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When God Himself Speaks to You

Jonathan Parnell / October 2, 2014

John Piper says that good news is so dense and so constant in Romans 8 — and so vastly superior to all earthly good news — that we scarcely feel the force of it until we take every verse of Romans 8 and restate it as the miracle it means for our lives.

So that is what he did.

As the apostle Paul described gospel ministry to be “God making his appeal through us” (2 Corinthians 5:20), Pastor John speaks the truth of Romans 8 to us as if God himself were speaking them. They are God’s words to us, and in his final message of the 2014 National Conference, Piper encourages us to just listen. He encourages us to bring our minds and hearts into a “hungry readiness to hear the Lord himself speak kindly and deeply and powerfully to our souls.” In this excerpt, he mentions sixteen, which takes about four minutes.

  • In Christ, you are free from eternal condemnation. (Romans 8:1)

  • My Spirit in you will one day give life to your mortal bodies in the resurrection. (Romans 8:10–11)

  • I executed the penalty for your sin in the crucified flesh of my Son. (Romans 8:3)

  • My Holy Spirit is fulfilling in you the demands of my law summed up in love. (Romans 8:4)

  • My Spirit’s power is the only means by which you can kill your sin. (Romans 8:13)

  • My indwelling Spirit is the spirit of adoption, wakening the cry from your heart, “Abba Father.” (Romans 8:15)

  • As my children, you are my heirs and will share my glory after a life of groaning with me in this fallen world. But children, that groaning is not worth comparing to the glory that you will one day see and share. (Romans 8:17–18)

  • One day, this entire creation will attain its own freedom and glory after and from and for my glorious children. (Romans 8:21)

  • When you don’t know how to pray in your sufferings, my Spirit prays for you through your very groanings. (Romans 8:26)

  • But one thing you do know: I work everything for the good of those who love me and are called according to my purpose. (Romans 8:28)

  • From eternity I took note of you, acknowledged you, chose you, and destined you infallibly to magnify my Son by becoming like him as the great firstborn. (Romans 8:29)

  • I forged in eternity the unbreakable links of the chain: predestined, called, justified, glorified so that at no point is any of my elect ever lost. (Romans 8:30)

  • Do you see, then? I, the Almighty, am for you! No one can successfully be against you. (Romans 8:31)

  • I gave my own Son to save you. And so, with the hardest act behind me, nothing can stop me from giving you everything you need to enjoy me forever. (Romans 8:32)

  • No charge can stick against you. I, the judge of the universe, count you righteous in my Son, Christ Jesus, who died, and rose, and reigns, and intercedes for you before me. (Romans 8:33–34)

  • Therefore, everyone and everything that attempts to block my love for you will not only be removed but it will be swept into the river of my omnipotent love, and it will serve you for your good and my glory forever. (Romans 8:38–39)

See John Piper’s full message, “Greatest Book, Greatest Chapter, Greatest Joy.”

All Conference Media Now Available

All audio and final-cut video from the 2014 National Conference is now available for streaming and download free of charge.

Wonder Why You’re Here

Jon Bloom / October 1, 2014
Wonder Why You’re Here

You are.

You are tempted to fill in a blank at the end of that sentence. You are ___. Most of what you might place in that blank are not worthy to be compared to the revealed glory that you are.

How is it that you are?

That is a wonderful question. A glorious question. It is among the greatest questions you can ever ask. For it directs you toward a Glory far greater than you.

Why You Are Here

Oh, you are glorious. You are a glory of such magnitude that if I was not so dulled by my depravity, so blinded by the cataracts of my selfishness, I could be tempted to worship you (Revelation 19:10). You only find that nearly impossible to believe because you have the same sin infected heart-eye disease that I have. What glory you do see at your very best you see through dark lenses (1 Corinthians 13:12). And they filter out so much glory, it’s grievous and makes us groan. And yet, in our fallen state, this is, in part, a mercy. It keeps us from sinfully worshiping the glory we emanate as if it were our own — any more than we already do. That is a great evil. For your glory is like a glorious ray of a more glorious Sun. You are a glory that has its origin in the Glory of glories. You are a spoken glory. You are a word of God. I AM has said, “You are.”

I AM is why you are. Why are you here? I AM has spoken you here. You are not the product of millions of years of meaningless mutations and mistakes. You are a word that God is speaking — even now — infused with more meaning than you have hardly begun to comprehend.

The Vociferous God

God said. God said! Who can comprehend such a marvel? Abandon all flannel board and Sistine Chapel conceptions of the Glorious One who “calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Romans 4:17), who created and is still creating the universe by his word (Hebrews 11:3). That you are and all that exists is, is the greatest apology for the existence of the I AM that exists:

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)

God is not silent! All that exists he is speaking into being (Hebrews 1:3) and his voice thunders with majestic power (Psalm 29:3–4). It is humans who are hearing impaired. But even so, science is beginning to hear — at least some sounds if not the Speaker. After centuries of scientific exploration, when many dreamed that matter was all there is, we are now beginning to peer deep enough to find that there are words beneath the matter!

Ponder that for a moment: there are words beneath the matter!

Yes, and there are words not only beneath the matter, but beneath all of the seen and unseen worlds, holding them all together (Colossians 1:16–17). “In the beginning, God created” and the Triune God said, “Let there be” and there was (Genesis 1:1–3). The Word spoke all things into being (John 1:3) for the Father (1 Corinthians 8:6) and the Almighty Spirit breathed life (Job 33:4) when God said, “Let there be life.”

This one God, the I AM, is so glorious, so effusive, so vociferous that from all eternity he must be comprised of three persons so that before there was a created universe there was an uncreated Trinitarian universe of omnipotent and supremely humble love from which all of creation overflowed (Genesis 1:1–2, John 1:3) and in which all of creation exists (Acts 17:28).

What God Says About you

And God said, let there be you and there was you and you became a living creature (Genesis 2:7). It matters not what horrors of history or corrupt choices combined to result in your being. The Fall of Man ensured that since our eviction from Eden no human being ever comes from anything but sinful stock. Our human pedigree is superfluous. We are wretched, God-blind, glory-stealing sinners, all of us.

But God (Ephesians 2:4). But “the God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness’ (Genesis 1:3), has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). The Word, the living, incarnate Word who is God (John 1:1) became flesh (John 1:14). He became Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). The Glory of glories, the glorious Sun whose rays of glory we have become, became flesh and dwelt among us.

How did the eternal, uncreated Word also become a created Word? We, as created words, have no adequate words for such a glorious mystery. “Veiled in flesh the Godhead see! Hail th’Incarnate Deity!”

And then . . . oh, and then a greater mystery still. The Word become flesh for us, the sinless, righteous Son became sin for us “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

How did the One who never knew sin bear our sin and destroy it (1 Peter 2:24; Romans 8:3)? We created words are left with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8). “Hail the Sun of righteousness!” The Sun has made the corrupt rays of his glory righteous!

Ponder the Wonder

Christian, you are.

Christian, you are glorious.

Christian, you are glorious with the glory of your Sun, the eternally righteous Son.

Christian, you are Christ’s (1 Corinthians 3:23).

O Christian, ponder the wonder.

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