Saturday, April 07, 2012
In his book A Godward Life, John Piper reminds us that ideas have consequences. He illustrates this truth by pointing to how the word "therefore" is used in the Scriptures (1,039 times in the NASB). For example, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). "Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow" (Matthew 10:31). "Therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you" (Matthew 7:12). "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore" (Romans 14:13). "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body" (Romans 6:12). "Therefore glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:20). "Therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's (Romans 14:8).
He then states, "One of the most important ideas in the universe is found in 1 Corinthians 15:51-58---the resurrection and a precious "therefore" that flows from it":
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery ; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet ; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY ? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING ?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law ; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.