In his book, Brothers we are not professionals John Piper calls pastors to preach the glory of God as the supreme aim of the Christian life. He argues from Scripture that this is God’s greatest concern. But he goes on to suggest that it is also our greatest pleasure.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism declares “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him for ever”. Most people assume these are two separate experiences. But Piper points out that there is only ONE “end” and therefore the AND links the two halves of the whole. Rather than viewing “for ever” as referring to Heaven, God intends that it be our experience now.
In a similar vein, the two strands of Salvationist doctrine are intended to be experienced in parallel. Salvation and Holiness are both for earth as well as heaven. An experience of personal holiness is not essential to enter heaven. After all, we teach that in accepting Christ as Saviour we have access to the father and a place in heaven (John 11 & 14). And in heaven all are holy by their new nature.
The reason early Salvationists used the term “full salvation” was not that we needed something extra to be sure we get to heaven – it is simply the complete restoration of our true nature in Christ. It is the enjoyment of God as we glorify him.
The greatest destroyer of joy is worry. But Jesus said, “seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well” Matthew 6:33. This is true holiness and greatest joy.
Steven — Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.