Sunday, October 01, 2006

DG: Final Message Sunday Morning (John Piper)

[Note: I had a little trouble keeping up with the pace of the points and worked hard to get down the things Piper said that I thought were not in the manuscript. You will need to check the manuscript online for more accuracy on the main points.]

  1. The manuscript will be available online
  2. I have tasted what it is like to have a son and not have him be where I want him to be. I want that to be the feeling you emergent types have of me and this message.
  3. Someone exhorted me. “You sounded a warning that Mark can exploit his gifted cleverness. Mark is clever at the cultural level; you are clever at the academic level.” We are all in this danger together and we need prayer.

John 17:13 is the root of this message.

First I will give the short version of this message then the long one

1. Jesus greatest joy is in his father’s glory. Carson said: “Jesus joy in doing the will of His Father...” The source of the joy is deeper than just the doing. In this verse, Jesus wants you to enjoy the Father the way HE enjoys the Father.

2. This joy is conveyed to you by Spirit-anointed propositions. “These things I speak in the world…” things like verse 6, 10, 12, 9, 3. In words, propositions and understandable language! These very words bring joy when the Spirit comes and reveals them and it will become a passion for me.

The point of this in relation to pomo is to affirm that joy is doctrinally based if it is to glorify Jesus Christ. This is in the face of all the debunking of expositional preaching, etc. This is the way to find Christ-exalting joy.

Now I will preach this in long version in ten steps of a mounting argument.

1. God is the only being who has no beginning and therefore all else is dependent on Him for their existence and value and is therefore less valuable than God.

Neither of these statements are true to the pomo. If you do not believe these or if you hide them, you will hinder the proclamation of Christ.

Exodus 3 “I am who I am.” God does not get his being or character from anything outside of himself. He always “is.” He is self-determined. He is just there. We reckon with him or we perish. He brings us into being and we deal with him. “I am alpha and omega.”

Therefore there is an incalculable difference in value between us.

Isaiah 40:15-17

You are incalculably less valuable than God. I paused here and thought about the fact that I am supposed to be relevant. What cool thing would Driscoll say? So, I am going to try. There is an incalculable difference between what he would do now and what I am going to do. He would have really relevant names to put with this. “Would you watch a football game where all the players are no better than you?” Movies, museums, etc. Why are so many people so willing to be shown to be inferior all the time? The Biblical answer is that God made us so that we admire superiority in others – mainly Himself. Your biggest joy is in admiring Him.

2. From eternity God is supremely joyful in Trinity so that there is no defect in Him that would prompt Him to create the world.

Acts 17:25 – Psalm 50 – Call upon Me. I am bread you are hungry. I am water and you are thirsty. I act from fullness. I am content in fellowship of the Trinity. Human language cannot express how well-pleased God is with the Son. He enjoys the son infinitely, and with no need of you at all.

Some day Jesus will say “Enter into the joy of your master!” What joy is that! Omnipotent joy!

3. God created humans in his own image that he might be known and enjoyed by them and in that way display the supreme value of his glory – the beauty of his manifold perfections.

Isaiah 43:6-7 – He gave you a mind and heart (affection and reflection) so that you would glorify him in way different than a mountain. You grasp his glory and consciously know it like no other being knows it. Then you would savour it and delight in it and reflect its value. Minds and emotions were not a mistake. His purpose was to reflect his glory by being known and enjoyed.

Hab 2:14

Ps 96:3

Ez 28:2

Ro 9:23

Col 1:27

He made known the riches of his glory – they can be known to a degree.

2 Cor 4:6 – he gave you a brain for his glory to be made known

In the OT, the enemies of God were so aware of this that they knew (IS 66:5) how to be cynical to the remnant.

Why did Jude say at the close of his letter, “and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with rejoicing.” They knew this. To see the glory of God is the means by which we come to enjoy it in our hearts.

There is a massive obstacle in the way – god’s wrath and our sin.

4. Jesus came into the world to absorb the wrath of God so that all who receive Christ… [you will have to fill in online]

There is no place for the wrath of God and therefore there is no place for a wrath-bearing Savior. There is no place for the gospel.

A church leader heaped scorn on this view of the atonement three years ago. “The cross is not vengeful child abuse… such a concept stands in total opposition to the statement God is love…” With one cynical stroke of the pen, the atonement is blasphemed. God is not mocked – His words stand firm and clear and merciful.

Is 53 – wounded for our transgressions…

Christ became a curse for us – cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree – what the Law could not do weak as it was in the flesh, God did… - who’s sin? My sin. Who’s flesh? His flesh. Who’ condemnation? The Father. I don’t like critiquing these people – this is heartbreaking. But what can you do when they attack the center with blasphemous cynicism. Nothing is more crucial for humanity than to escape the omnipotent wrath of God. Escape form hell is not the ultimate goal of the cross. It is very important, but 1 Peter 3:18 says “suffered once, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to god.” That is the goal of the cross. Bring me to everlasting joy. The end is god enjoying God.

