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  • Title: Urdu - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: /.. Urdu.. Subscribe to.. Audio Podcast.. Video Podcast.. Text Only Feed.. Quest for Joy.. Six Biblical Truths.. January 1, 1995.. Article.. Read.. PDF:.. Download.. Resource Categories..

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  • Title: Vietnamese - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Vietnamese.. Lời hứa cho Bạn!.. January 20, 1981.. Taste See Article.. Đi tìm niềm vui.. Phúc Âm trong 6 phút.. September 12, 2007.. Chúng Ta Phải Sanh Lại: Tại sao lại đề cập loạt bài nầy và chúng ta sẽ hướng đến điều gì?.. November 18, 2007.. Sermon.. Scripture:.. John 3:1 18.. Sự tái sanh xảy ra như thế nào? Phần 1.. November 25, 2007.. John 3:1 10.. Chuyện gì xảy ra khi được tái sanh? Phần 2.. December 2, 2007.. Tại sao chúng ta cần phải sanh lại? Phần 1..  ...   1:1 10.. Lý do vì sao Con Đức Chúa Trời hiện đến để hủy phá công việc của Ma quỷ.. Why Do We Need to Be Born Again? Part 3.. December 23, 2007.. 1 John 3:1 10.. Được tái sanh qua Lời hằng sống.. January 13, 2008.. 1 Peter 1:13 25.. Qua việc thanh tẩy của sự tái sanh.. February 3, 2008.. Titus 3:1 8.. Chúng ta như thế nào trong sự tái sanh.. February 10, 2008.. Sự Tái Sanh Sản Sinh Tình Yêu Thương.. March 16, 2008.. 1 John 4:7 21..

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  • Title: Resource Library - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Sermon Audio.. Sermon Video.. Featured:.. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals.. A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry.. Risk Is Right.. Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It.. I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.. John 14:1 11.. March 23, 2012.. Life Together at the End of the Age.. 2 John 1:1 13.. February 25, 2013.. Glory, Majesty, Dominion, and Authority Keep Us Safe for Everlasting Joy.. April 12, 2012.. Act the Miracle: Future Grace, the Word of the  ...   The Morning I Heard the Voice of God.. March 21, 2007.. Saying Beautifully As a Way of Seeing Beauty: The Life of George Herbert and His Poetic Effort.. The Pastor, His Words, and His God.. February 05, 2013.. “The Frank and Manly Mr.. Ryle” — The Value of a Masculine Ministry.. God, Manhood Ministry: Building Men for the Body of Christ.. January 31, 2012.. Ask Pastor John.. Three Levels of God-Glorifying Emotion.. February 19, 2013.. Safety Is a Myth.. January 23, 2013..

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  • Title: Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry.. Excerpt.. “We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry.. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake" (p.. 1).. Free PDF.. Download.. Paperback.. Buy on Amazon.. Kindle.. About the Book.. John Piper pleads with fellow pastors to abandon the secularization of the pastorate and pursue the prophetic call of the Bible for radical ministry.. We pastors are being killed by the professionalizing of the pastoral ministry.. The mentality of the professional is not the mentality of the prophet.. It is not the mentality of the slave of Christ.. Professionalism has nothing to do with the essence and the heart of the Christian ministry.. The more professional we long to be, the more spiritual death we will leave in our wake.. For there is no professional childlikeness, there is no professional tenderheartedness, there is no professional panting after God.. Brothers, we are not professionals.. We are outcasts.. We are aliens and exiles in the world.. Our citizenship is in Heaven, and we wait with eager expectation for the Lord (Phil.. 3:20).. You cannot professionalize the love for His appearing without killing it.. And it is being killed.. The world sets the agenda of the professional man; God sets the agenda of the spiritual man.. The strong wine of Jesus Christ explodes the wineskins of professionalism.. Named among the “10 Best Books Every Preacher Should Read” in the January/February issue of.. Preaching Magazine.. First Edition 2002; Updated and Expanded Edition 2013.. Broadman Holman Publishers (Nashville, Tennessee).. Table of Contents.. Preface to the New Edition*.. 1.. Brothers, We Are Not Professionals.. 2.. Brothers, God Loves His Glory.. 3.. Brothers, God Is Love.. 4.. Brothers, God.. Does.. Make Much of Us*.. 5.. Brothers, Live and Preach Justification by Faith.. 6.. Brothers, God Is the Gospel*.. 7.. Brothers, Beware of the Debtor’s Ethic.. 8.. Brothers, Tell Them Not to Serve God.. 9.. Brothers, Consider Christian  ...   the Root of Racism.. 33.. Brothers, Blow the Trumpet for the Unborn.. 34.. Brothers, Focus on the Essence of Worship, Not the Form.. 35.. Brothers, Love Your Wives.. 36.. Brothers, Pray for the Seminaries.. (*new chapters).. Translations.. Indonesian.. Publisher:.. Penerbit Pionir Jaya.. ISBN: 978-979354-6.. Portuguese.. Shedd Publicações.. Purchase:.. Vida Nova.. ISBN: 978-85-88315-93-8.. Spanish.. Editorial Clie.. Amazon.. ISBN: 978-84-8267-464-3.. Related Resources.. Brothers – Feel, Think, Preach God (Part 1).. (conference message).. Brothers – Feel, Think, Preach God (Part 2).. Brothers – Feel, Think, Preach God (Part 3).. Still Not Professionals.. (eBook).. About John Piper.. is founder and teacher of desiringGod.. org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary.. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.. He is the author of more than 50 books including.. Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist.. John and his wife, Noël, have five children and twelve grandchildren.. Endorsements.. “May the Holy Spirit use this book to help ignite the next generation with a passion to deny themselves and take up their crosses to serve Christ and his sheep from every tribe, tongue, and nation.. ”.. —.. Burk Parsons.. , pastor, Saint Andrew’s Chapel, Lake Mary, Florida.. “Piper has provided a generation of pastors with a clear and profound statement on our calling.. Matt Carter.. , pastor, The Austin Stone Community Church, Austin, Texas.. “I hope every pastor reads this book and listens to its sane, practical, biblical advice.. Kevin DeYoung.. , pastor, University Reformed Church, East Lansing, Michigan.. “It will challenge you.. It will instruct you.. And most of all, it will encourage you as you shepherd God’s flock which he has entrusted to your care.. Daniel L.. Akin.. , president, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.. “I am honored to be able to recommend this 2nd edition of.. I cannot commend it highly enough.. Read it.. Re-read it.. And then teach it to others.. J.. D.. Greear.. , pastor, Summit Church, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.. Edit Resource.. By Topic.. By Title..

