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  • Title: Saying Beautifully As a Way of Seeing Beauty: The Life of George Herbert and His Poetic Effort The Pastor, His Words, and His God Desiring God 2013 Conference for Pastors - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: /.. Saying Beautifully As a Way of Seeing Beauty: The Life of George Herbert and His Poetic Effort.. The Pastor, His Words, and His God.. Desiring God 2013 Conference for Pastors.. February 5, 2013.. Topic:.. Christian Biography.. Subscribe to.. Text Only Feed.. Sermon Audio.. Sermon Video.. Sermon Text.. Watch:.. Full Length.. Listen:.. Download.. Video: Full Length.. Audio: Full Length.. You're listening to.. Pastors are people who do their work with words.. If we don t use words, we cannot do our ministry.. Surgeons can do their work without talking to their patients.. They may never even meet their patients, and yet do a totally successful work in removing the cancer.. Truck drivers can do their main work and carpenters can do their main work without using words.. But pastors cannot do their work without using words.. The reason for this is that God has designed the world and the church and the human being and the process of salvation so that his ultimate aims for humanity come about through human words.. For example,.. The.. new birth.. comes about through words (1 Peter 1:23–25): You have been born again.. through the living and abiding word of God.. This word is the good news that was preached to you (see also James 1:18).. Saving.. faith.. comes about through words (Romans 10:17): Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.. The grace of.. edification.. comes through words (Ephesians 4:29): [Let only speech come from your mouth] as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.. Christian.. love.. and purity of heart and a good conscience come through words (1 Timothy 1:5): The aim of our charge [our words] is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.. joy.. of Christ in the believer comes through words (John 15:11): These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.. Freedom.. from the power of sin comes through words (John 8:32): You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.. That is,.. sanctification.. comes through words (John 17:17): Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.. And final.. salvation.. comes though teaching with words (1 Timothy 4:16): Keep a close watch.. on the teaching.. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.. The Glory of Words.. All these glorious goals come about through words.. And if that s all we said about the cause of these great accomplishments (new birth, faith, love, holiness, salvation), brothers, we.. would.. be professionals.. If the great aims of our work were decisively the effect of our words, we would be professional wordsmiths.. But, in fact, as you know, our words are not decisive in producing any of these glorious effects.. God is decisive.. God.. made his people alive while they were dead in their sins (Ephesians 2:5) so that they could even hear the words of the gospel.. By the grace.. of God.. , our people come to have faith, this is not [their] own doing; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).. When our people achieve any measure of holiness it is.. working in [them] that which is pleasing in his sight (Hebrews 13:21).. If they experience any Christ-honoring love or joy or peace, it is the fruit of.. God s.. Spirit (Galatians 5:22).. If they fight successfully against any sin, it is by [.. ] Spirit that they put to death the deeds of the body (Romans 8:13).. And if they are saved in the end, it is decisively because.. saved [them].. not because of [their] works but because of his own purpose and grace (2 Timothy 1:9).. kept them from stumbling (Jude 1:24);.. completed the word that he began (Philippians 1:6).. In other words, all the aims of our ministry that define it as Christian are decisively the work of God.. They are decisively supernatural.. And no amount of professional training, and no amount of professional expertise in the use of words, and no poetic effort can bring about the aims of the ministry if God withholds his power.. This is why Paul said to the Corinthians, I.. did not come.. with lofty speech or wisdom.. but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (1 Corinthians 2:1, 4).. In other words, I renounce the professionalism of the Greek Stoics and Sophists who have perfected their eloquence to produce the desired effects on their audience.. I renounce that, and I rely on the Spirit and power of God to do what ultimately matters, and what I cannot do.. Do Words Matter for the Ministry?.. Which raises the question for every thoughtful pastor: Does, then, the way I use words make any difference in whether the great aims of ministry are achieved? If God is the decisive cause, and my words are a human instrument in his hands, will the aims of my ministry be advanced in any way by how I use my words?.. The answer to that from the New Testament is a resounding yes.. It does make a difference.. content.. of the words makes a difference.. clarity.. spirit.. It matters whether the.. is true, and it matters whether the content is Christ.. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God s word, but by the.. open statement of the truth.. we would commend ourselves to everyone s conscience in the sight of God (2 Corinthians 4:2).. And what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake (2 Corinthians 4:5).. We preach the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).. And the.. or our words matters.. Pray also for us.. that I may make it.. clear.. , which is how I ought to speak (Colossians 4:3–4).. If with your tongue you utter speech that is not intelligible, how will anyone know what is said? For you will be speaking into the air.. (1 Corinthians 14:9, see also verse 19).. of the words matters.. Paul pleads for prayer, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth.. boldly.. to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.. as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:18–20).. How Much Do Words Matter?.. Which leaves us asking this: If God is the decisive cause of the aims of our ministry, and yet God wills that the.. and.. of our words make a difference in their effectiveness, are there other aspects of language (besides content, clarity, and spirit) that might make a difference in their effectiveness? And it seems to me that one way to answer that question would be to ask: How does God inspire the writers of Scripture to use language? Surely God cares about the effectiveness of his word, and therefore would not inspire the Scriptures with no sense of fitness or effectiveness.. When we turn to the way the Bible uses words, the variety is overwhelming.. There are so many different uses of language that they can t be quantified.. And the life and ministry of George Herbert leads us to ask specifically about poetry.. And as you all know, the Bible abounds with poetry.. God evidently believes that it is fitting and effective to inspire biblical poetry.. The Prominence of Poetry in the Bible.. In Hosea 12:10, God himself says, I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes (KJV).. In other words, God himself claims to have put it in the minds of biblical writers to think of analogies and comparisons and metaphors and similes and symbols and parables — to search out words that point to reality in indirect ways, rather than always describing things directly with the least imaginative words.. How much of God s inspired word is poetry? Leland Ryken asks and answers:.. Given the combined presence of parallelism and a heavy reliance on figurative language, how much of the Bible ranks as poetry? One-third of the Bible is not too high an estimate.. Whole books of the Bible are poetic: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Solomon.. A majority of Old Testament prophecy is poetic in form.. Jesus is one of the most famous poets of the world.. Beyond these predominantly poetic parts of the Bible, figurative language appears throughout the Bible, and whenever it does, it requires the same type of analysis given to poetry.. 1.. So, pastors are people who do their work with words.. If we don t use words, we don t do our ministry.. Nevertheless, God, not our words, is the decisive cause of all the great aims of our ministry.. He is the great Actor, and our words are instruments in his hands.. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6).. Our ministry is supernatural.. Learning from George Herbert.. Yet,.. how.. we plant and.. we water — how we use words — makes a difference in the effectiveness of our ministry.. The New Testament makes that explicit regarding the.. of our words, and the whole Bible makes it clear by the amazing variety of the inspired writers use of words.. Poetry is a huge part of that variety, and George Herbert continues that lineage into the seventeenth century — not as an inspired writer of Scripture, but as a stunningly gifted poet in the service of the sovereign God of Scripture.. So my question is: What can we learn for our life and ministry from Herbert s poetic effort? I m using the phrase Herbert s poetic effort, rather than Herbert s poetry because I m going to argue that very few of you should give significant time to writing poetry, but all of you should make.. poetic efforts.. in the way you see and savor and show the glories of Christ.. Herbert s Life.. George Herbert was born April 3, 1593, in Montgomeryshire in Wales.. He died a month before his 40th birthday on March 1, 1633.. He was the seventh of ten children born to Richard and Magdalene Herbert, but his father died when he was three, leaving ten children, the oldest of which was 13.. This didn t put them in financial hardship because Richard s estate, which he left to Magdalene, was sizeable.. It was twelve years before Magdalene married again, this time to Sir John Danvers who was twenty years younger than she was and just two years older than her eldest son.. But he was a good father to the family during the 18 years of marriage until Magdalene s death in 1627.. George Herbert never knew him as a father because the year they married was the year he began his studies at Trinity College Cambridge.. Herbert had been an outstanding student at Westminster preparatory school, writing Latin essays when he was eleven years old, which would later be published.. And now at Cambridge, he distinguished himself in the study of classics.. He graduated second in a class of 193 in 1612 with a B.. A.. , and then in 1616, he took his M.. and became a major fellow of the University.. Elected Orator.. In 1619, he was elected Public Orator of Cambridge University.. This was a very prestigious post with huge public responsibility.. Herbert wrote to his stepfather what it meant to be elected the Orator:.. The finest place in the University, though not the gainfullest.. For the Orator writes all the University letters, makes all the orations, be it to King, Prince, or whatever comes to the University, to requite these pains, he takes place next to the Doctors, is at all their assemblies and meetings, and sits above the Proctors.. And such like Gaynesses.. Which will please a young man well.. 2.. This is going to be one of the most important insights into his life because the academic stimulation, and the prominence even in the king s court,.. 3.. and the pleasures of it all would prove the great battle ground over his call to the pastoral ministry.. He would say eleven years after his election to the Oratorship, on the day of his induction to the parish ministry at Bemerton,.. I can now behold the Court with an impartial eye, and see plainly that it is made up of fraud, titles and flattery, and many other such empty, imaginary and painted pleasures: pleasures that are so empty as not to satisfy when they are enjoyed.. 4.. But for now there seemed good reasons to give himself to public service for the sake of the university and its relation to the wider civic life of the country.. On top of the Oratorship, he added a one-year term in Parliament in 1623–24.. The Conflict Over His Call.. But the conflict of his soul over a call to the ministry intensified that year.. And a vow he had made to his mother during his first year at Cambridge took hold in his heart (we will see this later).. He submitted himself totally to God and to the ministry of a parish priest.. He was ordained as a deacon in the Church of England in 1626 and then became the ordained priest of the little, country church at Bemerton in 1630.. There were never more than a hundred people in his church.. The last three years of his life, he was a parson to a remote country parish, after being a nationally prominent orator of a prestigious university.. He married Jane Danvers the year before coming to Bemerton.. But they never had children, though they adopted three nieces who had lost their parents.. After less than three years in the ministry, Herbert died of tuberculosis, which he had suffered from most of his adult life.. He was thirty-nine years old.. His body lies under the chancel of the church, and there is only a simple plaque on the wall with the initials GH.. “Deliver This Little Book”.. That s the bare factual outline of Herbert s life.. And if that were all there was, nobody today would have ever heard of George Herbert.. Even the fact that he wrote a short book known as.. The Country Parson.. would not have secured his place in memory.. The reason anyone knows of George Herbert today, and the reason I am talking about him, is because of something that happened a few weeks before he died.. His close friend Nicholas Ferrar sent a fellow pastor, Edmund Duncon, to see how Herbert was doing.. On Duncon s second visit, Herbert knew that the end was near.. So he reached for his most cherished earthly possession and said to Duncon,.. Sir, I pray deliver this little book to my dear brother Ferrar, and tell him he shall find in it a picture of the many spiritual conflicts that have passed betwixt God and my soul, before I could subject mine to the will of Jesus my Master, in whose service I have now found perfect freedom; desire him to read it: and then, if he can think it may turn to the advantage of any dejected poor soul, let it be made public; if not, let him burn it; for I and it are less than the least of God s mercies.. 5.. That little book was a collection of 167 poems.. Herbert s friend, Nicholas Ferrar published it later that year, 1633, under the title.. The Temple.. It went through four editions in three years and was steadily reprinted for a hundred years, and is still in print today.. It established Herbert  ...   