O Jesus, Savior of my life,
My hope, my joy, my sacrifice,
I’ve searched and found no other one
Who loves me more than you have done. (John 15:13)
No condemnation now I dread
Because you went for me instead
To bear the Father’s hell-bent rage,
To pay the debt I would have paid.
Yet your work finished not with death,
Nor with your final murdered breath.
For death’s blows could not ever quell
The One whose life is in Himself. (John 5:26)
Your passion broke forth full with life,
And foiled the adversary’s wiles.
You broke the chains, destroyed the sting (1 Cor. 15:55-57)
With which death had afflicted me.
O Savior, who died in my stead, (Mark 10:45; Heb. 9:28)
You firstborn from among the dead, (Col. 1:18)
O Savior, you who saved my life, (Matt. 1:21; John 12:47; 1 Cor. 1:21)
Will take me whole to paradise. (Rev. 22:1-7)
So on this resurrection day
I lift my voice with all the saints
And sing with all my ransomed might (1 Tim. 2:6)
Of You, the Savior of my life!
- the glory of his eternality that makes the mind want to explode with the infinite thought that God never had a beginning, but simply always was;
- the glory of his knowledge that makes the Library of Congress look like a matchbox and quantum physics like a first grade reader;
- the glory of his wisdom that has never been and can never be counseled by men;
- the glory of his authority over heaven and earth and hell, without whose permission no man and no demon can move one inch;
- the glory of his providence without which not one bird falls to the ground or a single hair turns gray;
- the glory of his word that upholds the universe and keeps all the atoms and molecules together;
- the glory of his power to walk on water, cleanse lepers, heal the lame, open the eyes of the blind, cause the deaf to hear, still storms with a word, and raise the dead;
- the glory of his purity never to sin, or to have a two-second bad attitude or evil thought;
- the glory of his trustworthiness never to break his word or let one promise fall to the ground;
- the glory of his justice to render all moral accounts in the universe settled either on the cross or in hell;
- the glory of his patience to endure our dullness for decade after decade;
- the glory of his sovereign, slave-like obedience to embrace the excruciating pain of the cross willingly;
- the glory of his wrath that will one day cause people to call out for the rocks and the mountains to fall on them;
- the glory of his grace that justifies the ungodly; and
- the glory of his love that dies for us even while we were sinners.
List excerpted from John Piper, “The Surpassing Goal: Marriage Lived for the Glory of God,”Building Strong Families, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2002). 93.
The Beauty of God’s Purpose in Family
by Marc Mullins, January 21, 2012
This day in the year 2012, the definition of what a human family is can be harder to identify than the actual day Christ will return for His bride. Of course dozens of people have false notions of what that date might be, also many claim to define family but have not truly identified God’s definition for family. Both, of course, can only be truly known by God as he has communicated to us in his inerrant and living word.
The world’s definition:
[fam-uh-lee, fam-lee] Show IPA noun,plural -lies, adjective
2. the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family.
3. the spouse and children of one person: We’re taking the family on vacation next week.
4. any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents,children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family.
5. all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor. 1
God Created Man to Extend His Glory
God created mankind, specifically families, to extend his glory. After creating mankind in his own image, God then asserted creative order in Genesis to the first man and woman. That order is to have dominion over all creation, to subdue it by being fruitful and multiplying.
Humanity is God’s means to subdue creation under his feet so that the earth will become the created Temple of God. In the perfect world, God willed for humans to join together in worship of himself by giving them the ability to relate to and commune with each other and to worship their Creator, as the unique creatures that bear his likeness which are his essence manifested in human flesh.2
If the purpose of creation was to create a temple in which God would dwell in relationship with his creatures flourishing and extending their dominion outside the original borders of the garden, then it is important to understand how this helps to define family. Family is the resulting relationship in which God’s image on display in the creation while remaining exiled from the first garden until Christ returns for his bride and safely delivers them to the new garden where an eternal communing relationship bonded by His blood will never be severed.3
The family is God’s means for dominion over his created temple. As man and woman were joined together to become one flesh, God’s means to cover the earth became reality. God created the first family, first he made Adam out of dust to work and tend the garden and secondly Eve, made from Adam’s own flesh and bone, given of himself to himself by God to be his helpmate. They were to join together, become one flesh, literally inseparable, and be fruitful and multiply to the praise of their father. They were to multiply humanity, made in the image of God, so that God’s image would subdue creation and blanket it with God on display, God’s glory.
