Closing thoughts from John Piper’s recent address at T4G’18: New God, New Gospel, New Gladness: How Is Christian Joy Distinct?
And on this side of the incarnation and the cross, this new gladness is described with striking relevance to our text like this:
The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. . . . [But] God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” [to remedy our blindness] has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6)
What was the psalmist crying out for in Psalm 4:6? “Lift up the light of your facr
Springs of Life Will Flow
And from this new heart of gladness, surpassing all the joys of the world, flow all springs of life (Proverbs 4:23). Out of the abundance of this heart of new gladness, the mind thinks new thoughts, the will resolves new decisions, and hands do new deeds (Matthew 12:34–35). From this new gladness in our new Treasure, we joyfully sell all we have to possess the treasure of God’s presence (Matthew 13:44). From this new gladness in our great reward, we rejoice in persecution (Matthew 5:11–12). The abundance of this new gladness overflows through affliction and poverty in a wealth of generosity (2 Corinthians 8:2).
From this most basic, most essential distinction from the world flow all the other distinctions:
- From this new gladness comes new godliness.
- From new prizing comes new praising.
- From new delights come new duties.
- From new desires come new disciplines.
- From new happiness comes new habits.
- From new preferences come new purchases.
- From new contentment comes new kindness.
- From new cherishing comes new charity.
- From new pleasure comes new patience.
- From new satisfaction comes new sexual purity.in
- From new cheerfulness comes new faithfulness.
- From new treasuring comes new tenderness.
- From new joy comes new justice.
- From new rejoicing comes new risks for what is right.
- From new savoring in the soul comes new sweetness on the tongue.
- And from new life in the heart comes new love through the hand.
May God make the truth clear and compelling: The most basic, the most essential thing that distinguishes a Christian from a non-Christian is not new decisions of the will, not new deeds of the heart, not new doctrines of the mind, but a new gladness in a new God through a new gospel.