clearly for his own soul — his way of seeing and savoring the glories of God.. But when he came to die, he sent this life-collection of poems to his friend Nicholas Ferrar and said, [If you] can think it may turn to the advantage of any dejected poor soul, let it be made public.. 43.. This is, in fact, what he hoped for, because in the introductory poem to the entire collection, he wrote:.. Hearken unto a Verser, who may chance.. Rhyme thee to good, and make a bait of pleasure.. A verse may find him, who a sermon flies,.. And turn delight into a sacrifice.. 44.. He believed that the delights he had found in God by writing the poems could become a sacrifice of worship for the reader as well.. It may be, he thought, that I can Rhyme thee to good.. And this is, in fact, what has happened.. People have met God in Herbert s poems, and their lives have been changed.. Joseph Summers said of Herbert s poems, We can only recognize.. the immediate imperative of the greatest art: You must change your life.. 45.. Simone Weil, the French philosopher, was totally agnostic toward God and Christianity, but encountered Herbert s poem Love (3) and became a kind of Christian mystic,.. 46.. calling this poem the most beautiful poem in the world.. 47.. Herbert hoped that the record of his own encounters with God in his poetry would do good to others.. And they have.. God had brought him through so many afflictions and so many temptations that his poems bore the marks not only of his utmost art but also of utmost reality.. I know the ways of.. learning.. ; both the head.. And pipes that feed the press, and make it run.. honor.. , what maintains.. The quick returns of courtesy and wit.. pleasure.. , the sweet strains,.. The lullings and the relishes of it.. I know all these, and have them in my hand:.. Therefore not sealed, but with open eyes.. I fly to thee, and fully understand.. Both the main sale, and the commodities;.. And at what rate and price I have thy love.. 48.. He had found satisfaction and rest.. 49.. in Christ not because he didn t know any alternatives, but because he knew them well and found them to be guilded clay.. 50.. So George Herbert s impact as a poet was owing to his deep Reformed spirituality — his proven theology of grace, centered on the cross — and to the conflicts of his soul that brought him through the lures of the world to the love of Christ, and to his poetic effort to express all this with his utmost art and the cream of all his heart.. Saying Beautifully As a Way of Seeing Beauty.. And the lesson I want to close with for us is that it would be fruitful for our own soul and for our people if we also made a poetic effort to see and savor the glories of Christ.. I don t mean the effort to write poems.. Very few are called to do that.. I mean the effort to see and savor the glories of Christ by giving our utmost to finding striking, penetrating, awakening, ways of saying what we see.. In this, I m proposing one answer to the question: What does it mean to meditate on the glories of Christ? What means are there for lingering over the glory-laden word of God until that glory is seen and savored in your mind and heart in a way that is worthy of its infinite value? What steps can we take to help us fruitfully meditate on the glory of Christ until we see? And of course one essential biblical answer is pray: Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things (Psalm 119:18).. Or as Paul prays: Enlighten the eyes of our hearts (Ephesians 1:18).. Unless God does the decisive work of revealing (Matthew 16:17), none of our work of meditating will succeed in seeing and savoring.. Saying Freshly As a Way of Seeing Freshly.. But I m asking: When we have asked God to do all his part, and we are trusting him to do it, what is our part? And I am answering that the effort to say freshly is a way of seeing freshly.. The effort to say strikingly is a way of seeing strikingly.. The effort to say beautifully is a way of seeing beauty.. And you don t have to write poetry to make this poetic effort.. For George Herbert, the poetic effort was a form of meditation on the glories of Christ mediated through the Scriptures.. Conceiving and writing poems was a way of holding a glimpse of Christ in his mind and turning it around and around until it yielded an opening into some aspect of its essence or its wonder that he had never seen before.. Getting Glimpses of Glory — And Saying It.. This is meditation: getting glimpses of glory in the Bible or in the world and turning those glimpses around and around in your mind, looking and looking.. And for Herbert, this effort to.. see.. and savor the glory of Christ was the effort to.. say.. it as it had never been said before.. He found, as most poets have (and many preachers), that the effort to put the glimpse of glory into striking or moving words makes the glimpse grow.. The effort to say deeply what he saw made what he saw deeper.. The effort to put the wonder in unexpected rhyme, or a pleasing rhythm, or startling cadence or meter, or an uncommon metaphor, or surprising expression, or unusual juxtaposition, or words that blend agreeably with assonance or consonance — all this effort (I m calling it.. poetic effort.. quite apart from poem writing) caused his heart to see the wonder in new ways.. The poetic effort to say beautifully was a way of seeing beauty.. The effort to find worthy words for Christ opens to us more fully the worth of Christ — and the.. experience.. of the worth of Christ.. As Herbert says, It is that which, while I use, I am with thee.. 51.. Searching the Unsearchable, Saying the Unsayable.. My point is that this can be true for all pastors — all those charged to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ (Ephesians 3:8).. This is our job.. To search out the unsearchable and speak it in a manner worthy of the Lord.. Brothers, the effort to say what is in the text is a way of seeing what is in the text.. And the effort to say it fresh is a way of seeing it fresh.. The effort to say more about the glory than you have ever said is a way of seeing more than you have ever seen.. And what poetry emphasizes — poetry from George Herbert and poetry throughout the Bible — is that the effort to say it surprisingly and provocatively and beautifully uncovers truth and beauty that you may not find any other way.. I say it carefully.. I do not claim that the poetic effort is a necessary way of seeing a facet of Christ s beauty.. God may give it another way — by some act of sacrificing obedience, by giving you cancer, or by the death of your wife, or the loss of a child.. But the poetic effort is found to be one way — a pervasively biblical way, a historically proven way of seeing and savoring more of Christ.. Therefore, I commend it to you, and one of its greatest patrons, the poet-pastor, George Herbert.. Leland Ryken, I Have Used Similitudes : The Poetry of the Bible,.. Bibliotheca Sacra.. 147 (July 1990), 259–260.. Margaret Bottrall,.. George Herbert.. (London: John Murray, 1954), 13.. The Court was not merely a spring-board for men ambitious of public office; it was the focus of all talent, literary and artistic, and its patronage extended to preachers and divines as well as to the playwrights and poets.. Ibid.. , 16.. Pat Magee,.. George Herbert: Rector of Bemerton.. (Moxham Printers, 1977), 15.. Quoted from Izaak Walton s.. The Life of Mr.. George Herbert,.. in John Tobin, editor,.. George Herbert: The Complete English Poems.. (New York: Penguin Books, 1991), 310–311.. Helen Wilcox, editor,.. The English Poems of George Herbert.. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), xxi.. Jane Falloon,.. Heart in Pilgrimage: A Study of George Herbert.. (Bloomington, Indiana: Author-House, 2007), ix.. (London: John Murray, 1954), 145.. Eliot,.. (Plymouth, UK: Northcote House, 1962), 36.. , 1.. Peter Porter,.. Introduction.. to, T.. (Plymouth, UK: Northcote House, 1962), 2.. Serious studies of George Herbert invariably come upon his Calvinism.. How is it that a theology associated with determinism, austerity, the impoverishment of the liturgy, and Puritanism, with all of its negative connotations, can produce such winsome religious verse? In partial answer, Veith points out, Calvinism, attacked now for its strictness, was originally attacked for its permissiveness.. Far from being ascetic, Calvinism was in conscious reaction to monastic asceticism, which rejected marriage and sexuality and insisted upon fasts and mortification of the flesh.. Far from being a theology of fear, Calvinism offered to believers who had been taught to continually be terrified of hell the assurance that salvation is free and that it can never be lost.. Gene Edward Veith,.. Reformation Spirituality: The Religion of George Herbert.. (Cranbury, New Jersey: Associated University Presses, 1985), 23, 28.. , 117.. , 34–35.. , 131–132.. Giddinesse, in Helen Wilcox,.. , 446.. Nature, in Helen Wilcox,.. , 155.. , 499.. John Tobin, Editor,.. , 311.. Providence, in Helen Wilcox,.. , 417.. Gerard Manley Hopkins found his love of Herbert his strongest tie to the English Church.. , 95.. 22.. George Herbert, the loyal Anglican, was more Puritan in literary temper, than Andrew Marvell, the civil servant of the Puritan government.. , 31.. Helen Wilcox,.. , xxi.. See also Veith s estimate: George Herbert, measured by any standard — his craftsmanship, his mastery of language, his poetic and religious subtlety, the profoundness of his spiritual experience — may well be the greatest of all religious poets.. , 20.. When we take Herbert s collected poems and read industriously through the volume we cannot help being astonished both at the considerable number of pieces which are as fine as those in any anthology, and at what we may consider the spiritual stamina of the work.. Throughout there is brainwork, and a very high level of intensity; his poetry is definitely an.. oeuvre.. , to be studied entire, and our gradual appreciation of the poetry gives us a new impression of the man.. , x–xi.. Auden said that George Herbert was one of the few artists of genius that he would have liked to have known personally.. Cited from the.. by Peter Porter to, T.. (Plymouth, UK: Northcote House, 1962), 3.. His most frequent and dearest theme is the redemptive love of Christ.. , 88.. , 4.. Joseph H.. Summers,.. George Herbert: His Religion and Art.. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1954), 93.. Forerunners, in Helen Wilcox,.. , 612.. Joan Bennett,.. Five Metaphysical Poets.. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1964), 51.. , 134.. The Temper (1) in Ibid.. , 193.. The Elixer, in Ibid.. , 638–639.. Providence, in Ibid.. , 416.. Dulnesse, in Ibid.. , 410.. The Flower, in Ibid.. , 568.. Josheph s Coat, in Ibid.. , 546.. Quiddity, in Ibid.. , 253–254.. There is little consensus about the meaning of the last phrase: And Most take all.. F.. E.. Hutchinson gives J.. Middleton Murray s explanation: The titles to esteem, which verse is not, are first detailed; then it is declared that verse nevertheless is the quiddity of them all, in the very real sense that Herbert in his poetry comes nearest to God and most partakes of the creative power that sustains all these excellences.. Hutchinson, F.. ,.. The Works Of George Herbert.. (The Clarendon Press, 1941, Kindle Locations, 13457–13460).. , 107.. Praise (2) in Ibid.. , 507.. 43.. Izaak Walton s.. , 50.. , 190.. , 200.. Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back,.. Guilty of dust and sin.. But quick-ey d Love, observing me grow slack.. From my first entrance in,.. Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning.. If I lack d anything.. A guest, I answer'd, worthy to be here ;.. Love said, You shall be he.. I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear,.. I cannot look on thee.. Love took my hand and smiling did reply,.. Who made the eyes but I?.. Truth, Lord, but I have marr d them; let my shame.. Go where it doth deserve.. And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?.. My dear, then I will serve.. You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat.. So I did sit and eat.. The Pearle, in Helen Wilcox,.. , 322–323.. See also the last verse of The Crosse, Ibid.. , 562.. Ah my deare Father, ease my smart!.. These contrarieties crush me: these crosse actions.. Doe winde a rope about, and cut my heart:.. And yet since these thy contradictions.. Are properly a crosse felt by the Sonne,.. With but foure words, my words,.. Thy will be done.. See one of his most famous poems, The Pulley in Ibid.. , 549.. Yet let him keep the rest,.. But keep them with repining restlesnesse:.. Let him be rich and wearie, that at least,.. If goodnesse leade him not, yet wearinesse.. May tosse him to my breast.. Frailty, in Ibid.. , 260.. Lord, in my silence how do I despise.. What upon Trust.. Is styled.. honour.. ,.. riches.. , or.. fair eyes.. ;.. But is fair dust!.. I surname them.. guilded clay.. ,.. Deare earth, fine grasse.. or.. hay.. In all, I think my foot doth ever tread.. Upon their head.. See note 40 on the poem Quidditie.. His poem Prayer is one of the clearest examples of the fruit of lingering over a glory — in this case the glory of prayer — and seeing the wonders of it by the poetic effort to say it in ways it had never been said before.. Prayer the Church s banquet, Angels age,.. God’s breath in man returning to his birth,.. The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,.. The Christian plummet sounding heav n and earth;.. Engine against th Almighty, sinner’s tower,.. Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,.. The six days world-transposing in an hour,.. A kind of tune, which all things hear and fear;.. Softness, and peace, and joy, and love, and bliss,.. Exalted Manna, gladness of the best,.. Heaven in ordinary, man well dressed,.. The milky way, the bird of Paradise,.. Church-bells beyond the stars heard, the soul’s blood,.. The land of spices, something understood.. 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.. Related Resources.. Brothers, Read Christian Biography.. (Articles).. David Brainerd.. (Books).. A Quick Look at the Best of ‘Screwtape’.. (Conference Messages).. Longing in Lewis’s Life and Writing.. Was Lewis a Revolutionary or Dinosaur?.. PDF.. Related Topics:.. Philosophy of History.. Jonathan Edwards.. Old Testament Biblical Figures.. See list of.. Edit Resource.. Resource Categories.. By Date.. By Title.. By Language..

