15th January 2024

'John Piper offers'



"Do Not Grow Weary in

Probably the worst enemy of enthusiasm is time.
Human beings have a remarkable and sad capacity for getting tired of wonderful things.

Almost every one of you can think of something you were enthusiastic about recently, but now the joy is faded.
At first the excitement of teaching that Sunday School class was strong, but now you have grown weary of well-doing. The thrill is gone.
At first you felt clean and strong in the Holy Spirit as you drove the van, led the small group, visited the newcomers, started reading the Bible, worked in the emergency shelter... but now you have grown weary in well-doing.

But Galatians 6 says,

7  Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant.
8  If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life.
9  So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest.

In short, don't lose heart in spending yourself through love, because if you do, the works of the flesh take over, and Paul says in 5:21, "Those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom."

This is very controversial.
Let it sink in.
What is at stake in this text is eternal life; not merely sanctification, but also final salvation.
Whether you go to heaven or whether you go to hell depends in some way on whether you grow weary in well-doing or not.

The text is addressed to the church.
This text is written to help bring the saints of Galatia to final salvation, eternal life. Therefore, a sermon from this text to the saints at Bethlehem (Baptist Church, Minneapolis) should also aim to help bring you to final salvation or eternal life.

Should I, as your pastor-teacher, deliver to you Paul's message?
Should I speak to you the way the apostle spoke to the churches of Galatia?
Is not the "corruption" of verse 8 the final penal consequence of sin?
Is not "eternal life" in verse 8 the freedom from this consequence of sin?

And is not our experience of the one or the other dependent in some way on whether we sow to the Spirit and don't grow weary in well-doing?
And if so, ought not a pastor believe that his message from this text may be the divinely appointed means of causing God's children to persevere to the end in well-doing and so inherit eternal life?

My goal in life is to be a faithful teacher of God's Word for the good of his people and the glory of his name.
I don't see how I could be faithful to this text and not tell you that if you grow weary in well-doing and lose heart, you will not reap eternal life.
If you forsake the Spirit and rely on the flesh, you will reap corruption.

That's what is at stake here.
I see four implications that I want to mention briefly.
First, teaching the Word of God is essential in the church.
Second, those who carry the main responsibility of teaching need freedom to study and meditate and pray.
Third, it follows that pastor-teachers should be paid so that they don't have to do other work to support themselves.
Fourth, when you give of your money to support the teaching ministry, you are fulfilling the law of Christ (helping bear the teacher's burden), and you are not growing weary in well-doing, but instead laying hold on eternal life.

Evidently the people who did not want to share their goods with the teachers in the churches had fallen prey to some deception and were in effect mocking God by their action.

What does that mean?
It means the same thing a good father means when he says to his child,
"I will not be spoken to in that tone of voice!" That is, you will deeply regret using that tone of voice.

Genuine conversion to Christ is not a mere human act of calling Jesus our Saviour. ("Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord' ... but I will say, 'Depart from me. I never knew you!'")

Genuine conversion is a divine act by which a Spirit of sonship is made to dwell in our heart

This is an edited version.
The full article and Bible references are avaiable on request

John Piper
(@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary.
For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently Foundations for Lifelong Learning: Education in Serious Joy.


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