Related: This audio excerpt is from a sermon John Piper delivered on November 26, 2006 entitled “God Strengthens Us by the Gospel.” You can read or download the message at Desiring God.
Question: What is the chief end of man?
Answer: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
Source: The Westminster Shorter Catechism – Question 1
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, 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. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
—Philippians 2:1-11, ESV
We are not justified by the doctrine of justification by faith. We can believe this doctrine, give intellectual assent to its truth, and even contend for it with our all without ever having the faith that alone will justify us. Our justification is not accomplished by a profession of faith. The evangelical world has never fully grasped that nobody is justified by a simple profession of faith. Professions of faith are good things, and those who believe are supposed to profess what they believe, but it’s the “possession” of faith — not its “profession” — that translates a person from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light.
Preaching the Cross
Truth revealed to any, carries with it an immovable persuasion of conscience that it ought to be published and spoken to others!
The Duty of Pastors and People Distinguished
One of the reasons missions is at the heart of Christianity is that Jesus teaches us to see the world utterly differently that we ordinarily see it. If you simply view the world the way it is seen in television and secular media and public education and theater, missions will make no sense and be no part of your life. In fact, I would say that if you want to see how much the secular culture shapes and controls you, simply ask how great your burden is for missions. The only way to have a burden for missions is to be more influenced by Jesus than by the American culture. To see the world the way Jesus sees it.
Vision for the Harvest: 2000 by 2000
Related: Passage for February from the 2008 Desiring God Calendar.
The prevailing doctrine of justification today is not justification by faith alone. It’s not even justification by good works or a combination of faith and works. The prevailing notion of justification in Western culture today is justification by death. It’s assumed that all one has to do to be received into the everlasting arms of God is to die.
The Truth of the Cross
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
—Colossians 1:15-23, ESV
Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.
—Fortune cookie from my favorite Asian restaurant
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
—Romans 12:1-2, ESV