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  • Title: 2007 Regional Conference - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: /.. By Conference.. 2007 Regional Conference.. Subscribe to.. Audio Podcast.. Video Podcast.. Text Only Feed.. The Pleasures of God, Part 1.. Desiring God 2007 Regional Conference.. The Pleasures of God.. October 12, 2007.. Read.. Audio:.. Listen.. Download.. Video:.. Watch.. The Pleasures of God, Part 2.. October 13, 2007.. The Pleasures of God, Part 3.. Resource Categories.. By Date.. By Topic.. By Author.. By Language..

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  • Title: The Pleasures of God, Part 2 Fall 2007 Regional Conference Sacramento, CA The Pleasures of God, Part 2 Desiring God 2007 Regional Conference The Pleasures of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Pleasures of God, Part 2.. Fall 2007 Regional Conference.. Sacramento, CA.. Topic:.. Conference:.. Sermon Audio.. Sermon Video.. Sermon Text.. Download.. Video: Full Length.. 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  ...   include the following statement on any distributed copy:.. By John Piper.. Website:.. desiringGod.. org.. Related Resources.. The Pleasures of God, Part 3.. (Conference Messages).. Chosen to Know and Believe and Witness That I Am He.. (Sermons).. The Pleasures of God Roundtable: Chapters 4–6.. (Seminars).. The Pleasures of God Roundtable: Chapters 7–9.. The Pleasures of God (Session 3).. American Sign Language.. American Sign Language.. PDF.. Related Topics:.. The Trinity.. The Glory of God.. See list of.. Edit Resource..

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  • Title: The Pleasures of God, Part 3 Fall 2007 Regional Conference Sacramento, CA The Pleasures of God, Part 3 Desiring God 2007 Regional Conference The Pleasures of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Pleasures of God Roundtable: Chapters 1–3..

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  • Title: At Work and Worship in the Theater of God Calvin the Man, and Why I Care Desiring God 2009 National Conference At Work and Worship in the Theater of God Desiring God 2009 National Conference With Calvin in the Theater of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: At Work and Worship in the Theater of God.. Calvin the Man, and Why I Care.. Desiring God 2009 National Conference.. With Calvin in the Theater of God.. September 25, 2009.. Julius Kim.. Christian Biography.. 2009 National Conference.. Watch:.. Full Length.. These are notes from the session, not a manuscript.. I'd like to begin by reading a passage of Scripture that I'd like to believe was Calvin's favorite.. As I've been reading Calvin getting ready for this talk, a common theme kept coming up over and over again: John 17:3.. "Now this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.. " Let's pray.. At 12 years of age, Kim Guan He became a pilgrim.. Born into an aristocratic family in the 1930's, Kim led a privileged life.. He and his family lived in the main house and his extended family lived in the compound.. When I asked him what he remembered about his childhood, he said the only thing he remembered were his mother's cries.. His father regularly beat her because of her inability to bear more children.. Kim would rush to his mother's room to keep her from being beat, but he would get beat himself.. When he was 12, he woke up to his house being on fire.. He ran outside and found his father holding the torch.. His father said, "Leave now or die.. " "What are you doing, Father? Have you gone mad?".. The extended family wanted to help but couldn't do anything.. Kim could only watch as his mother grabbed whatever she could and grab his hand.. Kim was banished from his home and became a homeless pilgrim.. John Calvin likewise was a pilgrim.. He was a Christian.. I think this is the best way to get a handle on Calvin's life.. Calvin was a faith-possessed pilgrim with a singular passion to know God and to make him known.. Through this brief introduction to Calvin, my prayer is that you as a Christian pilgrim would also be able to taste and see the same grace and glory that thoroughly transformed this 16th century Christian pilgrim.. We'll be making two stops throughout Calvin's life: 1) Knowing God (Calvin the Student and Scholar of the Word).. Calvin was convinced that the core of our worship for God and work of God must be based on the Word of God.. It was in the Word that he came to know the depths of his own sin and the power of Christ for his salvation and how to live as a pilgrim in this sin-cursed world.. The second stop: 2) Making God Known (Calvin the Shepherd and Servant of the Church and the World).. All the hours Calvin spent in his study of the Word were for one purpose: to make God known through his life and ministry.. First stop.. Calvin was born into a middle-class family.. He father wanted him to study law.. He went to different schools for four or five years.. The switch in schools provided for John the sharpening of his mind as well as the Renaissance pursuit of ancient sources.. John published his first work, a commentary on Seneca, at 23 years of age.. As the story continues, Calvin didn't remain a student of the classics.. Something happened that transformed his life: he came face to face with the Lord of glory.. He would never be the same again.. Calvin doesn't talk a lot about his conversion in his writings.. He was all about someone else's glory, not his own.. From what we do know, sometime in his 20's he came into contact with the writings of people like Luther and started to study the Scriptures.. He came face to face with the depth of his sin and the wrath of God.. Then he discovered the gospel and the grace of Jesus.. A student and scholar of the classics became a student and scholar of the Word of God.. Calvin's prime motive from that time on came to be "zeal to illustrate the glory of God.. ".. While we don't have many details regarding his conversion, we do know that it came rather suddenly.. Calvin became gripped with the power of the gospel as it was presented in the context of a church that needed reform.. His conversion began a period of fleeing religious persecution in France.. In his 20's Calvin became a pilgrim on the run.. Calvin's conversion marked the writing of his first major Christian book: The Institutes of the Christian Religion.. Though Calvin wanted to spend his life shut away in his study, he knew that it was one thing to know God and another thing to make him known.. The Institutes was an introduction to the Christian faith and was an outline to what Calvin himself saw as important: the sufficiency of Scripture and submission to those Scriptures.. Calvin wrote the Institutes when he was 26.. Why did he write it? When he finished his book he wrote a dedicatory letter to the King of France, King Francis I.. Calvin wanted to argue that the Bible and the Bible alone was the foundation for all he believed to be true.. He believed that every Christian must look to the Bible for all that they need for life and godliness.. All thoughts of the mind and all words of the mouth must be conformed to the Bible.. The truth of Scripture was something his Roman Catholic detractors agreed with.. How did Calvin differ from them? Two areas: sufficiency and perspicuity.. Calvin argued that the bible alone is sufficient for my life and for my future life.. Perspicuity: is the Bible clear in itself or do we need others to make it understandable to us? The Roman Catholic opponents that Calvin argued against believed the Bible was insufficient and unclear.. They argued that the clergy needed to interpret the Scriptures for their people.. The idea that the Scripture alone was the only source of truth was the principle element  ...   