God uses humans—flawed, imperfect humans—to accomplish His sovereign plan. As we yield to His sovereignty we can discover an unparalleled joy. In The Legacy Of Sovereign Joy, John Piper shows us this principle in the lives of three notable men of church history: Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, and John Calvin.
Although separated by 1000 years, these men are inseparably linked to the beginning of the Reformation. Both Luther and Calvin relied heavily on the writings of Augustine as they called Christians away from the unbiblical teachings and traditions, and back to the pure, freeing truths of the Bible.
These men are also linked in another way that should be quite encouraging to us. Augustine struggled with his sexual passions, Luther struggled to control his razor-sharp tongue, and Calvin used some rather worldly means to fight for biblical truths. All of them were flawed men, and yet God sovereignly used them. And through all of their struggles, the Holy Spirit brought all three of them into a place where they savored the sovereign joy that only God can give. This should give us great encouragement that God can use us too.
By themselves, John Piper’s biographies of these men are worth your time to read, but the way Pastor John intertwines their stories to show us how sovereign joy can be our mainstay as well is absolutely brilliant.
This was the first book Pastor John published in his series “The Swans Are Not Silent.” If you’re interested, I have previously shared reviews on The Hidden Smile Of God and Seeing Beauty And Saying Beautifully.
Students of church history and those longing to know the joy of the Lord more deeply will enjoy reading The Legacy Of Sovereign Joy.