Wednesday, September 03, 2008

FORUM - The launch of the FREE gospel project and John Piper on Ruth 2

Last night we launched the FREE gospel project which sees 400,000 of the coolest copies of Mark's gospel. I'll try and get some photos of the actual gospels to post later.

Basically, incredibly exciting to be at another one of these launches and see the potential - captured in a video which will no doubt be on the UCCF site soon, where Krish Kandiah shares of his experience of 200 non-Christian students at Warwick University reading Mark's gospel in discussion groups in the early 1990s when he was a CU member. Perhaps it could happen again...

John Piper continued to open up the book of Ruth.

We see Naomi's mind had been unclear about her family - there are possible husbands for Ruth. Circumstances had made her mind foggy to the reality of hope that is there.

We looked at Boaz and Ruth and above all began to explore the way that Boaz represents the LORD to Ruth - as she seeks refuge in the LORD which is worked out in taking refuge under Boaz' wings.

Piper said the key question is why have I found favour with you? The answer to this question defines everything else for us. His contention is that she has humility which he said was the opposite of a sense of entitlement. We might imagein that she things she's being rewarded by God for her kindness to Naomi. Or, 2v12 - that these wings represent taking refuge in God. This is salvtion in action. God is not her employer. She shows the fruit of her faith in God, even in Moab. She receives grace because God is worthy not because she is. Grace hides Ruth under God's wings, and shows off the glory of God's grace, grace magnifies the glory of the LORD.

Piper illustrated for us that we see providence in this chapter, but the protagonists don't really have a plan - unlike in chapter 3 where there is strategic righteousness in action. We were treated to a moving illustration of Piper's life from being an 18 year old and things happening to have happened to him along the way that took him to study at Wheaton, to marriage, to his illness that lead him to devote his life to the Bible, to Germany and finally the step to stop studying the God of Romans 9 and start preaching him. This story is told in more detail in his book Don't Waste Your Life.

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