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  • Title: “The Frank and Manly Mr. Ryle” — The Value of a Masculine Ministry God, Manhood & Ministry: Building Men for the Body of Christ Desiring God 2012 Conference for Pastors - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: “The Frank and Manly Mr.. Ryle” — The Value of a Masculine Ministry.. God, Manhood & Ministry: Building Men for the Body of Christ.. Desiring God 2012 Conference for Pastors.. January 31, 2012.. Conference:.. 2012 Conference for Pastors.. In dealing with the life and ministry of John Charles Ryle, my hope is to clarify and commend what I mean by the value of a masculine ministry.. But before we turn to the frank and manly Mr.. Ryle,.. let me make some clarifying comments from the Bible.. God has revealed himself to us in the Bible.. pervasively.. as King, not Queen, and as Father, not Mother.. The second person of the Trinity is revealed as the eternal Son.. The Father and the Son created man and woman in his image, and gave them together the name of the man,.. Adam.. (Genesis 5:2).. God appoints all the priests in Israel to be men.. The Son of God comes into the world as a man, not a woman.. He chooses twelve men to be his apostles.. The apostles tell the churches that all the overseers—the pastor/elders who teach and have authority (1 Timothy 2:12)—should be men; and that in the home, the head who bears special responsibility to lead, protect, and provide should be the husband (Ephesians 5:22–33).. Masculine Christianity.. From all of this, I conclude that God has given Christianity a masculine feel.. And, being a God of love, he has done it for the maximum flourishing of men.. and women.. He did not create women to languish, or be frustrated, or in any way to suffer or fall short of full and lasting joy, in a masculine Christianity.. She is a fellow heir of the grace of life (1 Peter 3:7).. From which I infer that the fullest flourishing of women and men takes place in churches and families where Christianity has this God-ordained, masculine feel.. For the sake of the glory of women, and for the sake of the security and joy of children, God has made Christianity to have a masculine feel.. He has ordained for the church a masculine ministry.. And, of course, this is liable to serious misunderstanding and serious abuse, because there are views of masculinity that would make such a vision repulsive.. So here is more precisely what I mean.. And words are always inadequate when describing beauty.. Beauty always thrives best when she is perceived by God-given instincts rather than by rational definitions.. But we must try.. What I mean by masculine Christianity, or masculine ministry, or Christianity with a masculine feel, is this:.. Theology and church and mission are marked by overarching godly male leadership in the spirit of Christ, with an ethos of tender-hearted strength, and contrite courage, and risk-taking decisiveness, and readiness to sacrifice for the sake of leading, protecting, and providing for the community—all of which is possible only through the death and resurrection of Jesus.. It s the feel of a great, majestic God, who by his redeeming work in Jesus Christ, inclines.. men.. to take humble, Christ-exalting initiative, and inclines.. women.. to come alongside the men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work.. There are, I believe, dozens of sweet and precious benefits that come to a church and family that has this kind of masculine feel.. Some of those will emerge as we consider The Frank and Manly Mr.. Ryle : The Value of a Masculine Ministry.. His Early Life.. John Charles Ryle was born May 10, 1816, near Macclesfield, in the County of Cheshire, England.. His parents were nominal members of the Church of England with no interest in vital religion and would never embrace Ryle s evangelical faith—which he came to when he was 21 years old.. At the age of eight, he was sent to a boarding school for three years, of which he said when he was 58, I m quite certain that I learned more moral evil in a private school than I ever did in my whole life afterwards.. But he did leave tolerably well grounded in Latin and Greek.. A month later, at the age of eleven, he was sent to Eton, the elite preparatory school founded in 1440, and stayed there almost seven years, until he eighteen.. Religion, he says, was at a very low ebb, and most boys knew far more about the heathen gods and goddesses that about Jesus Christ.. On Sundays there was nothing whatever to do us any good; the preaching of the fellows was beneath contempt.. Cricket Captain.. The last year was his happiest, and the reason seems to be that he was the captain of the Cricket XI—a game he loved and followed all his life.. In his last year at Eton, he became very prominent and powerful among the students: I was ambitious and fond of influence, attained power and was conscious of it.. He looked back on his Cricket experience with amazing appreciation for what it taught him about leadership:.. I believe it gave me a power of commanding, managing, organizing, and directing, seeing through men s capacities, and using every man in the post to which he is best suited, bearing and forbearing, keeping men around me in good temper, which I have found of infinite use.. He was on his way to becoming a strong and forceful personality.. Three Years at Oxford.. In October of 1834, he entered Christ Church, Oxford, where he stayed exactly three years till he was 21.. He won the Craven University Scholarship, and at the end of his third year, he took a brilliant first-class in classics.. But in spite of his achievements he said,.. I thoroughly disliked Oxford on many accounts.. Nothing disgusted me so much as the miserable idolatry of money and also of aristocratic connection.. I never saw such an amount of toadying flattery, and fawning upon wealth and title as I saw among the undergraduates at Oxford.. And later, from his perspective as a believer, he wrote, At Oxford things were very little better [than Eton].. No one cared for our souls anymore than if we had been a pack of heathen.. So up till the age of 21, Ryle says, I had no true religion at all.. I certainly never said my prayers, or read a word of my Bible, from the time I was 7 to the time I was 21.. My father s house was respectable and well conducted but there really was not a bit of [true] religion in it.. His Conversion.. But things were about to change dramatically.. About the end of 1837 [just after Oxford], my character underwent a thorough and entire change, in consequence of a complete alteration in my view of religion.. This change was.. extremely great and has had.. a sweeping influence over the whole of my life ever since.. At least three things conspired to bring this about.. First, a severe illness confined him to bed.. That was the time, he wrote, when I distinctly remember I began to read my Bible and began to pray.. Then a new gospel ministry opened in his hometown of Macclesfield.. Till that time, he says, there was no ministry of the gospel at the church we attended.. Macclesfield.. had only two churches, and in neither of them was the gospel preached.. But then a new church was opened and the gospel was preached, and Ryle was contrarian enough to be attracted to it when everyone was criticizing it.. There was a kind of stir among dry bones, and great outcry against the attendants of this new church.. This also worked for my good.. My natural independence, combativeness, and love of minorities, and hearty dislike for swimming with the stream, combined to make me think that these new evangelical preachers who were so sneered at and disliked were probably right.. The third influence was some good evangelical books that came into his hands.. He mentions Wilberforce's.. Practical View of Christianity.. , Angel James s.. Christian Professor.. , Scott s.. Reply to Bishop Tomline.. , Newton s.. Cardiaphonia.. , Milner s.. Church History.. , and Bickersteth s.. Christian Student.. So God used Ryle s sickness, the gospel preacher, and the evangelical books, and by the beginning of 1838, he says, I was fairly launched as a Christian, and started on the road which I think I have never entirely left, from that time to this.. He tells us what the truths were that the Holy Spirit pressed on his soul in those days:.. Nothing.. appeared to me so clear and distinct, as my own sinfulness, Christ's preciousness, the value of the Bible, the absolute necessity of coming out of the world, the need of being born again, the enormous folly of the whole doctrine of baptismal regeneration.. All these things, I repeat, seemed to flash upon me like a sunbeam in the winter of 1837 and have stuck in my mind from that time down to this.. People may account for such a change as they like, my own belief is that no rational explanation of it can be given but that of the Bible; it was what the Bible calls conversion or regeneration.. Before that time I was dead in sins and on the high road to hell, and from that time I have become alive and had a hope of heaven.. And nothing to my mind can account for it, but the free sovereign grace of God.. And it was the greatest change and event in my life, and has been an influence over the whole of my subsequent history.. The Bankruptcy He Never Forgot.. For the next three and a half years, he mainly worked in the bank that his father owned.. Then disaster struck in June 1841, when he was 25 years old.. His father lost everything in bankruptcy.. Ryle describes this event as so traumatic that if I had not been a Christian at that time, I do not know if I should not have committed suicide.. Every single acre and penny my father possessed had to be given up to meet the demand of the creditors.. We got up one summer s morning with all the world before us as usual, and went to bed that same night completely and entirely ruined.. His own testimony about the effect of this disaster on his life is remarkable.. God alone knows how the iron entered into my soul.. I am quite certain it inflicted a wound on my body and mind of which I feel the effects most heavily at this day [he is writing this 32 years later in 1873] and shall feel it if I live to be hundred.. To suppose that people do not feel things because they do not scream and yell and fill the air with their cries, is simple nonsense.. I do not think there has been a single day in my life for 32 years.. , that I have not remembered the.. humiliation.. Nevertheless, Ryle believed in the sovereignty of God and knew that this event was decisive in making him what he was.. I have not the least doubt it was all for the best.. If.. I had never been ruined, my life of course would have been a very different one.. I should have probably gone into Parliament.. I should never have been a clergyman, never have preached, written a tract or a book.. Perhaps I might have made shipwreck in spiritual things.. So I do not mean to say at all, that I wish it to have been different to what it was.. But now what would he do? He had no idea.. The plans of my life were broken up at the age of 25.. I was going to leave my father's house without the least idea what was going to happen, where I was going to live, or what I was going to do.. Reluctantly Entering the Ministry.. The Rector of the parish of Fawley, Rev.. Gibson, knew of Ryle s conversion and leadership gifts, and asked him to be the curate of Exbury.. It was a strange way to enter the ministry in which he would become the foremost evangelical spokesman of the Church of England in his day.. I never had any particular desire to become a clergyman, and those who fancied that my self will and natural tastes were gratified by it were totally and entirely mistaken.. I became a clergyman because I felt shut up to do it, and saw no other course of life open me.. His parents did not like the idea, but could suggest nothing better, and so he accepted the offer with a very heavy heart,.. and was ordained by the Bishop of Winchester in December, 1841.. The people liked him.. I think they would have done anything for me, he says, although on the whole.. I think I was regarded as an enthusiastic, fanatical mad dog of whom most people were afraid.. He prepared two written sermons each Sunday, spoke extemporaneously on Wednesday and Thursday, visited 60 families each week, and during an outbreak of scarlet fever, he says, I saved many lives.. by supplying them with large quantities of beef tea, made from concentrated essence, and insisted on their swallowing it, as long as their throats kept open.. The church was soon filled on Sunday.. But he resigned in two years (November, 1843) for health reasons.. The district thoroughly disagreed with me.. Constant headache, indigestion, and disturbances of the heart then began and have been the plagues, and have disturbed me ever since that time.. Seventeen Years in Helmingham.. After a five-month curacy at Winchester, he accepted a call to be the Rector at Helmingham, about 85 miles northeast of London, where he began on Easter, 1844.. He was now 28 and still unmarried.. Not until now had his income been sufficient to support a wife—which was one of the reasons he accepted this call after only five months at Winchester.. But this time he stayed 17 years.. In October, 1844, his first year there, he married Matilda Plumbpre.. She was 22, and he was 28.. A child, Georgina, was born May 1846, and Matilda died June 1847.. Ryle was married again in February, 1849, to Jessie Walker, but their ten years together were years of singular trials.. Jessie was never well.. On five occasions, she had to be confined in London for two months each, and one side effect was that Ryle preached in at least sixty different churches in London and became very popular for his power in the pulpit, to which he responded, I always felt that popularity, as it was called, was a very worthless thing and a very bad thing for man's soul.. Jessie bore four children over the ten years of their marriage, Isabelle, Reginald, Herbert, and Arthur.. But then in May, 1860, after along battle with Bright s disease, she died.. The last five years, Jessie was unable to do much at all, and when she died the entire load of the five children, with the oldest only thirteen, fell to their father, especially the three little boys.. As to holidays, rest, and relaxation in the year, I never had any at all; while the whole business of entertaining and amusing the three little boys in evening devolved entirely upon me.. In fact the whole state of things was a heavy strain upon me, both in body and mind, and I often wonder how I lived through it.. His middle son, Herbert, recalls the early days of childhood with their father:.. He was everything to us—taught us games, natural history, astronomy, and insisted on our never being idle, and carefully fostered our love of books.. To us boys he was extraordinarily indulgent.. And he was tolerant to a degree little known or recognized.. The High Church writers sought to destroy his position by detraction.. Much as he differed from me in many points, he never suffered the shadow of a difference to come between us in the intimacy of our affection.. And since the time I went to school at the age of nine and a half, I never received from him a harsh word.. While Ryle was an attentive father or not, none of his sons remained true to his evangelical faith.. Reginald became a doctor with no professed Christian faith.. Arthur became an artist with no religious inclinations.. And Herbert was ordained in the Church of England and eventually became Bishop of Winchester, and Dean of Westminster.. Though he became liberal in his theology, there remained a bond of affection between him and his father.. Herbert outlived his brothers and wrote, The last of the five, I remain, having had two such loving brothers as few men ever had—never a quarrel, always affection and confidence.. When his father died he wrote to a friend, And I, to whom it was an intense stimulus to think of pleasing my father as a boy and a young man, feel how greatly he has filled the picture of my life.. Nineteen Years in Stradbroke.. The year after Jessie died, Ryle accepted a call to be the Vicar of Stradbroke about 20 miles north of Helmingham.. He had served 17 years in the tiny village of Helmingham and would now serve Stradbroke for another 19 years.. The year he began at Stradbroke, he was married a third time, October 24, 1861, to Henrietta Legh-Clowes.. He was 45, she was 36, and they were married for 28 years, until she died in 1889, eleven years before his own death in 1900.. During the 36 years in rural parishes of Helmingham and Stradbroke, Ryle was becoming a national figure of prominence in the Church of England.. He was constantly writing and traveling to speak.. He was Evangelicalism s best-known and most respected writer and spokesman through the 1870s.. During the.. years he spent in his two Suffolk parishes, he was a prolific writer, producing evangelistic tracts, devotional commentaries, historical and biographical accounts, works on doctrinal and controversial subjects, papers on Christianity and prophecy, all unashamedly written from the standpoint of a convinced Evangelical and Protestant Churchman.. Virtually all of the books and tracts that Ryle published had been first given as sermons or lectures.. The main books were all published during his time at Stradbroke:.. Knots Untied.. (1874), his most popular work during his lifetime;.. Old Paths.. (1877);.. Holiness.. (1877, enlarged 1879), the book he is most famous for today;.. Practical Religion.. (1878) which he said should be read in  ...   