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Future Grace by John Piper
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Aug 15, 08

Read in August, 2008

This is a book that demands the reader's full attention. It didn't always get that from me. So sometime, I'm going to read it in the way John Piper suggests, one chapter a day for 31 days.
To the best of my understanding, the theme is that we don't do good works out of gratitude. That comes dangerously close, Piper argues, to trying to pay God for what He has done for us, which would: 1) be impossible; 2) nullify grace. But our good works are evidence of the faith that has transformed us. If there are no good works there is no faith, regardless of what we might say. We are able to do good works not just because of what God has done but because of our faith in what He will do, i.e., future grace.
Piper writes:
"My faith is not just a backward-looking belief in the death of Jesus, but a forward-looking belief in the promises of Jesus. It's not just being sure of what he did do, but also being satisfied with what he will do."
Some of the chapters that I thought were particularly helpful the first time through were on bitterness and despondency, and on "The Future Grace of Suffering."
I particularly liked the quotations he used from Christians from the past. Included among them are Charles Spurgeon and the missionary David Brainerd. I found it strangely encouraging that Brainerd, who could write, "Oh, how sweet it is to be spent and worn out for God!" also at one point wrote, "I was so much oppressed that my soul was in a kind of horror."
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