The Passion for the Supremacy of God for the Joy of All Peoples By John Piper – Sermons, Outlines and Bible Studies

Explaining the document of the Principal Planning Group

Acts 13:36

David, having served God’s purpose in his own generation, fell asleep, and was buried with his fathers,

Serving God’s Purpose in Our Own Generation

I would like to highlight a crucial but simple point for us: the people that God raises up from generation to generation have primarily the purpose of serving God in their generation. This is true both for people and for churches. It may be in some cases that God causes the ministry of a church or person to continue long after they are gone. But that is not the burden of our ministry. May it be our prayer – that the ripple effects of our lives continue in Christ’s name even after we die. But God’s desire is that the burden of our ministry be on this generation. “David served God’s purpose in his own generation.” His ministry continues through the psalms and through his seed. But they are providential waves of a life dedicated to God’s purpose for his generation.

So why is this important to the ministry mission of our church? It is important because we must realize how historically conditioned we are when we write our mission statement. We are shaped by thousands of forces that affect how we perceive our mission statement and express it to our generation – personality, family, friends, languages, education, place, media, travel, tragedy, age, job, economy, reading, health, denomination. , prayers, theology, devotion, worship, etc. Our mission statement did not fall from the sky free of culture. It has been forged in the fire of 30 hearts and lives that have been shaped by God through ten thousand varied circumstances.

I say this to humble us and to encourage us. It humbles us because it keeps us from thinking that we have arrived at something that might be the best way to say it anywhere and to any generation. We make no such assertion. We are simply trying to serve God’s purpose in our generation. There are reasons for every word in the Declaration. But a good case could be made for other words and a different way of saying it, or even a different biblical focus or emphasis. Yet this is the way we believe God has led us to say them, and the emphasis he wants us to give our church in this place and time. This is our mission for our generation from the Bethlehem that God has been creating in recent decades.

But I’m not just saying this to humble us, but to encourage us. We do not bear the burden of saying the last word of truth. God has that word. We do not carry the burden of infallibility. We give that to God and his revealed word, the Bible. We do not carry the burden of permanence. Ways to say big words come and go. We do not need to fight to make this declaration permanent. God and the truth of him are permanent.

“The grass withers, the flower falls, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” (1 Peter 1:24)

We can take heart that what we have here is not on a par with the Bible, let alone with God. Rather, we believe – and this truly gives us courage – in the interpretation of one group among God’s people, in one place, at one time, under these providential influences, of God’s special call on our church. We are not on a crusade to get everyone to say it the way we say it. And in truth the essence of the body of Christ would lose something if this happened. We have a contribution to make to the body, and we have a testimony to make to the world. And we believe that it is something from God, without contradicting many of the mission statements that other churches design.

I ask you to listen to everything I have to say under this sentence. What I am saying here simply gives substance to the values ​​that have been clarified between us by the Core Planning Group. See, for example, the left column on Page 4:

In light of our Mission and the Spiritual Dynamics that drive it, the following Values ​​captivate us as we reflect and pray about our particular circumstances and constitution as a church, in this metropolitan area, with these surrounding neighborhoods, at this moment in redemptive history .

You see that built into this document is the conviction of Acts 13:36 – David served God’s purpose in his generation. This is our purpose too.

And one of those values ​​is #20 near the bottom of Page 6: We value

serve and be enriched by the wide movement of the Spirit of God through the church and cultures.

One of my purposes in these messages is to help you achieve the spirit of this document. You will miss your heartbeat if you don’t hear the longing to be a servant of the church today in the wide moving of the Spirit of God. A servant who is so painfully aware of the dangers of pride in ourselves that we rewrote the value statement to include our need to be enriched by others rather than merely offering our services. The human heart is so prone to pride that one can exalt oneself in the very act of rendering service to another.

The point is that Our Mission Statement is God’s way of calling us to apply his word to our generation. Giving our lives to this Mission is our contribution to what we believe God is doing in these Cities and around the world. We think it is extremely important. What is?

