The Ultimate Purpose of Reading the Bible: the Praise of God’s Glorious Grace

Reading-Bible-Supernaturally-Piper-2017Redemption begins in eternity past in the heart of God. He predestines a people ‘for adoption…through Jesus Christ.’ Paul tells us the deepest root and the highest goal of this predestination. He says it is rooted in ‘the praise of his will’ (Eph.1:5). And he says its ultimate goal is ‘the praise of his glorious grace’ (Eph.1:6).

How quickly do we pass over that last statement! Whose purpose is being expressed in the words ‘he predestined us for adoption…to the praise of his glorious grace’? It is God’s purpose. And what is that purpose? That we praise. That we praise what? His glory. The peculiar glory of his grace. So from all eternity, God’s plan was to have a family adopted ‘through Jesus Christ’ who would praise his glory to all eternity. There are few things more important to know than that. Few things will shape more of your life than that – if it penetrates to the center of your soul.

The plan from eternity past was praise for eternity future. The one who planned and the one to be praised are the same God. And the focus of the praise is his own peculiar glory – which shines most brightly as the glory of grace in the person and work of Jesus [pp.46-47].

Quotation by John Piper, taken from Chapter 1, “Reading the Bible toward God’s Ultimate Goal” in Reading the Bible Supernaturally: Seeing and Savoring the Glory of God in Scripture (Crossway, 2017).

As proof for the fact that the glory of God is what we should ultimately have in view as we read the Bible, Piper refers to the “six stages of redemption” as they are set forth in Scripture: predestination (the section quoted from above), creation, incarnation, propitiation, sanctification, and consummation.

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