manifest emotion, some with less.. Some with lots of gestures, some with few.. These differences are inevitable.. But preaching, as opposed to teaching —.. kerussein.. (Greek) as opposed to.. didaskein.. — involves a kind of emotional engagement signified by the word heralding.. There is in preaching a kind of urgency and a kind of forcefulness.. A message is being delivered from the King of the universe — with his authority, in his name — and this message deals with matters of infinite importance, and the eternal destiny of the hearers hangs on how they respond to the message.. This is preaching.. And no matter what a preacher s personality or preferred tone, this preaching necessarily involves urgency and forcefulness and a penetrating conviction which aims to come with divine thrust into the minds and hearts of the listeners.. And therefore, this is a manly task.. Coming to a people with an authoritative word from God, aiming to subdue the hearts of men, and summon them into battle, and lead the charge at their head against the principalities and powers—this is where men belong.. Ryle s preaching is model for preaching in these ways.. Packer refers to his electric force of utterance.. 62.. Ryle knew that he had to crucify his florid,.. 63.. literary style which marked his early preaching.. The nature of preaching demanded something different.. Something simpler, but more forceful and penetrating.. What developed was really astonishing.. Packer describes it, referring to his.. brisk, spare, punchy style.. its cultivated forcefulness, its use of the simplest words, its fusillades of short, one-clause sentences.. its a rib-jabbing drumbeat rhetoric, its easy logical flow, its total lack of sentimentality, and its resolve to call a spade a spade.. 64.. Ryle knew the preaching of his day was languishing.. It was dry, heavy, stiff, dull, cold, tame.. and destitute of warmth, vivacity, direct appeal, or fire.. 65.. So he made every effort to break the mold, even as a dignified Bishop of Liverpool.. He would keep it simple, but he would untame his preaching.. His simple, forceful, clarity was renown.. One older lady came to the church hoping to hear the Bishop, but afterwards said to a friend, I never heard a Bishop.. I thought I d hear something great.. He's no Bishop.. I could understand every word.. 66.. Ryle took it as a great compliment.. Listen to what Packer means by the electric force of fusillades and rib-jabbing, drumbeat rhetoric.. This is from a sermon on Lot s lingering as he came out of Sodom and how so many Christians linger as they leave sin.. Would you know what the times demand?—The shaking of nations—the uprooting of ancient things—the overturning of kingdoms—the stir and restlessness of men s minds—what do they say? They all cry aloud—Christian! do not linger!.. Would you be found ready for Christ at His second appearing—your loins girded—your lamp burning—yourself bold, and prepared to meet Him? Then do not linger!.. Would you enjoy strong assurance of your own salvation, in the day of sickness, and on the bed of death?—Would you see with the eye of faith heaven opening and Jesus rising to receive you? Then do not linger!.. Would you leave great broad evidences behind you when you are gone?—Would you like us to lay you in the grave with comfortable hope, and talk of your state after death without a doubt? Then do not linger!.. Would you be useful to the world in your day and generation?—Would you draw men from sin to Christ, adorn your doctrine, and make your Master's cause beautiful and attractive in their eyes? Then do not linger!.. Would you help your children and relatives towards heaven, and make them say, We will go with you ?—and not make them infidels and despisers of all religion? Then do not linger!.. Would you have a great crown in the day of Christ s appearing, and not be the least and smallest star in glory, and not find yourself the last and lowest in the kingdom of God? Then do not linger!.. Oh, let not one of us linger! Time does not—death does not—judgment does not—the devil does not—the world does not.. Neither let the children of God linger.. 67.. There is urgency, forcefulness, penetrating power.. Preaching does not always rise to this level of urgency and force and authority, but regularly does, and should.. Again the point is not that a woman is not able to speak this way.. The point is that godly men know intuitively, by the masculine nature implanted by God, that turning the hearts of men and women to God with that kind of authoritative speaking is the responsibility of men.. And where men handle it with humility and grace, godly women are glad.. A masculine ministry welcomes the challenges and costs of strong, courageous leadership without complaint or self-pity with a view to putting in place principles and structures and plans and people to carry a whole church into joyful fruitfulness.. Leadership in the church — tending and feeding and protecting and leading the sheep — is not only the work of preaching, but also a firm, clear, reasonable, wise guiding voice when it comes to hundreds of decisions that have to be made.. This calls for great discernment and no little strength.. There are a hundred ways that a church can drift into ineffectiveness; and wise leaders spot these early, resist them, and win the church joyfully into a better direction.. And what is required again and again is a decisive strength that does not weaken in the face of resistance.. Packer describes Ryle s leadership like this:.. His brains, energy, vision, drive, independence, clear head, kind heart, fair-mind, salty speech, good sense, impatience with stupidity, firmness of principle, and freedom from inhibitions would have made him a leader in any field.. 68.. Ryle was called by his successor to the bishopric of Liverpool, that man of granite with the heart of a child.. 69.. He was described as the most rugged and conservative of all Anglican Evangelical personalities.. 70.. He said of his own leadership: The story of my life has been such that I really cared nothing for anyone s opinion, and I resolved not to consider one jot who was offended and who was not offended by anything I did.. 71.. These are the words of man surrounded by a rising tide of liberalism, ritualism, and worldliness in the Church of England.. They are the voice of strength against overwhelming odds.. I am fully aware [he wrote in 1878] that Evangelical churchmanship is not popular and acceptable in this day.. It is despised by many.. But none of these things move me.. I am not ashamed of my opinions.. After 40 years of Bible reading and praying, meditation, and theological study, I find myself clinging more tightly than ever to Evangelical religion, and more than ever satisfied with it.. 72.. None of these things move me.. More than ever I am satisfied with [the evangelical faith].. Immovable joy in truth is a precious trait in the leaders of the church.. A masculine ministry looks on the forces to be resisted, and the magnitude of the truth to be enjoyed, and feels a glad responsibility to carry a whole people forward into joyful fruitfulness.. A masculine ministry publicly and privately advocates for the vital and manifold ministries of women in the life and mission of the church.. The aim of godly leadership is a community of maximum joy and flourishing for everyone within—the women, the children, the men—and maximum impact on the world for the glory of Christ.. It s not about the privilege of power, but about the burden of responsibility to enhance the lives of others.. Ryle was outspoken in his zeal for women in the various ministries of the church.. He drew attention to Romans 16, where 11 of the 28 names mentioned are women, and said,.. The chapter I have mentioned appears to me to contain a special lesson for women.. The important position that women occupy in the Church of Christ—the wide field of real, though unobtrusive, usefulness that lies before them.. I cannot go away with the common notion that great usefulness is for men only, and not for women.. It should never be forgotten that it is not preaching alone that moves and influences men.. Humanly speaking, the salvation of a household often depends upon the women.. [and] men s character is exceedingly influenced by their homes.. 73.. There are countless needs in the community, and needs on the mission field, Ryle says, that cry out for the ministry of women.. There are hundreds of cases continually rising in which a woman is far more suitable visitor than a man.. She need not put on a peculiar dress, or call herself by a Roman Catholic name.. She has only to go about, in the spirit of her Savior, with kindness on her lips, gentleness in her ways, and the Bible in her hands, and the good that she may do is quite incalculable.. Happy indeed is the parish where there are Christian women who go about doing good.. Happy is that minister who has such helpers.. 74.. The aim of a masculine ministry is the fullest engagement of every member of the church in joyful, fruitful ministry.. The aim of leadership is not to.. be.. the ministry, but to.. free.. the ministry, according to God s word, by the power of God s Spirit, for the glory of God s name.. A masculine ministry models for the church the protection, nourishing, and cherishing of a wife and children as part of the high calling of leadership.. The year after he came to Liverpool as bishop, Ryle published a book of eight messages for children.. It s called.. Boys and Girls Playing.. based on Zechariah 8:5.. 75.. It reveals the rare mixture of concern for children along with a very masculine feel.. One of the messages is called The Happy Little Girl about a girl he met in public carriage who spoke of Jesus.. He asks, Dear children, are you as happy and as cheerful as she was?.. 76.. And another message is called The Two Bears about the two bears that killed forty-two children for mocking God s prophet.. And he says, Dear children, remember these things to the end of your lives.. The wages of sin is death.. 77.. He was a masculine lover of children.. Before his ministry was complete, he had loved and buried three wives, Matilde, Jessie, and Henrietta.. He had thee sons and two daughters.. All the testimonies we have of his children praise their father for his care for them.. Whether he did this well, the evidence is too sketchy to know.. But what we do know is that he tried.. He gives us a hint of the burden he carried in his small biography of Henry Venn, who also was made a widower in the pastoral ministry with children to care for:.. Those who have had this cross to carry, can testify that there is no position in this world so trying to body and soul as that of the minister who is left a widower, with a young family and a large congregation.. There are anxieties in such cases which no one knows but he who has gone through them; anxieties which can crush the strongest spirit, and wear out the strongest constitution.. 78.. But no matter how difficult the homelife of a pastor, it is part of the calling, part of the masculine ministry.. From these eight glimpses into the value of a masculine ministry, I commend it to you.. And I think the frank and manly Mr.. Ryle would commend it also.. I commend it because it fits the way God is in the triune fellowship of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.. It fits the way he created man as male and female, calling the man to bear a unique responsibility of headship.. It fits the way God has ordered the church with godly men as her elders.. And it fits the way our hearts sing—male and female—when men and women exult in each other s enjoyment of God as our final and all-satisfying destiny.. Footnotes.. Archbishop McGee called him in 1868 the frank and manly Mr.. Eric Russell,.. Ryle: That Man of Granite with the Heart of a Child.. (Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2001), 9.. Peter Toon, editor,.. Ryle: A Self-Portrait, A Partial Autobiography.. (Swengel, Pennsylvania: Reiner Publications, 1975, 14.. Self-Portrait.. , 15.. , 19.. , 20.. , 21.. , 30.. , 38.. , 35.. , 35–36.. , 40.. , 36.. , 39.. , 42–43.. , 54.. , 51–53.. , 55.. , 56.. , 59.. , 60.. , 63.. , 62.. , 64.. , 68–69.. "I must honestly say that I went very unwillingly, and of all the steps I ever took in my life, to this day I feel doubts whether the move was right or not.. I sometimes think that it was a want of faith to go, and I ought to have stayed.. But I have never ceased to wonder whether I was right or not.. I only know that my chief desire was to set my father free from any charge on my account, and so I tried to hope all was right.. But I think the doubt afflicted my spirits for two or three years.. ".. , 79.. , 80.. , 81.. Packer,.. Faithfulness and Holiness: The Witness of J.. (Wheaton, Illinois: Crossway Books, 2002), 69–70.. (Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2001), 85.. , 250.. Faithfulness and Holiness.. , 51.. Russell, 103.. In an appendix to Ian D.. Ryle, First Bishop of Liverpool.. , (Waynesboro, Georgia, Paternoster, 2000), 240–243, there a table which shows what sermons and their dates lay behind each of the chapters in Knots Untied, Old Paths, Holiness, Practical Religion, and A New Birth.. Russell, 70.. To give some idea of the extent of the effectiveness of these tracts here is one story.. "One little booklet called True Liberty was translated into Spanish.. It came into the hands of a Dominican Friar who had been sent to stamp out the reform movement in the church in that part of Mexico.. As he read the tract the scales fell from his eyes and he entered by faith into the true liberty of the sons of God.. He began to build up the church he meant to destroy.. The church grew in half a century from a tiny remnant of a few believers into a flourishing church of some fifty thousand members.. " (72).. , 71.. "'When you read Mr.. Spurgeon sermons, note how clearly and perspicuously he divides a sermon, and fills each division with beautiful and simple ideas.. How easily you grasp his meaning!.. great truths, that hang to you like hooks of steel, and which you never forget!' Spurgeon once called Ryle the best man in the Church of England; here Ryle in effect hails Spurgeon as the best preacher anywhere in the country.. ".. , 62.. "I am satisfied that well administered, the Church of England is more calculated to help souls to heaven than any church on earth.. I am deeply convinced of the excellency of my own Church—I would even say, if it were not a proud boast, its superiority over any other church upon earth.. " Faithfulness and Holiness, 45, 48.. "He believed that the Episcopal government rightly administered is the best form of church government.. " Eric Russell,.. , 128.. , (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1998, orig, 1878), vi.. There seemed to be some political intrigue behind this appointment.. Some said that Benjamin Disraeli, the Prime Minister at the time, made this appointment of an outspoken conservative to spite William Gladstone who had just defeated him in an election and had come from an Anglo-Catholic family in Liverpool.. , 90.. , 101.. , 236.. , 224.. Principles for Churchmen.. (London: William Hunt, 8 1084), 97–98.. Quoted in J.. Packer, Faithfulness and Holiness, 72–73.. The Christian Leaders of The Last Century, or England A Hundred Years Ago.. (Moscow, Idaho: Charles Nolan Publishers, 2002), 392.. Holiness: It's Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots.. (Moscow, Idaho: Charles Nolan Publishers, 2001), 355–356.. "Ryle was habitually factual and unsentimental in his account of things.. , xix.. , 66.. , 26.. , 76.. , xxviii.. , 208.. , 210.. , 211.. , 11.. "I felt that I was doing the country people in my congregation [of Exbury] no good whatever.. I was shooting over their heads; they could not understand my imitation of Melville's style, which I thought much of, therefore I thought it my plain duty to crucify my style and bring it down to what it is now.. , 60.. , 19.. Examples of his punchy, aphoristic style are almost everywhere.. For example, from his book, Thoughts for Young Men: "The poorest saint that ever died in a ghetto is nobler in His sight than the richest sinner that ever died in a palace.. " (Kindle, location 414) "Never make an intimate friend of anyone who is not a friend of God.. " (Kindle, location 485) "Bad company in this life, is the sure way to procure worse company in the life to come.. " (Kindle, location 518) "The gospel keeps many a person from going to jail and from being hanged, if it does not keep him from hell.. " (Kindle, location 632) And some quoted by Eric Russell: "What we weave in time, we wear in eternity.. " "Sin forsaken is one of the best evidences of sin forgiven.. " "It matters little how we die, but it matters much how we live.. " "One thief on the cross was saved, that none should despair, and only one, that none should presume.. Ian Farley,.. , 103.. , 253.. , 193.. , 9.. , 123.. , 67.. , vi–vii.. Shall We Know One Another, and Other Papers.. (Moscow, Idaho: Charles Nolan Publishers, 2001), 29, 31, 32.. Shall We Know One Another?.. And Ryle made a case for the Zenana Mission who specialized in sending women missionaries to India, China , and Japan.. His argument was that half the population of India were women who were almost entirely secluded from men, especially foreigners.. Boys and Girls Playing (and Other Addresses to Children).. , edited by Don Kistler (Morgan, Pennsylvania: Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1996, orig.. 1881).. Boys and Girls Playing.. , 110.. , 65.. The Christian Leaders of the Last Century.. (London: 1869), 279–280..

