Regarding Piper’s Notion Of Justification And Love

But surely that is a progressive response of sanctification. It is not definitive, but justification is a once-for-all act of divine declaration “Righteous!” I am certainly more satisfied with Christ today than I was sixty years ago when I first believed, but I am not as satisfied with Christ as I should be, or could be, or as one day I will be. My saving faith in Christ seems often to me to be as thin as a spider’s thread. But it is united to the Lord Christ alone and that is essential. No hope without that, but that saving faith is Jesus’ gift to me. He has put himself in charge of the maintenance of that thread. He has made it utterly and totally unbreakable, quite infrangible. That is what the blood of Christ has bought me and every believer and what the Holy Spirit keeps. It is so mightily strong because God is determined to prevent it ever snapping and thus sending me crashing down and down into the lake of fire. He has made up his mind that not all the hosts of hell with all their unknown powers can ever destroy that thread. I am dissatisfied with my own faith and always will be. “Help my unbelief” are the words that I will still be crying to God on my deathbed. My hopes of glory are all in the total satisfaction that the Lord Jesus – my substitute – gave to God in his life and at his death. Even the Lord Jesus, the man, was not satisfied with the cup his Father had given him to drink and pleaded for the possibility of another cup. His dissatisfaction speaks of the knowledge he had of the damnation he would voluntarily endure, in the loss of his Father’s comforting presence, and thus his human enquiry of whether there could be another way of saving us. But his perfect saving faith in his Father made him add, “Nevertheless not my will but Thine be done.” I will never be satisfied with my own trust in him. My whole focus is in Jesus’ satisfaction, not in my satisfaction with his satisfaction. This trust of mine should of course be huge and strong (like a hawser made of woven iron cables holding an aircraft carrier to the dock) – but it is to bring a wrong focus into my life if I am being challenged with my lack satisfaction in my own faith in him. No. Be satisfied with Jesus, He alone is my hope and my plea.

I have that misgiving with the book. Read More»
Geoff Thomas | “Does John Piper Teach Justification by Love or by Faith?”


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  1. Is there anything that the Baptist, biblicist John Piper explains better than the Reformed confessions do?

  2. Satisfaction is what God has in Christ, not about my feeling satisfied. If my hope is based on my satisfaction, I am trusting in my own uncertain feelings. My confidence is in what Christ has done for me, to satisfy God’s wrath, which is what I deserved. That is a certain fact from God’s Word.

  3. Apparently Piper’s erroneous teachings on justification are not a problem for the the Gospel Coalition as John Piper is still a member of their Council. So, is the GC simply ignoring Piper’s errors–they are surely not a secret– or don’t they think justification properly understood and taught is “essential” to the Gospel?

  4. Maybe if Dr. Piper would be willing to acquiesce to the line of thinking of Martin Luther’s quote of “Love God?, sometimes I hate Him”, then he might be able to see Luther’s conundrum. That one single quote, after a long time chewing on it, changed my view on how I viewed justification.
    Dr.Piper’s view on this might simply be that one day he knows he’ll hear “well done, good and faithful servent”, maybe he just wants to hear it now.

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