Bestselling Author and Pastor John Piper Reflects on the Relationship between Treasuring Christ and Saving Faith
What happens in the heart when it experiences real saving faith? John Piper argues that faith in Christ is not saving unless it includes an “affectional dimension of treasuring Christ.” Nor is God glorified as he ought to be unless he is treasured in being trusted. Saving faith in Jesus Christ welcomes him forever as our supreme and inexhaustible pleasure.
What Is Saving Faith? explains that a Savior who is treasured for his all-satisfying worth is more glorified than a Savior who is only trusted for his all-forgiving competence. In this way, saving faith reaches its God-appointed goal: the perfections of Christ glorified by our being satisfied in him forever.
- Written by Best-Selling Author and Pastor John Piper: Explores a critical and misunderstood element of the Christian faith, urging believers to ask the unsettling question, Do I have saving faith?
- Theologically Robust: Studies respected theologians’ work regarding salvation, including John Calvin, Jonathan Edwards, Henry Scougal, John Owen, Wayne Grudem, and J. I. Packer
- Accessible: Written for students, nominal or thoughtful Christians, and church leaders of all levels, as well as anyone interested in the nature of faith and the essential relationship between faith and feeling
Hardcover, 304 pages
Publication Date: May 2022
Table of Contents
Introduction: What Are We Really Asking?
Part 1: The Roots of My Concern
Chapter 1: Taking the Lordship Battle to Another Level
Chapter 2: The “Free Will” Air We Breathe
Chapter 3: Why I Am Not a Roman Catholic
Chapter 4: If Saving Faith Is Affectional, Does It Merit Justification?
Chapter 5: Provocative Voices from Church History
Chapter 6: Does “Saving Allegiance” Clarify Saving Faith?
Part 2: Seeing Reality through Six Hundred Lenses
Chapter 7: Confident Trust in What Jesus Says (Clarifications 1–4)
Chapter 8: Saving Faith Receives Christ Himself (Clarification 5)
Chapter 9: The Spiritual Sight of the Glory of Christ (Clarification 6)
Chapter 10: The Substance of Things Hoped For (Clarification 7)
Chapter 11: The Root of All God-Pleasing Works (Clarification 8)
Chapter 12: A Supernatural Creation of God (Clarification 9)
Part 3: Receiving Christ as Our Supreme Treasure
Chapter 13: Saving Faith Receives Christ, but Not in Vain
Chapter 14: The Message of Jesus about His Supreme Value
Chapter 15: The Surpassing Worth of Knowing Christ Jesus
Chapter 16: We Have This Treasure in Jars of Clay
Part 4: Christ, the Believer’s Treasure and Satisfaction
Chapter 17: Saving Faith Is the Substance of Hoped-For Joy
Chapter 18: Saving Faith as Receiving Love for the Truth of the Gospel
Chapter 19: Saving Faith Overcomes the World
Chapter 20: Whoever Believes in Me Shall Never Thirst
Part 5: Calling for Faith When Faith Is Affectional
Chapter 21: The Offer of Treasure
Chapter 22: Counting the Cost of Embracing the Treasure
Chapter 23: Warning People to Flee from Judgment to Joy
Chapter 24: Repentance, the Renovation of the Heart’s Desire
Chapter 25: Does Affectional Faith Make Evangelism Impossible?
Chapter 26: Does Affectional Faith Undermine Assurance?
Conclusion: Saving Faith, Designed for the Glory of God
Appendix: A Response and Challenge
“This remarkably insightful book is guaranteed to deepen our understanding of saving faith. It will also cause us to reexamine our approaches to evangelism and assurance of salvation. John Piper explains that to truly ‘receive’ Christ in faith cannot mean merely fleeing to Christ reluctantly as an escape ticket from hell, but must mean welcoming him into our lives as our greatest treasure. Piper is careful not to add any works requirements to justification by faith alone, but he explains more deeply the affections that will characterize genuine saving faith. This is a crucial message for twenty-first-century evangelical Christians.”
Wayne Grudem, Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary
“Being a Christian means placing faith in Jesus. What could be simpler? How can ‘saving faith’ require a book to explain? Piper argues from both Scripture and church history that the true answer to this question is elusive, subtle, and glorious and troubling in its implications. He shows why so many believers are absentee in living out the faith they may at one time have expressed. He thereby invites readers to refine and renew their own faith by the grace God gives to receive the riches he offers in Christ. ‘We will spend eternity discovering the wonders of the experience of saving faith,’ Piper states. Read this book and start now.”
Robert W. Yarbrough, Professor of New Testament, Covenant Theological Seminary
“It is a great honor to commend this book to everyone who desires to understand the nature of saving faith. John Piper’s thesis is provocative but does, I think, accurately represent the overall thrust of the New Testament. Reading this thoughtful and life-giving work will prove transformative for many who take the time to ponder its implications.”
Andreas J. Köstenberger, Cofounder, Biblical Foundations; author, Signs of the Messiah and A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters
John Piper is founder and lead teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for thirty-three years as a pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than fifty books, including Desiring God; Don’t Waste Your Life; and Providence.