A great summary of some of the best new features coming to iOS 5.
Archives for September 2011
God’s purpose is to be known: “That your way may be known on earth” (v. 2)
God’s purpose is to be praised: “Let the peoples praise you” (v. 3).
God’s purpose is to be enjoyed: “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy” (v. 4).
God’s purpose is to be feared and reverenced: “Let all the peoples of the earth fear him” (v. 7).
“And God’s purpose is not to be known and praised and enjoyed by any little clique, but by all nations.”
“What does he man to be known for? What does he mean to be praised for? What is it about him that he intends to be enjoyed? And what is is about him that makes us tremble?”
There are 4 of them:
1. He aims to be known as the one and only true and living God. He is not the God of any other religion. I gather this from the fact that an inspired Israelite is praying that his God be praised by the Gentile nations who have other gods. “Let the peoples praise you, O God” (v. 3). Here’s what Isaiah 45:5-6 says: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. Besides me there is no God. …There is none besides me. I am the Lord, there is no other.” God did not say “May all the nations become sincere worshipers of their god.” The whole Israelite religion is the opposite of that.
“Let’s be super clear about this, because we are in a world super charged with Islam. It doesn’t help the cause of truth to say we worship the same God as Muslims do. I am putting the emphasis on the word worship. We do not worship the same God that Muslims do. Muslims do not believe in Jesus dying, giving his life as a ransom for sinners, who raise from the dead and claims worship as the divine Son of God. They don’t affirm any of those things, which for us are the center and essence of our faith. And Jesus has something to say about people of whatever religion who don’t believe those things about him: ‘You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father’ (John 8). John 5:23: ‘Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father.” If you don’t worship Jesus, you do not worship God. Liberals who don’t believe Jesus rose, they don’t know God. No one who denies the Son has the Father. And everyone who truly worships the Father also worships Jesus: “Whoever has heard and learned from the Father comes to me’ (John 6). Neither Muslims or anyone else in any religion — including Baptists or any denomination in Christianity — knows God if they do not trust in Jesus.”
2. He wants to be known and praised and enjoyed and feared because he is a God of justice. Verse 4: “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity.” When the judgment comes, God will not be partial. No bribes will be considered, no sophisticated plea bargaining, all will proceed along the lines of perfect, divine righteousness. Everyone stands on equal footing. There will be one standard for everyone: perfection. Therefore, the universal failure to love God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind means the only salvation is the death of Jesus in our place. The perfections of Jesus and the punishments of Jesus are the only remedy for the entire world.
3. God aims to be known and praised and enjoyed and feared for his sovereign power. Verse 4: “Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity, and guide the nations upon earth.” Many nations boast of their independence, but God made all nations and determined their boundaries and periods of time (Acts 17) and “he removes kings and sets up kings” (Daniel 2:21) and “he does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of men” (Daniel 4:35). God means to make himself known as sovereign over the existence and rise and fall of nations. He sets the destiny, not any president.
And part of this destiny is that they will hear the gospel.
4. God aims to be known as a gracious God. Verse 1: “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.”
Piper’s quick summary of God’s path, through Abraham and Israel, to save all the nations:
God chose Abraham and said “I will bless you to be a blessing, and through you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12, 15). Psalm 67 is a realization and praying into reality of that promise ahead of time. “May God be gracious to us and bless us…that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.”
God fulfills this through Christ, who is the seed of Abraham. All who belong to Christ — whether Jew or Gentile — become the seed of Abraham and are heirs according to promise.
Galatians 3:13: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles” — that is, the nations. “Know then it is those who are of faith are the sons of Abraham.” “If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring — heirs according to the promise.”
“God’s plan to save the world is that he created it, it fell, and on his way to redeem the nations he chose a nation, Israel. You might say: ‘That’s strange. He focused on one nation for 2,000 years’. It is strange. That’s why Romans 11 is in the Bible. Romans 11 is all about why God took this strange, circuitous route to the nations through focusing first on Israel primarily for 2,000 years.”
Piper is starting his message now, “Let the Peoples Praise You, O God Let All the Peoples Praise You!” He is preaching from Psalm 67 and Genesis 12.
“Let’s apply these truths to the unreached.” “There are 6,000 plus people groups with little or no access to the gospel. Over 2.5 billion people. Why must we give our lives, losing them if necessary, to spreading this gospel? Why must we go to them with urgency?” 3 reasons:
1. The knowledge of God in nature is sufficient to condemn, but not to save. All people see the glory of God in nature, and reject it (Romans 1). It is only through the gospel that God cuts through this and brings salvation (Romans 1:16; 10). Will God condemn someone for not believing in a Jesus they never heard of? No. “But the problem is there are no innocent people in Africa — or anywhere — waiting to hear the gospel. There are only guilty people. The innocent person does not exist. That’s why we need the gospel.”
2. “We must go to them because the gospel is powerful enough to save them forever. Because the gospel is truly good news for every people group on the planet, and it works.” “You can go to the hardest, most difficult people group to reach, and you can have confidence that that people group will be represented around the throne of God. This gospel is powerful enough to save. There is not a people group on the planet that God cannot save. And people who believe that cannot stay in their seats and do nothing.”
3. “The glory of God is good enough to satisfy them forever.”