Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Making of a Christian Hedonist - John Piper

Once we had no delight in God, and Christ was just a vague historical figure. What we enjoyed was food and friendships and productivity and investments and vacations and hobbies and games and reading and shopping and sex and sports and art and TV and travel... but not God. He was an idea - even a good one - and a topic for discussion; but he was not a treasure of delight.

Then something miraculous happened. It was like the opening of the eyes of the blind during the golden dawn. First the stunned silence before the unspeakable beauty of holiness. Then a shock and terror that we actually loved the darkness. Then the settling stillness that this is the soul's end. The quest is over. We would give anything if we might be granted to live in the presence of this glory for ever and ever.

And then faith - the confidence that Christ has made a way for me, a sinner, to live in his glorious fellowship forever, the confidence that if I come to God through Christ, he will give me the desire of my heart to share his holiness and behold his glory....

Saving faith is the cry of a new creature in Christ. And the newness of the new creature is that it has a new taste. What was once distasteful or bland is now craved. Christ himself has become a Treasure Chest of holy joy. The tree of faith grows only in the heart that craves the supreme gift that Christ died to give: not health, not wealth, not prestige, but God!

"Christ died for sins once for all...that he might bring us to God" (I Peter 3:18)
"Through him we have access in one Spirit to the Father" (Ephesians 2:18)
"Through him we have obtained access to grace...and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God...we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:2, 11)

....Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that he is desirable. It is confidence that he will come through with his promises and that what he promises is more to be desired than all the world.

....Behind the repentance that turns away from sin and behind the faith that embraces Christ is the birth of a new taste, a new longing, a new passion for the pleasure of God's presence. This is the root of conversion. This is the creation of a Christian Hedonist.

Excerpted from John Piper's book,
Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist

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