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  • Title: Risk Is Right by John Piper Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Risk Is Right.. Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It.. “There are a thousand ways to magnify Christ in life and death.. None should be scorned.. All are important.. But none makes the worth of Christ shine more brightly than sacrificial love for other people in the name of Jesus.. If Christ is so valuable that the hope of his immediate and eternal fellowship after death frees us from the self-serving fear of dying and enables us to lay down our lives for the good of others, such love magnifies the glory of Christ like nothing else in the world”.. (p 15).. Paperback.. Buy on Amazon.. Kindle.. A choice lies before you: Either waste your life or live with risk.. Either sit on the sidelines or get in the game.. After all, life was no cakewalk for Jesus, and he didn’t promise it would be any easier for his followers.. We shouldn’t be surprised by resistance and persecution.. Yet most of us play it safe.. We pursue comfort.. We spend ourselves to get more stuff.. And we prefer to be entertained.. We are all tempted by the idea of security, the possibility of a cozy Christianity with  ...   faith-filled and seriously rewarding life of Jesus-dependent abandon!.. First Edition 2013.. Crossway (Wheaton, Illinois).. Risk Is Right is a significantly expanded version of previously published chapter in the book Don't Waste Your Life.. Foreword by David Platt.. The Ultimate Meaning of Life.. What Is Risk?.. Stories of Risk in the Old Testament.. The Great Risk Taker in the New Testament.. When the People of God Risk and When They Don’t.. Right and Wrong Reasons to Risk.. The Great Eight and the Foundation of Risk.. On the Far Side of Every Faith-Filled Risk: Triumphant Love.. Don't Waste Your Life.. (book).. (conference messages).. The Radical Cost of Following Jesus.. (sermon).. Risk and the Cause of God.. (sermon series).. “I pray that God will use this book to raise up an army of pastors, missionaries, church leaders, and church members who are fearless in the face of risk.. —David Platt.. , author of.. Radical.. and.. Radical Together.. “This book is absolute dynamite.. While probably Piper’s smallest work, I would argue it's content is the most critical.. I plead with all my heart that you buy it, read it and with God's help, live it out.. —Jonathan Carswell.. , Managing Director of 10ofThose..

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  • Title: I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: March 23, 2012.. John 14:1 11.. Topic:.. The Supremacy of Christ.. Series:.. The Gospel of John.. Sermon Text.. Watch:.. Full Length.. Listen:.. Video: Full Length.. Audio: Full Length.. You're listening to.. John 14:1-11,.. Let not your hearts be troubled.. Believe in God; believe also in me.. In my Father s house are many rooms.. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?.. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.. And you know the way to where I am going.. Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going.. How can we know the way?.. Jesus said to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life.. No one comes to the Father except through me.. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.. From now on you do know him and have seen him.. Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.. Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.. How can you say, Show us the Father ?.. Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.. The Gospel of John and this passage in particular is very practical.. Very relevant to one of the most common struggles we have, namely, the tendency to have an unholy heart-turmoil.. Remember.. two weeks ago.. we saw in verse 21 that Jesus was troubled in his spirit.. And I argued that there is, therefore, a holy turmoil of soul — a righteous unrest — caused by love, not unbelief.. But here in John 14:1 we meet an unholy heart-turmoil.. Let.. not.. your hearts be troubled.. This is a fretful failure to trust God fully for the problem we are facing.. At first it may look like Jesus is addressing an anxiety that isn t the one you re dealing with.. But hang on, because Jesus takes a surprising turn in this story.. Recalling This Gospel's Goal.. You recall how this Gospel works.. John tells us in John 20:31 what his goal for you is: These are written so that you may believe (trust, be assured, treasure the reality) that Jesus is the Christ (the promise-fulfilling Messiah), the Son of God (the presence of God himself — God the Son — among us), and that by believing you may have life in his name.. And when he says life he means the connection with God s life, through connection with Jesus.. And that life includes the power not to have unholy turmoil of soul.. So what we encounter in this Gospel is the living God, the creator of the world, present among us humans, in our world in his Son — the infinitely loved, eternal, image and radiance of his essence — and through faith — through believing and receiving him for all that he is — we are connected to this on and through him to the Father, and so share in eternal, supernatural life, even now.. How Unholy Turmoil Is Overcome.. And what Jesus does in today s text, John 14:1–11, is show us how he and the Father team up to overcome our unholy turmoil of soul and give strength and peace to carry on in the sacrifices of love that we saw last week.. And he does this by calling us to trust Jesus and the Father, and giving five reasons why we should.. And between reason three and four Jesus takes the surprising turn in a direction that you may find more helpful than you thought.. So first notice that verse 1 and verse 11 — the first and last verses in the text — make the main point.. Verse 1: Let not your hearts be troubled.. Believe in God.. ;.. believe also in me.. Verse 11:.. Believe me.. that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else.. believe.. on account of the works themselves.. So you can see what he is after: Belief.. Faith.. And this is the opposite of your hearts being troubled.. Verse 1:.. Don t be troubled: Trust me.. Trust God.. And twice in verse 11: Believe me.. Believe.. Trusting Jesus for who he really is, and trusting God, are included in each other.. John 12:44, Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.. We ll see why that is before we are done.. The point is:.. Don t be troubled.. Trust me, and in trusting me, trust God.. He had just told them at the last supper that he was going away (John 13:36).. He had told them that they could not go with him.. And he had told Peter he was going to deny Jesus before the night is over (John 13:38).. In other words,.. I m leaving you.. And you re not even able to make it through the night without me.. This is ample reason for all of them at the table to be troubled.. And Jesus says in the next verse (ignore the chapter break) Don t be troubled.. Even Peter! That s amazing.. Instead, trust me.. And he is saying it to you now.. Five Reasons to Not Be Troubled, But Trust Jesus.. The rest of this text (verses 2–10) is support for that exhortation.. Why should they — and why should we — not be troubled? Why should we trust you in a situation like this? Or in our unique situation? Jesus now gives five reasons.. Don t be troubled, but trust me, because my Father has many rooms in his house and each of you will have one.. Verse 2: In my Father s house are many rooms.. And if I go and prepare a place for you.. (John 14:2–3).. Pause there and let the first reason for faith sink in.. God s house is large.. It has many rooms.. He won t run out of space.. And, (see the end of verse 2) there is a place for you.. I go to prepare a place for you.. The argument for trust is based on three things: First, this is God s house, not his hotel.. His children live with him in his house.. Second, it is very spacious so that he never runs out of room.. And third, there is a room designed for each of the eleven, even Peter.. And that means even you, if you trust him.. So, Peter, and all us other fragile saints who follow Jesus so imperfectly, don t  ...   focuses on in the Second Coming is not a return to heaven but a reunion with Christ.. I will come again and will take you.. Therefore, my beloved disciples, let not your heart be troubled.. Trust.. Trust me that I am coming for you.. I will come.. I will take you.. And trust me because the dwelling I have prepared for you is my crucified, risen, and glorified self.. Don t be troubled, I will come and take you to myself.. Far Away Comforts?.. You might feel at this point: Those comforts are wonderful.. But they are so far away.. At death or at the Second Coming.. What is causing the unholy turmoil in my soul now is that I don t know what s best for my children.. Or: my marriage is fragile and unaffectionate.. Or: my health is failing.. Or: I can t stand my job.. Or: I am so lonely.. If Jesus doesn t want my heart troubled now, is there some encouragement for faith closer than the second coming?.. And here is where Jesus takes the surprising turn in the passage.. Look at what Philip says in verse 8: Philip said to him, Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.. Not: Show us the Father someday.. But now.. We want to see the Father now.. And if we do, that will be enough.. That will be sufficient.. It s the same word Paul uses in 2 Corinthians 12:9, My grace is.. sufficient.. for you.. Show us the Father now, and that will satisfy our troubled heart.. Is God near now? Show us.. So the fourth argument Jesus gives us for trusting him is:.. Don t be troubled, but trust me, because the very Father, who has a place for you in his eternal presence, is with you now.. The emphasis of verses 7–11 is crystal clear.. Six times Jesus says virtually the same thing: that he and the Father are so profoundly one, that his presence is the presence of the God the Father.. Verse 7a: If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.. Verse 7b: From now on you do know him and have seen him.. Verse 9a in response to Philip's request to see the Father: Jesus said to him, Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?.. Verse 9b: Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.. Verse 10a Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?.. Verse 11a: I am in the Father and the Father is in me.. Therefore, Philip, is it enough? You said (verse 8), Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.. I have showed you.. He is here.. As close to you as I am.. Is it enough? Is it enough for you?.. But you may respond to Jesus, But you went away.. You were there.. And when you were there God was there.. The Father was there in you.. But now you re gone.. Which brings us to one last argument for why our hearts should not be troubled.. And this time he has you in mind very specifically, not just the apostles.. Don t be troubled, but trust me, because I will be with you always, not just at my return.. How can that be? He has left.. He is in heaven with the Father interceding for us at God s right hand.. To see this argument we need to drop down five verses after our text — to verses 16–18.. I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,.. even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him.. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.. I will not leave you, I will come to you.. When the Helper, the Holy Spirit, came, Jesus came.. When it says at the end of verse 17, He dwells with you, and will be in you, he means,.. I am with you now physically.. And I will be in you spiritually.. —.. when the Spirit comes.. This is why Paul talks the way he does about the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit of Christ, and Christ himself.. Listen to these amazing words from Romans 8:9–10,.. You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the.. Spirit of God.. dwells in you.. Anyone who does not have the.. Spirit of Christ.. does not belong to him.. 10 But if.. Christ.. is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.. Near You, You.. That Spirit of God dwells in you.. That is, the Spirit of Christ.. That is, Christ! This is not the Second Coming — as glorious as that will be — this is now.. He has gone away physically, precisely so that he can be near to all of his own, not just the 11.. He has not left you as orphans.. He has come to you.. He is right now more interested in, and more caring about, your parenting and marriage and singleness and failing health and job and loneliness than you can imagine.. He did not come to us as an observer, but as a Helper.. Summary: Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled.. Therefore, you who trust the Lord Jesus:.. Let not your heart be troubled, because there s a place for you in my Father s house.. Let not your heart be troubled, because Jesus prepared the place for you.. He opened the way.. He is the way.. Let not your heart be troubled, because Jesus himself.. is.. your dwelling place and he will come and take you to himself.. Let not your heart be troubled, because Jesus and the Father are one, so that if have Jesus you have the Father.. Let not your heart be troubled, because Jesus has come in the Holy Spirit.. He is with you now, and will be with you always, not as an observer, but a Helper.. 2013 Desiring God Foundation.. Used by Permission.. Permissions:.. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in its entirety or in unaltered excerpts, as long as you do not charge a fee.. For Internet posting, please use only unaltered excerpts (not the content in its entirety) and provide a hyperlink to this page.. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God.. Please include the following statement on any distributed copy:.. By John Piper.. Website:.. desiringGod.. org.. I and the Father Are One.. (Sermons).. Jesus Christ: Alive and With Us to the End.. For Judgment I Came into This World.. Go, Your Son Will Live.. The Ascent of Joy.. PDF.. Related Topics:.. The Deity of Christ.. The Person of Christ.. See list of.. By Date.. By Series.. By Scripture.. By Author.. By Occasion.. By Language..

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  • Title: Life Together at the End of the Age - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: February 25, 2013.. 2 John 1:1 13.. Perseverance of the Saints.. The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all who know the truth,.. because of the truth that abides in us and will be with us forever:.. Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father s Son, in truth and love.. I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.. And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.. And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.. Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward.. Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God.. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting,.. for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.. Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink.. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete.. The children of your elect sister greet you.. As a part of the series of messages Jason Meyer is bringing in these days I want to talk to you about Life Together at the End of the Age.. Here s the way I plan to approach it.. First, we will state the main point of the message and point briefly to the place in 2 John where I get it.. Then I will try to explain why I chose to talk about this.. Then we will step back and describe what I mean by the end of the age.. And then circle back to the text of 2 John and show why a certain kind of life together matters so much at the end of the age.. So, first, look with me at 2 John, verses 5–7.. And now I ask you, dear lady [a possible reference to the church, or possibly a noblewoman with a church in her house]—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning — that we love one another.. For.. many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh.. So John in verses 5 and 6 is telling the Christians to love one another.. The last phrase of verse 5: That we love one another.. The last phrase of verse 6: that you walk in it — that is the commandment to love one another.. This is what I mean by life together — a life together in loving one another.. Why We Should Love One Another.. Then verse 7 gives them a reason why they should live together in love like this.. For — [because] — many deceivers have gone out into the world.. Love each other because many deceivers have gone out into the world.. I m building this message on the connection between verses 6 and 7 — on the word for or because.. Love each other,.. because.. many deceivers have gone out into the world.. So the main point of this message today is:.. Life together in Christian love is a great protection against deception.. Or, if it would help the point stick, you could even say: Mutual Christian affection is a protection against deception.. And what causes me to choose the title Life Together at the End of Age is that this deception, John says, is the deception of the antichrist.. Verse 7:.. And as soon as the word antichrist is used we are all thinking the end of the age.. And with good reason.. Because in 1 John 2:18 John says, Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come.. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.. Now Is the End.. So John has this elastic view of the last hour.. He says in 1 John 2:18, You heard that antichrist is coming.. There is such a being coming at the very end.. You ve been taught that — you have heard.. He will come in the last hour.. But now many antichrists have come.. So you know that this final hour has been stretched back into our own time from the future — back into the first century.. He explains a bit more in 1 John 4:3, Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.. This is [the spirit] of the antichrist [or literally, this one is of antichrist, this one belongs to antichrist], which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.. So there is one coming, and he has spirits or false prophets (4:1) that are in the world already.. And the word already shows that there is an antichrist coming, and this present experience of the false prophets here and the deceivers in 2 John 7 — this is a foretaste.. This is the already of the not yet of the antichrist.. So love each other.. Love each other.. That s the point of the message, and its biblical foundation.. Live together in love, because love is a great protection against the deceptions of the spirit of antichrist, which is already in the world.. A Changing Landscape.. Now why have I chosen to talk about this? Because, as I hand off my leadership role at Bethlehem to Jason Meyer, the world he and you will face is very different than when I came almost 33 years ago.. It would have been unthinkable to suggest that anyone would seriously propose defining marriage as between two men or two women; and it would have been even more unthinkable that in a mere thirty years America would have lost its soul so profoundly that most American s would approve of a definition of marriage that no society in the history of the world has ever embraced.. And it would have been unthinkable that instead of rejecting the unreality of so-called same-sex marriage, the culture would begin to criminalize the naming of same-sex intercourse as sin — which it is.. And along with this tragic loss of our moral compass, has come the increasing loss of freedoms and the increasing compulsion  ...   