Piper on 3 Things that Have Become More Central in His Preaching

John Piper | July 3, 2015

Jonathan Edwards has not only remained one of my primary inspirations, but he has also brought increasing clarity and focus to some things that were less clear to me in the early days—things that are essential for good preaching.

In December 1744, Jonathan Edwards preached a sermon foreshadowing his book The End for Which God Created the World, which he completed eleven years later, three years before he died. The sermon’s title is “Approaching the End of God’s Grand Design.” It is the kind of sermon that draws me back again and again to Edwards, to rescue me from the spiritual stranglehold of small things. It’s this kind of seeing that creates a seedbed of Big-God Theology and Big-God Preaching.

Reflecting on this sermon, here are three emphases that have become clearer and more central to my preaching over the years.

1. A Clearer Sight of the Centrality of Christ

The first emphasis is the supremacy of Christ, the centrality of Christ, in the final end of God’s purpose in creation and history. The longer I have preached, the more prominent the Christological dimension of God’s purposes has become. Is it not remarkable that Edwards defines the “great…

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