourjudgment. That's why we pray "keep us from temptation." Avoiding thefog by steering around it is much better than trying to navigatethrough it.

Years ago, as a way to keep hishead clear, Randy Alcorn created a list of the ways he would bringdestruction into his life and others' lives were he to give in tosexual immorality. A few... Continue Reading

Give to the One Who Begs from You (Part 2)

Jon Bloom

In myprevious postI reflected on this verse:"Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42). And the comments have been very thoughtful and helpful.

It's a breathtaking command, isn't it? Typical Jesus.If he doesn't knock the wind out of us occasionally, we're not really listening to him.

Just a clarifying thought.

Like the friends who commented, I too wrestle in the specifics of obeying this command. And in my... Continue Reading

Twin City Congregation Votes to Leave ELCA

John Piper

A few blocks from my home Roland Wells, a courageous and compassionate Lutheran pastor who has served over twenty faithful years in our inner-city neighborhood, announced today that the church he leads, St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, will leave the ELCA because of the recent decision of the Churchwide Asssembly concerning the ordination of those practicing homosexual behaviors.

This is not an easy thing to do. Nor was it done precipitously. I point to it... Continue Reading

I Have Not Always Obeyed This Command

Jon Bloom

"Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42).

I confess, I have not always obeyed this command.

I'm a veteran urban-dweller. Having lived in an inner city neighborhood for 18 years, I've encountered many beggers and borrowers. Some I discerned as cons I have called out or waved off. Some I have hired to do work. Others I've given to because I felt the conviction of this text.

I've thought a lot about this command... Continue Reading

Rebuilding Some Basics of Bethlehem: The Doctrines of Grace

John Piper

We believe that these 5 truths are biblical and therefore true. Webelieve that they magnify God’s precious grace and give unspeakable joyto sinners who have despaired of saving themselves.

Total Depravity

Our sinful corruption is so deep and so strong as to make us slavesof sin and morally unable to overcome our own rebellion and blindness.This inability to save ourselves from ourselves is total. We are utterly dependent on God’s grace to overcome... Continue Reading

A 250-yr-old Model: How Calvinist Simeon Related to Wesley

John Piper

Today, 250 years ago a great pastor was born, Charles Simeon. He was called to Trinity Church, Cambridge in May of 1782. And he endured fruitfully there through much fire for 54 years until his death November 13, 1836.

Simeon never married. He "had deliberately and resolutely chosen the…celibacy of a Fellowship that he might…better work for God at Cambridge" (Moule, Charles Simeon, 111).

His greatest influence was probably through sustained biblical... Continue Reading

The Goodness of God and the Fear of God

John Piper

Consider two important truths in Psalm 31:19.

Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you,
in the sight of the children of mankind!

1. The goodness of the Lord.

There is a peculiar goodness of God. That is, there is not only God’s general goodness that he shows to all people, making his sun rise on the evil and the good (Matthew 5:45), but also a peculiar goodness for “those who fear... Continue Reading