That the Next Generation Might Know.
God has uniquely created humans, as the only relational, moral, and creative beings that have the ability to worship, learn and think, all driven by the soul which has set in motion by God’s common grace among all humans and his Saving Grace among his elect. As God chose to use human families as the means to fill his temple, God also provided the how and why for humans to accomplish God’s will.
Human Families were to display God’s glorious gospel. Man was to find supreme pleasure in serving and worshiping God in Christ. Since our first Father and Mother brought us all into a pattern of sin and spiritual death, God in his mercy and grace gave mankind instruction to quicken the dead hearts of man. God commanded fathers to lead their families in the worship of God our Creator, wives to submit to their husbands as unto Christ and children under the instruction and authority of both parents. Man was to continuously tell the next generation of the wonders of the one true God and recount the stories of humanities failures and God’s redeeming grace. ( Psalm 78)
The Gospel is on display as man is to sacrificially give himself over to his bride as Christ died for the church (Eph 5:22-6:4) and as Adam gave of himself for the creation of his lifelong helpmate. The woman is to joyously submit to the leadership of the husband as the church does to Christ and as Eve was created to submit to Adam until the serpent thwarted God’s design for family order in creation. Through the submission and leadership to the instruction of God, they were to be fruitful and as Deuteronomy teaches us they were to desire God above all things and from sun up to sun down, they were to teach their children the ways of God, train them in the fear of God, worshiping him with all of their heart, soul and might.4
The Family Continuing God’s Redemptive Plan
Even today we still find the biblical family as the bedrock foundation for the extension of God’s glory around the globe in the midst of a relentless enemy. God has commissioned man, woman and every generation he blesses us with to cover the earth, making new disciples in each family who will continue the mission. In some countries the institution of family has been eternally altered from God’s design. Some places, the definition of family has nothing to do with being fruitful or multiplying. Even so God’s sovereign will cannot be stopped. God continues to bring man and woman together under his authority who will bring up coming generations, sharing the gracious Gospel and until the Bride of Christ The Savior is gathered, generation by generation, church by church, and nation by nation.
Until He Returns
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
(Revelation 19:6-8 ESV)
2 Many ideas were considered from Dr. James Hamilton’s article, “The Mystery of Marriage,” pages 253-71 in For the Fame of God’s Name: Essays in Honor of John Piper, ed. Sam Storms and Justin Taylor. Wheaton: Crossway, 2010.
4 I owe a debt of gratitude for the insights provided by Dr. Hamilton in his article “That the Coming Generation Might Praise the Lord,” Journal of Family Ministry 1.1 (2010): 10-17.
Also published as: “That the Coming Generation Might Praise the Lord: Family Discipleship in the Old Testament,” pages 33–43 in Trained in the Fear of God: Family Ministry in Theological, Historical, and Practical Perspective, ed. Timothy Paul Jones and Randy Stinson. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2011. The content of this entire book has been instrumental in my theology of family as I see it developed in the vast story line of God’s redemptive plan in scripture.
Just home from two weeks in Australia, I am brimming with thankfulness to God for his people there, and for the pleasures of working with them in Brisbane and Sydney and in the mountains of Katoomba.
One of the conferences was called Engage. It was focused on “young workers,” which, in their lingo, means young professionals in the workplace. I was asked in an interview if I thought this focus was a good idea. I said yes, because of 1 Corinthians 10:31, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
So they asked: How can young workers glorify God at work?
Here’s the gist of my answer.
Dependence. Go to work utterly dependent on God (Proverbs 3:5-6; John 15:5). Without him you can’t breathe, move, think, feel, or talk. Not to mention be spiritually influential. Get up in the morning and let God know your desperation for him. Pray for help.
Integrity. Be absolutely and meticulously honest and trustworthy on the job. Be on time. Give a full day’s work. “Thou shalt not steal.” More people rob their employers by being slackers than by filching the petty cash.
