from John Piper at Cross Conference
Recently, I found these passages that reminded me of each of them together. They are about love for the world opposing love for God, and they are from several different persons in the Bible including: Jesus, Paul, James, and John.
1. Love for the world opposes Jesus.
And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. (John 5:37-43, ESV) Jesus
2. Love for the world is hostile to God and set on death; it can’t accomplish what God wants.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8, ESV) Paul
3. Love for the world is selfish and makes us enemies of God.
You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:3-10, ESV) James
4. Love for the world is all of the above and is passing away.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17, ESV) John
Wise Fathering According to Proverbs
- 17:6 – “the glory of sons is their fathers.”
- God chooses to identify himself as Father
- We are all incredibly shaped by our fathers (or lack thereof)
- Because of these honors bestowed on fatherhood, there is much potential condemnation or potential glory
5 roles of a wise father
1. A wise teacher
- 1:8 – speaks and writes truth, instructs, pleads
- 1:11 – knows what sinners say
- 1:20 – knows what wisdom says
- 2:1-5 – teaches true spiritual cause and effect
2. A wise example
- 4:11 – leads by example
- 4:3-4 – Follows his own father’s example
3. A wise planner-provider
- 13:22 – plans for his children’s children
4. A wise trainer
- 19:18 – Disciplines his son, hopes
- 22:6 – Trains his child
- 22:15 – uses rod and reproof to instill wisdom
- 22:17 – Disciplines for future rest and for future delight
5. A wise encourager
- 10:1 – delights in a wise son
- 23:15 – delights in his son
*We pursue wise fatherhood as free men because of the gospel – no condemnation.
*Isaiah 56:3-6 – God promises the eunuchs a name better than sons or daughters if they do the things that please him. These principles are not limited to biological fathers; every man can be a spiritual father in the church.
Trust in the Lord:
Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf. Prov 11:28,
Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. Prov 16:20,
He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ Matt 27:43
With all your Heart:
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Prov 4:23,
As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man. Prov 27:19,
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Ps 139:23-24,
Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. Rev 2:22-23
And lean not on your own Understanding:
Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly. Prov 14:29,
How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. Prov16:16,
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:7,
And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.1 Jn 5:20
In all your Ways:
Her feet go down to death; her steps follow the path to Sheol; she does not ponder the path of life; her ways wander, and she does not know it. And now, O sons, listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house. Prov 5:5-8,
The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established. Prov 16:1-3
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Prov 16:9
Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight. Prov 11:20
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Heb 13:15
And He will direct your Paths:
Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil. Prov 4:24-27,
The path of life leads upward for the prudent, that he may turn away from Sheol beneath. Prov 15:24
Read Proverbs 16 for a deeper summary
Below are some quotes from the book Dr. Cutrer gave me at his last presentation for us. To us he was a great help for ministry and very uplifting. This may shed some light on the sudden nature of his death. It also gives us some insight into his life, his decisions in medicine, and the grace of God.
Sandi “…Dr. Bill’s cardiologist diagnosed him as having a serious heart malfunction- he would need to undergo open-heart surgery. During this time, Dr. Bill experienced what it’s like to be on the other side of the physician’s desk. Since then, he has stopped delivering babies, but he continues to treat fertility patients and devotes many hours to ministry.” Sandra Glahn, William Cutrer p.15 When Empty Arms Become a Heavy Burden 2010
Dr. Bill “Infertility is the most challenging and interesting part of medicine for me now. It is also the most emotionally taxing. The highs are incredible when the efforts produce a desperately desired new life from God. The lows are devastating but provide opportunities to minister God’s grace to hurting people, and so often these same hurting people minister God’s grace back to me… (p17) I simply cannot fully understand, although I know the hurt is profound. My wife, Jane, and I struggled, as she is a ‘DES daughter.’ Thus, we fought a personal battle against prematurity and death in the days when medication to stop labor proved ineffective… (p18) Our marriage, as well as our faith, is a testimony to the grace of God in trials and triumphs.”
“William Cutrer, MD, is a licensed obstetrician/gynecologist who specialized in the treatment of infertility for more than fifteen years. He also holds a graduate degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, is an ordained minister, and serves as the Gheens Professor of Christian Ministry at Southern Baptist Seminary. Dr. Cutrer has authored or coauthored nine books, including The Church Leader’s Handbook.” Author information
Dr. Cutrer also led mission trips to Belarus and Russia. He made us laugh, gave us chocolate with cherries and peppers, and taught us well. Please continue to pray for his family and praise God for his life.
Subject: FW: Dr. Bill Cutrer
Ryan sent me the news earlier today saying that he had seen this by tweet but didn’t know the details.
