Wednesday, December 01, 2010

All Truth and No Treasure? Treasuring Christ this Advent

We looked at Romans 6:13-23 yesterday in Bible Study, and one of the ladies who had listened to a John Piper sermon on that passage quoted part of it that I really liked (in bold, below). When I looked the quote up this morning, I realized that it was a sermon preached during Advent, which makes it even more appropriate for right now (did you know that Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent?).

The conclusion to Piper's sermon on Romans 6:14-19:

I want to close today where we began – with the Christian life as the triumph of desire, not just decision. Connect this now to what we have seen. Who is this in verse 15 that talks like this: "Let us sin because we are not under law but under grace. Since Christ is our righteousness for justification, since our right standing with God is based on his righteousness not ours, then let's sin, because there can't be any penalty. Christ is our righteousness." Who talks like that?

I said at the beginning it is people whose Christianity is a group of ideas about Christ, not an experience of the preciousness of Christ. Their Christianity is all truth and no treasure. All "choices" and no cherishing. All logic about Christ and no love for Christ. All "decision" and no delight. And O how many people there are who come to church and are in this category!

So my closing plea is that during Advent 2000, we would all pursue the preciousness of Christ. And the preciousness of justification by faith. And the preciousness of being under grace, not under law. Advent means: "When the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under Law, so that He might redeem those who were under Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4-5). He came under law and satisfied the law, so that we might be redeemed from law and become children of God.

If that does not feel precious to you, if that is not the treasure of your life – more precious than gold and sweeter than honey – would you pursue the preciousness of Christ this Advent? Ask God to open the eyes of your heart. Turn off the television. Set your mind on the things of Christ. Fast and pray, "Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad in you all our days" (Psalm 90:14).

(btw, the whole sermon is very much worth listening to/reading if you have a few minutes to spare.)

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