Friday, January 6, 2012

Passion 2012: Sermon Notes from John Piper's Message

I never expected to take notes from the Passion 2012 conference, because I didn't even know it was going on until I saw it pop up on my Twitter account! I read that 45,000 students packed the Georgia dome and was excited for sure. And then I heard that John Piper was speaking in one of the night sessions; it made me even more excited. Thanks to the team at Passion for being willing to show parts of this great conference.

This sermon is one of the best I've heard in a long time. Of course I would highly recommend that you listen to it or watch it (not sure if its still available to watch). I hope and pray that this will help you. Listening and taking notes in this sermon has certainty been a great exercise for me and I praise God for that.  

Main point: Seeing and savoring the supremacy of Jesus Christ frees you from the slavery of sin for the sacrifices of love.

Step 1: Saving Faith: Seeing, Savoring, and Believing
Piper sees that saving faith is seeing and savoring Jesus and being satisfied in all that God is for you in Jesus. Therefore, when you see and savor Jesus, when you are satisfied with all that God is for you in Jesus, and when you believe Jesus (saving faith) you outwardly are set free from the slavery of sin and the sacrifices of love.

The root of your salvation glorifies God privately (seeing and savoring, being satisfied, and trusting Jesus) and the fruit of your salvation glorifies God publically (slavery of sin and sacrifices of love).

The first verse he gives for proof of his main point is John 6:35: “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

Coming to Jesus and believing in Jesus are parallel statements meant to interpret each other. The bread and the water are both images of Jesus. So, believing in Jesus is a soul coming to Jesus to be satisfied in all that he is!

Next verse is John 1:12, “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”

Receiving Jesus and believing in Jesus are the same. Receiving or believing Jesus means you see what he is, you want him, and you embrace him! You say yes, yes, yes!

Remember Piper is proving his definition of saving faith from the Bible.

The last verse is Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he is and that he rewards those who seek him.”

The only way to please God is by believing. And he (the writer) unpacks what he means by believing. The believing heart says you are my reward! You are the treasure of my life! Faith is childlike, needy, and hungry. It is a desperate response to glory.

The fact that seeing and savoring the supremacy of Jesus, being satisfied in all that God is for you in Jesus, and trusting Jesus are equivalent realities is striking and threatening.

It means coming to faith in Jesus requires a resurrection from the dead. You don’t by nature see and savor him. You aren’t satisfied in all that he is for you, and you do not by nature trust him.

Conversion or saving faith is a gift of seeing and savoring! It is morally impossible for someone who is in love with darkness to walk into the light. The new birth awakens us from our deadness to treasure Jesus.

Romans 6:17-18, “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart, having been set free from sin, having become slaves of righteousness.”

Having saving faith does NOT mean you won’t struggle in this life. But in heaven there will be no struggle to obey. We will all the way slaves of righteousness and the freest people in the universe!

Step 2: The supremacy of Jesus Christ.
Here Piper sets out to help us SEE so we can SAVOR the supremacy of Jesus by proclaiming who he is and why we should trust him. (Note: I did not include every aspect of what Piper talked about, otherwise it would have been too long.)

The supremacy of his eternality: Jesus Christ never had a beginning. He always was.

The supremacy of his knowledge: That makes all the information on the internet look like a 1940’s farmer’s almanac.

The supremacy of his authority: Without his permission nobody can move one inch. He puts up kings and puts down kings.

The supremacy of his providence: Without him not a single bird falls to the ground anywhere in the world, including the deepest darkest jungle of the Amazon forest.

The supremacy of his power: To walk on water, to open the eyes of the blind, the storms to cease, and the dead to rise with a single word of his power.

The supremacy of his justice: He will render in due time all moral accounts settled either on the cross or in hell.

The supremacy of his patience: To endure my dullness and your dullness decade after decade. And hold back his final judgment on every land so that many can repent.

The supremacy of his sovereign servant obedience: He kept the father’s commandments perfectly. And then he embraced the pain of the cross willingly.

The supremacy of his grace: He gives life to the spiritually dead. He awakens faith in hell-bound haters of God. He justifies the ungodly with his own righteousness.

The supremacy of his love: He willingly dies for sinners while we were against him, that we might have ever-increasing joy in making much of him forever.

He is supreme in every admirable way over everything.
“There is not ONE square inch on this planet where Jesus Christ does not say, mine!”
Oh, that God would grant you to see and savor the supremacy of Jesus.

Step 3: Seeing and Savoring the Supremacy of Jesus Christ frees from sin.
2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.”

Beholding (seeing, savoring) the glory of the Lord (supreme, glorious) seeing that you are changed!! This verse says, if I could just see with the eyes of my heart I would be changed.

Little hearts give little lusts big power. Big hearts give little lusts little power. You have to see! Your heart has to get bigger and bigger so that this little temptation looks like the stupid, suicidal, insane little monster it is!

If you see and savor the supremacy of Jesus Christ you will be progressively freed from the bondage and slavery of sin.

Step 4: You will be freed from the sacrifices of love.

"For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one." Hebrews 10:34

What is it that frees you to take risks with your life for the sake of others?

You look up to Jesus, heaven, your inheritance, an eternity of everlasting and ever-increasing joy, and you say that is enough! I don’t need it now. I’ve got it there and I’m going here now. That is how sacrifices are freed by being satisfied in Jesus.

Closing: Isaiah 26:8, “Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”

It takes a miracle for a desire to be born for a supernatural reality that you can’t see.
May God Almighty make the supremacy of the name of Jesus and the supremacy of the renown of Jesus be your sight, savor, satisfaction, desire, and trust.

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