“The most important institution in the world” by John Piper

“The church of Jesus Christ is the most important institution in the world. The assembly of the redeemed, the company of the saints, the children of God are more significant in world history than any other group, organization, or nation. The United States of America compares to the church of Jesus Christ like a speck of dust compares to the sun.

The drama of international relations compares to the mission of the church like a kindergarten riddle compares to Hamlet or King Lear. And all pomp of May Day in Red Square and the pageantry of New Year’s in Pasadena fade into a formless grey against the splendor of the bride of Christ.

Take heed how you judge. Things are not what they seem. ‘All flesh is like grass. And all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord (and all his family) abide forever’ (1 Peter 1:24, 25). The media and all the powers, and authorities, and rulers, and stars that they present are a mirage. ‘For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God’ (Luke 16:15).

The gates of Hades, the powers of death, will prevail against every institution but one, the church. Lift up your eyes, O Christians! You belong to a society that will never cease, to the apple of God’s eye, to the eternal and cosmic church of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”

–John Piper, “The Cosmic Church: A Sermon on Ephesians 3:10,” as cited on http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Sermons/ByDate/1981/289_The_Cosmic_Church/ (accessed November 9, 2009).

3 Comments

Filed under Christian Theology, Ecclesiology, John Piper, Preaching, Quotable Quotes, The Church

3 responses to ““The most important institution in the world” by John Piper

  1. Yehuda

    Are you suggesting that we all become like the Amish?
    If our founding Fathers had not sacrificed their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to establish our great Country, we would all still be British subjects. Jesus lived in a real culture and society. He worked in the family business, paid taxes and was fully human in every way, yet perfect. He called King Herod, “that fox”; a scathing indictment of a political leader. We must be salt and light in a dark world and that means being involved and aware as citizens, especially now that we have godless leaders who want to steal our liberties, most of our money and soon, our religious freedoms. America has impacted the world for good, spread the gospel to multitudes and helped millions of the poor. That is not just a “speck of dust”!

  2. Yehuda:

    I simply love this quote because Piper highlights the beauty of the Bride of Christ, the church. I posted it to encourage others to love what Jesus loves (Acts 20:28).

    Grace and peace,

    –Nick

  3. John Piper is simply wrong! The Church is NOT the apple of God’s eye.
    Jerusalem is and Israel is the rest of the eye. Read Zech Chapter 2. Piper’s view is both Replacement Theology and Abandonment Theology.

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