Principle for Bible Reading
What happened when you were saved? While Satan did everything he could to blind you to the beauty of Jesus Christ, God broke through in marvelous light, and you saw, and you believed. In this lab, John Piper highlights critical parallels between two key verses to explain the miracle of conversion.
Blindness: The Nature of Satan’s Work (01:14–02:56)
- Satan is focused on keeping unbelievers from seeing the light of Christ’s glory. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
- This light streams through facts about Jesus and the gospel. (2 Corinthians 4:5)
- Satan focuses on blinding people to Jesus Christ because we — God’s messengers — are proclaiming him (2 Corinthians 4:5). He’s not as concerned with the facts (the knowledge) of the gospel, but about hiding people from the light streaming from the gospel.
Sight: The Nature of God’s Work (02:56–06:48)
- “Light” in 2 Corinthians 4:4 corresponds with “light” in 2 Corinthians 4:6.
- The blindness in 2 Corinthians 4:4 is like the darkness that was on the earth before God created light. (2 Corinthians 4:6)
- “Gospel” in 2 Corinthians 4:4 corresponds with “knowledge” in 2 Corinthians 4:6. The gospel is a series of facts that anyone can know. Knowledge, though is not enough to save anyone. But anyone can know the gospel.
- “Glory” in 4:4 corresponds with “glory” in 4:6. The glory in 2 Corinthians 4:4 and 4:6 is not two glories, but one. It is the glory of God, which is made visible in the face of Jesus Christ.
How Shall We See? (06:48–09:50)
- God shines light on Jesus through the gospel.
- The light reveals God’s glory in Jesus Christ to our hearts and minds.
- When we see God’s glory in Christ, we believe.
And if you do not see Jesus Christ as beautiful or glorious? Pay close attention to those who proclaim not themselves, but Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:5). Listen to them. And because only God brings this kind of sight, pray.
- From 2 Corinthians 4:4–6, define the nature of Satan’s work in the world, as well as the nature of God’s.
- Look at 2 Corinthians 4:4 and 2 Corinthians 4:6. Identify and explain all the parallels between the two verses.
- Is the “glory” in 2 Corinthians 4:4 a different glory than the “glory” in 2 Corinthians 4:6? Or are they the same glory?
- If someone does not see Jesus Christ as glorious, how would you counsel them? Based on 2 Corinthians 4:4–6, how might they seek out the gift of sight?
Piper: “What do you do if you don’t see Jesus as glorious? Listen carefully to those who do, and pray.”