Tweets from @AlbertMohler
Dr. Bill Cutrer spent years helping babies to be born before helping a generation of young ministers be born into ministry. @SBTS
For many years Dr. Bill Cutrer was a leading obstetrician before training for the Christian ministry. He will be greatly missed. @SBTS
Southern Seminary mourns today the sudden death of our colleague Professor Bill Cutrer. Praying for his wife Jane and children. @SBTS
Chris sent me this email and asked me to pass it along.
Subject: Dr. Bill Cutrer
I don’t know if any of you have heard yet, but I have some sad news. Early this morning Dr. Bill Cutrer died suddenly during (or maybe after, can’t remember) a bike ride. I don’t know any further details but this was obviously sudden and unexpected.
As you surely remember, Dr. Cutrer has given lively, biblical, and very well-attended talks at TWL the past two years. I figured you all would want to know so you can be in prayer for his family.
I am at work now, so I am not able to do much of a mass email, but could you all pass along this news to the student leaders (this year and last) so they are aware and can keep the Cutrer’s in prayer?
Read Ephesians 3:14-19
“Love is something which can be contemplated… If love does not make you think, it is not love; it is a purely physical instinct. Love enjoys ruminating, dwelling upon, looking at, dissecting, analyzing and considering… Love is to be studied, and the more you study it the more you enjoy it.
We must never fall into the error of imagining that because we are Christians we therefore know all about the love of God. Most of us are but as children paddling at the edge of an ocean; there are abysmal depths in this love of God of which we know nothing. The Apostle is praying that these Ephesians, and we with them, may go out into the depths and the deeps, and discover things which we have never imagined.” Martin Llloyd-Jones
Why should we study love? Why do we need the Bible to understand love?
Scripture directs all believers to pursue love (1 Corinthians 14:1), keeps ourselves in the love of God (Jude 21), abide in Christ’s love (John 15:9), walk in love as Christ loved (Ephesians 5:2), and consider how to stir up one another to love and good deeds. (Heb 10:24)
Read 1 Corinthians 13- What is the main point?
In paraphrase form Paul is saying:
Without love even heavenly tongues sound annoying
Without love, knowing it all theologically and philosophically helps no one
Without love, powerful, risk-taking faith is worthless
Without love, giving everything to the poor is unprofitable
Without love, even the ultimate sacrifice of one’s life is pointless
“In these familiar words we possess one of the most central principles of the Christian faith. It is this. No religious act is of any value in God’s sight if it does not accompany and flow from Christian love.” – Maurice Roberts
It is distressing to see self satisfied Christians who refuse to grow in love. Repentance is at the heart of restoring our first love.
“What is meant is not merely an intellectual change of mind or mere grief, still less doing penance, but a radical transformation of the entire person, a fundamental turnaround involving mind and action and including overtones of grief, which results in “fruit in keeping with repentance.” Of course all this assumes that mans actions are fundamentally off course and need radical change.”- DA Carson’s definition of repentance
The chief duty of life is to love God supremely above self, others, or all material things.
Just as marriage is a commitment to love one another in good times and in bad, so love for God and neighbor is a commitment to love God and neighbor despite changing feelings or difficult circumstances.
Why do you think family relationships at home provide the best testing ground for the practice of Christlike love? 1 Peter 4:8
“A true love for people,” says John Stott, “leads to labour for them; otherwise it degenerates into mere sentimentality.”
Why is it necessary to pray about growth in Christlike love?
As believers, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we have an immense capacity to love all people, even our enemies and those who are unlovely or disagreeable. (Luke 6:32) We all have to admit, however, that growth in love is a struggle. (1 Thes 4:9) He who is the source of love is also the best teacher of love, and he has given to his Spirit the unique work of inspiring and prompting love within us. The more we see how inherently and perversely selfish we are, the more we recognize our need to as God to help us love.
Although Christ commands us to love as he loved (John 13:34-35), he doesn’t leave us powerless to accomplish the task. He graciously gives his life-empowering Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit- who is God and is love- produces within every believer a supernatural capacity to love as Christ loves.
What practical steps can you take to guard your love relationship with Christ?
Keep yourselves in the love of God. Jude 21
Zeal is that pure and heavenly flame
The fire of love supplies;
While that which often bears the name
Is self in a disguise.
True zeal is merciful and mild,
Can pity and forbear;
The false is headstrong, fierce and wild,
And breathes revenge and war.
While zeal for truth the Christian warms,
He knows the worth of peace;
But self contends for names and forms,
Its party to increase.
Newton via Patrick Schreiner