Joy (June 1, 2011)

Christian Hedonism is a framework for our understanding of biblical joy. This is a biblical concept taught by John Piper in his landmark book Desiring God, and much of what follows is a condensed version of his teaching on this topic. If we are to understand joy specifically, and the fruit of the Spirit in general, we must understand and embrace the biblical concept that God does everything for his own glory. In other words, we must grasp the radical God-centeredness of God. This is going to be difficult for us because we would like to think that God is man centered as we sing stupid songs like “You would rather die than to ever live without me.” But, I think, if you are regenerate, this will resonate with your soul to a degree that you will find yourself singing the same song being sung in these verses.

  1. God chose his people for his glory: Ephesians 1:4-6, 12-14
  2. God created us for his glory: Isaiah 43:6-7 “I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Sin, we learn in Genesis 3 wrecked everything. God then intervenes for his own glory.
  3. God sent Jesus so that the nations would glorify him: Romans 15:8-9 “For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.”
  4. God sent Jesus to die to vindicate the glory of his righteousness: Romans 3:25-26
    1. Because we fall short of his glory (Romans 3:23)
    2. And justly deserve condemnation (Romans 6:23)
    3. If God “passes over” our sin, it looks like our glory robbing and stomping means nothing to him. So he chooses to stomp out the life of his son rather than wink and glory robbing, glory trampling sinners like us.
  5. Jesus’ ultimate aim for us was that we would see and enjoy his glory: John 17:24 “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
  6. The Holy Spirit’s goal is the glory of Jesus: John 16:14
  7. In the consummation of all things, when Jesus returns and establishes his kingdom, the saints all stand around the throne screaming with delight: Unto the one who sits on the throne and unto the lamb who was slain be all blessing and honor, glory and power and praise both now and forever!
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