Mike and I just returned from a trip to The Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, North Carolina. I had looked forward to this trip since September when I first heard that John Piper would be teaching Romans 12-13. He began teaching chapters from Romans starting in the summer of 2001 with “The Great Eight–Romans 8” and then “God’s Word has not Fallen–Romans 9-11”. It would be impossible to overstate the impact that these teachings have had on my own thinking and teaching. This seminar entitled “The Mercies of God and the Transformed Christian Mind” was stunning! I came away awed by the mercy of God to the church of our day–to allow us to have a Paul like thinker in our own time–how marvelous! It was an immeasurable privilege to sit under the passionate exposition of God’s Word by Dr. John Piper–that five hours of teaching left me hungering for more! There were about 500 of us gathered in the beautiful mountain retreat and the teaching bathed us all in the richest — most hope filled truths of Scripture.
Here is a sprinkling of the heart provoking teaching and questions that were addressed in this wonderful get away weekend:
- What is wrong with the human mind that it needs to be renewed?
- When did God become completely and totally for me?
- God’s words do not just declare something they constitute something.
- Christianity is not a will power religion–it is a passionate relationship.
- When God calls, no one says, “No!”
- Our bodies were not intended to be used to impress others with how we look they were intended to be used to make God look good!
- Our bodies were not made to show off muscles–they were made to show off mercy!
- Let your body show what you think about God!
- “Good” and “Evil” are objective realities that exist apart from my preferences.
- The inner life of our preferences is to be brought into conformity with external objective truth not vice versa!
- Mercy in my life toward the undeserving is the best way to show the world that my God is Mercy!
- What is acceptable to God? Himself!
- I was created to show something to the world–the world is not impressed with seeing mirrors of themselves–we will seize the day when we stop showing the mean – spirited judgmental face of law driven religion and begin to show the world our tears.
- When you take a log out or your own eye–it hurts and tears begin to flow–the world needs to see our tears.
- The main feature of a renewed mind is that it is radically Christ centered.
- Faith looks away from itself to another.
- Our worth consists in treasuring the worth of Christ–our significance consists in savoring the significance of Christ
- Faith is a gift given to obliterate pride!
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers,
in view of God’s mercy
to offer your bodies as
living sacrifices, holy
and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of
worship.” Romans 12:1