Thousands of people file into church every Sunday with a faith that will not save them. In this lab, John Piper explains that church attendance and right doctrine do not save, but that saving faith is being satisfied in all that God is for us in Christ.
Some questions to ask as you read and study:
- Imagine you meet someone who has never heard of Christianity, who asks, “What does saving faith feel like?” How would you answer?
- Watch the lab. How can we know that we have genuine faith?
- The most important question any of us will answer is, “Do we treasure God above all else?” How would you answer that question today?
Principle for Bible Reading
The Already and Not Yet
We live in an overlap of two ages: the present age of sin and death, and the coming age of Christ’s complete reign. We are no longer merely in the age of fallen humanity, because Christ has come and ushered his kingdom into this age (Matthew 12:28; Luke 17:20–21). In other words, we no longer live in the winter of sin and death looking forward to summer, but because of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, he brought spring, which totters on the brink of everlasting summer for his people.
The already/not yet distinction (referring to things that are already true but not yet fully realized) aids our understanding of how to make sense of the Bible, especially as it depicts the Christian life. The Spirit made us new (2 Corinthians 5:17), and yet we still need to be renewed in our minds (Romans 12:1–2). Jesus freed us decisively from sin (Romans 6:6; John 8:36), and yet we still need to put the old man to death (Romans 8:13). Christ brought the kingdom to earth (Matthew 12:28), and yet wars, murder, and suffering take place.
We live in the age of already and not yet, caught between winter and summer, death and eternal bliss, Christ’s first and second coming.