to stay and to help him pastor.. He stayed, and though his first stage of ministry was short, he ended up being in Geneva for a total of over two decades.. Calvin believed that the doctrine of providence was a very practical reality that every Christian needed to know and embrace.. God's care was powerful, purposeful, and personal.. Calvin knew that God was intimately involved in the affairs of his creation.. Calvin also knew that God had a purpose for the universe.. After creation and the fall comes the work of redemption.. And there will come a day when all your tears will be wiped away.. When you realize that God is purposeful, then no matter what happens in your life you can persevere.. Calvin encouraged Christian pilgrims who struggled to turn to their sovereign Father and cry out to him in faith.. When my two daughters were younger, often they would fight.. I would have to punish them.. In my home the way we would punish them was with a Korean shoe horn.. It was actually quite effective.. One of the first things I would do was tell my daughter to go get the shoe horn.. She would begin to cry and I would tell her that I needed to punish her as a loving Father.. She got the shoe horn and brought it to me.. It had her lay down and she looked up at me and cried, "Daddy, do you love me?" When I thought about it, that question made sense.. How often in life do we feel that we are being spanked by the Lord.. How often do we cry out, "Daddy, do you love me? Because I can't understand why this is happening to me if you love me.. " When we cry out to God like this, Calvin said that God would reassure you about his care for you.. He told them to remember that God loves them and that he has a purpose for their lives, even in their current circumstances.. Why do I care about Calvin? Because he helps me see that when we cry out to God in faith, not only will God's glory shine forth but we will experience his care for us.. In the most bitter afflictions, Calvin wrote that the Christian could turn to God in prayer.. God is powerful, personal, and purposeful.. So pray pilgrim.. Pray.. Calvin said there was another way to receive blessing from God: go to church.. It is in the church where the primary means of grace is given to you.. God meets with his people in worship primarily in two ways: through the preaching of the Word and the administration of the sacraments.. I think our church is losing the essence of biblical Christianity.. Calvin didn't want to create Calvinists.. He wanted to produce biblical Christians.. And as he sought to do this, he said that the means of grace are the most important things that the church is to do.. Calvin's health was never that great.. He identified with people who suffered.. At 31 Calvin married the love of his life.. Less than nine years later she died.. Calvin was physically tormented.. He was emotionally grieving.. He lost his wife and his only child.. He had friends who were dying because of the gospel that he preached.. I'd like to end by telling you the finishing story of Kim Guan He.. We left him at 13 years old having just become a Christian.. Kim studied diligently and eventually got accepted to the most prestigious university in Korea.. Since he only had a 50% scholarship he knew he couldn't pay his way through.. So he decided to visit his father, thinking he would be proud of his acceptance.. He asked if his father could help with his tuition.. No response.. His father just turned to his assistant and said, "Tell this young man to leave.. I have no son.. " Stunned, Kim left.. I asked, "Were you angry?" Kim turned and thought for a moment.. He said, "Of course I was angry.. Of course I was sad.. Of course I was bitter.. But what could I do?" He was hurt, but he said later that it was his faith in God that kept him going.. Over the course of his life he tried to visit his father.. One day his cousin called and said his father was dying and asked if he could come and pay his last respects.. Kim made the trip and said to his father, "Father, I want you to know why I came today.. It's because I'm a changed man.. I can honestly say that I love you and that I forgive you.. I can say that because, even though I didn't have a father, another Father came for me and gave me hope.. He loved me so much that he sacrificed his only son as a sacrifice for me.. If you believe in him, Father, you can have eternal life.. You never gave me anything in this life, Father.. But this is what I want to give you: the opportunity to believe in Jesus.. " It was only through the gospel that Kim could say that to his father.. Kim Guan He would eventually immigrate to the U.. S.. where he would try to give a better life to his son.. A life not filled with exile.. He wanted to introduce his son to another man named Jesus.. Kim Guan He is my father.. Let's pray.. 2013 Desiring God.. You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction.. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred.. Brothers, Read Christian Biography.. (Articles).. David Brainerd.. (Books).. A Quick Look at the Best of ‘Screwtape’.. Longing in Lewis’s Life and Writing.. Was Lewis a Revolutionary or Dinosaur?.. Spanish.. Philosophy of History.. Jonathan Edwards.. Old Testament Biblical Figures..

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  • Title: 2009 National Conference - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: At Work and Worship in the Theater of God.. A Conversation About Collision.. Douglas Wilson.. and.. The Sacred Script in the Theater of God.. September 26, 2009.. The Secular Script in the Theater of God.. Marvin Olasky.. The Broken Stage in the Theater of God.. Mark Talbot.. Panel Discussion.. The Final Act in the Theater of God.. Sam Storms.. Jesus Christ as Denouement in the Theater of God.. September 27, 2009..

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  • Title: The Sacred Script in the Theater of God Calvin, the Bible, and the Western World Desiring God 2009 National Conference The Sacred Script in the Theater of God Desiring God 2009 National Conference With Calvin in the Theater of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Sacred Script in the Theater of God.. Calvin, the Bible, and the Western World.. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to speak to you all.. We should begin with a sentiment that I know the other speakers and you share as well: our business here is to glorify God not Calvin.. To glorify Calvin instead of God would be the biggest way to insult Calvin.. When I first came to the understanding of the doctrines of grace in the late 80s, I spent the first several years denying I was a Calvinist and insisting that I was just being biblical.. The term "Calvinism" is a form of theological shorthand.. God does not share his glory with another, as Isaiah says.. Nonetheless, we can't ignore a towering figure like Calvin.. Scripture says to honor those who have instructed us in the Lord (1 Thessalonians 5).. We can't honor Scripture by refusing to do what it says.. You can't honor the Scriptures by putting a human teacher ahead of the Scriptures or by ignoring them altogether.. Scripture says we do need human teachers.. There is no "I am of Paul," "I am of Apollos" here.. It is gratitude to God for his servant John Calvin.. My topic is, given Calvin's life calling, an enormous task.. Because he was both industrious and brilliant, I have a mountain of material with which to work.. Calvin's view of preaching, grounded in his view of Scripture, is what has placed the Western world so deeply in debt to John Calvin.. Calvin had a very high view of the Scripture (Institutes 4, 8).. "The only authorized way of teaching in the church is by the prescription and standard of his word.. " In the church we have an assigned agenda.. We are told what to do and what to talk about.. Calvin described the apostles as being sure and genuine scribes of the Holy Spirit.. Scripture is the school of the Holy Spirit.. Notice how Calvin is not separating Scripture from the one who gave us Scripture.. Who can dare say that Calvin had low views of God's greatness and sovereignty? For Calvin it was never naked philosophical sovereignty.. It was revealed in the Scriptures and in the Incarnation.. Calvin understood and articulatd the greatness and sovereignty of God, but he did it in biblical categories.. He wasn't a raw determinist.. We don't start with an a priori God.. We start with a God who stoops to reveal himself.. A God who lisps, Calvin said, to reveal himself