Skill. Get good at what you do. God has given you not only the grace of integrity but the gift of skills. Treasure that gift and be a good steward of those skills. This growth in skill is built on dependence and integrity.
Corporate shaping. As you have influence and opportunity, shape the ethos of the workplace so that the structures and policies and expectations and aims move toward accordance with Christ. For example, someone is shaping the ethos of Chick-fil-A restaurants with this video.
Impact. Aim to help your company have an impact that is life-enhancing without being soul-destroying. Some industries have an impact that is destructive (e.g., porn, gambling, abortion, marketing scams, etc). But many can be helped to turn toward impact that is life-giving without being soul-ruining. As you have opportunity, work toward that.
Communication. Work places are webs of relationships. Relationships are possible through communication. Weave your Christian worldview into the normal communications of life. Don’t hide your light under a basket. Put it on the stand. Winsomely. Naturally. Joyfully. Let those who love their salvation say continually, Great is the Lord! (Psalm 40:16)
Love. Serve others. Be the one who volunteers first to go get the pizza. To drive the van. To organize the picnic. Take an interest in others at work. Be known as the one who cares not just about the light-hearted weekend tales, but the burdens of heavy and painful Monday mornings. Love your workmates, and point them to the great Burden Bearer.
Money. Work is where you make (and spend) money. It is all God’s, not yours. You are a trustee. Turn your earning into the overflow of generosity in how you steward God’s money. Don’t work to earn to have. Work to earn to have to give and to invest in Christ-exalting ventures. Make your money speak of Christ as your supreme Treasure.
Thanks. Always give thanks to God for life and health and work and Jesus. Be a thankful person at work. Don’t be among the complainers. Let your thankfulness to God overflow in a humble spirit of gratitude to others. Be known as the hope-filled, humble, thankful one at work.
There are more things to say about glorifying God in the workplace. But this is a start. Add to the list as God gives you light. The point is: Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink or work, do all to make God look as great as he really is.
Recent posts from John Piper —
Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10
I wonder if Romans 12:10 is one of the most under-obeyed commands in Scripture. I wonder if we have lowered our standard to “Do no harm to one another,” which is passive, and if we are not destroying each other we must be doing okay. But the gospel is all about the glory of God coming down on sinners (2 Thessalonians 2:14). Honor to one another is an obvious next step. But how many churches have you observed that made you say, “How they honor one another!”
What might keep us from pressing further in this way?
One, we might fear that honoring one another could appear to be mere flattery, even manipulation. And yes, we should carefully watch our hearts against insincerity. But do we ever obey perfectly in any respect? Obeying imperfectly is better than disobeying for fear of imperfection.
Two, we might think, Who am I to confer honor on anyone? What is my opinion worth? Good thought. Humble thought. But it isn’t us conferring the honor. It is God. Our part is to celebrate the honor and glory God is giving.
Three, we might not know how to show honor. Some of us grew up in homes where put-downs were how we were managed as children. But the gospel is all we need to begin a new tradition in every life, every home, every church. As we reach for nobler things, the God of peace will be with us to help us (Philippians 4:8-9).
Four, we might not see things in other believers worthy of honor. Well, maybe we need to look more closely. “As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight” (Psalm 16:3). Every saint has some excellence. But an outlook of negative scrutiny will impute dark things to admirable people. Maybe we need to repent of an ungenerous spirit toward truly godly people.
As Paul Tournier wrote in Guilt and Grace, pages 15-16, “In everyday life we are continually soaked in this unhealthy atmosphere of mutual criticism, so much so that we are not always aware of it and we find ourselves drawn unwittingly into an implacable vicious circle: every reproach evokes a feeling of guilt in the critic as much as in the one criticized, and each one gains relief from his guilt in any way he can, by criticizing other people and in self-justification.” This is the spirit of worldliness.
We gospel-centered people are under the command of God to create alternative cultures of honor, called churches, where people are lifted up, their accomplishments celebrated, their strengths admired, their weaknesses forgiven. This new relational environment has high standards, in keeping with the glory of the gospel.