John Piper’s “Why” Questions

Over the past few days, John Piper started tweeting a series of “Why” questions, without, as far as I know, explaining what the questions are about.  If you’ve read his books or heard many of his sermons, though, you probably know where he’s going with the questions.  I commend them to all who ever struggle with the big “whys” in life:  Why am I here?  Why is this world so messed up?  Why would God have sent his son to die for men?  I have found that the answers to those and other seemingly impenetrable questions are bound up in the answer(s) to the “Why” questions posed by John Piper.  Here are his questions and answer:

Why #1: Why does God tell us that his love in adopting us is “for the praise of the glory of his grace”? (Ephesians 1:5-6)

Why #2: Why does God tell us that his love in creating us is “for his glory”? (Isaiah 43:7)

Why #3: Why does God tell us his incarnation love was “so that the gentiles would glorify God for his mercy”? (Rom. 15:8-9)

Why #4: Why does God tell us that Christ’s love in dying for our sake is so that we might live for his sake? (2 Cor. 5:15)

Why #5: Why does God tell us that the aim of his love for us in spreading the gospel is for the sake of his name”? (Rom. 1:5)

Why #6: Why does God tell us that his love in sanctifying us is “to the glory and praise of God”? (Philippians 1:11)

Why #7: Why does God tell us that the aim of Christ’s love in the 2nd coming is “to be glorified in his saints”? 2 Thess 1:10

Why #8: Why is the apex of Jesus’ love, in his prayer for us, the request that we would “see his glory”? (John 17:24).

Answer: Because you are precious to God, and he adds this gift: He will not let that preciousness become your God. Only Him.

See a common theme?  It’s that the ultimate purpose of God’s love to us is the display and praise of his own glory.  And even in the demonstration of his love, God points us away from our loveliness to his worth.

Does that rub you the wrong way or make God sound self-centered?  I know the first time I read about that idea, it sounded very wrong to me.  But I’m now convinced that the entirety of the Bible teaches this — God’s glory is the ultimate purpose behind everything and the ultimate end to which all things point.  Perhaps more importantly, it’s become a sweet, rich truth that has profoundly affected my life.  I have found the God-centeredness of God to be very good news indeed — but I’ll leave that topic for another post.

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2 thoughts on “John Piper’s “Why” Questions

  1. Very interesting. I referred this to a friend of mine who is struggling. When it really all boils down so simply to glorifying God, it makes life much more focused and somehow less worrisome…

    1. So true. There’s great freedom in knowing that the ultimate purpose of everything (including my life and everything that happens in it) is for the glory of God.

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