to us.. God reveals himself in the Scriptures, in the natural world around us, and in the person and work of Jesus Christ.. We don't set these forms of revelation in contrast to one another.. They work in harmony.. He reveals and we believe, and all of this is part of his gift, part of his revelation.. When we believe rightly we do not receive what God has done in pieces.. Calvin did not divide God's revelation of himself in creation from his revelation of himself in the Word.. We tend to want to categorize and compartmentalize things, probably because of our sin.. We live in a fragmented age.. Calvin refused to go this route.. The university is a Christian concept and depends upon Christian categories to function.. Where does the "uni-" come from? It comes from Colossians 1 where Christ is said to tie all things together in himself.. You can't have unity without the Son.. Calvin was an integrated thinker, yet we don't like to function in integration.. We have multiversities.. We like to shatter the world.. We've created "traverver-sities.. Calvin did not treat the words and the person of God separately.. He refused to fall into the error that Jesus rebuked in his day—John 5:39, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, when it is they that bear witness to me.. When you are converted, both in mind and heart, you start to see God in his word.. Calvin articulated these high views in such a way that he won great respect.. Barth said that Calvin forged the doctrine of inspiration.. Though we know this is not quite the case, we can say that he shaped the way that his heirs should be talking about inspiration.. Calvin's fundamentals aren't so much just the foundation of his theology but of all reality.. Calvin's view of preaching is extraordinarily high.. He says that it is the place in which we meet with God.. He did not hold that sermons were inspired by the Holy Spirit.. Nevertheless, he saw it is the way in which Christ  ...   altogether.. He is only arguing for it in the right place.. There are prerequisites for it.. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.. If we are converted to God, then reason makes sense.. "Scripture is self-authenticating.. Hence it is not right to subject it to proof and reasoning.. Calvin is not embracing a blind leap fideism.. He says that to refute the cavils from the Enlightenment is possible.. But he's not after proving Scripture to reason.. He's interested in dethroning reason from making itself the standard.. John Calvin wrote and taught and preached as though the Bible were the sun around which all the solar system runs its course.. Those who understand him do the same.. As a preacher he could preach as though he knew the center because he held in his hands that which was the center.. Our debates over the inerrancy of the Bible tend to be limited to how pure the sun is.. And there is no question that as far as that issue goes, Calvin would be with us in affirming the purity of the sun.. But what good is a sun that orbits the earth, and which continues to drift further and further away?.. Calvin's world was logo-centric.. Everything was seen and warmed by the light and rays of the sun of the word.. The Bible and only the Bible is the ultimate and infallible spiritual authority in the lives of believers.. We have fought a series of skirmishes over the infallibility of Scripture.. But who today treats the Bible like Calvin did? Who treats it like a lit stick of dynamite in the pulpit? Who preaches sermons that make them check their life insurance policy first?.. Our view of the Scripture needs to take practical account of both of these issues: the purity and place of the sun.. These are the reformation basics of Calvin that we need to recover in our day.. What have we learned? Calvin understood what the Scriptures were like and what they are to do.. Scripture is the script in the created theater of God's world.. We are not to be extemporaneous actors who try to learn our own lines.. God has given us our lines in his word, and we ought to heed them.. Others step up and claim that the theater belongs to them and that their play is what truly belongs.. They have completed their rebellion.. What are we to do? We are to recognize where we are and we are to speak our lines in faith.. We are not to murmur or mutter but speak out.. If we are to speak in faith, what is that faith? What does it do? What is it that overcomes the world? Why did Calvin make such a big dent in the world? He had God's word in his hand and he believed God.. 1 John says that it's our faith that overcomes.. Why does the world not believe? When was the last time we commanded it to? When was the last time we spoke with authority and not like the scribes?.. How will they believe without a preacher? And how will they preach unless they are sent? Sent to do what? We are not sent to preach a distant star or moon.. We are sent to preach a blazing sun that lights and heats every creature, that dominates all things, and around which everything else must necessarily revolve.. We are not sent to make a few mild suggestions.. We are not sent to have a relational dialogue.. We are sent to preach and to declare.. We are commissioned—ordained—to compel every manifestation of worldly power, glory, wisdom, and exaltation to yield to and obey God's word.. We come to declare that all men need to repent and believe.. The kingdom of God is here.. We declare what has been accomplished, not what we would like to be accomplished.. We are ordained to feed the sheep and drive away the wolves.. And if needs be, we have been ordained to preach the word as if we were thunder and lightening.. How can we not? The Scriptures themselves are thunder and lightning.. Is this arrogant? No, it's the exact opposite.. It is not self-flattery.. God can raise up messengers after us.. May God have mercy on us and give us only what he can give.. He did this for Calvin, and 500 years later we are still talking about it.. He was a real man made out of real clay.. But he had a real heart and held a real Bible in his hand.. He had what we should call a real ministry..

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  • Title: The Secular Script in the Theater of God Calvin on the Christian Meaning of Public Life Desiring God 2009 National Conference The Secular Script in the Theater of God Desiring God 2009 National Conference With Calvin in the Theater of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Secular Script in the Theater of God.. Calvin on the Christian Meaning of Public Life.. I'd like to concentrate on some things Calvin taught about the Christian meaning of public life.. Things which contradicted what just about everyone else was saying.. As some know I used to be the village idiot.. I grew up in a kind of dutyism that emphasized focusing on customs.. I became an atheist and participated in anti-war demonstrations at the time.. I cared about the poor in an abstract way.. I joined the Communist Party and learned Russian to communicate with my Russian big brothers.. I eventually ran across a Russian New Testament.. I began to read through it slowly and came to Matthew 4.. Jesus said when he was tempted, "It is written.. " This interested me as a writer.. Purely through God's grace I began to have faith in him.. I joined a church in 1976.. A pastor I knew tutored me in Romans.. He also bought me 2 volumes by Calvin called the "Institutes of the Christian Religion.. John Calvin brought back the Christian meaning of public life after the Medieval church had stripped it of its meaning.. Here are five things Calvin taught about Christians and government.. First, many Christians throughout Medieval times had learned that working in a monestary was the best kind of work in the world.. But Calvin wrote, "No one ought to doubt that civil authority is a calling, not only holy and lawful before God, but also the most sacred, and by far the most honorable of all callings in the whole life of mortal men.. " It's thinking like that that led many of the founders of the American Republic to enter politics.. Second, many Christians throughout Medieval times had learned