The Living God Is a Missionary God
From Gospel Translations
By John Piper
Part of the series Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Lecture 1
- (These are the overhead notes used during the lecture.)
God’s Ultimate Goal in Creation and Redemption
- To uphold and display his glory
- for the enjoyment of his redeemed people
- from every people, tribe, tongue, and nation.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26-27).
The Tower of Babel
Now the whole earth had one language and few words, and as men migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:1-4).
The Call of Abram
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing (Genesis 12:1-2).
No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith, giving glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised (Romans 4:20-21).
You are my servant Israel, in whom I will be glorified (Isaiah 49:3).
Thus says the Lord God: on the day when I chose Israel, I swore to the seed of the house of Jacob, making myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I swore to them, saying, I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most glorious of all lands. And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God. But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me; they did not every man cast away the detestable things their eyes feasted on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.
Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt. ButI acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they dwelt, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. (Ezekiel 20:5-9)
Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly. Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider thy wondrous works; they did not remember the abundance of thy steadfast love, but rebelled against the Most High at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,that he might make known his mighty power. (Psalm 106:6-8)
And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord.... And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen (Exodus 14:4,18).
The Giving of the Law
You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me (Exodus 20:3-5).
The Wilderness Wandering
But the children rebelled against me; they did not walk in my statutes, and were not careful to observe my ordinances, by whose observance man shall live; they profaned my sabbaths. Then I thought I would pour out my wrath upon them and spend my anger against them in the wilderness. But I withheld my hand, andacted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. (Ezekiel 20:21-22).
Remember thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness, or their sin, lest the land from which thou didst bring them say, “Because the Lord was not able to bring them into the land which he promised them, and because he hated them, he has brought them out to slay them in the wilderness.” For they are thy people and thy heritage, whom thou didst bring out by thy great power and by thy outstretched arm (Deuteronomy 9:27-29).
The Conquest of Canaan
And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you dwell therein; you eat the fruit of vineyards and oliveyards which you did not plant.
Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness; put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, and in Egypt, and serve the Lord (Joshua 24: 12-14).
What other nation on earth is like Thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem to be his people, making himself a name, and doing for them great and terrible things, by driving out before his people a nation and its gods? (2 Samuel 7:23).
The Beginnings of Monarchy
And all the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to the Lord your God, that we may not die; for we have added to all our sins this evil, to ask for ourselves a king.” And Samuel said to the people, “Fear not; you have done all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; and do not turn aside after vain things which cannot profit or save, for they are vain. For the Lord will not cast away his people, for his great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you a people for himself. Moreover as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and right way (1 Samuel 12:19-23).
For Thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great (Psalm 25:11).
He leads me in paths of righteousnessfor his name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).
The Temple of God
Likewise when a foreigner, who is not of thy people Israel, comes from a far country for thy name’s sake (for they shall hear of thy great name, and thy mighty hand, and of thy outstretched arm), when he comes and prays toward this house, hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and do according to all for which the foreigner calls to thee; in order that all the peoples of the earth may know thy name and fear thee, as do thy people Israel, and that they may know that this house which I have built is called by thy name.
If thy people go out to battle against their enemy, by whatever way thou shalt send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city which thou hast chosen and the house which I have built for thy name, then hear thou in heaven their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause (1 Kings 8:41-45).
Deliverance in the Time of the Kings
For I will defend this city to save it,for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David (2 Kings 19:34).
I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and I will defend this city for my own sake and for my servant David’s sake (2 Kings 20:6).
Exile and Promised Restoration
For my name’s sake I defer my anger,for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another (Isaiah 48:9-11).
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them; and the nations will know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes . . . It is not for your sake that I will act, says the Lord God; let that be known to you Be ashamed and confounded for your sins, O house of Israel (Ezekiel 36:22-23,32).
I will be the glory within her (Zechariah 2:5).
Build the house that I may appear in my glory (Haggai 1:8).
[The Priests] do not lay it to heart to give glory to my name (Malachi 2:2).
Jesus’ Life and Ministry
I glorified thee on earth, having accomplished the work which thou gavest me to do (John 17:4).
He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood (John 7:18).
For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise Thee among the Gentiles, and sing to Thy name” (Romans 15:8-9)
Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? “Father, save me from this hour”? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and I will glorify it again” (John 12:27-28).
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that He Himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:23-26).
The Christian Life
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Whoever renders service [let him do it] as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:11).
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14).
The Second Coming and Consummation
They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed (2 Thessalonians 1:9-10).