of that figure already at work throughout the last days.. And the end of that final anti-Christian force of lawlessness will be the second coming of Christ.. Verse 8: And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.. Avoiding Four Errors Until Then.. I do not know how many years will elapse between now and those final events.. But I know enough and you know enough that we can avoid four serious errors.. Error #1.. :.. The final events are so far off we need not concern ourselves with the warnings or preparations.. We don t know how far off they are, and the mystery of lawlessness and the many antichrists are meant to deceive us so that we won t know them when they come, or recognize the deceivers who come before them.. Error #2.. : The final events are so close we need not concern ourselves with this world or with tomorrow.. They have always been close from our human perspective, and they ought to be.. And our job never changes: Disciple the nations and teach them to.. observe all that he commanded.. (Matthew 28:19-20) — the whole range of Christian living.. Error #3.. : There will be so much lawlessness and unbelief at the end of the end it would be futile to pray or work toward revival in the churches or a great awakening in the city or the nation.. We don t know that.. Nothing in Paul or John s view of the end says that we, or this church, or this city, must be a part of the final rebellion and lawlessness.. For all I know Minneapolis could be white-hot with passion for Jesus when he comes.. The end will be bleak, but nothing says any given family or church or city has to be bleak.. Error #4.. : The lawlessness and unbelief and immorality of the last days is a sign of the church s failure.. That is not a biblical statement.. I am not saying that at any given time the church might not have more impact on culture if she were more holy and more full of the power of the Holy Spirit.. What I am saying is that there are always other factors involved in the corruption of culture so that it is never so simple as to say the failure of the church is the reason the culture is corrupt.. It wrong to say, as so many do, The condition of society is the report card of the church.. This is especially wrong to say at the end of the age.. The apostasy, the rebellion, the lawlessness, the explosion of antichrist at the end of the end is God s mysterious plan, not the church s failure.. Jesus will not say to his suffering church, as he rescues her from her oppressors, You know, there would have been no man of lawlessness and great rebellion if you have been a faithful church.. In fact, it is only a strong and pure church that will survive these days, not a failing church.. How Then Should We Live?.. Which brings us back now to our final step in this message in 2 John.. How shall we respond to the darkening of these days in America? Books should be written to answer this.. And I give just a few minutes to underline why love for each other is John s answer.. Recall the connection between 2 John 6 and 7.. Verse 6 ends that you should walk in it [the command to love each other].. And verse 7 gives the reason: For many deceivers have gone out into the world.. So how shall we live, as deceivers increase and the spirit of antichrist abounds in America? We should love each other.. Because life together in love is a great protection against deception.. Why is it?.. Christian love is not mushy; it is solid affection for those who look and share the truth of Christ.. And so, since love among Christians is based on the truth they share, it becomes a powerful protection against deception.. Look at verses 1–2: The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom.. I love in truth.. , and not only I, but also.. all who know the truth.. , 2.. because of the truth.. that abides in us.. Love in the Truth of Christ.. The truth of Christ, the truth of the gospel, the truth of the word of God is the air in which our love lives and flourishes ( whom I love.. in.. the truth, verse 1).. It s the granite rock foundation on which our love rests (verse 2: whom I love.. of the truth ).. For example, I know from words, cards, letters, emails, looks that I am loved by hundreds of you whom I barely know.. What is that? It s the knitting together of souls with deep, solid affection because week after week and month after month and year after year we have shared precious truth.. If you love Christ with all your heart, and you love his word with your very soul, and if I preach Christ and his word with heartfelt faithfulness over years with you, what else can happen but love? And so it will be with all those around you who love the truth.. Christian love is not mushy, it is solid affection for those who love and share the truth of Christ.. A people who love each other like this will not be easily deceived at the end of the age.. A Glad, Strong Community.. One last reason for why life together in love protects against deception.. Deception works because it makes shame look glorious, and ugly look pretty, and folly look wise, and suicidal ways look life-giving, and sadness look like gladness.. Deception works because we think we ll be happier if we turn away from Christ and embrace sin (see 2 Thessalonians 2:12).. But look at verse 4: I.. rejoiced greatly.. to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.. He rejoiced over what he experienced in the lives of other Christians.. In other words, living together in love, even if surrounded by antichrists, is a happy way to live.. Loving and being loved in the truth of the gospel is deeply satisfying life.. Such a happy community will not be easily deceived by the thin pleasures of sin.. So, Bethlehem, these are darkening days in America.. Therefore, don t let the world — don t let the spirit of antichrist, or the mystery of lawlessness — rob you of your love for each other or the happiness of your life together.. Amen.. You Stand Fast Through Faith, So Do Not Become Proud, But Fear.. All Things for Good, Part 3.. I Have Kept the Faith.. Nothing Can Separate Us from the Love of Christ.. The Anatomy of Backsliding..

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  • Title: Glory, Majesty, Dominion, and Authority Keep Us Safe for Everlasting Joy Together for the Gospel Conference Louisville, KY - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Together for the Gospel Conference.. Louisville, KY.. April 12, 2012.. Jude 1:24 25.. Conference:.. This message has two parts.. In the first part, I will try to draw you into my amazement that I am still a Christian and still love the ministry of the word.. And perhaps you will feel the same about yourself.. And in the second part, I will try to draw you into an analysis of how that happened.. Our text is the book of Jude, and our focus will be mainly on verses 24 and 25.. Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,.. to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.. ________.. Part One: Be Amazed You're a Christian.. First, let me try to draw you in to my amazement that I am still a Christian and still love the ministry of God s word and the spiritual calling I have as a husband and father.. This year I complete 60 years as a believer, 32 years pastoring Bethlehem Baptist Church, 44 years of marriage to Noël, and 40 years of being a father.. These are momentous days for me as we plan for my successor to assume responsibilities at Bethlehem.. If there is a T4G in 2014, and if I am invited to come, I will not be speaking as the preaching pastor of Bethlehem.. This is my last T4G as a pastor.. From My Journal in 1986.. When I think about finishing these laps in my race, I am simply amazed that I have lasted — lasted as Christian, lasted as a pastor, lasted as a husband and father.. To begin to grasp why I feel this way it may help to hear an excerpt from my journal from 1986.. What you are going to hear is the sort of emotional vulnerability that I have dealt all my life.. Seasons when it seemed like I simply could not last.. When I wrote this I was 40 years old and had been at the church for six years.. I had been married 18 years.. I had four sons, ages 14, 11, 7 and 3.. Am I under attack by Satan to abandon my post at Bethlehem? Or is this the stirring of God to cause me to consider another ministry? Or is this God's way of answering so many prayers recently that we must go a different way at BBC than building? I simply loathe the thought of leading the church through a building program.. For two years I have met for hundreds of hours on committees.. I have never written a poem about it.. It is deadening to my soul.. I am a thinker.. A writer.. A preacher.. A poet and songwriter.. At least these are the avenues of love and service where my heart flourishes.. Can I be the pastor of a church moving through a building program? Yes, by dint of massive will power and some clear indications from God that this is the path of greatest joy in him long term.. But now I feel very much without those indications.. The last two years (the long range planning committee was started in August 1984) have left me feeling very empty.. The church is looking for a vision for the future — and I do not have it.. The one vision that the staff zeroed in on during our retreat Monday and Tuesday of this week (namely, building a sanctuary) is so unattractive to me today that I do not see how I could provide the leadership and inspiration for it.. Does this mean that my time at BBC is over? Does it mean that there is a radical alternative unforeseen? Does it mean that I am simply in the pits today and unable to feel the beauty and power and joy and fruitfulness of an expanded facility and ministry?.. O Lord, have mercy on me.. I am so discouraged.. I am so blank.. I feel like there are opponents on every hand, even when I know that most of my people are for me.. I am so blind to the future of the church.. O Father, am I blind because it is not my future? Perhaps I shall not even live out the year, and you are sparing the church the added burden of a future I had made and could not complete?.. I do not doubt for a moment your goodness or power or omnipotence in my life or in the life of the church.. I confess that the problem is mine.. The weakness is in me.. The blindness is in my eyes.. The sin — O reveal to me my hidden faults! — is mine and mine the blame.. Have mercy, Father.. Have mercy on me.. I must preach on Sunday, and I can scarcely lift my head.. That was 26 years ago.. There have been worse days.. Days when the marriage was under attack.. Days when the soul was so numb I feared for my faith.. So, looking back, I am amazed that I have lasted.. A Faithfulness Not from Me.. If my faith in Jesus, and my eagerness to know him and his word, and my thrill at preaching, and my love or the church, and my fitness for ministry and for heaven, and my sexual continence, and my spiritual marriage commitment to Noël depended decisively on me, I would have ceased to be a Christian long ago.. I would have ceased to care about the word of God or thrill at exposition.. I would have given up on the church and ceased to be fit for ministry or heaven.. I would have given myself to sexual indulgence and ceased to be married to Noël.. I have no doubt about this.. If the decisive cause of my faithfulness to Christ in any of those expressions must come from me, it will not come, because it is not there.. Therefore, I am amazed that I am still a Christian and love the ministry.. And I feel some sense of the wonder that Jude seems to feel:.. Now to him who has been mighty to keep.. me.. from stumbling and to present.. blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God,.. my.. Savior, through Jesus Christ.. Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.. Because that s what it took to keep me a Christian for sixty years, and to keep me alive in the pastoral ministry at Bethlehem for 32 years, and to keep me obediently married for 44 years — glory and majesty and dominion and authority, working before the creation ever existed, and working every present moment of my life, and working into the future to keep me holy and happy for ever.. That s what it took to keep me from falling — and what it will take to get me home before the presence of his glory, blameless and full of unbridled joy.. And that s what it will take to keep you believing, and ministering, and holy to the end of your days, and then get you home.. How Doxologies Work.. This is the way doxologies work.. They refer first to something that God has done or will do, and then they ascribe attributes to God that account for that action, or are expressed in the action.. So, for example, you might say, Now to him who fashioned the intricacies of the human eye and every molecule and atom in it — to him belong infinite, inscrutable wisdom and skill.. Or you might say, Now to him who adopts dirty, abandoned, rebellious children into his family — to him belong compassion and boundless mercy.. In other words, the attributes that you ascribe to God are the ones that account for the action you are praising, or that come to expression in the action you are praising.. His wisdom and skill are expressed in making the eye.. His compassion and mercy are expressed in adopting of unworthy foundlings.. These attributes account for the actions you are celebrating.. So it is in Jude 1:24–25,.. Jude is celebrating three things: God keeps us from stumbling; he presents us before the glory  ...   Verse 24: Now unto him who is able (who is strong) to keep you.. Now look at the beginning: Verse 1: Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, To those who are.. called.. ,.. beloved.. in God the Father, and.. kept.. for Jesus Christ.. We are.. loved.. And we are.. The.. love.. of God moves him to.. call.. his elect to himself out of death and unbelief.. And those whom he calls he.. keeps.. This is exactly what Paul teaches: God keeps those whom he calls.. None is lost.. 1 Corinthians 1:8–9, He will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.. God is faithful, by whom you were.. (1 Corinthians 1:8–9).. The called are sustained guiltless in the last day.. The keeping is implicit in the call.. That is what Jude means in verse 24.. Then Paul says it again in Romans 8:30, Those whom he predestined he also.. , and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.. None of the called is lost.. The called are kept.. That is a rock-solid teaching of Paul and Jude.. Jude's Warning.. So Jude establishes first and last the decisive work of God in keeping his own.. And in between he warns against the false teachers (verse 4) who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality, and who presume that they are saved but (verse 5) are destroyed because they don t believe.. So these professing Christians are not called and they are not kept.. And the evidence that they are not called and not kept is that don t crave Christ, they crave physical sensations.. They don t prize the God of grace; they prostitute the grace of God.. Then after those many warnings, Jude tells us what we must do for ourselves (verses 20–21) and for those we love (verses 22–23), in order to go on being kept by God.. I m only going to deal with what we do for ourselves because this brings out the paradox of the Christian life most clearly.. Verses 20–21:.. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,.. keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.. So now Kevin DeYoung s message comes into focus again.. I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me (1 Corinthians 15:10).. Or as Paul says in Philippians 2:12–13, Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.. Keep Yourselves in the Love of God.. Here in Jude it goes like this.. Keep yourselves in the love of God (verse 21), for God is the one who keeps you in his love.. The order and logic are supremely important.. Verse 1: the love of God called you; the love of God will keep you.. Therefore, keep yourselves in the love of God.. Keep yourselves in God s prior commitment to keep you.. And what does that mean? Keep yourselves in the love of God (verse 21) is the main verb — the only imperative verb in verses 20–21, and the other three verbs are supporting participles — they define how Jude understands keeping ourselves in the love of God.. Verse 20: 1) building yourselves up in your most holy faith; 2) praying in the Holy Spirit; 3) (verse 21) waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.. The key words in those phrases are faith, prayer, and waiting.. So, keep yourselves in the love of God — keep yourselves in the omnipotent commitment of God s love to keep you, by.. trusting.. that omnipotent commitment, by.. praying.. for its daily application to the specifics of your life, and by.. waiting.. patiently for God to finish his merciful work.. You pray for God to keep you ( Preserve me O God! ).. You trust the promise that he will ( for in you I take refuge ).. And you wait for his mercy.. God Is Not Robbed.. And in none of this to you rob him of the glory and majesty and power and authority by which he decisively, faithfully, omnipotently keeps you.. Because even your praying is his doing — it is by the Spirit that you pray (verse 20).. And your faith is his doing, not your own, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).. Your praying for his keeping, and your trusting in his keeping,.. his keeping.. The glory and the majesty of his keeping consists very much in the power and the authority that he has to keep you through the means of your keeping yourself in the love of God.. You are not a robot.. And you are not autonomous.. You a new creation, a new race.. Your coming into being and your being sustained is unlike anything the world can ever experience.. It is a mystery.. A daily miracle.. We are those who by prayer and trust keep ourselves in the commitment of God s love to keep us praying and trusting.. God Fulfills the New Covenant.. Which leads to one last crucial observation.. God s act to keep you praying and trusting so that you remain in his love and are kept blameless and joyful for the glory of God — that act is the fulfillment of the New Covenant.. I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them.. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me (Jeremiah 32:40).. The New Covenant promise is that God will act so decisively for his new-born elect that they will not turn from him.. They will be kept.. They will pray and they will trust and they will keep themselves in the love of God.. He will see to it.. Our praying and trusting him to keep us is his keeping us.. This is God s New Covenant promise.. And this New Covenant fulfillment in our lives was secured, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.. This cup is the new covenant in my blood (1 Corinthians 11:25).. When Jesus died for us, all the promises of God became Yes in him (2 Corinthians 1:20).. I will see to it that my own will not turn from me into destruction (Jeremiah 32:40).. I will keep them from falling.. That is a blood-bought, New Covenant promise.. And that is the ultimate reason why Jude 25 says, To the only God, our Savior,.. through Jesus Christ our Lord.. , be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority.. The glory and majesty and power and authority that it takes to keep you and me alive in Christ — to keep us praying and trusting, to keep us in the love of God — was secured for us sinners, when Christ died for us.. Therefore the glory and majesty and dominion and authority that keeps us from falling and presents us blameless and joyful to God is through the blood of Jesus Christ — the blood of the covenant.. And therefore when we ascribe glory and majesty and dominion and authority to God we do it through Jesus Christ.. Don't Underestimate the Power of the Gospel.. So do not underestimate the power of the blood of Christ to keep you from falling.. It s power was at work before all time (Revelation 13:8), it is at work now, and it will be at work forever.. Your keeping began before creation, it is happening now, and it will never end.. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and.. forevermore.. (Psalm 121:3–8).. He sealed that promise with the blood of his Son.. By Conference..

