Passion 2011 :: Session 5 :: John Piper

John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied at Wheaton College, where he first sensed God’s call to enter the ministry. He went on to earn degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary (B.D.) and the University of Munich (D.theol.). For six years he taught Biblical Studies at Bethel College in St. Paul, Minnesota, and in 1980 accepted the call to serve as pastor at Bethlehem. John is the author of more than 30 books and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at desiringGod.org. John and his wife, Noel, have four sons, one daughter, and an increasing number of grandchildren.

God is at the Bottom

Do you feel more loved by God because He makes much of you, or because He through Christ enables you to make much of Him?

  • I’ve asked this question several times all over the countries and it has caused misunderstandings that I want to clear up.
  • I think I’ve misled.
  • Some people respond with “Piper doesn’t really believe that God makes much of us.”
  • That is not what I think.
  • It really doesn’t matter in the end what Piper thinks, it matter what God thinks.  That is all you should care about.

What am I trying to do with that question?

  • I do it because I am trying to help you exchange what is at the bottom of your joy. I want you to exchange self at the bottom of your joy, with God. I want God to be the bottom of that joy.
  • What is the bottom of that joy?
    • All of our joys have a foundation, except one. Any happiness that you have in something has a foundation except one, the Bible. Where you end up as you penetrate to the bottom of what makes you happy is you. What makes you happy? Making much of you? Or making much of God?
    • I am not denying that God makes much of you when I ask that question.
    • I am forcing a ranking.
    • Its a glorious thing to be designed to make much of God.
  • Do you enjoy worshiping God, because at the bottom this God is committed to making much of you?
  • Or do you enjoy God making much of you because it shows you the kind of God that He is?
  • Why does getting the bottom of our joys such a big deal to me?
    • I believe there are millions of people that are professing Christians that are not born again, believes God loves them, but are held bound.
    • Millions of nominal Christians have never experienced an exchange at the bottom in the new birth. Myself being made much of ceases to be the bottom. God becomes the bottom.
    • Christ is the deepest joy, feeding the rest of our joys.
    • they have interpreted conversion as having all the same deepest desires they had before they were converted, only the desires are met by another person, Jesus.
      • So to get converted could mean “I’ve always wanted to become wealthy, and I always tried to seek that in other things, but now I went to church and know that Jesus is the way… that I will get money.”
      • “What you’ve always wanted is to not go to hell. Then you heard there’s a way to not suffer in hell, so I’ll take that.”
      • So what is at the bottom pain-free skin
    • The new birth is not loving the same meal and having a different butler.
    • It is not having the same suit cases in your hotel room with a different bell-hop.
    • the new birth is something new at the bottom. the suitcases at the bottom, the meal at the bottom is different.
    • The new birth changes the bottom, the root, of what makes you happy.
    • I’m trying to help you put God at the bottom with his beauty, and value as your one desire feeding all other desires that explains what you are happy about in life.
    • I’m not trying to deny that God makes much of you.
  • Why in the Bible does God perform all of his acts of love to us in such a way that the design of those acts of love is manifested to make much of himself?
    • He does it always in such a way as to make himself the bottom.
      • Ephesians 1:5 – God predestined us for adoption unto the praise of the glory of God’s grace.
        • Love towards me, with a view of making much of God.
      • Luke 2:10 – The birth of Jesus – God shows his love for us, by sending a Savior.
        • Glory to God in the highest, I’ve been saved.
        • We will spend eternity making much of God because he saved us.
        • You don’t want to be at the bottom, you want His glory at the bottom.
      • 2 Corinthians 5 – God shows his love for us when this Savior, Jesus died for us.
        • Did Christ die for us or for God? – He did die for us, but he died with a design that we would make much of Him.
      • John 17:24
  • 7 ways God makes much of you if you are in Jesus
    • God makes much of by being pleased with us, and commending our lives
      • one of C.S. Lewis’ greatest sermons was “The Weight of Glory”
      • he describes the weight of glory that every Christian will bear. “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
    • God makes much of us by making us fellow heirs with His Son, who owns everything
      • “blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”
      • Romans 4:13
      • 1 Cor. 3:21
    • God makes much of us by having us sit at a table when Jesus returns and He serves us as if he were a slave, and we were the masters
      • Luke 12:37
    • God makes much of us by appointing us to carry out the judgment on the angels
    • God makes much of us by ascribing value and rejoicing over us as His treasured possession
      • Matthew 10:31
      • Zepheniah 3:17
      • You will not simply be pleasing to God, you will be thrilling to God
    • God makes much of us by granting us to sit with Christ on His throne
      • Revelation 3:21
      • 1 Cor. – The Church is His body, the fullness of Him fills all
      • He will share the rule of the universe with the likes of us.
  • John Piper does not deny, and has never denied that God makes much of us. The question is ranking.
  • Why does he do it this way? Why does God all over the Bible reveal his acts of love toward us in a way that always shows he designs that he gets more?
    • God’s love for you that makes much of His glory, is a greater love for you than if he made you your supreme treasure. Why?
      • Because self, no matter how glorious, can never satisfy a heart made for God.
      • You will never ever be beautiful enough, strong enough, to bear the weight of the bottom of your joy. Only one thing can bear that weight and it is God.
      • God loves you, I want you and God wants you to feel loved, you are precious to Him, and the gift that I bring you tonight from Him
      • “I love you and you are so precious to me that I would not let your preciousness become your god. I will be your God, and I love you.”

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