"Unity without verity is no better than conspiracy." - John Trapp

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Supremacy of Christ in Living the Christian Life

From John Piper's sermon on Hebrews 2:1-4 (The Danger of Drifting from the Word) for Mr. Warnock:

And the whole first chapter is intended to make this a light burden and an easy yoke. The one we are to pay close attention to is the Creator and Sustainer and Owner and Ruler and Redeemer of the world. And what he has to say to us is a "very great salvation." Do you see that in verse 3: "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" So if we choose not to listen to Jesus every day and consider him and fix our eyes on him, then we are scorning his importance described in chapter one and we are neglecting a "great salvation." Now why would anybody want to do that? The only reason would be if we regard something else as more important to listen to and consider and fix our eyes on. But what distinguishes a Christian from a non-Christian is that a Christian has been born again with a new nature that regards Christ as supremely valuable. And so we find the argument of chapter one powerfully compelling. God has spoken in these last days by a Son . . . For this reason we must listen and we want to listen all the more closely to what he says.

The Christian life is first and foremost a life of contemplation—listening to Jesus, considering Jesus, fixing the eyes of the heart on Jesus. Everything else in the Christian life grows out of this. Without this the Christian life is simply unlivable.

This is from the sermon Piper preached when I visited Bethlehem Baptist many years ago.

4 Comments:

Blogger Craver VII said...

The Christian life is first and foremost a life of contemplation—listening to Jesus, considering Jesus, fixing the eyes of the heart on Jesus. Everything else in the Christian life grows out of this.

At first blush, this sounds too monastic and mystical to me. It's helpful that he expounded on what he meant by "a life of contemplation," because otherwise, I conjure up an image of shaved heads directing all their thoughts to their bellybutton.

But yes, we can't get this thing right if He is not first in our hearts.

BTW, thanks for the verse in the side column. Sometimes, I come upon these singled-out verses and say, "Oh yeah! I really needed to hear that today."

12:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Taliesin said...

I think there are some words that have become "scare words" (I can't think of a better description). So that we almost want to right people off who use them. While I think it is less so, back 10 years ago or more, anything that hinted that one might be a charismatic was viewed with suspicion. Today, any word that might hint at mysticism is frowned upon (at least in some circles). I had a pastor tell me one time he didn't particularly like "The Churh's One Foundation" because one verse says we have "mystic sweet communion with those who rest is won" and he'd never had mystic sweet communion with anything.

Yet forms of "meditate" are used 23 times in the ESV (mostly Psalms). Consider (think about/dwell on) is used 91 times (sometimes calling on God to consider our circumstances, so not all count). The question is not (at least IMO) whether or not we should spend time alone in quiet contemplation, but what are we contemplating when we do.

Just like Bonar said in the quote you supplied over at "From the Head of the Moor"

4:14 PM EDT  
Blogger Taliesin said...

Right s/b write in the fourth line.

4:16 PM EDT  
Blogger Craver VII said...

The question is not (at least IMO) whether or not we should spend time alone in quiet contemplation, but what are we contemplating when we do.

So right.

When I was little, I daydreamed a lot. (Or is that daydreamt??) My dad would inquire, "What are you thinking about right now?" That would initiate conversation between us. To this day, we enjoy philosophical discussions together.

Okay, that sounds like a tangent, but my point is that I had a mentor who made me aware of what I was contemplating, and he brought those fleeting whisps of passing thought into the usable realm of dialogue, so that I eventually became more intentional about where my brain ventured on its downtime. And that is a usable component in contemplating Christ.

5:53 PM EDT  

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