Redeeming Work bears fruit in you.

Posted: May 26, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, The Christian Life

“On the basis of who he was and what he accomplished, Jesus made his demands. The demands cannot be separated from his person and work. The obedience he demands is the fruit of his redeeming work and the display of his personal glory. That is why he came — to create a people who glorify his gracious reign by bearing the fruit of his kingdom (Matt. 21:43).”

– John Piper, What Jesus Demands From the World (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2006), 23.

  1. liturgical says:

    Rob, like so many of your sermons, that is a comforting and humbling passage, and especially gripping to me is the “gracious reign” of Jesus that merits all the glory.

    However, the title of that book (“What Jesus Demands of the Word”) is odd considering that God has already decided and engineered who will and will not obey, at least according to Piper, here:

    In light of that video segment, why write a book about what Jesus demands of the world? I guess Piper was predetermined to write about something that is made irrelevant by the complete lack of agency anyone has in responding to the content of the book.

    I appreciate the fact that you speak of God’s sovereignty more in terms of comfort for the believer.


  2. doulos tou Theou says:

    this might get a little long but it’s from the introduction of the book since I don’t think Piper reads the blog to respond.
    And in the video I think you might be missing some pastoral stuff in there meant to comfort the believer.

    “The aim of this book is God-glorifying obedience to Jesus. To
    that end I am seeking to obey Jesus’ last command: “Make disciples
    of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I have
    commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20). Jesus’ final command was to
    teach all his commandments.

    If the aim of obedience is ultimately the
    glory of God, then it is probable that the teaching God will use is
    the kind that keeps his glory at the center. Therefore, my aim has
    been to keep the supremely valuable beauty of God in proper focus
    throughout the book.

    Jesus’ final, climactic
    command is that we teach all nations to observe all that he commanded.
    This leads to his ultimate purpose. When obedience to his
    commands happens, what the world sees is the fruit of Jesus’ glorious
    work and the worth of his glorious person. In other words,
    they see the glory of God. This is why Jesus came and why his mission
    remains until he comes.

    My prayer for this book is that it will serve that global mission—
    to “make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that
    I have commanded you.” I pray I am a faithful echo of Jesus when
    he said, “He who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I
    have heard from him” (John 8:26).’

    The content of the book is actually addressed to followers of Christ so, I think you are bringing up a separate argument that Pipers book doesn’t address.

  3. liturgical says:

    Please forgive me if that was a red herring. I want to believe that exhortations, whether missional or pastoral or whatever, really matter. I want to believe that encouragement and exhortation play roles in the work of ministers and the church. I just don’t see how that’s possible in the predetermined order Piper described in that video clip. I’m trying to understand how his comments in that clip do not undercut everything else he tries to say, foundationally. For example, what if someone presented a wonderful, sophisticated theology of some aspect of God, but elsewhere had said he doesn’t believe in God. The latter comment would seem to undercut all the others, raising the question: what’s the point of that wonderful, sophisticated theology?

    This, for me, is not about winning a debate or forming slam-dunk arguments. My comment was not intended to confront you or Rob, who I really like, or even Piper, who I really want to like, but rather it was an expression of exasperation at what seems to be a built-in nullificaiton within his work. It’s as if all we can do is make the hamster wheel spin faster, but we can’t go anywhere. Piper himself brings up Spurgeon’s view that the dust motes were predetermined to be where they are — with a much broader application implied — so he must consider predetermination as a matter for followers of Christ.

    These things genuinely trouble me in ways that no Oxford debate would ever help.

  4. liturgical says:

    … And the nexus of the clip and your post, for me, was that I found them at about the same time, and I felt like his statements in the clip nullified everything else.

  5. doulos tou Theou says:

    sent you an email colin

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s