Wisdom for another Year: “2014 Desiring God Pastor’s Conference,” #9 of 10.

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This is a pic of our gang from Grace Community Church in the background on the steps, with John Piper in the foreground getting his picture taken with another attendee. We thought it best to just get a pic with pastor John like this.

Have you noticed that wisdom comes in short snippets of truth? (read Proverbs)

This year’s theme was focused on our Union with Christ, as John Piper, Sinclair Ferguson, Paul Tripp, Jared Wilson, and Michael Horton each taught and reminded us of what we have in Christ. As a forgiven sinner, I am “in Christ” as Paul says so many times in his letters, and Christ is “in me” (John 15). This is what it means to be a Christian: my identity is in Christ and not in my past sins, my failures, or even my achievements. My life is “hidden in Christ.”  I am in Christ and Christ is in me. We are inseparable for eternity. Christ will not, indeed, he cannot exist without me, being united to me in his baptism, death, burial, and resurrection, as he cannot exist without being who he is as the Bridegroom of his elect Church. Christ’s Church was wedded to him before the creation of the world. The Church, the elect of the Father for his Son, was a transaction that permanently united me to Christ: Faith did not save me – Christ saved me, by faith. All that I have is in Christ! What a peaceful, joyful – even loving place to dwell, safe in the arms of Christ.

John Piper is fond of saying, “sometimes a sentence, or a word in a sentence opens your eyes to see new things in Christ.” As these men opened God’s Word to us, here are some tidbits of wisdom from their bible teaching – Enjoy!

“The Fall [into sin] shows us how weak we are. It doesn’t take much to destroy us. Clearly, man is not very strong” – Jared Wilson

“Pastoring a church can be summarized with two goals: you are to persuade those who are under the dominion of sin that they are. And you are to persuade those who are no longer under the dominion of sin that they are not” – a paraphrase of John Owen by Sinclair Ferguson.

“Jesus was baptized [identified] into my sin in the Jordan, so that I may receive his baptism [identification] of righteousness by faith” – Sinclair Ferguson

“False religion is like a man who runs up an escalator that is coming down to him. God must come down to you – you cannot run up to God” – Michael Horton

“What do you think about when you have nothing to think about? For Paul, his mind drifted to “in Christ” as the most pleasurable place to rest” – Sinclair Ferguson

“The Church needs not new programs but new people who know what it means to be “in Christ'” – Sinclair Ferguson

“Satan is The Identity Theft. He steals who we are in Christ” – Sinclair Ferguson

“If Christ indwells them [your brothers and sisters in Christ], then do not be slow to embrace them” – Sinclair Ferguson

“There is no Union with Christ apart from the communion with the saints. The hand cannot be connected to the head apart from the arm” – Sinclair Ferguson

“Pray that you will always desire to know more of the fullness of Christ (Eph 3). We all live at levels of dissatisfaction with what we know about Christ – you know, and yet, you don’t know what more there is to know” – John Piper

“Like Hudson Taylor, sometimes you need to stop praying and start receiving that which you are praying for – Jesus is standing right in front of you with what you ask – RECEIVE IT – IT’s YOURS!!” – John Piper

“Don’t judge a person by their present place of sanctification, but by the distance they have traveled to get where they are” – Sinclair Ferguson quotes John Owen

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