On April 26, 1998 John Piper preached the first sermon in a series on the book of Romans. When we arrived in Minneapolis four months later, he had worked through about 18 verses.
We moved to Chicagoland in January 2006. At that time Pastor John was in the middle of Romans 15. So despite being at Bethlehem for seven and a half years, I heard neither the beginning nor the end of the series! In fact, despite the fact that we've been married for eight years now, John Piper has been preaching this series longer than we have been married.
This past Sunday (Christmas Eve, 2006) Pastor John preached the final sermon of the series. It is entitled Jesus Christ in the Book of Romans. It is not an ordinary sermon, however. The entire thing is framed as a prayer to Christ himself, in the tradition of Augustine's great Confessions.
You can read it, listen to it, or watch it online. When you do, give thanks to God for gifting John Piper to invest thousands of hours into studying and preaching this great book. And give thanks to God for inspiring the apostle Paul to pen these words that addressed particular theological and sociological questions of the day but still speak to us today. And most importantly, thank God for the gift of his Son, Jesus Christ.
8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.