Christians, of all people, cannot be content with small visions of grace.
The message that made us is “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24), “the word of his grace” (Acts 20:32), “the grace of God in truth” (Colossians 1:6). And the life we’re called to live happens in “this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:2), as we’re “strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). It’s all undeserved, lavish favor from God.
So grace that is cheap, thin, and shallow will not suffice. What the Christian desperately needs — what the world desperately needs — is the true grace of God, in all its lushness and texture. To drink it in, be fed by it, be changed by it, to swim across it, and dive deep in it.
Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace
Perhaps your greatest spiritual need right now is precisely this — to let the flood of God’s prodigal grace wash over you afresh and like never before. As much as your instincts may be saying that next step is yours, what decision you make, what change you can effect, it may be that what you need most is to stand back, look outside yourself, and see the salvation of the Lord which he has worked for you (Exodus 14:13) — by sheer grace.
Such is John Piper’s hope in his new book Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace. It’s a short one, less than 100 pages, but the substance is rich and full. The vision of God’s grace here is costly, thick, and bottomless.
Piper has taught on these strange and wonderful truths for decades, and now distilled his best ways of unfolding these “doctrines of grace” in Five Points. He writes,
My experience is that clear knowledge of God from the Bible is the kindling that sustains the fires of affection for God. And probably the most crucial kind of knowledge is the knowledge of what God is like in salvation. That is what the five points of Calvinism are about. Not the power and sovereignty of God in general, but his power and sovereignty in the way he saves people. That is why these points are sometimes called the doctrines of grace. To experience God fully, we need to know not just how he acts in general, but specifically how he saves us — how did he save me?
I do not begin as a Calvinist and defend a system. I begin as a Bible-believing Christian who wants to put the Bible above all systems of thought. But over the years — many years of struggle — I have deepened in my conviction that Calvinistic teachings on the five points are biblical and therefore true, and therefore a precious pathway into a deeper experiences of God’s grace. (pages 8–9)
With great expectation and hope, Desiring God and Christian Focus present to you Five Points: Towards a Deeper Experience of God’s Grace, available in paperback and as a free PDF.