The Supremacy of Christ – John Piper

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Never Make the Fatal Mistake of Nadab and Abihu

“God demands to be treated as holy, for He is holy. He is jealous for His honor. He does not plead for respect in this passage [Leviticus 10:1-3]. Rather, it is a statement of fact: ‘I will be treated as holy.’ We must never make the fatal mistake of Nadab and Abihu and approach the sovereign God in a flippantly casual attitude.”

– R.C. Sproul, Does Prayer Change Things?, p.27-28

God Stands Upon Little Things

“In the matter of worship, God stands upon little things. Some things may seem to be very small and little to us, yet God stands much upon them in the matter of worship; for there is nothing wherein the prerogative of God more appears than in worship. Princes stand much upon their prerogatives. Now God has written the law of natural  worship in our hearts. But there are other things in the worship of God that are not  written in our hearts, that only depend upon the will of God revealed in His Word, which would not be duties except that are revealed in His Word. And these are of such a nature that we can see no reason for them except God would have them so. For example, there are many kinds of ceremonies to manifest the honor to princes, that have no reason at all nut merely because it is a civil institution so appointed. So God would have some ways of honoring Himself that the creature may not see a reason for but merely that it is the will of God to have them so.”

– Jeremiah Burroughs, Gospel Worship, p.13

The Doctrines of Grace Are Intended To Move The Affections

“There is also a practical value in this last clause. The doctrines of grace are intended for a further purpose than that of making up a creed. One main design of them is to move the affections; and more especially to reawaken that affection to which the heart oppressed with fears, or weighed down with cares, is wholly insufficient—even the love of God. That this love may flow perennially from our hearts, there must be a constant recurring to that which inspired it and which is calculated to increase it; just as to rekindle your admiration of a beautiful scene or picture, you would return again to gaze upon it. It is on this principle that so much stress is laid in Scripture on keeping the truths which we believe in memory: ‘By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you’ (1 Cor. 15:2). ‘I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance,’ said the apostle (2 Pet. 3:1). ‘Do this in remembrance of me’ said the Saviour. It is, then, by going back in memory to that hour when, despite our wretchedness and utter unworthiness, God called us, that our affection will be kept fresh. It is by recalling the wondrous grace that then reached out to a hell-deserving sinner and snatched you as a brand from the burning, that your heart will be drawn out in adoring gratitude. And it is by discovering this was due alone to the sovereign and eternal ‘purpose‘ of God that you were called when so many others are passed by, that your love for Him will be deepened.”

– Arthur W. Pink, Comfort for Christians, p.14-15

God’s Sovereignty Should Provoke Us to Thanksgiving

“There is a certain sense in which God’s sovereignty should influence our attitude toward prayer, at least with respect to adoration. If anything, our understanding of God’s sovereignty should provoke us to an intense prayer life of thanksgiving. Because of such knowledge, we should see that every benefit, every good and perfect gift, is an expression of the abundance of His grace. The more we understand God’s sovereignty, the more our prayers will be filled with thanksgiving.”

– R.C. Sproul, Does Prayer Change Things?, p.12

Change is Not Only Possible, It’s Inevitable

“John says the end of the change process is certain: I will be like Jesus when I see him as he is (1 John 3:2). That means changes is not only possible, it’s inevitable!

I used to think that sanctification was a bit like pushing a boulder up a hill. It was hard, slow work, and if you lost concentration you might find yourself back at the bottom. But it’s more like a boulder rolling down a hill. There’s something inevitable about it, because it’s God’s work, and God always succeeds. The sad thing is that often I try to push the boulder back up the hill. I say in effect, ‘Don’t change me yet–I like doing that sin.'”

– Tim Chester, You Can Change, p.55

His Knowledge Enhances the Beauty of My Praise

“There is something erroneous in the question, ‘If God knows everything, why pray?’ The questions assumes that prayer is one-dimensional and is defined simply as supplication or intercession. On the contrary, prayer is multi-dimensional. God’s sovereignty casts no shadow over the prayer of adoration. God’s foreknowledge or determinate counsel does not negate the prayer of praise. The only thing it should do is give us greater reason for expressing our adoration for God who is. If God knows what I’m going to say before I say it, His knowledge, rather than limiting my prayer, enhances the beauty of my praise.”

– R.C. Sproul, Does Prayer Change Things?, p.11