2015 NYC - Only One Passion by John Piper

2 Corinthians 6: 4-10

“4 Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; 5 in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; 6 in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; 7 in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; 8 through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; 9 known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; 10 sorrowful, yet always rejoicing;poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.”

1. What does it mean as christians to be ‘sorrowful, yet always rejoicing’? Which part, sorrowful or rejoicing, has the emphasis?

- We learn from this passage that the first part of the phrase creates the background for the second part of the phrase.

  1. Genuine, yet regarded as imposters

  2. Known by God, yet unknown to the world

  3. Dying, yet we live on for eternity

  4. Beaten, yet not killed

  5. Sorrowful because of the pain in the world, yet always rejoicing in the hope of the Gospel

  6. Poor materially, yet making many rich for eternity

  7. Having nothing, yet possessing everything

2. The gospel brings us to life to see more and feel more for the people all around us. We see the pain of the world and feel is deeply. So, what can our joy be rooted in that makes the sorrow ok to feel?

  • Sorrow is feeding off the gloom of the world

  • Rejoicing is feeding off the glory of God

3. Passion

  •  Sometimes people think of passion as a feeling
  •  Here it is the object of our feelings, our passion is Jesus Christ and His glory

Peter 1:3-8 “3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice,though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials...8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” I Peter 1:3-8

4. What does it mean to call have glorious Joy?

  • The literal Greek meaning is Glorified joy
  • When you are thrilled by something, it shapes the person that you are.
  •  If we are thrilled by sin, it shapes us into people who love darkness and evil
  • If we are taken up by something beautiful or something we delight in, it shapes our joy.

1 Peter 4:12- 14
“12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.”

  • What makes joy durable in the midst of trials is Jesus’ glory.
  • There is glory to come, but we have a glory here and now on this earth. “you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you”


  1. God’s aim to be glorified and his aim to give us joy are the same thing - God is shown to be great when we are happy in him.

  2. Since God is shown to be great by us being happy in Him, we should fight to always be happy in Him.