Monday, June 18, 2007

What makes the gospel good news?

What makes the gospel good news? Think carefully. Why is it good news to you that your sins are forgiven?

Now consider this from God is the Gospel by John Piper:

[T]here are seemingly biblical answers...A person may answer, "Being forgiven is good news because I don't want to go to hell." Or a person may answer, "Being forgiven is good news because a guilty conscience is a horrible thing, and I get great relief when I believe my sins are forgiven." Or a person may answer, "I want to go to heaven." But then we must ask why they want to go to heaven. They might answer, "Because the alternative is painful." Or "because my deceased wife is there." Or "because there will be a new heaven and a new earth where justice and beauty will finally be everywhere.

...All that is true. So what's wrong with those answers? What's wrong with them is that they do not treat God as the final and highest good of the gospel. They do not express a supreme desire to be with God. God was not even mentioned. Only his gifts were mentioned. These gifts are precious. But they are not God...

Justification is not an end in itself. Neither is the forgiveness of sin or the imputation of righteousness. Neither is escape from hell or entrance into heaven or freedom from disease or liberation from bondage or eternal life or justice or mercy or the beauties of a pain-free world. None of these facets of the gospel-diamond is the chief good or highest goal of the gospel. Only one thing is: seeing and savoring God himself, being changed into the image of his Son so that more and more we delight in and display God's infinite beauty and worth.

More,

If we do not see [God] and savor him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel.

Oh God, forgive us for valuing Your gifts over Yourself, the Giver of all good things. We have sought after Your benefits and Your blessing but not Your presence. May we see You as the greatest Treasure, the good news, the highest joy. Consume us with one thing: You...

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple...
Ps. 27:4

5 comments:

  1. Amen, May I see Him as the highest treasure. Thanks Lisa.

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  2. We sing it in our worship, but we forget it in our daily life! Amen Lisa! I want to desire God like that!

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  3. Oh indeedy! Twas grace the day I realized that my "purchase" of fire insurance spurned His purchase of my life. Twas greed on my part but marvelous grace on His!

    Loved these quotes from Piper.

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  4. "If we do not see [God] and savor him as our greatest fortune, we have not obeyed or believed the gospel."

    Pretty succinct, I'd say.

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  5. Amen!

    He is not a means to an end, He is the end. That has always been the goal; to "love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength."

    Oh, that I would love Him more!

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