In Finally Alive, inspired by a sermon series on Jesus’ peculiar command, “You must be born again,” John Piper points out that Jesus “wasn’t simply sharing interesting information; he was directing us toward eternal life.” As it is essential to know what God intends when he uses this language of being born again, so that we may experience new birth and help others do the same, Piper explores and biblically defines the “new birth” to help believers embrace its reality. Summing up the vision for this book Piper says, “I hope that showing that the new birth is not in our control helps make pastors and other Christians desperate for the supernatural in their ministries.”
Being “born again” is now defined by what people say they believe. The New Testament however defines Christians very differently. When Jesus said to Nicodemus, “You must be born again”, the devout and learned religious leader was unsure what Jesus meant. It would seem nothing has changed. Today “born again Christians” fill churches that are seen as ineffectual at best. Those claiming to be “born again” live indistinguishable from those who don't; they sin the same, embrace injustice the same, covet the same, do almost everything the same.
For those curious about the Christian faith to those deeply committed to Christ and his ways, come read and behold the glory of any and every sinner’s only hope—the miracle of the new birth that brings forth new life in Christ that will never end.
—Bruce Ware, Professor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
Regeneration, or new birth, meaning simply the new you through, with, in, and under Christ, is a largely neglected theme today, but this fine set of sermons, criss-crossing the New Testament data with great precision, goes far to fill the gap. Highly recommended.
—J. I. Packer, Professor of Theology, Regent College, Vancouver, Canada
Classic Piper—crystal clear exposition and a must read.
—Alistair Begg, Senior Pastor, Parkside Church, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
An accurate and scriptural explanation of what the new birth really comprises is a most pressing need for the modern church. Finally Alive, by John Piper, fulfills that need admirably. In his book, Piper explains just what it means to be born again, and shows how the scriptural teaching on that subject is designed to give all glory to God, and to cast us in utter dependence upon him.
—Nathan Pitchford, Reformed Books.net
John Piper pastor for preaching and vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota since 1980, is a widely respected theologian and bestselling author. Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Piper attended Wheaton College where he majored in literature and minored in philosophy. He completed his Bachelor of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he studied under Dr. Daniel Fuller. Piper received his Doctorate in Theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College.
His preaching and teaching is featured daily on the radio program, Desiring God. His books include The Passion of Jesus Christ, Desiring God, The Pleasures of God, Life as a Vapor, and the Gold Medallion Award-wining Pierced by the Word.
Logos also offers two sets of John Piper's works: The John Piper Collection (24 Volumes) and The John Piper Sermon Manuscript Library.
“But instead of following the Barna Group, the Bible says that the research is not finding that born again people are permeated with worldliness; the research is finding that the church is permeated by people who are not born again.” (Page 16)
“First, Jesus’ teaching about the new birth confronts us with our hopeless spiritual and moral and legal condition apart from God’s regenerating grace. Before the new birth happens to us, we are spiritually dead; we are morally selfish and rebellious; and we are legally guilty before God’s law and under his wrath.” (Page 26)
“In other words, what matters is not merely affirming the supernatural in Jesus but experiencing the supernatural in yourself.” (Page 30)
“What happens in the new birth is not the improvement of your old human nature but the creation of a new human nature—a nature that is really you, forgiven and cleansed; and a nature that is really new, being formed in you by the indwelling Spirit of God.” (Page 37)
“The third reason Jesus’ teaching about the new birth is unsettling, therefore, is that it confronts us with the absolute freedom of God. Apart from God, we are spiritually dead in our selfishness and rebellion. We are by nature children of wrath (Eph. 2:3). Our rebellion is so deep that we cannot detect or desire the glory of Christ in the gospel (2 Cor. 4:4). Therefore, if we are going to be born again, it will rely decisively and ultimately on God. His decision to make us alive will not be a response to what we as spiritual corpses do, but what we do will be a response to his making us alive. For most people, at least at first, this is unsettling.” (Page 27)
Jean Young Lee