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From Desiring God:

00:20 — How Keller talks about sanctification.

2:25 — What are we conforming to in sanctification?

3:45 — How does justification relate to sanctification?

6:40 — The psychological dynamics of faith.

9:00 — What does it mean to “owe God everything”?

11:20 — “I’m going to work my tail off for Jesus, and it’s all of grace.”

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12 thoughts on “Piper and Keller on Justification, Sanctification, and the Dynamics of Faith”

  1. Words matter. What a great example to all of working through what we mean with the words we’re using and being open to making adjustments. Sometimes I realize that what I’m saying may be accurate and true but what I’m communicating with those words may not be accurate and true because of the way my listeners understand those words.

  2. On a related note, Craig Blomberg wrote an article titled “Degrees of Reward in the Kingdom of Heaven?” way back when. But Blomberg stands by this article in the second edition of his book Jesus and the Gospels on page 363.

  3. Aaron Britton says:

    I love this video, and this blog. But, I must say WORST CUT EVER! :) I want to hear the back and forth on the “fitness” issue and hear them come to an understanding on that. I’d also like to hear Piper say why “fitness” is not understandable or effective to people today. Maybe there will be another clip of this conversation soon.

  4. Ryan Phelps says:

    That was about 6 hours too short.

  5. Wanda says:

    I would love to know what others think about this.

    I just read this paragraph in “Christ Formed in You” by Brian G Hedges – to my simple mind it seems very very different from what Keller says our motivation is in sanctification.

    Hedges has just quoted Hebrews 11:24-26 and then writes
    “The writer to the Hebrews presents Moses as an example of faith. Faith is characterized by the conviction that God will reward those who seek him. ‘And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him’ (Heb 11:6. It is impossible to please God if you seek him out of any other motive than the desire for reward. We do not seek God as his benefactors, thinking we can reward him. We are always the beneficiaries of his grace.”

    I also heard Keller say we no longer fear God. That doesn’t seem to fit with what I read in the Bible – does our fear of God end upon salvation? I believe I have a healthy fear of God – He is God and I am a lowly human. I understand he may be using a different definition for fear than I would use. My fear is not of an abusive father but of a loving father who always has my best interest at heart and thus places expectations upon me. I most often meet his expectations because I want to have his favor, however there are times when fear of his discipline also motivates me.

    1. MarkO says:

      this sentence by Hedges confuses me: “It is impossible to please God if you seek him out of any other motive than the desire for reward.”

      Yes, that does seem quite different than Keller. Any ideas why Hedges would say that?

      1. Bruce Russell says:


        The “reward” is Eternal Life in Jesus Christ. It is an inheritance, granted initially as a Promise and then as a Reward on the Last Day. It is by grace beginning to end. The believer obeys his heavenly Father’s commands, unlike Adam and the nation of Israel the believer seeks to be faithful in Jesus Christ. Faithful isn’t perfect, but it is decisive repentance and obedience…the Reward is secured by Christ, the adopted sons participate in Covenant obedience as heirs.

        The inheritance will be lost if it isn’t pursued, but it is pursued because it is possessed.


  6. Wanda says:

    I realize that I have probably pulled it out of context. He uses Hebrews 11:6

    It is in a chapter on motivation for holiness. The heading for this portion of the chapter is “How To Turn Away From Fleeting Pleasures.”

    He is using Moses and Hebrews 11:24-26. “By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward.”
    (Hebrews 11:24-26 ESV)

    A few paragraphs later he says, “That is faith: Believing that God; and all the promises to be for us in the gospel is more satisfying than sin. Faith is the powerful conviction that joy in Jesus is so superior to the fleeting pleasures of sin that I am compelled to choose the eternal over the temporal and the Savior over sin, even if I suffer.”

  7. Regarding the “reward” discussion, it depends on what one considers to be a reward. Look at 1 Cor 9:18. What kind of reward is that? When we think about being motivated by a reward, we tend not to think about our own sacrificial ministry. If you truly desire God and consider living your life in His will for you a reward, then being motivated by that reward is a far cry different than what most people think. Namely, I think most people think they will eventually get to hang out in a mansion they don’t ever have to clean, kicking their feet up watching heavenly TV, having their favorite snacks served fresh whenever they want them, hanging out with their friends who love them no matter what forever, jetting around heaven in the sweetest car/motorcycle/plane, playing golf, watching sports, etc. ad nauseum… If that’s your idea of a reward, then your heart is focused on yourself rather than God. Prepare to be disappointed.

  8. StephenPosey says:

    I think the appropriate word here is BOOM!

    Both in fitting exclamation to what is being said and also the likely exclamation to the video producer to the audio assistant who kept dropping the boom mic into frame.

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Justin Taylor, PhD

Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and blogs at Between Two Worlds. You can follow him on Twitter.

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