God’s Painful Exegetical Help

John Piper

In this week’s Taste & See Article, I pointed out from Psalm 119:67 and Psalm 119:71 that God sends affliction to help us learn his word.

Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word. . . . It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn your statutes.

I didn't ask how affliction helps us understand God’s word and keep it. There are innumerable answers, as there are innumerable experiences. But here are five:

1. Affliction takes the glibness... Continue Reading

How God Teaches the Deep Things of His Word

John Piper

The reason Psalm 119 has 176 verses is that the Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters. The psalmist exults in the multifaceted preciousness of God’s word by taking each letter of the alphabet and writing eight verses of exultation, each verse beginning with that letter. It’s like saying: “The word of God is precious in every way from A to Z—beyond perfection.” (Eight is one more than seven, the number of completeness and perfection.)

Ordinarily in each group of eight... Continue Reading

Warfield's Supernatural Patience

John Piper

It takes supernatural power to be patient. That’s why Paul seems to go over the top in how he prays for our patience:

May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. (Colossians 1:11)

But that glorious might makes its way into our attitudes by means of promises that we believe. Like Romans 8:28.

Benjamin B. Warfield was a world-renowned theologian who taught at Princeton Seminary for almost 34 years until... Continue Reading

Unseen Purposes for Disappointment

John Piper

When Christ died he purchased for you the Yes to all God’s promises (2 Cor. 1:20), and that includes the promise to use his sovereign power to govern all the inexplicable, maddening detours and delays of your life for wise and loving purposes. He is doing a thousand things for you and for his glory in your disappointed plans.

Richard Wurmbrand tells a story that illustrates the necessity of believing God for good, unseen purposes, when all we can see is evil and... Continue Reading

The Wonder of "Idiotic" Perseverance

John Piper

In his book, Passion, Karl Olsson tells a story of incredible patience among the early French Protestants called Huguenots.

In the late Seventeenth Century in… southern France, a girl named Marie Durant was brought before the authorities, charged with the Huguenot heresy. She was fourteen years old, bright, attractive, marriageable. She was asked to abjure the Huguenot faith. She was not asked to commit an immoral act, to become a criminal, or even to change the... Continue Reading

Happy Meeting Anniversary, Noel

John Piper

Today 42 years ago, I met my wife. I like to mark the day and give thanks. Please indulge a grateful husband.

On the 40th anniversary of that day I wrote this poem. It’s still true. Happy Meeting Anniversary, Noël. Let’s go out tonight.

Six Six Sixty Six
And That Glad Afternoon

For some the summer marks the ripening
Of seeds sunk in the furrows of the spring,
Or bulbs long buried that return each year
By some in-built awareness: June is here!
But that is not what summer was... Continue Reading

Do the Righteous Always Prosper?

John Piper

How does the promise in Psalm 1:3 point to Christ? It says, “In all that he does, he prospers.” The righteous prosper in everything they do. Is this naïve or profoundly true?

In this life the wicked often prosper.

  • “Fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!” (Psalms 37:7)
  • “Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.” (Malachi 3:15)

And in this life the righteous often suffer and their goodness... Continue Reading

Charles Wesley’s Radical, Fruitful Risk

John Piper

On July 18, 1738, two months after his conversion, Charles Wesley didan amazing thing. He had spent the week witnessing to inmates at theNewgate prison with a friend named “Bray,” who he described as “a poorignorant mechanic.” One of the men they spoke to was “a black slavethat had robbed his master.” He was sick with a fever and was condemnedto die.

Wesley and Bray asked if they could be locked in overnight with theprisoners who were to be executed the next day. That... Continue Reading

What Jesus Meant When He Said “You Must Eat My Flesh”

Jon Bloom

The day before, Jesus had fed 5,000 people with a few loaves and fish. Then that night he walked miles across the Sea of Galilee before catching up with his disciples in their boat. The crowd had seen him send his disciples away in the only boat available. So the next day, when they found him in Capernaum, they knew he could have only got there miraculously. They wanted him to be their king.

Then he went and ruined everything. To his adoring fans Jesus... Continue Reading

20 Reasons I Don't Take Potshots at Fundamentalists

John Piper
20 Reasons I Don't Take Potshots at Fundamentalists

1. They are humble and respectful and courteous and even funny (the ones I've met).

2. They believe in truth.

3. They believe that truth really matters.

4. They believe that the Bible is true, all of it.

5. They know that the Bible calls for some kind of separation from the world.

6. They have backbone and are not prone to compromise principle.

7. They put obedience to Jesus above the approval of man (even though they fall short, like others).

8. They believe in... Continue Reading