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  • Title: Three Levels of God-Glorifying Emotion - Desiring God
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  • Title: Safety Is a Myth - Desiring God
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  • Title: Essential Resources - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: Audio Podcast.. Video Podcast.. The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God.. Desiring God 2005 National Conference.. Suffering and the Sovereignty of God.. October 9, 2005.. Conference Message.. 2005 National Conference.. Read.. Audio:.. Listen.. Excerpt.. Download.. Video:.. The Happiness of God: Foundation for Christian Hedonism.. September 11, 1983.. Sermon.. Scripture:.. Jeremiah 32:36 41.. God is a perfect Christian Hedonist.. It makes him.. happy.. to be God and to show us mercy.. The Pleasure of God in All That He Does.. February 1, 1987.. Psalms 135:6.. God is never constrained to do a thing that he despises.. He does whatever he wants.. Sustained by Sovereign Grace—Forever.. June 16, 1996.. Jeremiah 32:36 42.. How can you be sure that grace will sustain you to the end?.. A Passion for the Supremacy of Christ—Where He Is Not Named.. November 3, 1996.. Romans 15:20.. What convictions drive world missions at Bethlehem Baptist Church?.. When the Bible Blows Your Mind.. December 11, 2002.. Taste See Article.. What should we do when it seems like one Biblical truth cancels out another?..  ...   2000.. Galatians 6:14.. Is the cross magnificent enough to you that you will live and die for Christ?.. What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism.. Revised March, 1998.. March 1, 1985.. To know God in his sovereignty is to become like an oak tree in the wind of adversity and confusion.. The Goal of God's Love May Not Be What You Think It Is.. October 14, 2000.. True love aims at satisfying people in the glory of God.. Any love that terminates on man is eventually destructive.. Undoing the Destruction of Pleasure.. University of Minnesota.. Twin Cities, MN.. April 10, 2001.. We will not understand the human longing for happiness until we understand the God who can fulfill it.. Doing Missions When Dying Is Gain.. Wheaton College.. October 27, 1996.. Let Your Passion Be Single.. RZIM Conference.. November 12, 1999.. Passion for the Supremacy of God, Part 1.. Passion.. Austin, TX.. January 2, 1997.. Passion for the Supremacy of God, Part 2.. January 3, 1997.. 52 Key Sermons for Translation.. January 7, 2011.. DG Staff..

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  • Title: The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God Desiring God 2005 National Conference Suffering and the Sovereignty of God - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God.. The Sovereignty of God.. Audio: Excerpt.. The Suffering of Christ and the Sovereignty of God (Excerpt).. What I would like to do this final session is magnify Christ in his suffering.. And in the process I would like to venture the ultimate biblical explanation for the existence of suffering.. And I would like to do it in such a way that you and I would be freed from the paralyzing effects of discouragement and self-pity and fear and pride so that we would spend ourselves—able or disabled—to spreading a passion for the supremacy of God in all things (including suffering) for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.. The Ultimate Biblical Explanation for the Existence of Suffering.. I believe the entire universe exists to display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God.. I might have said more simply that the entire universe exists to display the greatness of the glory of God.. That would be true.. But the Bible is more specific.. The glory of God shines most brightly, most fully, most beautifully in the manifestation of the glory.. of his grace.. Therefore, this is the ultimate aim and the final explanation of all things—including suffering.. God decreed from all eternity to display the greatness of the glory of his grace for the enjoyment of his creatures, and he revealed to us that this is the ultimate aim and explanation of why there is sin and why there is suffering, and why there is a great suffering Savior.. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came in the flesh to suffer and die and by that suffering and death to save undeserving sinners like you and me.. This coming to suffer and die is the supreme manifestation of the greatness of the glory of the grace of God.. Or to say it a little differently, the death of Christ in supreme suffering is the highest, clearest, surest display of the glory of the grace of God.. If that is true, then a stunning truth is revealed, namely, suffering is an essential part of the created universe in which the greatness of the glory of the grace of God can be most fully revealed.. Suffering is an essential part of the tapestry of the universe so that the weaving of grace can be seen for what it really is.. Or to put it most simply and starkly: the ultimate reason that suffering exists in the universe is so that Christ might display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God by suffering in himself to overcome our suffering.. The suffering of the utterly innocent and infinitely holy Son of God in the place of utterly undeserving sinners to bring us to everlasting joy is the greatest display of the glory of God’s grace that ever was, or ever could be.. In conceiving a universe in which to display the glory of his grace, God did not choose plan b.. This was the moment—Good Friday—for which everything in the universe was planned.. There could be no greater display of the glory of the grace of God than what happened at Calvary.. Everything leading to it and everything flowing from it is explained by it, including all the suffering in the world.. The Biblical Pathway That Leads to This Truth.. Walk with me now, if you would, on the biblical pathway that has led me to this truth.. To this point it just looks like high-sounding theology or philosophy.. But it is far more than that.. It is what the very words of Scripture clearly teach.. Revelation 13:8.. Let’s begin with Revelation 13:8.. John writes, “All who dwell on earth will worship [the beast], everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb that was slain.. ” That is a good, careful, literal translation.. This means that before the world was created there was a book called the “book of life of the Lamb who was slain.. ” The Lamb is Jesus Christ crucified.. The book is the book of Jesus Christ crucified.. Therefore, before God made the world, he had in view Jesus Christ slain, and he had in view a people purchased by his blood written in the book.. Therefore, the suffering of Jesus was not an afterthought, as though the work of creation did not go the way God planned.. Before the foundation of the world God had a book called “the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.. ” The slaying of the Lamb was in view.. before.. the work of creation began.. 2 Timothy 1:9.. Then consider 2 Timothy 1:9.. Paul looks back into eternity before the ages began and says, “[God] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us [that is, he gave us this grace] in Christ Jesus before the ages began.. ” God gave us.. grace.. [undeserved favor—favor toward sinners, grace!] in Christ Jesus before the ages began.. We had not yet been created.. We had not yet existed so that we could sin.. But God had already decreed that grace—an “in Christ” kind of grace, blood-bought grace, sin-overcoming grace—would come to us in Christ Jesus.. All that before the creation of the world.. So there is a “book of life of the Lamb who was slain,” and there is “grace” flowing to undeserving sinners who are not yet created.. And don’t miss the magnitude of that word “slain” (.. esphagmenou.. ): “the Lamb who was.. slain.. ” It is used in the New Testament only by the apostle John, and means literally “slaughter.. ” So here we have suffering—the slaughter of the Son of God—in the mind and plan of God before the foundation of the world.. The Lamb of God will suffer.. He will be slaughtered.. That’s the plan.. Why? I’ll give you the biblical text which tells the answer, but let me state it again: it’s because.. the aim of creation is the fullest, clearest, surest display of the greatness of the glory of the grace of God.. And that display would be the slaughter of the best being in the universe for millions of undeserving sinners.. The suffering and death of the Lamb of God in history is the best possible display of the glory of the grace of God.. That is why God planned it before the foundation of the world.. Ephesians 1.. Here’s the Biblical support, first from Ephesians 1 and then from Revelation 5.. In Ephesians 1:4–6a, Paul says, “[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 he  ...   live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked” (Ezekiel 33:11).. But the plan remains, and Jeremiah gives us a glimpse into the mysterious complexity of the mind of God in Lamentations 3:32-33, “Though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.. ” Literally: “He does not.. from his heart.. [.. millibbô.. ] afflict or grieve the children of men.. ” He ordains that suffering come—“though he cause grief”—but his delight is not in the suffering, but in the great purpose of creation:.. the display of the glory of the grace of God in the suffering of Christ for the salvation of sinners.. The stage has been set.. The drama of redemptive history begins to unfold.. Sin is now in its full and deadly force.. Suffering and death are present and ready to consume the Son of God when he comes.. All things are now in place for the greatest possible display of the glory of the grace of God.. Therefore, in the fullness of time God sent his Son into the world to suffer in the place of sinners.. Every dimension of his saving work was accomplished by suffering.. In the life and death of Jesus Christ, suffering finds its ultimate purpose and ultimate explanation: suffering exists so that Christ might display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God by suffering in himself to overcome our suffering.. Everything—everything—that Christ accomplished for us sinners, he accomplished by suffering.. Everything that we will ever enjoy will come to us because of suffering.. The Display of the Glory of the Grace of God in the Achievements of Christ by His Suffering.. Consider the display of the glory of the grace of God in the achievements of Christ by his suffering.. Christ absorbed the wrath of God on our behalf—and he did it by suffering.. Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.. ’” The wrath of God that should have caused our eternal suffering fell on Christ.. This is the glory of grace, and it could only come by suffering.. Christ bore our sins and purchased our forgiveness—and he did it by suffering.. 1 Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree.. ” Isaiah 53:5, “He was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities.. ” The sins that should have crushed us under the weight of guilt were transferred to Christ.. Christ provided a perfect righteousness for us that becomes ours in him—and he did it by suffering.. Philippians 2:7-8, “He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.. ” The obedience of Christ by which many are counted righteous (Romans 5:19) had to be an obedience unto death, even death on a cross.. This is the glory of grace, and it would come only by suffering.. Christ defeated death—and he did it by suffering death.. Hebrews 2:14-15, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.. ” “‘O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:55–57).. This is the glory of grace and it would come only by suffering.. He disarmed Satan—and he did it by suffering.. Colossians 2:14-15, “[The record of debts against us] he set aside, nailing it to the cross.. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.. ” With the record of all our lawbreaking nailed to the cross and cancelled, the power of Satan to destroy us is broken.. Satan has only one weapon that can damn to hell.. Unforgiven sin.. This weapon Christ stripped from Satan’s hand on the cross.. Christ purchased perfect final healing for all his people—and he did it by suffering.. Isaiah 53:5, “Upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.. ” “The Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).. The Lamb was slaughtered and the Lamb was raised from the dead, and the Lamb together with the Father will wipe every tear from our eyes.. Christ will bring us finally to God—and he will do it by his suffering.. 1 Peter 3:18, “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God.. ” The ultimate achievement of the cross is not freedom from sickness but fellowship with God.. This is what we were made for: seeing and savoring and showing the glory of God.. The Ultimate Reason Why Suffering Exists.. The ultimate purpose of the universe is to display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God.. The highest, clearest, surest display of that glory is in the suffering of the best Person in the universe for millions of undeserving sinners.. Therefore, the ultimate reason that suffering exists in the universe is so that Christ might display the greatness of the glory of the grace of God by suffering in himself to overcome our suffering and bring about the praise of the glory of the grace of God.. O Christian, remember what Carl Ellis and David Powlison and Mark Talbot and Steve Saint and Joni Eareckson Tada said: they all, in their own way, said that whether we are able or disabled, enduring loss or delighting in friends, suffering pain or savoring pleasure, all of us who believe in Christ are immeasurably rich in him and have so much to live for.. Don’t waste your life.. Savor the riches that you have in Christ and spend yourself no matter the cost to spread your riches to this desperate world.. Believing God on Election Day.. God Does Not Repent Like a Man.. How to Query God.. Jesus Is the Ruler of Kings on Earth.. Lessons from Lisa.. Spanish.. The Foreknowledge of God.. The Glory of God.. Predestination.. Natural Disasters.. The Doctrines of Grace / Calvinism.. Christian Hedonism.. By Author.. By Conference..

