Principle for Bible Reading
God wants to comfort and stabilize the anxious with truth. What truths calm our fears? In Part 1, John Piper identified nine arguments against our anxieties. In Part 2, he covered the first five. In this lab, he covers the last four, and highlights six lessons for Bible reading.
Arguments Against Anxiety from Part 2:
- “You Cannot Serve Both God and Money”
- “Is Not Life More Than Food?”
- “Look At the Birds of the Air . . .”
- “Which of You Can Add a Single Hour to His Life?”
- “Consider the Lilies of the Field . . .”
6. “The Gentiles Seek After These Things.” (02:39–03:24)
- The Gentiles (the nations) are the people who don’t know God, at least not as their Father.
- If you’re anxious about what you’ll eat or drink or where, you’re acting like people who do not know God.
- This kind of fear and anxiety, therefore, dishonors God, who you do know as your heavenly Father.
7. “Your Heavenly Father Knows You Need Them.” (03:24–04:20)
- In God, you have a Father, not just a king or a shepherd).
- God also knows every need you have.
- Neither of these points would be a great comfort by themself, but the two together should keep you from anxiety about your life.
8. “All These Things Will Be Added to You.” (04:20–05:20)
- “These things” refers to all the food, all the drink, all the clothing, and everything else you need.
- We know, though, not all Christians have their basic needs. Christians all over die from hunger or thirst or nakedness.
- This verse, therefore, does not promise you will not die of hunger or nakedness. It promises that God will give you everything you need now to prepare you for the life to come, the life that lasts.
9. “Tomorrow Will Be Anxious for Itself.” (05:20–06:22)
- There is trouble for every day, and there will be grace for that trouble every day.
- We know there are new mercies every morning (just like there are new troubles every morning). (Lamentations 3:23).
- Tomorrow’s troubles are not designed to be dealt with today’s grace. Every day has its sufficient trouble, as well as its sufficient grace.
Lessons for Bible Reading (06:22–11:32)
Lessons from Part 1:
- The Bible argues. It gives reasons for things. Its thoughts are linked together.
- A unit of thought (or passage) has a main point. Everything else in that unit supports in the main point in some way.
- To truly understand a passage we must figure out how the arguments support the main point.
- Jesus assumes that truth affects/influences the emotions.
- Truth has its affect on our emotions when it is believed, when we have faith.
- Therefore, pray for faith and meditate on his truth.
- What are “these things” in Matthew 6:32–33? How can Jesus God will give us all these things when we know Christians die without them every day?
- Why do the Gentiles seek after “these things”? According to Matthew 6:32, why is their example a bad one to follow?
- Read Lamentations 3:21–23 (with Matthew 6:34). In God’s care and provision, what is the relationship between today’s grace and today’s trouble? What about between today’s grace and tomorrow’s trouble?
Piper: “Tomorrow’s troubles are not designed to be addressed with today’s grace.”