Sunday, December 27, 2009
Our good works
From The Justification of God by John Piper (Piper, John. The Future of Justification A Response to N. T. Wright. New York: Crossway Books, 2007)
A few quotes from the Conclusion of Piper's work on justification in regards to "THE PLACE OF OUR GOOD WORKS IN GOD'S PURPOSES" (184).
Our relationship with God is with One who has become for us an omnipotent Father committed to working all things together for our everlasting enjoyment of him. This relationship was established at the point of our justification when God removed his judicial wrath from us, and imputed the obedience of his Son to us, and counted us as righteous in Christ, and forgave all our sins because he had punished them in the death of Jesus. (185)
All the benefits of Christ—all the blessings that flow from God being for us and not against us—rest on the redeeming work of Christ as our Substitute. If God is for us, who can be against us? With this confidence—that God is our omnipotent Father and is committed to working all things together for our everlasting joy in him—we will love others. God has so designed and ordered things that invisible faith, which embraces Christ as infinitely worthy, gives rise to acts of love that make the worth of Christ visible. Thus our sacrifices of love do not have any hand in establishing the fact that God is completely for us, now and forever. It’s the reverse: the fact that God is for us establishes our sacrifices of love. If he were not totally for us, we would not persevere in faith and would not therefore be able to make sacrifices of love. (185)
Our mind-set toward our own good works must always be: These works depend on God being totally for us. That’s what the blood and righteousness of Christ have secured and guaranteed forever. Therefore, we must resist every tendency to think of our works as establishing or securing the fact that God is for us forever. It is always the other way around. Because he is for us, he sustains our faith. And through that faith-sustaining work, the Holy Spirit bears the fruit of love. (186)