SGCB | PROVIDENCE: God's Purposeful Sovereignty by which He will be Completely Successful in Achieving His Ultimate Goal for the Universe

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PROVIDENCE: God's Purposeful Sovereignty by which He will be Completely Successful in Achieving His Ultimate Goal for the Universe
JOHN PIPER

From Genesis to Revelation, the providence of God directs the entire course of redemptive history. Providence is “God’s purposeful sovereignty.” Its extent reaches down to the flight of electrons, up to the movements of galaxies, and into the heart of man. Its nature is wise and just and good. And its goal is the Christ-exalting glorification of God through the gladness of a redeemed people in a new world.

Drawing on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry, pastor and author John Piper leads us on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history. Piper invites us to experience the profound effects of knowing the God of all-pervasive providence: the intensifying of true worship, the solidifying of wavering conviction, the strengthening of embattled faith, the toughening of joyful courage, and the advance of God’s mission in this world.

The providence of God is his purposeful sovereignty by which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe. God’s providence carries his plans into action, guides all things toward his ultimate goal, and leads to the final consummation. Pastor and author John Piper draws on a lifetime of theological reflection, biblical study, and practical ministry to lead readers on a stunning tour of the sightings of God’s providence—from Genesis to Revelation—to discover the all-encompassing reality of God’s purposeful sovereignty over all of creation and all of history. Exploring the goal, nature, and extent of God’s purposes for the world, Piper offers an invitation to know the God who holds all things in his hands yet remains intimately involved in the lives of his people.

Contents

Introduction: Four Invitations

PART 1: A Definition and a Difficulty

1 What Is Divine Providence?

2 Is Divine Self-Exaltation Good News?

PART 2: The Ultimate Goal of Providence

Section 1: The Ultimate Goal of Providence before Creation and in Creation

3 Before Creation

4 The Act of Creation

Section 2: The Ultimate Goal of Providence in the History of Israel

5 Overview: From Abraham to the Age to Come

6 The Exodus Unfolds

7 Remembering the Exodus

8 The Law, the Wilderness, and the Conquest of Canaan

9 The Time of the Judges and the Days of the Monarchy

10 The Protection, Destruction, and Restoration of Jerusalem

Section 3: The Ultimate Goal of Providence in the Design and Enactment of the New Covenant

11 The Designs of the New Covenant

12 Christ’s Foundational Act in Establishing the New Covenant

13 The Entrance of Sin into Creation and the Glory of the Gospel

14 The Glory of Christ in the Glorification of His People

PART 3: The Nature and Extent of Providence

Section 1: Setting the Stage

15 Knowing the Providence of the God Who Is

Section 2: Providence over Nature

16 The Loss and Recovery of a Theater of Wonders

17 Earth, Water, Wind, Plants, and Animals

Section 3: Providence over Satan and Demons

18 Satan and Demons

19 The Ongoing Existence of Satan

Section 4: Providence over Kings and Nations

20 Israel’s Divine King Is King of the Nations

21 Human Kingship and the King of Kings

22 To Know and Rejoice That the Most High Rules

Section 5: Providence over Life and Death

23 A Bath of Truth and the Gift of Birth

24 The Lord Has Taken Away; Blessed Be the Name of the Lord

25 We Are Immortal till Our Work Is Done

Section 6: Providence over Sin

26 Natural Human Willing and Acting

27 Things We Know and Things We Do Not Need to Know

28 Joseph: God’s Good Meaning in a Sinful Act

29 Israel Hated, Pharaoh Hardened, God Exalted, Helpless Saved

30 Broken Families

31 Deception and Dullness of Heart

32 Though He Cause Grief, He Will Have Compassion

33 A Wickedness God Especially Abhorred

Section 7: Providence over Conversion

34 Our Condition before Conversion

35 Three Biblical Pictures of How God Brings People to Faith

36 Saving Faith as the Gift of Providence

37 Driven Back to the Precious Roots of Election

Section 8: Providence over Christian Living

38 Forgiveness, Justification, and Obedience

39 God’s Command-and-Warning Strategy

40 Those Whom He Called, He Also Glorified

41 Blood-Bought Zeal for Good Works

42 Working in Us That Which Is Pleasing in His Sight

43 Killing Sin and Creating Love—by Faith

Section 9: The Final Achievement of Providence

44 The Triumph of Missions and the Coming of Christ

45 New Bodies, New World, Never-Ending Gladness in God

Conclusion: Seeing and Savoring the Providence of God

General Index

Scripture Index

Desiring God Note on Resources

“In what is perhaps his most important book so far, John Piper demonstrates with great cogency and exegetical skill that God’s providence ‘is his purposeful sovereignty in which he will be completely successful in the achievement of his ultimate goal for the universe.’ This book will enlarge your vision of God and thereby strengthen your faith.” - D. A. Carson, Theologian-at-Large, The Gospel Coalition

“John Piper, with his characteristic clarity and focus on the biblical text, shows us the pervasiveness of God’s providence in the Scriptures. Piper lingers over the biblical text, and we see in text after text that God rules over all of reality, from the smallest atom to horrific disasters. As we have come to expect from Piper, he turns our eyes to the infinite greatness and beauty of God, while reminding us that God’s providence constitutes amazing good news for those of us who know Jesus Christ.” - Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“There are many books by John Piper that I would recommend to believers because of the depth and freshness of thought in his writings. Providence will rank among the highest on the list. The breadth of God’s providence that is covered here is breathtaking. Piper leaves no stone unturned! Read it and see for yourself. This is a landmark work!” -Conrad Mbewe, Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia

“While some see God’s hand only in miracles, and others don’t see his hand at all, providence is the wonderful truth that God is sovereign in and over everything that happens. Combining passion with a curious spirit, John Piper has cherished and proclaimed this truth throughout his ministry. This engaging book is not just about one doctrine, but ranges throughout the alpine vistas of God’s work in our world, our redemption, and our lives today. It is deeply faith invigorating.” -Michael Horton, Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California

“In this remarkable book, John Piper reveals the personal side of sovereignty, helping us glimpse the intricate complexity, winsome beauty, and ultimate purpose of God’s plans in action. Piper is able to write about a multifaceted doctrine in a way that is easy to grasp and so practical!” -Joni Eareckson Tada, Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center

“With the publication of The Justification of God in 1983, John Piper showed that he was a man unflinching in his adherence to the sovereignty of God’s grace. Now, half a generation later, that adherence remains. This massive book affords food for thought in a way that will stretch the minds and hearts of its readers.” -Paul Helm, Former Professor of the History and Philosophy of Religion, King’s College London

“John Piper’s careful exposition is coupled with insightful theological reflection and pastoral application. Here is hope when health fails, enemies assail, dreams unravel, relationships crumble, and calamities destroy. Here is strength for enduring difficulty, facing uncertainty, and overcoming anxiety. Here is the sweet experience of our Father’s bountiful goodness in the special care and conduct of his providence.” -J. Stephen Yuille, Vice President of Academics, Heritage College and Seminary; Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“In my estimation, this book represents the most mature and the fullest biblical-theological reflections of John Piper. As a pastor and teacher, I’m often asked, ‘How can I reconcile what I know about God, man, and creation in the Bible with how I experience them?’ Thanks to Piper, I now have a definitive work to help me answer these questions. This book will move readers to delight in God and in his revealed reality as they wonder at God’s intended purpose for his creation.” -Biao Chen, Chinese Project Coordinator, Third Millennium Ministries



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