Agonizomai: Sermon of the Week<br>Did Jesus Preach Paul's Gospel?

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sermon of the Week
Did Jesus Preach Paul's Gospel?

John Piper delivered this at the 2010 T4G Conference. This is a tough one because Piper struggles to express and to ensure that his listeners fully understand the implications of the gospel. Specifically, he hammers home the idea of an alien righteousness found ONLY in Christ. I think this lecture is itself, in some ways, fruit of Pipers' study in rebuttal of the work of Wright, Sanders and Dunn et al on the reinterpretation of Paul against the backdrop of "Second Temple Judaism" as a back door to making works "necessary" after initial justification, and of undermining the penal substitionary nature of the once-for-all delivered gospel.

I particularly appreciated his comment that, unless we fully embrace the truth that our hope and our righteousness and our justification is found in Christ alone, and that this is to be clung to throughout the Christian life - unless we do this, we shall always be perplexed and tripped up by the conditional statements regarding salvation which we find everywhere in scripture. We shall mistakenly think that the Bible says, "Unless you do this; unless you obey in this respect or according to this admonition/commandment/precept then you will not be justified before God," when the proper implication of all these imperatives is that, "If you are trusting in Christ alone then you will (inevitably) bear the fruit of His righteousness as laid out in these imperatives."

With patience you will see that Piper makes an airtight case for the identical nature of the theology of justification taught by Christ and that found in Paul's writings. And this, for me, will once for all put to bed the ever lurking snake of the so-called "New" Perspective(s) on Paul. The word "new" should have been a tip-off anyway.

Did Jesus Preach Paul's Gospel


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