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  • Title: 2005 Resources - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: 2005.. 2005 Resources.. 2004.. Jan.. Feb.. Mar.. Apr.. May.. Jun.. Jul.. Aug.. Sep.. Oct.. 2006.. January.. Use the Inspired Scriptures to Rejoice in Hope.. January 2, 2005.. Romans 15:1 4.. If we give ourselves daily to the word of God, our hope and joy will be made unshakably strong even in suffering.. Watch.. Tsunami and Repentance.. January 5, 2005.. Every deadly calamity is a merciful call from God for the living to repent.. Future Grace.. The Purifying Power of the Promises of God.. Book.. “By future I do not merely mean the grace of heaven and the age to come.. I mean the grace that begins now, this very second, and sustains your life to the end of this paragraph.. By grace I do not merely mean the pardon of God in passing over your sins, but also the power and beauty of God to keep you from sinning” (p.. 5).. Boiling for Christ.. January 9, 2005.. Romans 12:11.. When it comes to serving Christ, half-heartedness, lukewarmness, laziness, sluggishness, and slothfulness are utterly inappropriate.. The NPR Tsunami Interview.. January 10, 2005.. Interview.. Martin Luther King, Birmingham, and the Great Letter.. January 12, 2005.. Racial Harmony and Interracial Marriage.. Racial Harmony Sunday.. January 16, 2005.. Deuteronomy 7:3 4; Colossians 3:9 11.. Interracial marriage is not only permitted by God, it is a positive good.. It is not just to be tolerated, but celebrated.. Interracial Marriage: Celebrating and Serving Diversity in Christ.. January 19, 2005.. In Christ ethnic differences are not barriers.. Rather, they are blessings that visibly express the glory of the gospel.. Abortion, Race, Gender, and Christ.. Sanctity of Life Sunday.. January 23, 2005.. Exodus 1:1 22.. Millions of abortions are the outworking of racism and sexism.. Let us find another way to freedom and equality than killing the babies.. Lavish Giving, Loving Guests, Living Christ.. January 30, 2005.. Romans 12:13.. Christ s promise to meet all of our needs is what frees us from fear and greed and enables us to joyfully share with others.. The Trinity of Persons.. Desiring God 2005 Conference for Pastors.. "This Is My Beloved Son!" Exulting in the Trinitarian Relationships of Jesus Christ.. January 31, 2005.. Bruce Ware.. 2005 Conference for Pastors.. February.. Contending for Our All.. The Life and Ministry of Athanasius.. 2005 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors.. February 1, 2005.. Biography.. Jesus and the Father.. Jesus and the Spirit.. The Joy of Preaching the Gospel of God.. Ken Jones.. Panel Discussion.. February 2, 2005.. Rebuilding a Ruined Republic.. Vishal Mangalwadi.. Bless Those Who Persecute You.. February 6, 2005.. Romans 12:14 21.. If you see and savor mercy in Christ, you will love being merciful.. Thoughts on the Sufficiency of Scripture.. What It Does and Doesn't Mean.. February 9, 2005.. To affirm truth with extra-biblical language is more biblical than using biblical language to defend falsehood.. Live Peaceably with All, If Possible.. February 13, 2005.. Romans 12:14 18.. A Surprise Endorsement for Doctrine.. February 16, 2005.. If we are not willing to get a high estimation of doctrine from Scripture, perhaps we can get it from George Barna.. Do Not Avenge Yourselves, But Give Place to Wrath.. February 20, 2005.. Romans 12:16 20.. How Christ Fulfilled and Ended the Old Testament Regime.. February 23, 2005.. Five statements that summarize the magnificent relationship of Jesus Christ to every part of the Scriptures.. God's Wrath: "Vengeance Is Mine, I Will Repay," Says the Lord.. February 27, 2005.. Romans 12:19 21.. We can say at least four things about the wrath of God that will fall on human beings at the final judgment.. March.. When Gratitude Gets Complicated.. Thoughts on Saying Thank You at Bethlehem and Desiring God.. March 2, 2005.. When you are in a position of receiving blessing from many people, knowing how to express gratitude can be challenging.. The Present Effects of Trembling at the Wrath of God.. March 6, 2005.. Romans 12:19.. Believing that God is furious against sin produces a good fear that transforms everything in life.. An Open Letter To Governor Tim Pawlenty Concerning the Expansion of State-Supported Casino Gambling in Minnesota.. March 9, 2005.. The desire to be rich is suicidal.. Endorsing it by encouraging gambling is cruel.. When Is It Right to Repay Evil with Pain?.. March 13, 2005.. Romans 12:9 21.. Does God ever intend for his justice—his right to punish wrong—to be shared with men?.. How to Pray for the Pastoral Staff.. March 16, 2005.. Eight gifts to ask God to give  ...   Is a Fulfilling of the Law, Part 3.. August 7, 2005.. Baptism and Church Membership: Eight Recommendations for Constitutional Revision.. August 9, 2005.. Taste and See.. Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life.. “I do love the Bible and try to steep my mind and heart in it year after year.. So what I have written here is partly meditations on biblical reality and partly applications to contemporary life” (p.. 11).. Making Room for Atheism.. Thoughts on the Supremacy of God in a Pluralistic World.. August 10, 2005.. How do we express a passion for the supremacy of God in a pluralistic world?.. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, Part 1.. August 14, 2005.. Romans 13:11 14.. What Is the "Bad Eye" in Matthew 6:23?.. August 17, 2005.. Matthew 6:23.. If your emotions are drawn more by material things than by Christ then you probably aren t seeing the beauty of grace.. How to Fight for Joy, Session 1.. Desiring God 2005 Regional Conference.. When I Don't Desire God.. August 19, 2005.. 2005 Regional Conference.. When I Don’t Desire God (Part 6).. Greenville, SC.. When I Don’t Desire God (Part 1).. When I Don’t Desire God (Part 2).. When I Don’t Desire God (Part 3).. When I Don’t Desire God (Part 4).. When I Don’t Desire God (Part 5).. How to Fight for Joy: Questions and Answers.. August 20, 2005.. How to Fight for Joy, Session 2.. How to Fight for Joy, Session 3.. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, Part 2.. August 28, 2005.. What the Elders Are Proposing: Amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws.. August 31, 2005.. September.. Was Katrina Intelligent Design?.. September 2, 2005.. God will always be guilty of high crimes for those who think they ve never committed any.. Famine, Flood, and Failing Fortune.. Psalms 105:16.. Every river and the seas do His sovereign bidding purely.. This is comfort surely.. How to Welcome a Weak Brother.. September 4, 2005.. Romans 14:1 6.. How can a church hold together when some of its members are so different from one another?.. Encouraging You to Come to the Desiring God National Conference on Suffering and the Sovereignty of God.. September 7, 2005.. Where Is God?.. The Supremacy of Christ in an Age of Terror.. September 11, 2005.. What does it mean that Christ is supreme over a world filled with tragedy?.. Baptism and Church Membership: The Recommendation from the Elders for Amending Bethlehem's Constitution.. September 14, 2005.. Consider How to Stir Up One Another to Love.. September 18, 2005.. Hebrews 3:12 14; 10:23 25.. Don t be a loner in the Christian life.. God did not design it that way.. Imperfect Love Fulfills the Law and Pleases the Perfection-Demanding God.. September 21, 2005.. Each One Should Be Fully Convinced in His Own Mind.. September 25, 2005.. Romans 14:1 9.. There are a hundred things we can disagree on in which both convictions can be done to the glory of God.. Minimizing the Bible?.. Seeker-Driven Pastors and Radical Contextualization in Missions.. September 28, 2005.. October.. Is There a “Lord’s Day”?.. October 2, 2005.. Setting apart a day of rest testifies to a self-reliant world that our work does not save or define us, Christ does.. If the Lord’s Day Is Sunday, Why Do We Have a Saturday Evening Service?.. October 5, 2005.. It is acceptable to conduct your worship service on a day other than the Lord s Day?.. Ten Aspects of God's Sovereignty Over Suffering and Satan's Hand in It.. October 7, 2005.. Interview with John Piper.. The Sovereignty of God and Ethnic-Based Suffering.. October 8, 2005.. Carl Ellis.. Christ's Grace and Your Sufferings.. David Powlison.. All the Good That Is Ours in Christ: Seeing God's Gracious Hand in the Hurts Others Do to Us.. Mark Talbot.. Sovereignty, Suffering, and the Work of Missions.. Steve Saint.. Suffering for the Sake of.. Joni Eareckson Tada.. More Clarifications on the Baptism and Membership Issue.. How Important is Church Membership?.. October 12, 2005.. Gospel to the Nations, Generosity to the Poor.. Missions Week.. October 23, 2005.. Galatians 2:1 10.. Ten Reasons to Listen to Questions Before You Answer.. Meditation on Proverbs 18:13.. October 25, 2005.. Proverbs 18:13.. Why is it a bad idea to give an answer too soon?.. We Will All Stand Before the Judgment of God.. October 30, 2005.. Romans 14:10 13.. Love your brother and help him get to heaven, instead of judging him and making it harder.. 1.. Next.. Last..

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  • Title: John Piper - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Poverty of Theological Vocabulary.. May 5, 1970.. Without a language of the sense, theology can become lifeless and ineffective.. Book Review: A Mind Awake: An Anthology of C.. Lewis.. The Opinion, v9 n5, pp.. 7-9.. May 26, 1970.. John Piper recommends a book so good that you won t be able to finish it without putting it down.. Devotion, Criticism and the Bible.. The Opinion, v10 n1, p.. October 20, 1970.. It s important to keep the intellectual study of Scripture together with heart application.. On the Possibility of Saying “I Love You, But I Don’t Like You”.. The Opinion, v10 n2, pp.. 5-7.. November 10, 1970.. The command to love is a call to the deepest and most thoroughgoing sanctification.. Resolved.. The Opinion, v10 n3, pp.. 5-6.. December 4, 1970.. The Image of God.. An Approach from Biblical and Systematic Theology.. Published in Studia Biblica et Theologica, March 1971.. March 1, 1971.. John Piper's Senior Sermon at Fuller Seminary.. Fuller Theological Seminary.. Pasadena, CA.. March 24, 1971.. Ephesians 1:6.. Your Calamity in 1973.. White Oak Baptist Church.. December 31, 1972.. 2 Corinthians 1:8 9.. Does Fear Belong in the Christian’s Life?.. September 19, 1973.. How can we obey the command to "fear God" and yet "fear not"?.. Misgivings About Hal Lindsay’s “Planet Earth”.. March 1, 1974.. Faith isn t nurtured by fitting tomorrow s headlines into a probable scheme, but by being rooted in the faithfulness of God.. Teaching, Schooling and Reading.. Bethel College.. September 1, 1974.. Good reading should be the vocation of a lifetime, not just an activity for school.. Was Qumran the Cradle of Christianity?.. A Critique of Johannes Lehmann's.. Jesus Report.. October 1, 1974.. The Meanings of Love in the Bible.. January 1, 1975.. The Bible illustrates numerous kinds of love, such as the kind that seeks the good of unlovely or unwanted people.. Book Review of.. The Kingdom of God.. by John Bright.. February 1, 1975.. How was Christ s coming a new manifestation of the Kingdom of God if it had already been a reality for centuries?.. How I Make a Moral Choice.. February 3, 1976.. The Argument of Romans 9:14-16.. March 1, 1976.. God s righteousness resounds most fully in his freely having mercy on whomever he wills.. A Response to J.. I.. Packer on the So-Called Antinomy Between the Sovereignty of God and Human Responsibility.. Is Faith Meritorious?.. April 1, 1976.. Does a person.. earn.. salvation by believing in Jesus?.. The Authority And Meaning Of The Christian Canon.. A Response To Gerald Sheppard On Canon Criticism.. Published in The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 19/2 (1976), pp.. 87-96.. Re: The New Covenant and the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.. Did Old Testament saints have the Holy Spirit? If so, what was the significance of Pentecost?.. A Critical Review of.. God's Strategy in Human History.. May 1, 1976.. John Piper answers the argument that true love requires a freedom to choose.. The Sovereignty of God and the Sin of the Believer.. A Note on 1 Corinthians 10:13.. July 1, 1976.. 1 Corinthians 10:13.. When we give in to temptation is that ultimately self-determination or God s sovereign will?.. How Are the Synoptics “Without Error”?.. October 7, 1976.. The Chronology of the New Testament.. October 10, 1976.. The Glory of God as the Goal of History.. October 12, 1976.. Reflections on the Concept of Self-Worth.. October 15, 1976.. James D.. Strauss' Critique of Jonathan Edwards' Freedom of the Will.. November 1, 1976.. Christian Elders in the New Testament.. An exegetical study of the role and responsiblities of Christ s undershepherds.. The Glory of God As the Ground of Faith.. If well-grounded, saving faith is to be available to all, it must be found in a more direct way than through detailed historical arguments.. Viewing History.. January 1, 1977.. John Piper reviews a book about the Christian approach to understanding history.. The Intentional Fallacy and the Meaning of Textual Meaning.. The goal of interpreting a text should be to discover what the author willed to convey.. Is Faith a Way of Seeing?.. Reflections on Faith and Reason.. April 1, 1977.. Faith is not a decision made in spite of lacking evidence.. It is the affection that results when glory is truly seen.. The Cult of the Self and the Command of Jesus.. August 12, 1977.. Love your neighbor as yourself means that we should take all the zeal, ingenuity, and perseverance we have for our own good and apply it to others.. Deciding What We Deserve.. Christianity Today 12:2 (October 21, 1977), pp.. 12-15.. October 21, 1977.. When is it right and when is it wrong to treat people differently than what they deserve?.. The Goal and Difficulty of Teaching Biblical and Theological Studies and the Personal Traits That Fit You for It.. December 1, 1977.. How Does Christian Hedonism Relate to Evangelism?.. January 1, 1978.. Is it OK to witness to the lost for our own joy?.. “Forgive Us Our Debts as We Forgive Our Debtors”.. A Meditation on Matthew 6:12.. Matthew 6:12.. Jonathan Edwards on the Problem of Faith and History.. Published in the Scottish Journal of Theology, Vol.. 31, pp.. 217-228.. The primary value of historical arguments is that they cause us to consider the gospel more carefully.. The Nature of the Christian Life.. 1 Corinthians 5:6 8.. John Piper uncovers the argument behind Paul's appeal to walk in newness of life.. The Claims of the New Life in Christ.. 1 Corinthians 6:12 20.. John Piper uncovers the argument behind Paul s appeal to glorify God in your body.. The Hope of the Resurrection.. 1 Corinthians 15:20 28.. John Piper uncovers the argument behind Paul s teaching about the future resurrection of believers.. To Nat Hatch: Reflections on Jonathan Edwards’ Sermon on 2 Peter 1:16.. February 1, 1978.. The sight of Christ s glory is the ground of not the equivalent to faith.. Self-love and the Christian Counselor's Task.. May 1, 1978.. The contentment of knowing that you re a faithful Christian is secondary to the contentment experienced in actively trusting and obeying Christ.. Ministering to Your Pastor.. The Bible Friend (Vol.. 75, No.. 8), Minneapolis, MN.. August 1, 1978.. How can you encourage and serve your pastor as he serves you?.. What Does It Mean to Bless God?.. November 1, 1978.. Blessing God is an "exclamation of gratitude and admiration.. A Personal Encounter with Jonathan Edwards.. Published in.. The Reformed  ...   we are unmerciful, unforgiving people, if we hold grudges or cherish resentments or plan revenge, then what we are saying in effect to God is, "This is the way I prefer life to be.. " And so he will give us what we have preferred at the day of judgment; no mercy, no forgiveness, but only vengeance.. If Christ has not changed us (and I don't mean perfection, but only significant change), then probably we have never known him.. The Children, The Church, and the Chosen.. Christians must be like children in their relationship to God and like God in their relationships to children.. It's My Pleasure!.. Humility & Christian Hedonism.. September 28, 1980.. The humble Christian does not crave the praise of men.. He longs for God to be praised and thanked and for truth to be honored.. Thoughts on Baptism.. Baptism gives expression to our faith that we are God s from head to toe.. The Lips of Knowledge Are a Precious Jewel.. October 5, 1980.. Proverbs 20:15.. God teaches us things for our good, and he intends for us to share them for the good of our neighbor.. The Savior's Supper and the Second Coming.. October 12, 1980.. 