In an installation sermon he preached in 1996, titled Advice to Pastors: Preach the Word, Piper exhorts other pastors to give themselves to this kind of preaching, which he calls “expository exultation”:
“Our hearts will not be drawn out to worship if someone just dissects and analyzes the worth and glory of God but does not exult in it before us. Our hearts long for true preaching. Some of us don’t even know that is what we are missing.
Like children who grew up in homes where mom and dad never exulted in anything. They never rejoiced or praised or verbally admired and treasured anything. They were always flat and unenthused (except when they got angry). You couldn’t tell if anything really moved them deeply and positively. So the kids grow up not knowing what they are missing. That is what many people in the church are like who have never tasted true preaching.
God exists to be worshiped—to be admired and treasured and desired and praised. Therefore, the Word of God is written primarily to produce worship. This means that if that Word is handled like a hot-dish recipe or a repair manual, it is mishandled. And the people will suffer.
The Truth of God begs to be handled with exultation. And our hearts yearn for this and need it. Something in us starts to die when precious and infinitely valuable realities are handled without feelings and words of wonder and exultation. That is, a church starts to die, without preaching.”
One thought on “John Piper on “Expository Exultation””
“This means that if that Word is handled like a hot-dish recipe or a repair manual, it is mishandled. And the people will suffer.”
Ugh. Right between the eyes. Let us repent of this and continue to pursue our Lord in humble and sincere joy. Otherwise our love will grow colder and we will surely suffer. Good quote, post.