At That Instant

The instant God gives new life, we do the living.  The instant the Spirit produces faith, we do the believing.

– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 79

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Something Has to Happen To Us

Something has to happen to us.  Jesus said we must be born again (John 3:3).  The Holy Spirit has to work a miracle in our hearts and give us new spiritual life.  We were dead, and we need to be made alive.  We need ears that can hear truth as supremely desirable, and we need  eyes that see Christ and his way of salvation as supremely beautiful.

– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 78

This Should Make Control Freaks….Freak Out

One of the unsettling things about the new birth , which Jesus says we all must experience in order to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3), is that we don’t control it.  We don’t decide to make it happen any more than a baby decides to make his birth happen – or, more accurately, make his conception happen.

– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 77

Moral Transformation is Not the Aim of Orthodox Christianity

Christianity is not the general program for moral transformation that marks most religions.  The transformation it calls for is historically rooted in the person of Jesus Christ.  The new birth awakens faith in him.  And he – the incarnate one – secures our final purification.  And we, with that unshakable hope in him, purify ourselves as he is pure.

– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 73

If There was no Incarnation…

So if there were no incarnation – no Christmas – there would be no regeneration for these two reason:

  1. …there would be no incarnate Jesus Christ to behold and believe in, and that’s the aim of the new birth.
  2. …there would be no vital union or connection between us and the incarnate Christ, and so the new birth would abort because there would be no source of new saving, forgiving life.

– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 71

This is the Testimony

In other words, the new birth gives us life by bringing us into spiritual connection with Jesus Christ, He is our life.  His life in us, with all the changes that it brings, is the testimony of God that we are his children.  And this is the life of the incarnate some of God. (John 1:14-16)

– John Piper, Finally Alive, Christian Focus Publishers, copyright 2009, page 71