Pure and Genuine Religion

Such is pure and genuine religion, namely, confidence in God coupled with serious fear – fear, which both includes in it willing reverence, and brings along with it such legitimate worship as is prescribed by the Law. And it ought to be more carefully considered that all men promiscuously do homage to God, but very few truly reverence him. On all hands there is abundance of ostentatious ceremonies, but sincerity of heart is rare.

– John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion; Book 1, Chapter 2, Section 2 (Peabody, Ma: Hendrickson 2008), 8.

Our Contentment With The Absence of Christ

The absence of fasting is indicative of our comfort with the way things are. No one fasts to express how content they are. People only fast out of dissatisfaction. “The attendants of the bridegroom cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? But the days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast” (Matthew 9:15). The absence of fasting is the measure of our contentment with the absence of Christ.

– John Piper A Hunger For God (Wheaton, Il: Crossway 1997), 93.

Pure Christian Humility

Spiritual pride is very apt to suspect others, but a humble saint is most jealous of himself. He is as suspicious of nothing in the world as he is of his own heart. The spiritually proud person is apt to find fault with other saints . . . and to be quick to notice their deficiencies. But the eminently humble Christian has so much to do at home, and sees so much evil in his own heart, and is so concerned about it, that he is not apt to be very busy with other hearts. . . . Pure Christian humility disposes a person to take notice of everything that is good in others, and to make the most of it, and to diminish their failings, but to give his eye chiefly on those things that are bad in himself.

– Jonathan Edwards, “Thoughts on the Revival,” in Works, I:399-400.

HT: Ray Ortlund

The Danger of Hypocrisy

And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.” – Matthew 6:16

In other words, the danger of hypocrisy is that it is so successful. It aims at the praise of men. And it succeeds. But that is all.

– John Piper A Hunger For God (Wheaton, Il: Crossway 1997), 71.

Thank You Crossway! Thank You Crossway Guy! Thank You Jesus!

Two weeks ago I was able to attend Moody’s Founder’s Week Conference. At the conference different book publishers had tables set up with their books. On the last night of the conference I was on my cell phone talking with my family members about all of the books around me that were just asking to be added to my library when the representative from Crossway called me over to the table he was in charge of and gave me a free copy of John Piper’s Spectacular Sins! I thanked him and then went back to talking on my phone.

After I finished talking to my family I went over to the Baker Books table to drool over the Goatskin ESV Pitt Minion Bible that they were displaying. After drooling over that Bible for a little while I went back over to the Crossway Guy to thank him for the book. After I thanked him again he asked if I liked John Piper. As I was telling him that I am a pretty big Piper fan he began to unload four more Piper books on me! On top of Spectacular Sins he gave me Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce, A Hunger for God, Suffering and the Sovereignty of God and The Hidden Smile of God! All in all he gave me well over $50 worth of books!

So, many thanks to Crossway and to their representative who was at Founder’s Week 2009 for the free books! And thanks to the Father from whom all good gifts come (James 1:17)!