Make Your Life Count
The Greatest Missions Letter Ever Written
(excerpt from message given by John Piper at Missions Conference in January, 2019)
3 Part Message
Four Reasons to Go and Send
We only have time to hear Paul make four great things explicit and clear from his letter to the Romans:
1. Every person faces God’s righteous wrath.
1.5. THE WRATH OF GOD IS RIGHTEOUS.
What shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? . . . By no means! For then how could God judge the world? (Romans 3:5–6)
1.6. THE WRATH OF GOD IS GOD’S PREROGATIVE, NOT OURS.
Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)
Therefore, I say again: The greatest peril facing every person in the world, without exception, is the righteous wrath of God. That is the number one problem threatening humankind, but never makes the news.
2. Jesus bore God’s wrath and bought our joy.
In his great mercy, God himself stepped into history in the person of his Son and took on a human nature so that he could endure for us his own wrath and bring us to himself in everlasting joy.
[God] did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. (Romans 8:32)
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
And what happened when the Son of God died?
By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh. (Romans 8:3)
This is the unspeakable love of God’s substituting himself for us and bearing our condemnation. He condemned sin in the flesh. Our sin. Christ’s flesh. And when he did, not only was sin punished justly, but wrath was justly satisfied.
God put [Christ] forward as a propitiation [a removal of wrath] by his blood. . . . This was to show God’s righteousness, because . . . he had passed over former sins. (Romans 3:25)
In the work of Christ, everything is accomplished for sinners to be justified and God’s wrath to be satisfied.
Since . . . we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:9)
No wrath, no condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). The work is done by the love of God, through the Son of God. And the final effect of this great salvation is the glory of God magnified in the everlasting joy of his people.
Through him [Christ] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:2)
3. God saves us by grace through faith.
In his overflowing mercy, God has decreed that this great rescue from his wrath, and into his joy, will not be earned by good deeds. Instead, anyone, anywhere will be saved from the wrath of God, and adopted into God’s family, by hearing the news and believing in Jesus Christ as Savior and the supreme Lord and Treasure above all things.
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. . . . “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9, 13)
And right here, the history of salvation becomes the history of world missions. There is no salvation among the unreached peoples of the world without world missions.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? . . . So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:14–15, 17)
There is no salvation anywhere in the world without hearing the news of what God has done in Jesus Christ. The task of making that news heard among those who have no access to it is the task of world missions. And oh, how I pray that Romans 10:14–17 will take hold of all of us to make us unswerving senders or unstoppable goers. (Con’t part 3/final tomorrow)