Saturday, August 27, 2011

Piper on the love of God

"Most modern people can scarcely imagine an alternate understanding of feeling loved other than feeling made much of. If you don't make much of me you are not loving me. 
But when you apply this definition of love to God, it weakens his worth, undermines his goodness, and steals our final satisfaction. If the enjoyment of God himself is not the final and best gift of love, then God is not the greatest treasure, his self giving is not the highest mercy, the gospel is not the good news that sinners may enjoy their Maker, Christ did not suffer to bring us to God, and our souls must look beyond him for satisfaction.  
This distortion of divine love into an endorsement of self-admiration is subtle. It creeps into our most religious acts. We claim to be praising God because of his love for us. But if his love for us is at bottom his making much of us, who is really being praised? We are willing to be God-centered, it seems, as long as God is man-centered. We are willing to boast in the cross as long as the cross is a witness to our worth. Who then is our pride and joy?"

From God is the Gospel, pp12-13.


  1. Timely, Simone! It's going into today's sermon finale - ta.

  2. Isn't this creating a bit of a zero-sum game of personal worth between us and God? God is our pride and joy because he sacrificed his pride and joy to fulfill his nature in relationship to his creation. If you go back to who He is, you find his story points back at us. The indwelling of the holy spirit means that we enjoy God not as some distant titanic figure of grace, but as an internal fire that burns and keeps us warmly alive and able to warm one another, without being consumed. (Maybe I'm getting this wrong because I'm strangely insensitive to Praise as a category.)