The Evil Beneath Every Sin

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By John Piper About Sanctification & Growth
Part of the series Message Excerpt

Audio Transcript

Christian Hedonism will change what you think about evil. What is evil? How would you define evil? Here is a description of evil from Jeremiah 2:13:

My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
And hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.

So what’s your definition of evil? Evil is the Creator of the universe, who loved us enough to send his Son to die in our place, holding out infinite satisfaction in the fountain of living water — and we taste it and go, “Eh, don’t think so.” And we start digging — digging and digging in the world. “I will find it. I will find it here, not there in God.” That is evil. That’s the evil behind all evils. Murder in Sutherland Springs is not the ultimate evil. It’s what was going on before and inside in relation to God Almighty that said, “You don’t count in my life. I will have my revenge. I will have it my way. I will do my thing to get my satisfaction. And you can take a trip, Creator.” That’s ultimate evil.

It yields a million other evils, like murder, and we get so worked up about murder, and rape, and adultery, and stealing — and God hardly ever comes into the picture for a lot of people when defining evil. So here’s my definition of evil from Jeremiah: “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters.” What makes it so evil is that he is so good. “I have water for you. I know what your souls need. I know what satisfies your soul. I made your soul. I know what it needs, and I’m it.”

And evil is: “No thank you,” or “No, I will find my way, and do my thing, and I will dig my wells, and my cisterns, and I will suck on this dirt till I’m dead. And then I’ll go to hell, and I will hate you forever. No regrets.”

That’s evil, and it yields a thousand horrors in this world.

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