The 2 Preaching Key Verses of John Piper (1 Pet 4:11; 2 Cor 3:18)


Related post: Don't You Just Love the Way John Piper Writes!

Over the last few years, I began to read books and sermons and attend conferences where John Piper preached and taught. Over time I heard and read Piper share 2 Bible verses he regards as guides to his preaching and Bible teaching over the last 30+ years. They are 1 Peter 4:11 and 2 Corinthians 3:18.

1 Peter 4:11 says, "If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." (NIV, 2011) 2 questions are:

  • "How do you speak the very words of God when you are using your very own voice to speak?"
  • "How do you serve with the strength God provides when you have to use your own strength to serve God?"
It is a delight and a mystery to ponder these questions and to work it out with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12-13). As Christians, Bible teachers, and preachers, these are surely crucial and critical questions, for if we fail to do so, we would be showing off ourselves or our churches, rather than giving God the glory.

2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." (ESV) Piper writes: "The principle is this: true gospel change of a person's character comes from steady gazing at the glory of Jesus. "Beholding the glory of the Lord, we are being transformed into his image." We become like what we treasure enough to spend time focusing on. Some say, "Seeing is believing." This text says, "Seeing is becoming." You become like what you behold." From A Year-End Look at Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:9-20).

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