Six Phrases of Our Mission

I will summarize it in seven short biblical observations to clarify the six sentences of the Mission Statement, plus an overall point of view.

Our Mission is:

“to spread the passion of the Supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples”

1. “The Supremacy of God”

In one of David’s great prayers in 2 Samuel 7:22, he says:

O Lord God, therefore you are great; for there is no one like you, nor is there a God outside of you.

In other words, God is absolutely supreme. He is the most wonderful of all beings. He is the first and the last. There is no one like Him. He is infinite, eternal and does not change in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth.

And yet, how important is it on TV, at your job, in commercials or movies, sports or in shopping malls? Those who understand this Mission Statement are overwhelmed by the incredible neglect of God in our world. If He is supreme – if He is the most important reality in the universe, creating everything, sustaining everything, governing everything, holding everything to account – then this virtual insignificance in our culture is the most overwhelming, terrifying, and disheartening thing in the world. (Jeremiah 2:13).

In this context, our mission is to raise the banner and sound the trumpets and lead a life called THE SUPREMACY OF GOD.

2. “In all things”

“The Supremacy of God in all things.” The biblical root of this phrase is in 1 Corinthians 10:31:

So whether you eat, drink, or do anything else, do it all for the glory of God.

Eating and drinking are representations of the ordinary and the mundane. The point is this: Don’t think that the supremacy of God has to do only with rendering services, missions, teaching the Bible, or things like governments, treaties, and wars. It has to do with diet cola or muffins, with housework and flat tires, with used cars and the internet.

Our mission is to imbue life with the supremacy of God. Our mission is to connect all life with God. Our mission is to rejoice in the fact that there is not a square inch of this planet, or a single moment in time, in which God does not say, “Mine!” Our mission is to live the presence of God every moment of every day, wherever we are, and savor his supremacy there.

3. “Passion”

“The passion for the supremacy of God in all things.” It’s a risky word, especially if you put the word “purple” after it. Which we don’t. If you don’t like it, then try fervour, zeal, enthusiasm, eagerness, ardor, vehemence. The point is to try to convey the intensity of Jesus’ command to love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, and with ALL your mind (Matthew 22:37). It is an effort to overcome the terrible word of Jesus in Revelation 3:16:

Thus, since you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of my mouth.

It is an attempt to capture in one word what David felt when he said in Psalm 63:1:

Oh God, you are my God; I will search for you eagerly. My soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and arid land where there is no water.

Seeking hard, thirsty, eagerly – these are words of passionate desire.

Our mission is not only to think or act well, but to feel what God is worthy of. Jonathan Edwards was correct when he said that God is glorified when men see his supremacy and truly understand it. But God is most glorified when we not only see and understand him but when we rejoice in him and feel emotions that correspond to his dignity (Miscellaneous, # 448). God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.

4. “For the Joy”

“The passion for the supremacy of God in all things to rejoice . . .” What is assumed here is that seeing the supremacy of God’s glory fills the heart with joy. But it is not a simple assumption. It is a proven experience and, more importantly, a biblical truth. Psalm 16:11:

In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand, delight forever.

Or consider the logical connection between verses 2 and 3 of Psalm 95:

Let us acclaim him with psalms 3 For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Let us joyfully acclaim God. Why? Because the Lord is a great God – that is, a supreme God. The supremacy of God is the basis of our rejoicing. So God’s gentile supremacy over us satisfies our hearts and our satisfaction in God glorifies his supremacy. He gets the glory. We receive the joy.

5. “Of All Peoples”

“The passion for the supremacy of God for the joy of all peoples” Why do we pluralize – peoples? The point is not to reduce the importance of individuals. Christ died for individual persons. People are reborn and individually saved. The point here is to draw attention to the great unfinished task of evangelizing the world; and that means reaching all the people of the world and planting the church among them so that they can evangelize among their people.

Psalm 67:3-4 says:

May the peoples give you thanks, O God, all the peoples give you thanks. 4 Let the nations rejoice and sing with joy.

God is interested in all…

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