New Year’s Resolutions

2 Thessalonians 1:11–12


Principle for Bible Reading

At the beginning of another year, people will make new resolutions. But should Christians make these New Years commitments? In this lab, John Piper shows that resolutions can be deeply Christian and grace-filled.

View the outline.


Outline

Introduction/Prayer (00:00–01:29)

What Does It Mean to Be Worthy? (01:29–03:42)

  1. Whenever Paul prays in Scripture he is asking God to do whatever comes next. (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
  2. The same idea (living worthy of the calling) shows up in 1 Thessalonians 2:12 and Ephesians 4:1. Paul is asking that God cause them to walk in a way that is worthy.
  3. Being worthy of a call that originates in “grace” (2 Thessalonians 1:12) cannot mean you have deserved it.
  4. No, walking worthy means walking in a way that testifies to the worth of the calling.

Resolve to Be Worthy (03:42–07:41)

  1. A resolve (at least here) is a desire for God to do something in and through us.
  2. It is your resolve and your work, but it is done by “faith” (2 Thessalonians 1:11) — that is, in reliance upon God.
  3. The result of this kind of resolve and this kind of work is that Jesus is glorified, because Jesus purchased the “power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11) for our resolves. (2 Thessalonians 1:12)
  4. Jesus will be glorified when his power is shown as your resolves become good works, and you will be glorified (“and you in him”).

Resolutions for the Christian Life (07:41–11:29)

  • The Grace of God in Jesus ⇒
  • Blood-Bought Power ⇒
  • (Moving Through) Our Faith ⇒
  • God Fulfills Our Resolutions ⇒
  • Blood-Bought Power ⇒
  • The Glory of God (or Christ) ⇒
  • And Our Glory (in Him)

So, how do you make resolutions?

  1. By God’s grace.
  2. Through faith in God’s power.
  3. For God’s glory.

Study Questions

  1. How would you define a resolve or resolution? After developing your own definition, read 2 Thessalonians 1:11–12. Based on these verses, how might Paul define a Christian resolve or resolution? What pieces need to be there?
  2. What does it mean to be made worthy of God’s calling? Look at 1 Thessalonians 2:12 and Ephesians 4:1 for help.
  3. Why is Jesus glorified when we make resolutions in the way Paul describes? What about these resolves and these good works makes him look great?

New Years Articles from Desiring God

  1. New Year, New Adjective: “Christ-Exalting
  2. Seven Resolutions to Pursue Love in 2015
  3. Trading One Dramatic Resolution for 10,000 Little Ones
  4. 10 Resolutions for Mental Health
Piper: “How do you make resolutions? By God’s grace. Through faith in God’s power. For God’s glory.”