Monday, October 10, 2005

Piper's New Book: God is the Gospel

I just finished reading John Piper's new book: God is the Gospel and I think he hits the nail right on the head when it comes to the Gospel. I will write more later but the basic idea is that all too often the Gospel is peddled as a sort of life enhancement product when in reality the Gospel is all about God. Piper asks the question:

The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—
is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the
friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and
all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties
you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no
human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with
heaven, if Christ was not there?

At the heart of this question is what are we searching for, God or the things we can get from God. The focus needs to be on God and while other benefits may come they are not the focus or reason for our joy in the Gospel, God is.

I really think this can effect how we live, especially in the face of adversity. If we are looking for stuff then when things are bad we will stray but if the main focus is God we will be less likely to stray. I was reading Job for a Sunday morning class I teach and was looking at 19:25-27:

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me! (ESV)

While this verse deals with bodily resurrection I think it also reveals Job’s heart. In the midst of his adversity he was not contemplating a new body for all of it’s inherent benefits, health and such, but instead he focused on seeing God.

I will try and reflect more on this but I really do think that how we focus on God is an antidote to the consumerism that is rampant in the church today. This then can radically impact how we preach and what we preach.

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