that they shouldn't go to court at any time.. The weak seldom had any redress against the powerful.. Calvin wrote against this.. Third, many Christians throughout Medieval times had heard that rulers and magistrates could do whatever they wanted.. Calvin wrote, "Kings should not multiply horses for themselves nor set their minds upon avarice.. Princes should remember that their revenues are not so much their private chests as the treasuries of the public people which cannot be squandered without manifest injustice.. Fourth, many Christians thought they shouldn't vote for their leaders.. Calvin wrote otherwise after studying Deuteronomy.. He saw that "Moses awaited the consent of the people and that nothing was attempted that was not pleasing to them all.. " In commenting on Acts he wrote, "It is tyrannical if any one man appoint or make ministers at his pleasure.. This may seem like old stuff to us but it was radical five centuries ago.. It was such thinking in the 18th century that led the Founding Fathers to establish the American republic.. Fifth, many Christians had heard that it would be unbiblical to rebel against those said to live by divine right.. But John Calvin wrote that magistrates "must not wink at kings who violently fall upon and assault a lowly folk.. " He wrote that a refusal to oppose such abusive monarchs was "nefarious perfidy because they betray the trust of the people.. Sin is always with us, but work in politics and law can sometimes glorify God.. Monarchies can, and probably will be, ungodly.. With republics there is plenty of sin to go around as well, but they are probably going to be better..  ...   gets us our daily bread but isn't valuable for much else, 2) work gets us our daily bread but also allows us to support those involved in Christian work, 3) a job supports families and ministries but it also allows us to be exposed to unbelievers in the workplace, 4) work is stewardship that improves what we are given and creates the possibility for multi-generational wealth, and 5) building a business is more than a means to an end.. In work, individuals gain more dignity and grasp more freedom.. Fourth, Calvin understood that the building of businesses required the proper use of credit.. Christians throughout Medieval times had heard that they should not make loans because of the church's condemnation of usury.. But Calvin showed that loans issued to build a business were a different matter than issuing a loan to a poor man and charging interest.. Fifth, many people throughout Medieval times had heard that the best way to help the poor was to give them spare food, clothes, coins, etc.. In other words, help them materially.. Calvin essentially emphasized opening businesses and helping people gain a trade rather than simply giving them food.. Over time, some Christians stopped fighting poverty and embraced the lifestyle.. Some believed that money and possessions in themselves were evil.. They would take vows of poverty.. Calvin showed that voluntary poverty arose from within a wrong-headed understanding of salvation by works.. He wrote that poverty does not make people more godly.. It may make people more susceptible to Satan's snares.. To sum up the points in this section: All honest labor, not just church work, is good.. Self-flagellation is bad.. We don't need to make life harder than it is.. Hard work is good.. Interest-bearing loans that help people start businesses are good.. We should help the poor learn a trade.. We should not aid people who are physically able but unwilling to work.. I want to emphasize as I come to a conclusion the fundamental way in which Calvin undercut what Christians had heard from centuries of priests: he told all of his followers that they were in the theater of God.. He instructed all his followers to pay attention to the events around them.. The theater was not the monastery or the church building.. The theater was all around us.. Jesus told his disciples, "Look at the birds of the air.. Christians throughout Medieval times heard that they were holier if they abstained from material pleasures.. Calvin, however, opposed any doctrine that "deprived us of the lawful fruit of God's benevolence.. Calvin was a sinner.. He had weaknesses that grew out of his strengths.. For example, Calvin could not stomach grand parties and rich clothes amidst poverty.. He wrote, "Christ was not a tailor.. " He believed that.. He wanted people to spend more money on opening businesses rather than buying fancy clothes.. I think, however, that Calvin went too far on this point.. He needed to realize that the greatest need was changed hearts and consciences rather than regulations imposed from the outside.. Calvin advocated a different understanding of government, politics, business, and economics.. Today, surrounded by a media cacophony we often repeat what we hear.. But this country would be better if we paused to think about what is written.. What is written in the Bible.. What is written in our founding documents.. What is written by men who loved the Bible like Calvin..

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  • Title: The Broken Stage in the Theater of God Sin and Suffering in Calvin’s World Desiring God 2009 National Conference The Broken Stage in the Theater of God Desiring God 2009 National Conference With Calvin in the Theater of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Broken Stage in the Theater of God.. Sin and Suffering in Calvin’s World.. Suffering.. These are notes taken during the session, not a manuscript.. Let me begin by commenting on a couple of points in John Piper's invitation to this conference.. The conference title comes from a passage in the Institutes that refers to the natural world primarily as the theater of God.. But John has instructed us to apply that title to more than just the natural world, but also to the historical world—the world of humans.. Calvin too makes this extension.. There is nothing in the entire dispensation of human events that God does not temper in the best way.. He considered the human world "a dazzling theater" of God's glory.. What are thought to be chance occurrences in human life are God's doings.. How can God be tempering all things for good when there is such sin and suffering in the world?.. Picturing our world as having a broken stage is illuminating.. Seeing everything from Adam to the end is understood as happening on a broken stage.. We can't ever be sure that the floorboards or the speakers or the curtains will always work right.. John Piper wanted my talk to cover some of Calvin's imperfections.. He didn't want this conference to be a whitewash of this man.. So not only is the stage broken, but we are broken.. Not only is the stage treacherous, but we are treacherous.. All of us are untrustworthy, even if we are regenerate.. We are bad actors.. Not only because we mess up.. We mean to act badly.. Combined with all these things, our way through the world is doubly treacherous—we are broken actors on a broken stage.. Yet, Calvin assures us, God governs nature and "all [individual] natures," including human nature and our individual human natures.. Consequently nothing in the natural or human worlds falls out of God's providential hands.. Absolutely nothing in this world comes about—not even single drop of rain—without God's having willed it.. "Nothing is more absurd than that anything should happen without God's ordaining it.. Nothing will take place that the Lord has not previously foreseen," and that he has not, "adapted to make good and agreeable to his perfect plans.. This is easy enough to agree with until we bump up against things that are so evil, like the Holocaust or 9-11, etc.. Does it seem right to say that God willed Luther's spiritual depression? Ought we to believe that God planned from eternity past that God willed some of Luther's incredible and sometimes unacceptable crassness? What about Calvin's ill health or the death of his infant child and wife?.. Calvin seemed to be aware that his own character was an obstacle in his life.. His personality type was likely difficult to deal with.. He acquired the nickname as a schoolboy of Accusativas because he felt it his moral obligation to tell on others to the schoolteacher.. He knew that insofar as his character traits involved sin, they were inexcusable and should not exist.. 