John Piper – passion for the supremacy of God – From the passion conference
As I listened to this sermon podcast, these were the notes I took and wanted to share with you. Over the next few posts, it will be linked to this sermon. This to me was a fantastic sermon and I can’t wait to share with you part 2. This was done back at Passion 97 but it has been a fantastic and powerful find.
Here is the link so you can listen to this powerful sermon. (You will actually find the sermon transcribed there but again these are the parts that stood out to me)
We exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples is his life mission and vision of church (point 1). He quotes from Isaiah 26:8, “Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.” His purpose (point 2) is to be a match set for the kindling of our joy and thrill in God. Point 3, to see from scripture the two points are the same reason. To spread a passion for God’s supremacy and be happy in God are identical. God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him is what we will hear many times during these two sermons. The more we find satisfaction in him and eat from his table the more his worth and all sufficiency is magnified.
No competition between God’s passion to be glorified and our passion to be satisfied because they are one.
Piper is here to torch a glacier in our lives. He refers to Matthew 24:12 – “lawlessness will be multiplied and love of many grow cold.” He hates the thought of growing cold. That my love for God and people would dry up yet Jesus says it is coming. The fact that Lawlessness will be multiplied and love of many will grow cold is a bleak description of the last days. In the next verse it says, “But those who endure to end will be saved”. And in the next verse, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Piper wants us to see the tension in 12 and 14. Piper reminds us it is not the cold people who will take the Gospel to the unreached people of this world. But if we look at verse 9, you will be hated on account of Jesus (summary of verse 9). Thus the tension because if we will be hated, it won’t be the cold people. It will be white hot people. As the end of age draws near, there will be people getting ice cold and those getting white hot to lay down lives to preach the gospel.
A little girl drew a picture of this imagery and it was a marvelous glacier with a hole in the glacier at the top with the sun coming down and a stick man with a torch. Many people are growing cold toward God, but nothings says where we live we have to be under that glacier. If there are enough people with a torch, a big hole can be opened up over your campus, your work, even your city.
The Foundation is: your passion for the supremacy of God in all things is based squarely on the passion of God for the supremacy of God in all things. Your God centerdness, if it will last, has to be rooted in God centerdness. God is supreme in the life of God. If you want God to be your treasure you have to see that God’s treasure is God. We may not withhold from God the highest pleasure from God which is worship of God.
The chief end of God is to glorify God. Not just the chief end of man, but the chief end of God is to glorify and enjoy himself forever.
1 Cor 10:31, “…do it all for the glory of God.” But God does everything for the glory of God and the root of my living for the glory of God is God lives for the glory of God. God loves himself more than He loves you and that is the only reason He loves you. It is easy to be a Christian in a man centered world that it buttresses what you would have done without God. You are Not a Christian if you only loved what you would have loved without being confronted by the beauty of a God centered God. If God is only a means to your self-exaltment, rather than you seeing in Him as a God consumed with manifestation of His glory than check your conversion.
God chose me for His glory. He chose us unto the praise of the glory of His grace. That His glory and grace might be praised and magnified. Your salvation is to glorify God. Regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification is to glorify God. Is 43:6-7 God rescued His people for His glory. That He might make known His glory and power. He saved His people so that He might make known His mighty power and it spread all the way to Jericho that it saved a prostitute. Because she heard Your name and Your renown. Even as the people were captives in Israel, He saved them after 70 years, He refined them for His own sake. His glory, He will not give to another.
A God centered motive for mercy. Jesus came to this world in John 3:16. Jesus came in Romans 15:8-9 to show God’s truthfulness in order to confirm the promises and the gentiles proclaim His name. Jesus came so we might give glory for His Father’s glory. In Romans 3 he died to vindicate the righteousness of God like David’s adultery and murder. It troubled Paul that God just passed over his sins. Paul cried, “how can you do that God!” The cross is the solution to a mega-theological problem namely how can God forgive our sins. Christ came to vindicate God in saving people like us.
Why is Jesus coming again?2 Thes 1:9, he is coming to be glorified and magnified in his saints and be marveled at. We must start at that now and do the thing he created us to do. Marvel at him and magnify him, not like a microscope but like a telescope. It is blasphemy to magnify God like a microscope because it takes something tiny and magnifies it make it look bigger. But a telescope looks at something unimaginable and tries to help them look like what they are. A star is not a pinpoint, it is something big and hot. It is bigger than the earth. Your life exists to telescope God’s goodness to your surroundings.
This does not sound loving that God is God centered. If love seeks not its own but now you are telling us God seeks His own. Why God is loving and seeking His own self-exaltation: Quote from C.S. Lewis in the Desiring God book.first a background on Lewis. Lewis hated God’s vanity and was an atheist. Lewis heard God say “praise me! praise me!”. Then God came into his life.This is what he said, “We delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.” If God is to love you, He must give you what is best for you and that is God. If He gives you everything that is best but not himself, He hates you. If God gives you Himself and nothing more, He loves you. I must have God for my enjoyment if God is to be loving to me.
Summary: To love you, He must give you what is best for you. God is what is best. God gives himself to us for pleasures. But unless those pleasures find expression in praise to God those pleasures are restricted. Therefore God not wanting to restrict your pleasure, He says “praise me… exalt me… Have a passion for my supremacy”. God’s passion to be glorified and your passion to be satisfied are not at odds.
If this is true that God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him and there is no contradiction, then the vocation of my life is to pursue your pleasure. Simply God is our pleasure. He calls it Christian hedonism. Piper will go more into it in part 2.