2 Thessalonians 1:3 10.. Lord's Supper is a memorial service looking back to Jesus' utterly unique death—a death that so satisfied the righteous demands of God that Jesus was granted to rise from the dead and come again as King of all.. The sacrifice of Christ set the charge for the explosion of his second coming.. Make a Case for Your Hope.. October 19, 1980.. 1 Peter 3:13 16.. The way to get ready to make a case for your hope is to get hopeful.. Apply yourself to settling the questions of your own heart.. How to Give Away a G.. F.. T.. You can t have fullness of joy in Christ if you never tell anybody about it.. Declaring the marvelous deeds of God that have brought light into our life is a means to the full enjoyment of that light.. Who Should We Invite to Thanksgiving Dinner?.. November 9, 1980.. Luke 14:12 14.. Who you invite to share in your abundance shows where your treasure is.. The Aim of Dr Luke.. Luke 1:1 4.. It is important to try to persuade people, like Luke in his Gospel, of the truth of Christianity.. Christ Did Not Send Me to Baptize.. November 16, 1980.. 1 Corinthians 1:10 17.. Baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Jesus (Matthew 28:19, 20).. And for that very reason it should never divert our attention away from Christ onto a man.. It should express our desire to rely on Christ alone for salvation and to boast only in him.. How Not to Talk to an Angel.. Luke 1:5 25.. It is not wrong to want evidence for our faith.. Belief is not groundless.. But there is an evil in demanding signs beyond what a humble and open heart would require.. I Will Magnify God with Thanksgiving!.. November 23, 1980.. Psalms 69:30 32.. What does an all-sufficient God, who owns and controls all things, demand from the creature he has made? That we cease to be great in our own eyes and become small that he might appear great.. The Virgin Birth of the Son of God.. Luke 1:26 38.. You may have never heard of Nazareth, and this young girl may be poor and obscure, but don't judge by merely human outward appearances.. Her son is going to be great.. All the Prophets Proclaimed These Days.. November 30, 1980.. Acts 3:17 26.. Since the first Christmas we have been living in the last days.. Historical Criticism in the Dock.. Recent Developments in Germany.. Published in The Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 23/4 (1980), pp.. 325-334.. December 1, 1980.. Christmas Joy Vs.. the Kirchensteuer.. December 7, 1980.. 2 Corinthians 8:1 9; 9:6 15.. If God values joyful, loving generosity so much as to give his beloved Son to create it in his people, then we can be absolutely assured that when we are more generous, we will be.. more.. happy and.. fulfilled because God is bound to work mightily for those whose behavior he values so highly.. Meditation on the Magnificat.. Luke 1:46 55.. God is about to change the course of all human history; the most important three decades in all of time are about to begin.. And where is God? Occupying himself with two obscure, humble women—one old and barren, one young and virginal.. Jesus Is the Horn of Salvation.. December 14, 1980.. Luke 1:67 79.. There is a deadly disease and an awesome enemy.. And every one of us will die from this disease and be devoured by that enemy if there is no horn of salvation for us.. Christmas and the Cause of Truth.. December 21, 1980.. John 18:37.. You can read every fairy tale that was ever written, every mystery thriller, every ghost story, and you will never find anything so shocking, so strange, so weird and spellbinding as the story of the incarnation of the Son of God.. A Big God for Little People.. Seven Christmas Eve Meditations.. December 24, 1980.. Luke 2:1 20.. All the mammoth political forces and all the giant industrial complexes, without their even knowing it, are being guided by God, not for their own sake but for the sake of God s little people the little Mary and the little Joseph who have to be got from Nazareth to Bethlehem.. I Have Kept the Faith.. December 28, 1980.. 2 Timothy 4:6 8.. For me, the end of a year is like the end of my life.. And in these last hours, I face the inevitable question: Did I live it well? Will Jesus Christ, the righteous judge, say "Well done, good and faithful servant"?.. Simeon's Farewell to the World.. Luke 2:21 40.. Jesus' birth brought a new era in the history of redemption, but one that is still in complete harmony with the old.. An Overview of the History of Missions.. January 1, 1981.. The Line of Prayer.. January 4, 1981.. 2 Corinthians 1:11.. Beware of a church that runs on the momentum of tradition rather than the power of prayer.. What Do Answers to Prayer Depend On?, Part 1.. Obedience.. January 11, 1981.. If we are unloving and unrepentant then we should not think that God is likely to answer our prayers..

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  • Title: 2005 National Conference - Desiring God
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  • Title: The Happiness of God: Foundation for Christian Hedonism - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: The Happiness of God: Foundation for Christian Hedonism.. Series:.. The Happiness of God: Foundation for Christian Hedonism (Excerpt).. Jeremiah 32:36 41.. Now therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, 'It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence': 37 Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation.. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety.. 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.. 39 I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them.. 40 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.. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.. I referred to the idea of Christian Hedonism once in a Sunday service, and a parent came up to me later and said, "Did you know that our little girl thought you were saying Christian heathenism?" I know that even when I get my pronunciation clear (Christian Hedonism), some of you will probably still think "heathenism" because you believe hedonism is a heathen philosophy of life.. And you are probably right because the popular meaning of hedonism is pleasure seeking and moral indifference.. In 2 Timothy 3:4 Paul warned that in the last days men would be "lovers of pleasure rather that lovers of God.. " And surely we are in those days.. Christian Heathenism?.. Two years ago Daniel Yankelovitch published a book entitled.. New Rules: Searching for Self-Fulfillment in a World Turned Upside Down.. He argues on the basis of extensive interviews and nationwide polls that massive shifts have occurred in our culture and that the widespread search for personal self-fulfillment has created a new set of rules that govern the way we think and feel as Americans.. He says, "In their extreme form the new rules simply turn the old ones on their head, and in place of the old self-denial ethic we find people who refuse to deny anything to themselves not out of bottomless appetite, but on the strange moral principle that 'I have a duty to myself'" (p.. xviii).. He tells of a young woman in her mid-thirties who complained to her psychotherapist that she was becoming nervous and fretful because life had grown so hectic too many big weekends, too many discos, too many late hours, too much talk, too much wine, too much pot, too much lovemaking.. "Why don't you stop?" asked the therapist mildly.. The patient stared blankly for a moment, and then her face lit up, dazzled by an illumination: "You mean I really don't have to do what I want to?" she burst out in amazement.. The trademark of the new self-fulfillment seekers is that "they operate on the premise that emotional cravings are sacred objects and that it is a crime against nature to harbor an unfulfilled emotional need" (p.. 59).. "Ours is the first era when tens of millions of people offer as moral justification for their acts the idea that an inner and presumably more 'real' self does not fit well with their assigned social role.. Probably the relationship in which the self-fulfillment seekers and their new rules have caused the greatest upheaval is marriage.. Yankelovitch has good insight when he says, "Successful marriages are woven out of many strands of inhibited desire accessions to the wishes of the other; acceptance of infringements on one's own wishes; disappointments swallowed; confrontations avoided; opportunities for anger bypassed; chances for self-expression muted.. To introduce the strong form of self-fulfillment urge into this process is to take a broomstick to a delicate web.. Often all that is left is the sticky stuff that adheres to the broom; the structure of the web is destroyed" (p.. 76).. Therefore, I have a deep empathy with those of you who are free enough from our culture to react to the word hedonism by saying, "Enough of it! Our homes, our schools, our businesses, and our society are all being destroyed by hedonistic self-fulfillment seekers who have none of the moral courage and self-denial and rugged commitment and sacrificial allegiance which holds together the precious structures of life and brings nobility to our culture.. We don't need hedonism; we need a return to rectitude, integrity, prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude, self-control!" Believe me, we are probably closer than you think.. All I ask is that you give me an open and discerning ear for nine weeks before you make your final judgment about Christian Hedonism.. Biblical Examples of Christian Hedonism.. Sometimes an illustration is worth a thousand words of abstract definition.. So instead of giving you a precise definition of Christian Hedonism, let me start by giving some biblical examples of it.. David counsels Christian Hedonism when he commands, "Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).. The sons of Korah demonstrate the kernel of Christian Hedonism when they cries out, "As a deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for thee, O God.. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God" (Psalm 42:1 2).. Moses was a Christian Hedonist (according to Hebrews 11:24 27) because he rejected the "fleeting pleasures of sin," but "considered abuse suffered for the Christ greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt, for he looked to the reward.. " The saints in Hebrews 10:34 were Christian Hedonists because they chose to risk their lives to visit Christian prisoners and joyfully accepted the plundering of their own property since they knew that they themselves had a better possession and an abiding one.. The apostle Paul commended Christian Hedonism when he said in Romans 12:8, "Let him who does acts of mercy do them with cheerfulness.. " And Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, set the greatest standard of Christian Hedonism because "his delight was in the fear of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:3), and for the joy that was set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).. Christian Hedonism teaches that the desire to be happy is God-given and should not be denied or resisted but directed to God for satisfaction.. Christian Hedonism does.. not..  ...   top a VW van.. " My God is sovereign.. He.. took her in.. his.. appointed time; and I.. believe.. now and someday I will.. that it was good.. For I have learned in Jesus Christ that.. is good.. The biblical solution to the problem of evil is not to rob God of his sovereignty.. The other observation that helps me with this question is that God's attitude toward tragic events depends on the focus of the lens.. God does not delight in pain and evil considered simply in themselves.. When his lens is narrow and focused just on that, he can be filled with abhorrence and grief.. But when he opens his lens to take in all the connections and effects of an event, even to eternity, the event forms part of a pattern or mosaic which he does delight in, and which he wills.. For example, the death of Christ was the work of God the Father.. "We esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.. It was the will of the Lord to bruise him and he has put him to grief "(Isaiah 53:4, 10).. Yet surely as God the Father saw the agony of his beloved Son and the wickedness that brought him to the cross, he did not delight in those things in themselves.. Sin in itself and the suffering of the innocent in itself is abhorrent to God.. But according to Hebrews 2:10 God the Father thought it was fitting to perfect the Pioneer of our salvation through suffering.. God willed what he abhorred in the narrow view because in the broad view of eternity it was a fitting way to demonstrate his righteousness (Romans 3:25–26.. ) and bring his people to glory (Hebrews 2:10).. When God in his omniscience surveys the sweep of redemptive history from beginning to end, he rejoices in what he sees.. Therefore, I conclude that nothing in all the world can frustrate the ultimate happiness of God.. He delights infinitely in his own glory; and in his sovereignty he does whatever he pleases.. God's Happiness Spills Over in Mercy to Us.. Which brings us now to the final observation: God's happiness is the foundation of Christian Hedonism because his happiness spills over in mercy to us.. Can you imagine what it would be like if the God who ruled the world were not happy? What if God were given to grumbling and pouting and depression like some Jack-and-the-beanstalk giant in the sky? What if God were despondent and gloomy and dismal and discontented and dejected and frustrated? Could we join David and say, "O God, thou art my God, I seek thee, my soul thirsts for thee; my flesh faints for thee, as in a dry and weary land where no water is" (Psalm 63:1)? No way!.. We would all relate to God like little children have to a gloomy, dismal, discontented, frustrated father.. They can't enjoy him.. They can only try to avoid him and maybe try to work for him to make him feel better.. Therefore, the foundation of Christian Hedonism is that God is infinitely happy, because the aim of Christian Hedonism is to be happy in God, to delight in God, to cherish and enjoy fellowship with God.. But children cannot enjoy the company of their father if he is gloomy and dismal and frustrated.. And so the basis and foundation of Christian Hedonism is that God is the happiest of all beings.. Here is another way to say it.. In order for a sinner to pursue joy in God, he must be confident that God will not shut him out when he comes seeking forgiveness and fellowship.. How can we be encouraged that God will treat us with mercy when we repent from our sin and come seeking joy in him? Consider this encouragement from Jeremiah 9:24, "'I am the Lord who performs mercy and justice and righteousness in the earth, because in these things I delight' says the Lord.. " God shows mercy because he delights in it.. God is not constrained to save by some formal principle or rule.. He is so full of life and joy in his own glory that the climax of his pleasure is to overflow in mercy to us.. The ground of our confidence in the mercy of God is that he is a perfect Christian Hedonist.. He delights above all things in his divine excellence, and his happiness is so full that it expresses itself in the pleasure he has in sharing it with others.. Listen to the heartbeat of the perfect heavenly Hedonist in Jeremiah 32:40 41.. Why does God do good? How does he go about the business of loving you? Listen:.. 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.. I will rejoice in doing them good.. , and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness,.. with all my heart and all my soul.. God does good to you because he enjoys it so much! He pursues the business of loving you with all his heart and with all his soul.. The happiness of God spilling over in joyful love is the foundation and example of Christian Hedonism.. I close with an invitation.. These precious and astonishing promises of God's favor do not belong to everyone.. There is a condition.. It is not a condition of work or payment.. An infinitely happy sovereign does not need your work and already owns all your resources.. The condition is that you become a Christian Hedonist that you stop trying to pay or work for him or run from him, and instead begin to seek with all your heart the incomparable joy of fellowship with the living God.. His delight is not in the strength of the horse.. Nor his pleasure in the legs of man;.. But the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him,.. In those who hope in his steadfast love.. (Psalm 147:10 11).. The condition for inheriting all the promises of God is that all the hope for happiness you have pinned on yourself and your family and job and leisure you shift over to him.. "The Lord takes pleasure in those who hope in his steadfast love.. " "Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37:4).. Boiling for Christ.. Christ Crucified, Our Boast.. There Is a Way to Be Happy, Even in Sadness.. How God and Christians Treasure Christ, Part 1.. How God and Christians Treasure Christ, Part 2.. Arabic.. Chinese-Simplified.. French.. Portuguese.. Joy.. Suffering.. Hope.. By Series.. By Occasion..