2 Tim 2:24.. Col 3:12-14.. Calvin's letters show that he took his faults very seriously.. Geneva's pastors all seemed to be very aware of their faults.. Calvin said that we must not lay the blame for our own wickedness upon God simply because his providence is the determiner of all things.. These two statements perfectly agree, though in diverse ways: Man is acted upon by God while at the same time he also acts.. We will, and indeed we must will.. And while we must will, we must also search out God's will, knowing that God requires of us only what he commands from us in Scripture.. He doesn't require of us to seek out and know what his secret will is.. He requires of us only what he commands in Scripture.. At the same time, what God wills is a deep abyss that involves more than we can comprehend.. They are hidden from us.. We cannot grasp how God wills to take place through human wills what he forbids in Scripture to be done.. To us that is an abyss that we cannot understand.. Yet here we must recall our mental incapacity.. Understanding why the blame for our evil acts does not run through to God is difficult for "carnal sense.. "Thieves and murderers are the instruments of divine providence and the Lord himself uses these to carry out the judgments that he has determined with himself.. Yet I deny that they can derive any excuse from their evil deeds on account of this.. To try to derive such an  ...   so he was enabled to endure them with more patience and hope.. It's not implausible to think that many of the afflictions in Calvin's life were aimed at making him more reliant on God and his goodness rather than upon his own giftings and abilities.. Sometimes, as Calvin put it, God's fatherly favor does not shine forth for his children in the course of providence.. And yet, if we are in a composed frame of mind, we can see that in the end God uses all of these things for good.. These are the moments when we experience the immeasurable felicity of the godly mind.. In order to make clear how God can be working for his childrens' good even in the midst of such evil, I have to come terribly close to violating some social taboos.. I will come close and even say some things that will be unthinkable.. But to talk about them is necessary in order to prove the argument.. Suppose that a loving father and husband who has been a conscientious follow of Christ for many years suddenly finds himself with a horrific desire to abuse his child sexually.. He struggles with it and begs God to take it away.. He is so ashamed to confess it to anyone else.. He struggles against it for years but can't seem to go on.. So, instead of doing this horrible sin, he kills himself in a violent and grizzly way.. The wife is left reeling in her faith.. How can she believe that God is good when something like this happens to her? What can be said to help a person in this situation?.. Calvin says that we don't know God as our father and what he will do by looking at this or that human father—better or worse.. Instead, Calvin says, we must start with what Scripture tells us about God as father and realize that human fathers are only called fathers by God's grace.. We know that human fathers and mothers try to bring about what is best for their children.. If we don't start with human parents but start with our Heavenly Father, what is he trying to do? In the most general sense, he is working to conform us to the image of his Son.. God our heavenly Father is working to conform us to the image of his Son.. That will bring glory to the Son by making our complete dependence upon the Son for all the goods of our salvation crystal clear.. God has ordained from eternity every moment of our lives so that in the end we each have a unique song of praise that we alone can lead.. The redeemed have an urge to lead the choir, and when we lead them there will be no sense of ourselves but only a sense of Christ and his glory.. This perfect heavenly Father always hears the pleas of his children, and he always responds in what we shall finally know to be a gloriously merciful way, even if, and perhaps especially when it seems the Lord is not hearing or responding to our pleas.. What could it be that the husband and wife in the earlier story could have gained in the midst of their great suffering? It could be the father's sense of his utter need for Christ.. Suicide and lust are horrible temptations.. But neither are beyond God's grace.. Three things to keep in mind:.. 1) A perfect Father will not be deterred by his childrens' quest for merely apparent goods.. He gives us what we need and not always what we want.. 2) A perfect Father is sovereign and this is the story that he has written.. 3) What God has ordained will strike us as unsurpassably good, better than whatever we could ask or imagine.. If indeed the father in our story was a Christian, he himself has found—since suicide is not the unforgivable sin—he has found that satisfaction, and all of his temptation and grief has passed away.. We all have feet of clay.. Luther and Calvin and me and you are all broken.. We are broken actors on a broken stage.. Since the fall there has been only one unbroken human being.. And he gave his life to save and to mend you and me.. A Letter to the Sniper.. (Taste See Articles).. A Service of Sorrow, Self-Humbling, and Steady Hope in Our Savior and King, Jesus Christ.. All Things for Good, Part 2.. Bless Those Who Persecute You.. Children, Heirs, and Fellow Sufferers.. The Sovereignty of God.. Natural Disasters.. Courage Boldness.. Risk.. Encouragement.. Disease Sickness..

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  • Title: Panel Discussion Desiring God 2009 National Conference Panel Discussion With Calvin in the Theater of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Panel Discussion.. Here's an overview of the questions and conversation.. Listen to the audio for the answers.. 1.. Mark, we'd like to give you a chance to talk about Servetus with us.. Sam Storms: We're assuming that everyone knows about Servetus.. Maybe someone could explain what happened.. 2.. How should the inerrancy of Scripture function in the public realm for the Christian who believes in biblical reality and doesn't want to go too far in legislating morality?.. 3.. Marvin, I know you talked deeply about issues of compassion.. How would you help us as Christians to orient to world poverty, maybe in ways you weren't able to in your address?.. 4.. Marvin, you said the upcoming WORLD magazine was going to be called "Trade not Aid.. " Where is the proper place for aid in ministering to the poor?.. John Piper: Marvin, can you clarify for us the difference between the prosperity gospel, which I'm assuming most of us would abominate, and saying from the Bible, "If you do this, you will prosper"?.. 5.. Julius, there's been a lot of talk today about  ...   Sam Storms: I struggle at times to connect with Calvin as a pastor.. I don't know any of the civic officials in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma like he knew the civic officials in his city.. Doug Wilson: Remember that Geneva (the city Calvin ministered in) was a comparatively small town.. 7.. Mark, you talked about Calvin saying that everything is for the best.. That's difficult enough to realize when someone sins against us.. How do we appropriate that with regard to our own sin? Does our own sin work out for our best? If so, how do we appropriate that in the moment of temptation?.. John Piper: Romans 6.. Should we sin that grace may abound? By no means.. 8.. John, to close, on August 19, just over a month ago, a tornado hit this building (Minneapolis Convention Center) and Central Lutheran Church next door during a session of the ELCA annual convention where they were discussing their position on homosexuality.. Both you and Marvin wrote about this.. Would you explain to us the background of this event and how that relates to God's sovereignty?..