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  • Title: Act the Miracle: Future Grace, the Word of the Cross, and the Purifying Power of God’s Promises Desiring God 2012 National Conference Act the Miracle: God's Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Desiring God 2012 National Conference.. Act the Miracle: God's Work and Ours in the Mystery of Sanctification.. September 30, 2012.. Sanctification Growth.. 2012 National Conference.. When God predestined his people to be.. conformed to the image of his Son.. (Romans 8:29), and when he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be.. holy.. (Ephesians 1:4), what is clear is that he intended that someday the world would be filled with the beauty of his holiness—or, to say it another way, the glory of God.. A world of people, created and recreated in his image, in the likeness of his Son.. A world filled with the glory of the Lord the way the waters cover the sea.. A world radiant with the beauty of holiness.. The Breathtaking Beauty of Holiness.. And I know for some of us, the biblical vision of holiness is too new and too strange to fully realize what is meant by the beauty of holiness—the beauty of sanctification.. So let me give you one person s effort to put into words the beauty of holiness.. And to my knowledge no one has done this better than Jonathan Edwards.. Take a deep breath and listen to this.. We drink in strange notions of holiness from our childhood, as if it were a melancholy, morose, sour, and unpleasant thing; but there is nothing in it but what is sweet and ravishingly lovely.. Tis the highest beauty and amiableness, vastly above all other beauties.. Tis a divine beauty, makes the soul heavenly and far purer than anything here on earth.. Tis of a sweet, pleasant, charming, lovely, amiable, delightful, serene, calm, and still nature.. Tis almost too high a beauty for any creatures to be adorned with; it makes the soul a little, sweet, and delightful image of the blessed Jehovah.. Oh, how may angels stand, with pleased, delighted, and charmed eyes, and look and look, with smiles of pleasure upon their lips, upon that soul that is holy; how may they hover over such a soul, to delight to behold such loveliness!.. What a sweet calmness, what a calm ecstasy, doth it bring to the soul! How doth it make the soul love itself; how doth it make the pure invisible world love it; yea, how doth God love it and delight in it; how do even the whole creation, the sun, the fields, and trees love a humble holiness; how doth all the world congratulate, embrace, and sing to a sanctified soul!.. It makes the soul like a delightful field or garden planted by God.. where the sun is Jesus Christ; the blessed beams and calm breeze, the Holy Spirit; the sweet and delightful flowers, and the pleasant shrill music of the little birds, are the Christian graces.. Or like the little white flower: pure, unspotted, and undefiled, low and humble, pleasing and harmless; receiving the beams, the pleasant beams of the serene sun, gently moved and a little shaken by a sweet breeze, rejoicing as it were in a calm rapture, diffusing around [a] most delightful fragrancy, standing most peacefully and lovingly in the midst of the other like flowers round about.. And what is this beauty of holiness? In God it is the infinite worth of his transcendent Trinitarian fullness along with the perfect harmony between that worth and all his feeling and thinking and acting.. None of God s acts contradicts the supreme value of his transcendent fullness.. There is perfect consistency: Without exception and without interruption, God s acts perfectly express the value of his fullness.. The beauty of God s holiness is this perfect harmony between all that God does and the infinite value of all God is.. The Beauty of Holiness.. in Us.. And so the beauty of holiness in us is similar.. Be holy, for I am holy (1 Peter 1:16), God says to us.. God is disciplining us, Hebrews says, that we may share his holiness (Hebrews 12:10) — this divine holiness.. Which means that the beauty of holiness in God s children is the harmony between our lives and the infinite value of all God is.. When our lives gladly express the value of God s all-satisfying fullness, we are holy.. And we are beautiful.. The only thing ugly — the only thing bad — in the world is the failure to reflect the infinite value of all that God is.. But wherever our emotions and thoughts and deeds show forth the all-satisfying fullness of God, there is the beauty of holiness.. And some day this is what will fill the whole earth.. Someday all that is unholy will be cast into outer darkness.. And the saints of God — the holy ones — will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father (Matthew 13:43).. They will obtain what Paul calls the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21).. Freedom from all unholiness and all misery.. And then the whole creation, Paul says, will be made to conform to the beauty of the holiness of the children of God.. And in that new universe of God s recreation, there will be perfect harmony — perfect concord — between the natural world, and the fullness of human life, and the infinite worth of the fullness of God.. Everything, every emotion, every thought, every act will perfectly testify to the infinite worth of God s transcendent fullness.. The redeemed universe will be filled with the beauty of holiness.. A Divine Miracle in Us.. And until that day, we are in the grand process called sanctification, or glorification, or becoming holy as God is holy.. And what I want to show in this message is that this process is a divine miracle in you, and you act the miracle.. God is wholly engaged in bringing your life and this world to its appointed destiny of holiness.. And this full engagement of God in the process of your sanctification is no limitation on.. your.. engagement, but is in fact it s the creation of your engagement.. He.. works.. the miracle of sanctification; you.. act.. the miracle.. He produces it; you perform it.. And if you don t use your will to act the miracle, there is no miracle.. God s sovereign enablement of holiness does not contradict the act of duty, it creates it.. When God opens the eyes of the blind, it is the blind who see.. When God gives strength to shriveled legs, it is the lame who do the walking.. When God touches the ears of the deaf, it is the deaf who do the hearing.. When God calls Lazarus from the grave, it is Lazarus who walks out on his own two feet.. When God changes Zacchaeus s heart, it is Zacchaeus who gives back fourfold what he had stolen.. When God fills you with compassion, it is you who exercise your will to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and visit the prison and take in the refugee.. When God gives you merciful humility, it is you who turn the other cheek.. When God inclines your heart to his word, it is you who get out of bed early in the morning to read your Bible.. When God gives you the courage and love, it is you who share Christ with your neighbor.. When God puts a generous spirit in you, you are the one who writes the extra check for the ministry of the church.. When God gives you a patient confidence in his timing, you are the one who drives the speed limit and stops at stop signs and buckles your seatbelt.. When God makes you content with his provision, it s you who tell the truth on your tax returns.. When God makes his glory more satisfying than lust, it s you who turns away from pornography.. When God gives you a sweet satisfaction in your future reward, you are the one who blesses your enemies and does not curse them.. God authors the miracle of sanctification, and you act the miracle.. God Authors All, We Act All.. Here s the way Jonathan Edwards describes God s sanctifying grace and power in our lives:.. We are not merely passive in it, nor yet does God do some and we do the rest, but God does all and we do all.. God produces all and we act all.. For that is what he produces, our own acts.. God is the only proper author and fountain; we only are the proper actors.. We are in different respects wholly passive and wholly active.. This is what I want to try to shed light on from the Bible: God producing our holiness, and we acting our holiness.. God as the author of the miracle of sanctification, we as the actors of the miracle of our sanctification.. How does the Bible teach this? And how do we experience it in real life?.. It  ...   it is by God willing and working in us that we will and work for holiness, how do we connect with the divine Spirit who wills our willing and works our working?.. Paul answers us in Galatians 3:5, Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? The answer is that the miracle-working Spirit is supplied to us, and active in us, by.. hearing with faith.. God wills and works in us to defeat sin and produce holiness through the hearing of faith.. We hear God speak, and we believe him, and in and through that believing the sin-killing, holiness-creating power of God produces the miracle that we act.. Blood-Bought Promises for Our Situation.. Let s get even more specific.. As I read the New Testament, the pervasive focus of that sanctifying faith.. is faith in future grace, that is, faith in all that God promises to be for us in Jesus because of what he did for us on the cross.. In other words, the way we tap into the power of God for the miracle of sin-killing sanctification is by hearing a blood-bought promise of God for our situation, and by believing it, that is, by receiving it and embracing it as a treasure more precious than the pleasures of the temptation in front of us.. In other words, as the Holy Spirit awakens and moves through that faith in God s promise, the power of canceled sin is broken.. It is dethroned.. It loses its compelling force because by the Spirit, faith embraces God s promise as more satisfying.. The power of canceled sin is broken by the power of a superior pleasure.. And faith is the soul s embrace of that that superior pleasure.. Made Plain in Hebrews.. No book of he Bible makes this more plain than the book of Hebrews.. What is faith according to the book of Hebrews? Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1).. The assurance of things hoped for.. Faith is future-oriented.. And the future it hopes for is the promise of Hebrews 11:6: Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.. So faith that pleases God believes God is and that he is preparing us for great, all-compensating, all-satisfying reward.. And that expectation of an all-satisfying reward is why faith taps into the power of the Spirit to produce the beauty of holiness.. Watch how it works in the case of Moses in Hebrews 11:24–26.. By faith.. Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.. How does the Holy Spirit kill sin and produce the beauty of holiness in Moses? He does it by faith.. Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh s daughter.. And what is that faith? It was the assurance of things hoped for.. Verse 26: He was looking to the reward.. So faith embraces the reward of all God promises to be for us, and in comparison with that, the wealth of Egypt looks puny and the pleasures of Egypt look fleeting, and Moses receives the power to see the mission of leading this people as thrilling, and he acts the miracle of the beauty of holiness.. Having a Better Possession.. Centuries later the same thing happened to the early Christians in Hebrews 10:34.. How did they kill the sin of fear and greed and selfishness? How did they act the miracle of the beauty of compassion and risk their lives to visit they friends in prison? Answer they did it by faith in future grace.. That is, they did by the assurance of things hoped for.. You had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.. How did they tap into such beautiful holiness-producing power? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you, and works miracles among you do so by works of the law or by hearing with faith? (Galatians 3:5).. They heard a promise like Psalm 16:11: In God s presence is fullness of joy, at his right hand are pleasures for evermore.. They embraced this promise of all that God would be for them in Jesus, and the certainty and greatness and extent of this promised reward broke the power of cancelled fear and cancelled greed and cancelled selfishness.. And they were given the power to act the miracle of the beauty of holiness, the beauty of mercy and compassion as they risked their possessions and their lives for the all-satisfying reward of God.. And on and on the Scriptures go, giving promise after promise of God s future grace, and breaking the power of sin after sin, and compelling believers into more and more beautiful holiness.. Harmony Between Our Lives and God s Value.. Which brings us back to where we started.. I argued at the beginning that the beauty of holiness in God s children is the harmony, or the concord, between our lives and the infinite value of all God is.. And that God predestined us to holiness because his aim is that earth be filled with the beauty of holiness — the expression of the infinite worth of his transcendent fullness.. And on the way to that predestined beauty we have seen that God cancelled the sins of his people by the death of his Son.. And then he commanded that we break the power of this cancelled sin — that we kill sin and pursue holiness.. And then he instructed us to act the miracle of holiness by the power of the Spirit, and because he is at work in us to will and to do this very miracle.. He authors it, we act it.. And then he showed us that we tap into this sanctifying, sin-killing, holiness-producing power by the hearing of faith.. By hearing all that God promises to be for us in Jesus, and embracing this as our supremely satisfying treasure.. The Beauty of Holiness Filling the Earth.. So now we can see how this grand process of sanctification is leading us to the predestined glory where the beauty of holiness fills the earth.. God has ordained that all the obedience of sanctification — all our holiness — be the obedience of faith, because faith is the soul s embrace of the infinite worth of the transcendent fullness of the triune God.. Which means that at the heart of all Christian obedience, there is an act of the human soul in harmony with the supreme worth of God.. And this is what makes all Christian obedience holy obedience, which is why one day the earth will be filled with beauty of holiness.. It will be filled with saints.. And there will be in the soul of every saint, and in all their outward action, a perfect harmony with the infinite worth of God s transcendent fullness.. Within, there will be the soul s full satisfaction with all that God is for us in Jesus.. And without, will be the fruit of that faith in perfect love.. And in that way, the earth will be filled with the beauty of holiness.. Jonathan Edwards,.. The Miscellanies (Entry Nos.. a-z, aa-zz, 1–500), The Works of Jonathan Edwards.. , Vol.. 13, ed.. Harry Stout (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 163–164.. Writings on the Trinity, Grace, and Faith, The Works of Jonathan Edwards.. 21, ed.. by Sang Hyun Lee (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), p.. 251.. Romans 5:3: suffering.. produces.. endurance.. Romans 7:8: sin.. produced.. in me covetousness.. 2 Corinthians 4:17: affliction is.. producing.. a weight of glory.. 2 Corinthians 7:10: worldly grief.. death.. James 1:3: the testing of your faith.. steadfastness.. See Acts 26:18: I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are.. sanctified by faith in me.. See also 2 Corinthians 5:7 and Galatians 2:20 where the new life of the believer is lived through faith or by faith.. A Call for Coronary Christians.. (Taste See Articles).. ANTHEM: Strategies for Fighting Lust.. A Surprise Endorsement for Doctrine.. Abhor What Is Evil; Hold Fast to What Is Good.. Battling the Unbelief of Anxiety.. Indwelling Sin.. The Power Effects of Sin.. Spiritual Warfare.. Devotional Life.. Prayer.. The Bible.. Justification.. Loving Others.. Killing Sin.. Identity in Christ.. Pursuit of Holiness..

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  • Title: Discerning Idolatry in Desire 12 Ways to Recognize the Rise of Covetousness - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Taste & See Articles.. 12 Ways to Recognize the Rise of Covetousness.. June 17, 2009.. Most of us realize that enjoying anything other than God, from the best gift to the basest pleasure, can become idolatry.. Paul says in Colossians 3:5,.. Covetousness is idolatry.. Covetousness means desiring something other than God in the wrong way.. But what does that mean in the wrong way ?.. The reason this matters is both vertical and horizontal.. Idolatry will destroy our relationship with God.. And it will destroy our relationships with people.. All human relational problems from marriage and family to friendship to neighbors to classmates to colleagues all of them are rooted in various forms of idolatry, that is, wanting things other than God in wrong ways.. So here is my effort to think biblically about what those wrong ways are.. What makes an enjoyment idolatrous? What turns a desire into covetousness, which is idolatry?.. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is forbidden by God.. For example, adultery and fornication and stealing and lying are forbidden by God.. Some people at some times feel that these are pleasurable, or else we would not do them.. No one sins out of duty.. But such pleasure is a sign of idolatry.. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is disproportionate to the worth of what is desired.. Great desire for non-great things is a sign that we are beginning to make those things idols.. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is not permeated with gratitude.. When our enjoyment of something tends to make us not think of God, it is moving toward idolatry.. But if the enjoyment gives rise to the feeling of gratefulness to God, we are being protected from idolatry.. The grateful feeling that we don t deserve this gift or this enjoyment, but have it freely from God s grace, is evidence that idolatry is being checked.. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not see in God s gift that God himself is more to be desired than the gift.. If the  ...   we can.. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is oblivious or callous to the needs and desires of others.. Holy enjoyment is aware of others needs and may temporarily leave a good pleasure to help another person have it.. One might leave private prayer to be the answer to someone else s.. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it does not desire that Christ be magnified as supremely desirable through the enjoyment.. Enjoying anything but Christ (like his good gifts) runs the inevitable risk of magnifying the gift over the Giver.. One evidence that idolatry is not happening is the earnest desire that this not happen.. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when it is not working a deeper capacity for holy delight.. We are sinners still.. It is idolatrous to be content with sin.. So we desire transformation.. Some enjoyments shrink our capacities of holy joy.. Others enlarge them.. Some go either way, depending on how we think about them.. When we don t care if an enjoyment is making us more holy, we are moving into idolatry.. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when its loss ruins our trust in the goodness of God.. There can be sorrow at loss without being idolatrous.. But when the sorrow threatens our confidence in God, it signals that the thing lost was becoming an idol.. Enjoyment is becoming idolatrous when its loss paralyzes us emotionally so that we can t relate lovingly to other people.. This is the horizontal effect of losing confidence in God.. Again: Great sorrow is no sure sign of idolatry.. Jesus had great sorrow.. But when desire is denied, and the effect is the emotional inability to do what God calls us to do, the warning signs of idolatry are flashing.. For myself and for you, I pray the admonition of 1 John 5:21, Little children, keep yourselves from idols.. Are We to Continue in Sin That Grace Might Increase?.. Asa s Folly.. Believing God on Election Day.. He Made Purification of Sins.. Satan Uses Sexual Desire.. Russian.. The Fall.. All Articles.. Newsletters..

