[These are my notes/thoughts from John Piper’s pre-conference talk at The Gospel Coalition Conference 6.22.12]
I love me some Johnny P. Here was his thesis for his talk:
The Gospel is the great work of God by which He destroys every obstacle to your joy in His glory, and in which He displays the glory that gives us the greatness of God and our happiness.
That’s a mouthful. Here’s my translation:
Jesus died and rose again: (1) to destroy the obstacles that stand between us and true joy and (2) to give us the thing that will actually make us happiest: Himself.
First, He destroys the obstacles. No matter what it feels like, the greatest enemies to our joy aren’t singleness or suffering or failure. Here are seven things in our lives that – apart from Christ – keep us from the joy we were designed to experience:
- The wrath of God. Eek. The biggest obstacle to our joy is that the object and answer to all our needs is really angry with us. The Gospel fixes that because Jesus takes on the wrath; it’s all poured out on Him on the Cross.
- Alienation. I was once far off; alienated and cast out. But in Jesus, I have been reconciled; I have been brought near to God once again.
- Real guilt and real sin. I need someone who can redeem me from the real guilt and the real sin that have made me ashamed in the deepest parts of my soul. That’s what Jesus did for me the in Gospel. He redeemed me. He brought me home.
- Unrighteousness. Scripture says no one is righteous, but in the Gospel, we get credit for Jesus’ spiritual resume.
- Death. I’m so tired of death. Less than a week after Father’s Day, I am feeling fatigued by all that death takes from us. That’s why it is great news to me that in Christ, death has lost its sting.
- Spiritual death. One of the greatest obstacles to our joy is our stupid distorted taste buds that love the taste of things that will never satisfy. We are spiritually dead and therefore we have no ability to value the key to the fountain of joy.
- Satan. Before the intervention of Christ, we were Satan’s followers – following him into a life devoid of the deepest joy. But on the Cross, Satan lost. Neat.