If you only believe in Jesus to get out of hell, you are not a Christian. In this lab, John Piper shows that true Christians want to be forgiven because the forgiven get to be with God.
Principle for Bible Reading
Authors often give us reasons for why someone did an action in the past or why we should do an action in the future. They typically give the action statement first (e.g. I went to the store/you should go to the store), and then the reason or purpose statement second (e.g. to buy some milk).
A parent tells his or her child to eat their broccoli (action) so that they can receive dessert later (purpose). The commercial tells us to buy this shirt (action) so that we can be more attractive (purpose). “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God” (action) “so that, at the proper time, he may exalt you” (purpose).
In This Lab
1 Peter 3:18 contains a glorious action/purpose statement: “Christ also suffered once for sins (action) . . . that he might bring us to God” (purpose). Jesus suffered and died in order to bring an unrighteous people to a holy God.
Conjunctions, or connecting words, are easily overlooked when we read but are very important in the Bible. They tell us how the two statements they connect relate to each other. In this case, an action/purpose relationship is usually connected with: so that, in order that, or simply that.
- Read 1 Peter 3:18 and Hebrews 7:27. What is the significance of Jesus suffering “once” for sins?
- Why did Jesus die on the cross? Now read 1 Peter 3:18. What purpose or reason does Peter give for why Jesus suffered and died for the sins of the unrighteous?
- What do you think it means to be brought to God? Do any other verses or passages come to mind?