Thursday, February 19, 2015

Saving faith is not, at root, a decision

Audio: < 4 min.   (If audio does not show, click on the individual post title.)

Your saving faith is not at root a decision about Christ's truth, but a sight of Christ's glory.

When you are confronted with infinite, all satisfying beauty, the question is not, "so what's your decision?" The question is, "what do you see?"

Do you see Christ in the gospel as beautiful? More beautiful, more glorious, more satisfying than anything else? That's the question. The question is not, "so, what's your decision?"

Picture yourself in an art class, and the teacher holds up a beautiful painting. And the teacher says to you, "Decide. Is it beautiful or is it boring?" Your proper response to the teacher is, "It doesn't work like that! You show me a painting. I think it's boring. And you tell me 'decide'. Decide. It's not what you do when you see something. You don't decide. You just either see it as boring, or you see it as beautiful. You don't decide."

You can't decide yourself into seeing as beautiful what you think is boring. It doesn't work like that. Deciding isn't what gets you there.

I was 18 once. And I sang a song. "I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. I have decided to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back." I sang that. I loved that. I meant that. And I'm singing it now! And meaning it! It's a good song!

However, I have learned something. Beneath and before I could ever decide to lay my life down in the discipleship of Jesus Christ, I had to SEE HIM! Otherwise I'm playing with Him. But I had seen. I had. So when I sang it, now I meant it. I'd go anywhere with you. I'll do anything for you, because I've seen [that] you are infinite, all satisfying beauty for ever. There is no religion, no movement, nothing in the world that could ever come close to what you are for me now that I have seen.

So, deciding is good. You can make decisions all your life long about Jesus, and about your life. And those decisions must be made. And they are either good or bad. And they must be, if they are going to be authentic discipleship, they must be rooted in: "Have you seen Him?"

Your saving faith is not at root a decision. It is at root, seeing.

--John Piper
from his talk at the 2015 Passion conference