Monday, January 25, 2010

What won't we have with the new birth?

From John Piper's Finally Alive(Piper, John. Finally Alive. Minneapolis: Desiring God, 2009):

"What won’t we have without the new birth? First, negatively:
1. Without the new birth, we won’t have saving faith, but only unbelief (John :11–13; 1 John 5:1; Eph. 2:8–9; Phil. 1:29; 1 Tim. 1:14; 2 Tim. 1:3).
2. Without the new birth, we won’t have justification, but only condemnation (Rom. 8:1; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 2:17; Phil. 3:9).
3. Without the new birth, we won’t be the children of God, but the children of the devil (1 John 3:9–10).
4. Without the new birth, we won’t bear the fruit of love by the Holy Spirit but only the fruit of death (Rom. 6:20–21; 7:4–6; 15:16; 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10; Gal. 5:6; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 John 3:14).
5. Without the new birth, we won’t have eternal joy in fellowship with God, but only eternal misery with the devil and his angels (Matt. 25:41; John 3:3; Rom. 6:23; Rev. 2:11; 20:15)." (60)

Piper goes on to state the positive of the 5 points from above:

"But I conclude here by saying them again, only this time positively and in the words of Scripture. Notice especially how each builds on the ones before.

  1. When God causes us to be born again, saving faith is awakened, and we are united to Christ. 1 John 5:1: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God.” Not will be born of God, but has been born of God. Our first faith is the flicker of life through the new birth.
  2. When the new birth awakens faith, and unites us to Christ, we are justified—that is, counted righteous—through that faith. Romans 5:1: “Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” New birth awakens faith, and faith looks to Christ for righteousness, and God credits righteousness to us on the basis of Christ alone through faith alone.
  3. When new birth awakens faith and unites us to Christ, all the legal obstacles to our acceptance with God are removed We Are Willing Slaves to Sin and Satan through justification. So God adopts us into his family and conforms us to the image of his Son. John 1:12: “To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” We are born again from God, not from the will of man, and we believe on Christ and receive him, and God makes us his legal heirs and spiritual children.
  4. When the new birth wakens faith and we are united to Christ, and all condemnation is replaced with justification and the Spirit of adoption moves into our lives, he produces the fruit of love. Galatians 5:6: “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.” 1 John 3:14: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers.” Where there is new birth, there is love.
  5. Finally, when the new birth wakens faith and unites us to Christ, who is our righteousness, and unleashes the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, we are on the narrow way that leads to heaven. And the pinnacle of heaven’s joys will be eternal fellowship with God. “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3). The pinnacle of the joy of our new life is God himself.

This is what we will miss if we are not born again." (61-2)

No comments:

Post a Comment