5. The enjoyment of God is the deepest way god’s glory is reflected back to him. It terminates on God alone. It is not performed as a means to anything else. It is the deepest reverberation in the heart of man of the value of Gods glory.

That statement changes everything if it is true. We cannot enjoy God as a means to anything. It is not an act for the sake of something beyond god. You do not enjoy your wife so that she will make you supper. You do not enjoy a sunset so that you can become a poet. There are no “so that’s” after joy. I am saying that joy was designed by God as the deepest way to bring him glory.

Joy in its nature is the spontaneous result as a witness to what you treasure – it reveals more authentic than anything what you treasure. Where your treasure is there will your heart be. Joy is unique in its capacity to witness to what we treasure.

There is no such thing as hypocritical joy. There may be hypocritical testimony about joy, but no hypocritical joy. It is either there or it is not there. God knew what he was doing.

His aim is that we reflect the worth of His glory. Joy is the clearest witness to what you enjoy.

6. Nevertheless, the enjoyment of God in Christ is the spring of all self-denying sacrificial love that display to others the world of god in our lives. God can see the reflection of his worth hidden in our hearts enjoyment of his glory but God aims at more than hidden reflections., he aims for this glory to be visible to others not just to himself. Therefore God had constitutes us so that our enjoyment of him overflows in our visible love to others.

2cor 8:1-2. There is joy in affliction. Affliction was added to poverty when they believed. .. yet there joy is producing giving to others! These acts of love bring visible glory to God.

Matthew 5:16 “let light shine before men…” What is the light? The answer is verse 12. Great is your reward in heaven – Jesus! So you are the salt and light when you have that crazy response to suffering – joy! If the world says false things about you, and you cannot rejoice in God – your light cannot shine. If you cut out a few good deeds, you get the glory. But if joy is deep… the world has a problem on its hands! How can this be explained. I so want to be that way.

There is no doubt that the pomo world must hear the gospel and see the glory of god flowing in many streams of radical love that come from joy in god. When you enjoy god, he is honoured.

7. The only joy that reflects the worth of god and God glorifying love is rooted in the true knowledge of God. The only god-glorifying joy that flows from the mystery of what we don’t know about god rises from the projection into the unknown of what we do know. To the degree that our knowledge is small or flawed our projections will probably be distorting the joy based on them is a poor echo of his true excellence.

Neh 8:12 – they understood the words declared to them (levitical expository efforts) and they had joy that resulted in great giving

Two on the road to Emmaus – did not our hearts burn within us?

Twice Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you that your joy might be full.” Words, propositions, flows of argument that open the Word to the people of God. That is the pastor’s job. Don’t let propositions or languages be mocked in your presence.

John 15:11

The main thing that comes through words when Holy spirit uses them is Christ. 1 Samuel 3:21 – the Lord revealed himself to Samuel by the word of the lord. Self by word. If the joy that our people have is to reflect the glory of God it must flow through the minds’ perception of what is true about the glory of god. If you say my joy is in the journey, you make an idol out of the journey and a disappointment of heaven.

Jesus is not honored most by an exploration of Christologies.

Jesus is honored by our knowing and treasuring him for who he really is. Our feelings about him do not make him what he is. He is. If you value what is not true about him, you undermine Christ-exalting joy.

Where is the place of mystery? Now we see in a glass dimly, then face to face. What I know about God is so small compared to what I will one day know. How should my unknowing effect the knowing?

Getting saved is like being catapulted into the mountain ranges of God’s glory. Every corner you hike and turn and see you bow down and worship. But off in the distance are more ranges and more. Knowing that has a Christ-exalting effect if that unknowing is a projection out of knowing.

8. Therefore the right knowledge of God is the servant of god-glorifying joy in God and god glorifying love for people. Having ignorance of god hinders joy and love. Ignorance of God and errors in thinking about God hinder god-glorifying friendships.

Emergent Village website: “We believe in God… but you won’t find a traditional statement of faith here…statements tend to stifle friendships…” Precisely for the sake of friendship, we seek to know.

Are there any statements which if your friend really believes them would destroy you? Like, Jesus is not God, or, Jesus did not die for our sins, etc. If a person really believes this, would not stating the opposite help?

Lewis “the Four Loves.” Friendship is not face to face but shoulder to shoulder with a common interest and challenge.

The greater the shared vision of God – the deeper the friendship.

I am probably going to die, that’s my eschatology. When I die, I want my friends around me. We share a vision of god and truths about wrath and forgiveness and hell and heaven. They are so unshakable and rich. I am sad about cut flower friendships that do not survive outside the soil of truth. If a friendship and its joy are cut off from truth, they cannot glorify the god of Truth.

Even if an angel form heaven should preach to a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you let him be accursed.

You can have tolerance and courtesy… but not deep friendship.

9. Therefore let us not marginalize or minimize healthy biblical doctrine about the nature of God and the world of God in Christ but rather let us embrace it and cherish it and build our friendships and church on it.

10. And thus may the church become the pillar and buttress of truth and therefore of the love and joy and the display of the glory of God and supremacy of Christ in all things.

The conference closed with the singing of The Solid Rock.

ON Christ the solid rock I stand.