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  • Title: The Final Act in the Theater of God Calvin on the Joy of the Last Resurrection Desiring God 2009 National Conference The Final Act in the Theater of God Desiring God 2009 National Conference With Calvin in the Theater of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Final Act in the Theater of God.. Calvin on the Joy of the Last Resurrection.. Heaven Hell.. Turn to 2 Corinthians 4.. When John invited me a considerable number of months ago to come and share on this topic, I began a journey of reading through Calvin's New Testament commentaries.. I read through any passage that had anything to do with heaven, the resurrection, and its effect on us.. There was hardly any text on which he spoke with such eloquence and power as 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.. On August 5, 1563 Calvin wrote a letter to the wife of one of the Reformation leaders in France.. She was experiencing physical illness and he wrote to her, "They [our physical afflictions] should serve us as medicine to purge us from worldly affections and remove what is superfluous in us.. And since they are to us the messengers of death, we ought to learn to have one foot raised to take our departure when it shall please God.. I read that a few weeks ago and I began to ask myself, "Do I live with one foot raised in expectation of seeing my Savior face to face?" Calvin did, I'm convinced.. And there is ever so much of living now in expectation of that day that we can learn from him.. Why is Calvin such a helpful guide for us in this area? I'll mention four reasons:.. First, Calvin is a pilgrim on this earth, as Julius Kim told us last night.. Calvin speaks often in his commentaries of being a sojourner on this earth.. Two of the more recent biographies about Calvin highlight this theme.. One title is, "John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor" (W.. Robert Godfrey).. Another is "John Calvin: A Pilgrim's Life" (Herman J.. Selderhuis).. In Colossians 3:1 Paul exhorts us to seek the things that are above.. Calvin said that in doing so we can "embrace our identity as sojourners in this world without being bound to it.. In Hebrews 11 the author refers to the patriarchs' desire for a better country, a heavenly one.. Calvin wrote on Hebrews 13:14, "We should consider that we have no fixed residence but in heaven.. Whenever, therefore, we are driven from place to place, whenever any change happens to us, let us think about what the author teaches here, let us think that our abode is not on earth…they that enjoy a common life here believe that they have rest on this world.. It is profitable for us, who are prone to sloth and have often become comfortable in this world, to be tossed to and fro.. Lest you be misled, when Calvin talks about turning our eyes away from earth and toward heaven, you should never think that he was somehow some sort of other-worldly dualist who despised God's creation.. Far from it.. Whenever Calvin talked about his passion to leave this earth and go to heaven, it was driven by 1) his hatred of sin, 2) his own bodily suffering, and 3) his desire to see God.. Calvin was not negligent toward matters of this life or basic responsibilities.. Think of his remarkable productivity.. This is no other-worldly dualism.. This is no "Left Behind" escapist mentality.. He knew the better country he desired was the new earth.. To remind you, Calvin was forced to flee Paris early because of his inflammatory comments about the Roman Catholic Church.. The next two years he spent as a piilgrim, a wandering student and evangelist.. He eventually decided to go to Strausburg to be a scholar, in rest.. The next couple of years were difficult.. Farrell intervened and Calvin was recalled to Geneva.. He labored under almost unimaginable conditions.. Second, Calvin is a helpful guide because of his physical afflictions.. Calvin's health was aggravated by the fact that he worked late into the night and rose every morning at 4 am.. Added to this was stress from pastoral duties, not enough exercise, too much work, and relentless insomnia.. One author said, "He hardly had a body.. " His afflictions read like a medical journal: painful stomach cramps, intestinal influenza, constant migraine headaches.. He had a persistent onslaught of fevers, he had problems with his trachea, he suffered from pleurisy, gout, severe arthritis, acute chronic inflammation of the kidneys, gallstones, malaria, kidney stones.. His voice was strained so severely through preaching that he would have coughing fits.. At 51 he discovered he had pulmonary tuberculosis, which probably eventually killed him.. Third, Calvin is a helpful guide to us because of his vision of Jesus Christ as that which made heaven heavenly.. If Calvin longed for the resurrection and glorification of the body primarily to escape his physical agonies, he would not be worthy of our attention.. What made heaven heavenly for Calvin was Christ.. That's what energized his longing.. Philippians 3:20—"Our citizenship is in  ...   in opposition to them that future blessedness that is laid up for you in heaven.. Nobody is a better guide in my opinion than John Calvin in helping us to look at what we can't see.. Let me also mention four ways in which looking at heaven, meditating upon the better country, affects us now:.. First, contemplating the splendor of heaven empowers the believer to patiently endure unjust suffering.. Calvin's life was one endless ordeal of suffering.. We talked this afternoon about the affair with Michael Servetus.. The toll that that took on Calvin's mind and spirit and body was almost unbearable.. Not so much because he regretted his complicity in the matter, but because of how he was vilified by his enemies in that occasion.. When you hear in just a moment what Calvin says in some of these texts, don't listen as though you were merely listening to a biblical commentator.. Calvin didn't write these things as a spectator.. These passages were his very life.. Calvin said about Jesus' promise to those who are persecuted in Matthew 5, "A remedy is at hand that we might not be overwhelmed by unjust reproaches, for as soon as we raise our minds to heaven, in that way we behold vast grounds of joy which dispel sadness.. Calvin said of Romans 8:25, "For when we console ourselves with the hope of a better condition, the feeling of our present misery is softened and mitigated as we contemplate the future blessedness.. Second, meditating on the beauty of heaven strengthens the soul to overcome worldliness.. Calvin wrote, "How do we avoid entangling ourselves in the snares of this world? We make it our business to meditate on the heavenly life.. Third, Calvin said that thinking often of heaven not only enables us to hold onto this life loosely, but it also helps us respond to the death of other people in an appropriate way and to prepare for our own.. As much as Calvin wrote about death he never despised life.. He did say much, though, about how Jesus talked of us hating our lives in John 12.. "We hate this life only to the extent that it inhibits or detracts from our coming to Jesus…If we are overwhelmed with the love of the world…it is impossible for us to go to heaven.. Why do we not aspire more passionately to the heavenly life? Calvin said that it's because of our "blockishness.. He wrote, "Lest we be seduced by peace on this earth, there are wars and other injuries.. Lest we be seduced by riches, God reduces us to poverty or at least confines us to a moderate station…".. "There is nothing sinfully morbid in longing for death because believers do not desire death for the sake of losing anything but out of regard for a better life…Observe here…that true faith begets not merely a contempt of death but a desire for it.. It is a token of unbelief when the dread of death predominates in us above the joy and consolation of hope.. "One of the clearest indications of a false and spurious faith is the lingering fear of death.. Fourth, setting our hearts on heaven enables us to respond well to the loss of money and property.. There were seasons in Calvin's life when he struggled to make ends meet.. But there is no indication in his writings that he was bitter over it.. One of his biographers wrote that Calvin enjoyed such things as good food and good art, but he never trusted in them.. As Calvin wrote, "we ought to learn to have one foot raised to take our departure when it shall please God.. " Let us diligently work at our jobs and honor our employers, but let us do it with one foot raised.. Let's get married, have children, devote ourselves to our spouses, but do it with one foot raised.. Educate your children, Mom and Dad, but do it with one foot raised.. Weep at the gravesite of a child that has died in infancy, but do it with one foot raised.. Read a book, write a book with one foot raised.. Cheer for your favorite football team with one foot raised.. Plant a garden, plant a church, open a savings account, invest in a stock, but do it with the anxious expectation, the joy-filled hope, the anticipation of the heavenly life and the felicity of the life that will be ours.. God s Ultimate Purpose: Vessels of Mercy Knowing the Riches of His Glory.. Behold, I Make All Things New.. Hope Anchored in Heaven.. Let Us Exult in the Hope of the Glory of God!.. Our Hope: The Glory of God!.. Glorification / Resurrection of the Body.. Death Dying.. The Gospel.. The Grace of God.. The Wrath of God.. End Times / Return of Christ..