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  • Title: The Morning I Heard the Voice of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: March 21, 2007.. Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Bible.. Let me tell you about a most wonderful experience I had early Monday morning, March 19, 2007, a little after six o clock.. God actually spoke to me.. There is no doubt that it was God.. I heard the words in my head just as clearly as when a memory of a conversation passes across your consciousness.. The words were in English, but they had about them an absolutely self-authenticating ring of truth.. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God still speaks today.. I couldn t sleep for some reason.. I was at Shalom House in northern Minnesota on a staff couples retreat.. It was about five thirty in the morning.. I lay there wondering if I should get up or wait till I got sleepy again.. In his mercy, God moved me out of bed.. It was mostly dark, but I managed to find my clothing, got dressed, grabbed my briefcase, and slipped out of the room without waking up Noël.. In the main room below, it was totally quiet.. No one else seemed to be up.. So I sat down on a couch in the corner to pray.. As I prayed and mused, suddenly it happened.. God said,.. Come and see what I have done.. There was not the slightest doubt in my mind that these were the very words of God.. In this very moment.. At this very place in the twenty-first century, 2007, God was speaking to me with absolute authority and self-evidencing reality.. I paused to let this sink in.. There was a sweetness about it.. Time seemed to matter little.. God was near.. He had me in his sights.. He had something to say to me.. When God draws near, hurry ceases.. Time slows down.. I wondered what he meant by come and see.. Would he take me somewhere, like he did Paul into heaven to see what can t be spoken? Did see mean that I would have a vision of some great deed of God that no one has seen? I am not sure how much time elapsed between God s initial word, Come and see what I have done, and his next words.. It doesn t matter.. I was being enveloped in the love of his personal communication.. The God of the universe was speaking to me.. Then he said, as clearly as any words have ever come into my mind,.. I am awesome in my deeds toward the children of man.. My heart leaped up, Yes, Lord! You are awesome in your deeds.. Yes, to all men whether they see it or not.. Yes! Now what will you show me?.. The words came again.. Just as clear as before, but increasingly specific:.. I turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot.. There they rejoiced in me who rules by my might forever.. Suddenly I realized God was taking me back several thousand years to the time when he dried up the Red Sea and the Jordan River.. I was being transported by his word back into history to those great deeds.. This is what he meant by come and see.. He was transporting me back by his words to those two glorious deeds before the children of men.. These were the awesome deeds he referred to.. God himself was narrating the mighty works of God.. He was doing it for me.. He was doing it with words that were resounding in my own mind.. There settled over me a wonderful reverence.. A palpable peace came down.. This was a holy moment and a holy corner of the world in northern Minnesota.. God Almighty had come down and was giving me the stillness and the openness and the willingness to hear his very voice.. As I marveled at his power to dry the sea and the river, he spoke again.. I keep watch over the nations let not the rebellious exalt themselves.. This was breathtaking.. It was very serious.. It was almost a rebuke.. At least a warning.. He may as  ...   none can compare with him! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told (Psalm 40:5).. And best of all, they are available to all.. If you would like to hear the very same words I heard on the couch in northern Minnesota, read Psalm 66:5-7.. That is where I heard them.. O how precious is the Bible.. It is the very word of God.. In it God speaks in the twenty-first century.. This is the very voice of God.. By this voice, he speaks with absolute truth and personal force.. By this voice, he reveals his all-surpassing beauty.. By this voice, he reveals the deepest secrets of our hearts.. No voice anywhere anytime can reach as deep or lift as high or carry as far as the voice of God that we hear in the Bible.. It is a great wonder that God still speaks today through the Bible with greater force and greater glory and greater assurance and greater sweetness and greater hope and greater guidance and greater transforming power and greater Christ-exalting truth than can be heard through any voice in any human soul on the planet from outside the Bible.. This is why I found the article in this month s.. Christianity Today.. My Conversation with God.. , so sad.. Written by an anonymous professor at a well-known Christian University, it tells of his experience of hearing God.. What God said was that he must give all his royalties from a new book toward the tuition of a needy student.. What makes me sad about the article is not that it isn t true or didn t happen.. What s sad is that it really does give the impression that extra-biblical communication with God is surpassingly wonderful and faith-deepening.. All the while, the supremely-glorious communication of the living God which personally and powerfully and transformingly explodes in the receptive heart through the Bible everyday is passed over in silence.. I am sure this professor of theology did not mean it this way, but what he actually said was, For years I ve taught that God still speaks,.. but I couldn t testify to it personally.. I can only do so now anonymously, for reasons I hope will be clear (emphasis added).. Surely he does not mean what he seems to imply that only when one hears an extra-biblical voice like, The money is not yours, can you testify.. personally.. that God still speaks.. Surely he does not mean to belittle the voice of God in the Bible which speaks this very day with power and truth and wisdom and glory and joy and hope and wonder and helpfulness ten thousand times more decisively than.. anything.. we can hear outside the Bible.. I grieve at what is being communicated here.. The great need of our time is for people to experience the living reality of God by hearing his word personally and transformingly in Scripture.. Something is incredibly wrong when the words we hear outside Scripture are more powerful and more affecting to us than the inspired word of God.. Let us cry with the psalmist, Incline my heart to your word (Psalm 119:36).. Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law (Psalm 119:18).. Grant that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened to know our hope and our inheritance and the love of Christ that passes knowledge and be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 1:18; 3:19).. O God, don t let us be so deaf to your word and so unaffected with its ineffable, evidential excellency that we celebrate lesser things as more thrilling, and even consider this misplacement of amazement worthy of printing in a national magazine.. Still hearing his voice in the Bible,.. Pastor John.. How to Receive the Word of Man as the Word of God.. Use the Inspired Scriptures to Rejoice in Hope.. Men Moved by the Holy Spirit Spoke from God.. The Holy Spirit: Author of Scripture.. Why We Believe the Bible, Part 1.. (Seminars).. Tough Texts.. Bible Translation Interpretation.. Evidence for the Faith..

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