Snippet from ‘Acting the Miracle – God’s work and ours in the mystery of Sanctification’ 

(John Piper in the concluding chapter)

Part 1

When God predestined his people to be conformed to the image of his Son (Rom. 8:29) and when ‘He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy‘( Eph. 1:4) what is clear is that He intended that someday the world would be filled with the beauty of his holiness – or, to say it another way, the glory of God….

I  know that , for some of us, the biblical vision of holiness is too new and strange for us to fully realise what is meant by the beauty of holiness – the beauty of sanctification.

Jonathan Edwards:

‘We drink in strange notions of holiness from our childhood, as if it were a melancholy , morose, sour, and unpleasant thing; but there is nothing in it but what is sweet and ravishingly lovely…’


The beauty of God’s holiness is (this) perfect harmony between all that God does and the infinite value of all that God is….

The beauty of holiness in us

The only thing ugly – the only thing bad – in the world is the failure to reflect the infinite value of all that God is. But whenever our emotions and thoughts and deeds show forth the all-satisfying fullness of God, there is the beauty of holiness.

Some day this is what will fill the whole earth. Someday all that is unholy will be cast into outer darkness. The saints of God – the holy ones – will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matt. 13: 43)

We are in the grand process of sanctification….

What I want to show in this chapter is that this process is a divine miracle in you, and you act the miracle….


  • When God fills you with compassion, it is you who exercises your will to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and visit the prison and take in refugees.
  • When God gives you merciful humility, it is you who turns the other cheek
  • When God inclines your heart to His Word, it is you who gets out of bed early in the morning to read your Bible
  • When God gives you courage and love, it is you who shares Christ with your neighbour
  • When God gives you a patient confidence in his timing, you are the one who drives the speed limit ….
  • When God gives you a sweet satisfaction in your future reward, you are the one who blesses your enemies and does not curse them.