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  • Title: Jesus Christ as Denouement in the Theater of God Calvin and the Supremacy of Christ in All Things Desiring God 2009 National Conference Jesus Christ as Denouement in the Theater of God Desiring God 2009 National Conference With Calvin in the Theater of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Jesus Christ as Denouement in the Theater of God.. Calvin and the Supremacy of Christ in All Things.. The Supremacy of Christ.. My title is “Jesus Christ as Dénouement in the Theater of God: Calvin and the Supremacy of Christ in All Things.. ” The question I am trying to answer is how Jesus Christ relates to the ultimate purpose of God in the theater of God.. You can see that this question contains several sub-questions.. What is the ultimate goal of God in the theater of God? How do the historical work and the eternal person of the Son of God relate to the ultimate goal of God in this theater? Is the created universe the theater of God? What difference does it make for us? And, of course, does John Calvin give us any help here?.. Dénouement.. I had the happy fortune of being a literature major in college, so the word.. dénouement.. is in my vocabulary.. It may not be in yours.. The dictionary says that the.. is “the final part of a play, movie, or narrative in which the strands of the plot are drawn together and matters are explained or resolved.. ” Or: “the climax of a chain of events, usually when something is decided or made clear.. ” So I am taking it to mean roughly the climactic point where the goal of the drama reaches its decisive, but not necessarily final, expression.. And, of course, you might think it doesn’t make sense to call a person the.. The.. is an event.. But what we are going to find out is that unlike everyone else in the universe, the work and the person of Jesus demand that we think of.. in unusual ways.. More on that later.. A Word About Calvin.. Just a word about Calvin.. Since I am sure he would want us to end with a focus not on Calvin but on his Christ, my aim in this message is to be expository—to show from biblical texts a portrait of Christ that is true and wonderful.. My aim is not to interpret Calvin, but to make much of Jesus Christ.. There are at least two things that have been burned on my mind with the help of John Calvin: the majesty of the word of God—the Bible—and the supreme worth of the glory of God manifest above all in Jesus Christ.. A Passion for the Glory of Christ.. His passion for the glory of Christ began at his conversion and grew.. When he was 30 years old, he hoped that in the end he would be able to say:.. The thing [O God] at which I chiefly aimed, and for which I most diligently labored, was, that the glory of thy goodness and justice.. might shine forth conspicuous, that the virtue and blessings of thy Christ.. might be fully displayed.. Here we have the language of God’s glory “shining forth” and the worth of Christ being “fully displayed.. ” This, he would say, is what the theater of God is for and therefore what his life was for: the shining forth of God’s glory and the full display of the greatness of Christ.. Glory to Christ—in Justification and Martyrdom.. When he wrestled with the Roman church over the doctrine of justification, the main issue was: “Wherever the knowledge of it [justification by faith alone] is taken away, the glory of Christ is extinguished.. ”.. The main issue was not our conscience or assurance.. The main issue was this: If the imputation of the righteousness of Christ is denied, the glory of Christ is cut in half in the work of salvation.. The glory of Christ was central not only in the matter of justification but also in the matter of martyrdom.. As he did so often, Calvin wrote a letter to a group of women who had been imprisoned in France for their Reformed convictions, and the note he struck pastorally was the same one he struck doctrinally: “For this we were brought into the world and enlightened by God's grace, that we should magnify him in our life and our death.. Magnifying, displaying, making conspicuous the glory of Christ—that is the issue from justification to martyrdom.. Glory, Glory, Glory to Christ.. D’Aubigne, the great historian of the nineteenth century summed up Calvin’s passion like this:.. All Calvin’s life proclaimed, glory, glory, glory to Christ, and to self confusion of face.. Glory to his.. Word.. , glory to his.. person.. grace.. life.. These are the four “glories” which both the Apostle and Reformer invite you to render to the Lord.. The Majesty of God’s Word.. Calvin would want me to join him in this at our last session, and he would want me to do it mainly with the word of God, which is the second thing burned on my mind by John Calvin—the majesty of God’s word.. I know this because he said,.. Let the pastors boldly dare all things by the word of God.. Let them constrain all the power, glory, and excellence of the world to give place to and to obey the divine majesty of this word.. Let them enjoin everyone by it, from the highest to the lowest.. Let them edify the body of Christ.. Let them devastate Satan’s reign.. Let them pasture the sheep, kill the wolves, instruct and exhort the rebellious.. Let them bind and loose thunder and lightning, if necessary, but let them do all according to the word of God.. So we turn to our questions.. What is the ultimate goal of God in the theater of God? How do the historical work and the eternal person of the Son of God relate to that ultimate goal of God in this theater? Is the created universe the theater of God? What difference does it make?.. Is the Universe the Theater of God?.. I would assume immediately that the answer is yes to the question.. Is the universe the theater of God?.. God created the universe as the theater for putting his glory on display.. However, it’s not that simple.. Consider Ephesians 1:4–6.. This is the first place I go every time I ask about the ultimate purpose of God in the universe.. So here I expect to get help about what the theater of God is.. God chose us in him [that is, in Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.. Three Reasons God’s Theater Is Bigger.. Here’s the catch.. Three times in those verses Paul speaks of the glorious displays of Christ’s greatness.. before.. outside.. this created universe.. So it seems inadequate to say that this created universe is the extent of the theater of God.. Election “Before the Foundation of the World”.. First.. , he says in verse 4, “God chose us.. in him.. before the foundation of the world.. ” So our election, before the creation of the world, took place “in Christ.. ” I take that to mean, “in relation to Christ,” as well as in Paul’s usual sense of union with Christ—not yet existing but known by God in advance.. God elects sinners.. And they are not contemplated in their election as his apart from their relationship to Christ.. Christ is the gracious, undeserved ground of our election before we were created.. So it appears that the theater for displaying the greatness of Christ’s role in our salvation includes not just this universe but the eternal scope of God’s existence.. The theater of God, for the display of the greatness of Christ and his work, is not just the creation of God but the mind of God.. Predestination “for Adoption as Sons”.. Second.. , Paul says at the end of verse 4 and into verse 5, “In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons.. through Jesus Christ.. ” Predestination happens outside this universe and before it.. The predestination of the elect is that they be adopted into the family of God.. As Paul said in Romans 8:29, “[We are] predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.. And he makes clear in Ephesians 1:5 that this eternal decision happens “through Jesus Christ.. ” “He predestined us for adoption as sons.. ” In other words, when God considers making—.. the very words here are inadequate because there was no “when” before creation.. —when God decides to make sinners his own children, he only considers it “through Jesus Christ.. ” So already in eternity, the greatness of Christ as mediator is seen.. To be sure, we see it from inside the universe—from inside the created theater of God.. But what we are being asked to see is outside of that created theater.. The total theater for the greatness of Christ is the eternal intra-trinitarian actions of the Godhead.. Blessing “in the Beloved”.. Third.. , Paul says in verse 6, that the aim of this election and predestination to adoption is “to the praise of the glory of his grace,.. with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.. ” If God’s election unto holiness and blamelessness, and his predestination to adoption, lead to the praise of the glory of his grace, it is likely that this grace includes the grace of election and predestination, and not only the grace of atonement through Christ.. And this grace, verse 6 says, is “in the Beloved”—that is, in the Son whom the Father loved from all eternity.. So all the grace that was being enacted for us before the theater of the universe was created was enacted “in the Beloved.. ” All God’s gracious plans that he conceived for us from  ...   