I really like the way that Piper writes. I’ve been reading God is the Gospel with a close friend of mine and it’s been great. His chapters are very clearly defined- while there is lots of meaty bible goodness in each, there is always one very clear point, and a very clear application that spurs us on to live actively for Christ.
The main thrust of the book is that the greatest good in the gospel is not that Christ died to save sinners, (though it is very important), it’s not that God demonstrates his love in this, it’s not the wonderful salvation and reconciliation and justification we have in Christ’s sacrifice and God’s initiative in his saving works. The greatest good of the gospel is that God is revealed through Christ.
I don’t have the book here with me, so I can’t remember the actual verse he keeps quoting, but it’s similar to Hebrews 1:3. “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…” The greatest good of the gospel is God himself, and specifically him revealed through Christ in the gospel.
The last chapter that we read together was about how the Spirit works in us- following from a chapter reinforcing that no one is saved by anything other than the word of God and the Spirit opening the eyes and heart of unbelievers to believe it, and His continuing work in the same way in believers- the same way that we first believed. The Spirit does not work in us directly, but only works in response to the gospel, the word; he does not work apart from the word of God. We will not become more Christ-like if we are not looking at Christ himself. It makes complete sense, it’s not particularly anything new, but the way he explains things is with such enthusiasm and love for God that it seems new and exciting. And at times when my love for the gospel seems like it’s waning, it blows the spark on fire again and helps me to persevere when I’m exhausted. The systematic way he pulls together verses about God’s glory in Christ and the Spirit’s work in us is so much richer than seeing the verses in isolation. He paints an even more beautiful picture of the gospel by flooding the pages with the clearest verses.
So in my tiredness and lack of eloquence and cohesion, rather than read my ramble, go and buy God is the Gospel by John Piper. It’s full of diamonds.