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  • Title: 1983 Resources - Desiring God
    Descriptive info: 1983.. 1983 Resources.. 1982.. Nov.. Dec.. 1984.. The Justification of God.. An Exegetical and Theological Study of Romans 9:1-23.. January 1, 1983.. “I do not consider my conclusions novel from a historical viewpoint.. Nevertheless, with regard to both the righteousness of God and the election of men, the conclusions are not in vogue today, and so exegetical explanation and defense are needed” (p.. 15).. How to Buy Gold When You're Broke.. January 2, 1983.. Revelation 3:14 22.. The essence of lukewarmness is the statement, I need nothing.. The lukewarm are spiritually self-satisfied.. Does Prayer Spoil the Party?.. January 3, 1983.. Consistent Christians never want to exclude Jesus from anything they do.. Always Pray and Do Not Lose Heart.. January 9, 1983.. Luke 18:1 8.. Jesus makes it clear that eternal life hangs on whether we are ready when he comes.. The "All or Nothing" Impediment to Prayer.. January 10, 1983.. Pray for total healing and total salvation.. But also pray for smaller steps to be made on the way.. About My Other Wife.. January 17, 1983.. Galatians is the preservation of the gospel for Bethlehem Baptist Church.. It is for you.. Marry it!.. To Deliver Us from the Present Evil Age.. January 23, 1983.. Galatians 1:1 5.. The freest people in the world are those who submit most fully to the authority of Christ in Scripture.. The New Staffing Configuration.. January 24, 1983.. A description of the new arrangement of responsibilities among the church staff.. High-Hurdling on Sunday Morning.. January 31, 1983.. We shouldn t neglect needed improvements.. But we should major on exploiting our strengths for God s glory.. How Does a Sovereign God Love?.. A Reply to Thomas Talbott.. February 1, 1983.. When Not to Believe an Angel.. February 6, 1983.. Galatians 1:6 10.. There is one, and only one, gospel.. It is therefore astonishing--and tragic--to turn away from it and lose both God and his grace.. Wanted: Worm Work.. February 7, 1983.. Praying is worm-work.. You can t see worms doing their work.. But without them you couldn t plow the field.. This Is Not Man's Gospel.. February 13, 1983.. Galatians 1:11 24.. To try to explain the change from Paul s pre-conversion persecution to his post-conversion passion for the gospel merely by the work of men is to grasp at a straw.. Do They Really Want Peanut Butter?.. Meditation on Metro Food Share.. February 14, 1983.. Become the kind of person who cannot walk by someone in need and do nothing.. That the Truth of the Gospel Be Preserved for You.. February 20, 1983.. Very few people today stand up and praise the unity and coherence of truth.. Is It OK to Say.. Amen!.. on Sunday?.. February 21, 1983.. Anything that helps you express your heart for God and does not hinder other people is good.. In Sync with the Gospel.. February 27, 1983.. Galatians 2:11 14.. When you finally hear and believe the drumbeat of the gospel, the rhythm of your step changes.. There is a life in step with the gospel, and there is a life out of step with the gospel.. Preaching and Listening at Bethlehem.. February 28, 1983.. Preaching that doesn t deal with the details of God s Word will only cater to and cultivate stiff-necked listeners.. I Do Not Nullify the Grace of God.. March 6, 1983.. Galatians 2:15 21.. The.. transgression against God is to presume that you can climb your way up a ladder of morality into his favor.. Why Was Timothy Circumcised?.. March 7, 1983.. How could Paul have Timothy circumcised and yet totally refuse it for Titus?.. Can You Begin by the Spirit and Be Completed by the Flesh?.. March 13, 1983.. Galatians 3:1 5.. The essential mark of a Christian is not how far you have progressed in sanctification, but.. on what you are relying to get there.. Dana, Doug and an APTAT Recap.. March 14, 1983.. Practically speaking, how do I obey God so that it is not I but Christ in me ?.. Those Who Have Faith Are the Sons of Abraham.. March 20, 1983.. Galatians 3:6 9.. The central concern of your life is to ensure that you are a child of Abraham.. Holy Week Volcano.. The Lava May Reach to You.. March 21, 1983.. Has it ever bothered you that sometimes in the Old Testament when one man sins, many get swept away in God s punishment?.. The Donkey, the Stallion, and the Strategy of the Hills.. March 27, 1983.. Though arrogance and rage assail, conspiracy will not prevail.. Hosanna!.. John 12:13.. Our English word hosanna comes from a Greek word hosanna which comes from a Hebrew phrase.. hoshiya na.. Why I Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus.. March 28, 1983.. Two reasons, among many, to trust the Easter story.. You Who Would Destroy the Temple and Build It in Three Days.. Good Friday.. April 1, 1983.. Matthew 27:39 40.. It is a supreme irony that the people at the cross should look on the dying Savior and mock him with their own misunderstanding of this saying.. Worship the Risen Christ.. April 3, 1983.. Matthew 28:1 10, 16 20.. If your life is flat, empty, without exhilaration, without significance, without a single and fulfilling orientation, it is because you do not see the.. risen Christ.. for who he really is.. A Meditation for Noël on Ruth Noël Piper and Barnabas William Piper and Acts 4:36.. April 4, 1983.. Christ Redeemed Us from the Curse of the Law.. April 10, 1983.. Galatians 3:10 14.. When Christ experienced the curse of the law on the cross it was not his own but ours.. Shaping the Future  ...   attitude that does not glorify God.. Do Not Grow Weary in Well-Doing.. August 21, 1983.. Galatians 6:6 10.. When you get your paycheck, do you look to the Spirit for how to use this money for God s kingdom?.. An Invitation to QuILT.. August 22, 1983.. One way to raise up church leaders is to provide in-house training opportunities.. Only a New Creation Counts.. August 28, 1983.. Galatians 6:11 18.. The mindset of the new creation does not just agree that Christ died for sinners; it glories in the cross.. Recovering from the Disease of Sin.. August 29, 1983.. Jesus is not partial to the healthy.. He prefers the homeliest, weakest patients whose eyes sparkle when he enters the room.. Why God Wills Work.. September 4, 1983.. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 12.. There are at least four reasons for why God has given work to mankind.. Clarifying Christian Hedonism.. September 6, 1983.. The announcement of the then forthcoming sermon series, Desiring God.. "Before the Time".. A Fifth Column of Faith Behind Enemy Lines.. September 12, 1983.. Christ has plotted many tactical advances before the time of the final victory.. Conversion to Christ: the Making of a Christian Hedonist.. September 18, 1983.. Matthew 13:44 46.. We live in a superficially Christianized society where thousands of lost people think they do believe in Jesus.. New Staff at Bethlehem.. September 19, 1983.. Worship: the Feast of Christian Hedonism.. September 25, 1983.. Psalms 63:5 6.. When worship is reduced to a duty, it ceases to exist.. Every Hero Gets Hiccups.. September 26, 1983.. One reason we settle for such ordinary soap opera lives is because we have no heroes.. Love: the Labor of Christian Hedonism.. October 2, 1983.. 2 Corinthians 8:1 2,8.. If you abandon the pursuit of full and lasting pleasure, you cannot love people or please God.. Money: Currency for Christian Hedonism.. October 9, 1983.. 1 Timothy 6:6 19.. What you do with it or desire to do with it can make or break your happiness forever.. A Letter Found to the West of the Sanctuary on the Stairs Leading up to the Senior High Room.. October 10, 1983.. Screwtape scolds Wormword for not doing more to undermine prayer at Bethlehem.. Marriage: a Matrix of Christian Hedonism.. October 16, 1983.. Ephesians 5:21 33.. Marriage is a mystery—it contains and conceals a meaning far greater than what we see on the outside.. Sabbath Hedonism.. October 17, 1983.. Isaiah 58:13 14.. Sunday should be a day for delighting ourselves in the Lord in ways we can t on other busy days.. Prayer: the Power of Christian Hedonism.. October 23, 1983.. John 16:24.. Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing.. Revolt Against the Sovereignty of God.. Exploiting Heartache to Push Heresy.. October 24, 1983.. Denying God s control over evil does not bring the healing it purports to.. The Bible: Kindling for Christian Hedonism.. October 30, 1983.. Psalms 19:7 11.. When Satan huffs and puffs and tries to blow out the flame of your joy, you have an endless supply of kindling in the Word of God.. David Gink Meets the Snake.. October 31, 1983.. His work was successful, his marriage okay, his kids out of trouble why get fanatical about Bible reading and prayer?.. November.. Then the End Will Come.. November 7, 1983.. The cause of world missions is absolutely assured of success.. It cannot fail.. Missions: the Battle Cry of Christian Hedonism.. November 13, 1983.. Mark 10:17 31.. The challenge is great.. God is greater.. The rewards are a hundred times better than anything the world can offer.. A Passion for Missions in the Men Who Stay.. November 14, 1983.. Laymen must be challenged to live for a cause greater than their present jobs.. Proud People Don't Say Thanks.. November 20, 1983.. Romans 1:16 23.. The human heart hates the truth that creation teaches because it is too humbling.. He Knows My Name! He Knows My Name!.. November 21, 1983.. John 10:3.. Knowing someone s name opens up the miracle of fellowship.. God's Covenant with Noah.. November 27, 1983.. Genesis 8:20 9:17.. The story of Noah and the flood is incomplete in itself.. God still hates sin and no remedy was found.. The story cries out for an epilogue.. Noah.. Poem.. Noahic Covenant and Nuclear War.. November 28, 1983.. The Noahic covenant seems to rule out the idea that there will be universal devastation before Christ returns.. December.. God's Covenant with Abraham.. December 4, 1983.. Genesis 17:1 8.. We need a solid insight into the meaning of Christ s coming that will keep us sober in a world intoxicated by the love of things.. Abraham.. Dangerous Mission.. December 5, 1983.. John 20:21.. Christmas is a model for missions.. As I so you.. And that mission means danger.. God's Covenant Through Moses.. December 11, 1983.. Exodus 19:1 9.. What was freely given under Moses was purchased by Christ.. Moses.. Warrior Mystic.. December 12, 1983.. Where are the Joshuas? Where are those whose knees are as calloused as their hands?.. God's Covenant with David.. December 18, 1983.. 2 Samuel 7:4 17.. When God makes a covenant he reveals his own job description and signs it.. David.. A Week of Prayer.. Going Hard after the Holy God.. December 23, 1983.. The measure of our present experience with Christ is the intensity of our longing for its increase.. Christ Jesus Came into the World to Save Sinners.. Christmas Day.. December 25, 1983.. 1 Timothy 1:12 17.. The meaning of Christmas is that what is good and precious in your life need never be lost, and what is evil and undesirable in your life can be changed.. Jesus..

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