through the work of Jesus, and Jesus himself is the radiance of that glory (Hebrews 1:3).. The grace of Christ purchases the ultimately satisfying gift.. And the glory of that grace.. is.. the gift.. Jesus is the.. way.. God gives, as well as.. what.. God gives.. He’s the price, and he’s the pearl.. Jesus: Both Purchase and Prize.. And when you pause to think about it, it must be this way, because for Jesus to be either of these two, he must also be the other.. To be either, he must be both.. If he is to be the glorious Redeemer who bears our sins and provides our righteousness and purchases our everlasting enjoyment of himself, then he must be the infinitely valuable, all-satisfying revelation of the glory of God.. No lesser Redeemer will do.. And turn it around: If he is to be the all-satisfying revelation of the glory of God’s grace, then he must be the one who goes to Calvary and performs the greatest work of grace there ever was.. So for him to be either the purchase of grace or the prize of grace, he must be both.. The implication of what I am saying is that “the glory of the grace of God” that we are destined to praise forever, according to Ephesians 1:6, is the glory of Christ.. That is, the glory of God the Father and the glory of God the Son are one glory.. And that glory is the glory of his historical work and the glory of his eternal person.. Confirmation and Illustration.. Consider these confirming and illustrating texts:.. 2 Corinthians 4:4.. When God opens our eyes, we see “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.. ” Or as verse 6 says, we “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.. ” In the gospel, we see the glory of Christ’s work, and we inherit the glory of Christ’s person.. And this glory is the glory of God.. Ephesians 3:21.. “To God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations.. ” The glory that we see in God and render to him is “in Christ Jesus.. Philippians 4:19.. “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.. ” The riches of the glory of God are in Christ.. John 12:41.. John takes our breath away after quoting Isaiah 6:10 from that famous passage where the prophet says, “Holy, holy, holy.. the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3).. He adds, “Isaiah said these things because he saw his [that is, Christ’s] glory and spoke of him.. ” How much more plain could John make it that the glory of Yahweh is the glory of Christ.. Which is why James simply calls him “our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory” (.. James 2:1.. ); and why Paul calls our blessed hope the “appearing of the glory of our great.. God.. and Savior Jesus Christ” (.. Titus 2:13.. ).. Jesus is the Lord of glory because he is the “great God and Savior.. So when Ephesians 1:6 says that the entire drama in the entire theater of God has this one great end—“the praise of the glory of the grace of God” through Christ and in the beloved—he means that the historical.. work.. of Christ reveals the glory of God’s grace as our all-sufficient purchase, and the eternal.. of Christ reveals the glory of God’s grace as our all-satisfying prize.. His work is our glorious redemption.. His person is our glorious reward.. His role in the theater of God is to display the apex of God’s glory in history for our perfect salvation, and in eternity for our perfect satisfaction.. Which leaves us with one last question.. What Difference Does It Make for Us?.. We conclude with five practical effects.. Admiration: The Highest of Pleasures.. The highest pleasure of the human being is the pleasure of admiration.. Salvation is ultimately the revelation of the glory of Christ in such a way that we can enjoy his greatness and are not destroyed.. “Father,” Jesus prayed, “I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.. To see and savor the glory of Christ—that is, to admire him—is why we were created.. Make it your greatest ambition and vocation to see the glory of Christ and say with the apostle Paul, “I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8).. New Creation as Nothing Compared to Christ.. When the theater of God is totally renewed and we dwell in a new heaven and a new earth, the dazzling creation, ten thousand times more glorious than the sun, will be as nothing compared to Christ himself.. Indeed John says, “The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb” (Revelation 21:23).. The glory of God through the lamp of the crucified Lamb will be the radiance of the beauty of all things.. We will not be pantheists, but we will see Christ in all things, and will see all things by the light of Christ.. His beauty will have no competitor.. Being Loved by God: Rescued from Self and Enabled to Make Much of Him.. Now we understand that to be loved by God is not to be made much of, but to be rescued from that craving and that bondage, and to be enabled, at great cost, to enjoy making much of God.. As Peter said, “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous,.. that he might bring us to God.. ” (1 Peter 3:18).. This is God’s love: God’s bringing us to God.. Opening our eyes to God.. Awakening our affections for God.. The apex of God’s love is to give us himself for our everlasting enjoyment—and to do it by displaying the glory of Christ as our all-sufficient Rescue and our all-satisfying Reward.. Our Glory Reflecting the Glory of Christ.. To be sure, we ourselves will be glorified.. We will shine like the sun in the kingdom of our Father (Matthew 13:43).. But when we do, our glory will be the reflected glory of Christ, not our own.. “To this he called you,” Paul wrote, “through our gospel, so that you may.. obtain.. the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 2:14).. We.. will.. be glorious.. But the glory will be his.. And what will be most glorious about us is that we will be able to see and savor.. his.. glory with the very passion that the Father himself has for his Son, as Jesus prays in John 17:26, “May the love with which you [Father] have loved me may be in them, and I in them.. Being Changed by Seeing His Glory in the Gospel.. When God gives us eyes to see the glory of God in the gospel of Christ, we are gradually changed into the likeness of Christ.. “We all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).. So already now, the age to come—the age of glory—has begun.. Redemption is accomplished in Christ.. By the Holy Spirit, our eyes are opened to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.. And beholding it, we are being changed—a down payment on our final glorification.. And we know that when he comes, our transformation will be complete, and we will be like him for we will see him as he is (1 John 3:2).. Stand in Awe of Christ.. Therefore, when you get up in the morning and before you go to bed at night, and all day long, with “one foot raised,” stand in awe of Christ the.. in the theater of God.. Amen.. John Dillenberger,.. John Calvin,.. Selections from His Writings.. , p.. 110.. 95.. Calvin writes, “[W]e simply interpret justification, as the acceptance with which God receives us into his favor as if we were righteous; and we say that this justification consists in the forgiveness of sins and the imputation of the righteousness of Christ.. ”.. , III, 11, 2.. He continues, “[I]t is proved, that it is entirely by the intervention of Christ's righteousness that we obtain justification before God.. This is equivalent to saying that man is not just in himself, but that the righteousness of Christ is communicated to him by imputation, while he is strictly deserving of punishment.. Thus vanishes the absurd dogma, that man is justified by faith, inasmuch as it brings him under the influence of the Spirit of God by whom he is rendered righteous.. You see that our righteousness is not in ourselves, but in Christ; that the only way in which we become possessed of it is by being made partakers with Christ, since with him we possess all riches.. To declare that we are deemed righteous, solely because the obedience of Christ is imputed to us as if it were our own, is just to place our righteousness in the obedience of Christ.. ” Ibid.. , III, 11, 23.. J.. H.. Merle D’Aubigne,.. Let Christ Be Magnified: Calvin’s Teaching for Today.. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007), p.. 9.. D’Aubigne, p.. John Calvin,.. Sermons on the Epistle to the Ephesians.. xii (emphasis added).. Institutes, I, 5, 8.. I and the Father Are One.. 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.. The Deity of Christ.. The Person of Christ..

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