Drinking Deeply

Friday, May 29, 2009 at 7:54 PM

Joy Inexpressible

Today I had the pleasure of sitting in on the first part of a two-day seminar put on by Bethlehem Church on "Prayer, Meditation, and Fasting:The Pursuit of Communion with God." Sounds intense, and it was.

One side note - I hope no one (of the 6 subscribers) reading this thinks, "wow, Mickey is so holy, he prays and he fasts and he meditates, look at the classes he goes to." That assumption is... well false. I go to these classes not because I get it, but because I don't but I want to!

But anyway, the first part was about the communion with God. What does that look like, why should we seek it, and what exactly does it mean anyway to have fellowship with God?

This post isn't about that seminar as much as it is about one tiny tiny part of one thing that he said. When John Piper was talking about how the Word sustains our joy through faith, he went to a text that I probably had read a hundred times before:

1 Peter 1:3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
I had read it in commentaries, in my personal devotional time, in my (attempts at) Bible memorization. I've seen it referenced in books.

But here, Piper explained it and I got it. He asked, "what does the this in the beginning of v. 6 refer to? What do we rejoice in here? And he went through the first 5 verses and completely blew me away:

1) He has caused us to be born again
2) We have a living hope
3) Our inheritance is imperishable
4) Our inheritance is undefiled
5) Our inheritance is unfading
6) Our inheritance is kept in heaven
7) We are being guarded through faith
8) All this is for salvation in the last day

And I was absolutely floored. All these connections, of course we're going to be rejoicing! I usually approach seminars/sermons with an eye towards information and understanding but I just couldn't take coherant notes anymore. The rest of my pages are a mess of exclamation marks, underlinings, boldings, and big boxes around "for me!!" and "free!!" "faith!!!" "deliverance!"

Wow.

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