Monday, 17 November 2008


From: Spectacular Sins and Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ ,by John Piper

Gracious and glorious Father,
because you are rich in mercy and great in love,
and sovereign in grace,
we ask that you would show us
a window onto the panorama of your glory,
and a skylight to your supremacy in all things.

By the truth-loving power of your Holy Spirit
grant that the glass pane would be clean—
that what is faithful to your word would be confirmed,
and what is not would be forgiven, not confusing.
We ask that your cloud-banishing illumination
would be given to our minds,
and that spiritual understanding would fill our hearts,
and that according to the command of your apostle,
we would grow in the grace and knowledge
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

May we see the spectacular sins of the world
as horrible as they are.
And may we see the holiness of God
as pure as it is.
And may we see the rule of God over the sin of man
as righteous as it is.
And thus grant the steel of ultimate reality
to strengthen the spine of our faith,
and sweeten our lips for the bruised heart.

Put the ballast of biblical truth
in the belly of our little boats,
lest the crashing waves of calamity
in these changing times
cause us to capsize in the sea of trouble.

And according to your apostle’s warning,
forbid that the increase of our knowledge
would cause the increase of our pride.
Rather, O God of infinite wisdom,
reveal, with all our understanding,
the unfathomable sinfulness of our hearts without Christ,
and the infinitesimal smallness of our strength
in comparison to yours,
and the absolute dependence of our life on you,
and the unfathomable depths of your judgments,
and how dim is the mirror in which we see.

Grant to our minds and hearts
new and deeper capacities to see and savour
the glories of Jesus Christ.
With every new glimpse of his glory in your word,
let there awaken new affections in our hearts.
Ignite our souls to treasure Christ in a way that
destroys our sinful lusts
and delights the deepest recesses of our being
and displays his truth and beauty
to a world that does not know
that this is what it needs more than anything.
And from this all-satisfying treasuring of Christ
may there flow a liberation from selfishness,
and a triumph over bitterness and anger,
and a freedom from worry and fear,
and victory over depression and discouragement,
and the severing of every root of sensual lust.

All this freedom, Lord, we seek for the sake of love.
Grant that our contentment in Christ would be a
dissatisfied contentment,
eager to expand by including others.
Grant that the joy of the Lord would not be a solitary joy,
but the strength to sacrifice for the good of others,
even those who hate us.
May broken-hearted boldness and contrite courage
attend all our deeds of compassion
and all our commendations of Christ to a lost world.
Awaken in us tender affections for those who hurt,
and self-forgetful attentiveness for those in our presence.

And in this treasuring of Christ for his supreme glory
and this overflowing love for others,
may Jesus be exalted above all things—
honoured, admired, adored, esteemed, enjoyed,
praised, extolled, thanked, and worshipped.
May our light shine in this world
so that people see you in our sacrificial deeds of love
and our uncompromising words of truth
and give glory to your hallowed name, Father.

Through Jesus Christ your Son,

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Statement of Belief

Bible: We believe the Bible, consisting of 66 books, to be the inspired Word of God, without error, the revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life.

God: We believe in one God who exists and operates as three: the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Father: We believe the Father created all things in heaven and on earth. He created human beings and desires a personal relationship with each of us.

Jesus: We believe that Jesus Christ is true God and true man, having been conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross as the sacrifice for our sins according to the Scriptures. Further, He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven.

Holy Spirit: We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to convict men, making them aware of their sin and the salvation available through Jesus. He regenerates, guides, instructs, and empowers the believer for godly living and service.

Man: We believe that man was created in the image of God and sinless, but fell into sin and is therefore lost and subject to judgement. There is nothing man can do to save himself from this judgement, but he can accept the death of Jesus as punishment in place of his own eternal death by acknowledging God and accepting the free gift of salvation.

Salvation: We believe that the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ provides the only way of justification and salvation for all who believe. Any who attach additional works of man as a requirement for salvation are false in that they infer Jesus' death is insufficient in and of itself to save and that human beings somehow have the capability to save themselves.

Grace Plus Nothing: We believe that it is only by grace through faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus that one is justified and receives salvation. It is heretical to add any additional requirements to God's grace, or to claim that certain prayers, water baptism, baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, or any other human work is essential for salvation.

Accepting the Sinner, Denouncing the Sin: We believe that no sin is too big for God to forgive. Therefore, as Christians we should be open and eager to share the Gospel with everyone regardless of their sin or affliction. However, making Jesus Lord of our lives means striving towards holiness and turning from our sinful ways. Therefore, while being open to all sinners, Christians ought not accept, ignore, or promote any sin as permissible.

Non-Essential Elements: We believe the above tenets make up the basis of Christian faith on which all Christians believe and agree. We also realize that many aspects of God's nature including His omnipotence, omniscience, holiness, and tri-unity are beyond human understanding, and have therefore intentionally omitted any statements regarding areas of legitimate disagreement (i.e., baptism, predestination, end times) on which agreement is not essential for salvation.