Jump directly to the content
John Piper

sermon

Single in Christ

In Christ, God blesses single people with a fruitful and faithful life.

Average Rating:  [see ratings/reviews]

Audio Sample:

Today's scripture passage comes from Isaiah 56:1-7:

Thus says the Lord: "Keep justice and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come and my deliverance will be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this—and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil." Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, "The Lord will surely separate me from his people." And let not the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree." For thus says the Lord: "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters. I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it and holds fast my covenant, these I will bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."

Let's pray together. Father, I pray that the worldview that tries to fit biblical pieces in but is shaped by unbiblical assumptions would be changed, so that marriage and singleness are seen to be what they are in the radical alteration of things that Jesus has brought. This is something that I can't make happen, but you, by your Spirit through your Word, can. And so I ask that you would perform it. Not that a few little nuggets would be fit into a defective paradigm, but rather that the whole system would be blown away and replaced by a biblical understanding of all things, so that the smaller things like marriage and singleness would fit in the way that you have designed in Christ Jesus, in this brief and temporary age in which we live in preparation for eternity. So come and help me to be faithful to your word now, and give ears to hear. I pray through Christ, Amen.

I'm going to start and end with my main point, and in the middle saturate you with many texts so that we have foundation under the beginning by the time we get to the end and say it again. My main point is that God promises those of you who will remain single blessings that are better than the blessings of marriage and children. And secondly, that by your Christ-exalting devotion in singleness God calls you to display four truths about Christ and his kingdom that shine more clearly through singleness than through marriage.

These are the four truths:

  1. The family of God grows not by propagation through sexual intercourse, but by regeneration through faith in Christ.
  2. Relationships in Christ are more permanent and more precious than relationships in families (of course, it is wonderful if relationships in families can be both relationships in families and relationships in Christ, but we know good and well that is not the case for many of us).
No First PageNo Previous Page Page 1 of 9 NextLast

John Piper is pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, radio speaker for "Desiring God," and author of Desiring God (Multnomah).

John Piper: Follow | Search

rating & reviews

Average User Rating:

Displaying 1–5 of 10 comments

Josh Chigorimbo

April 24, 2012  12:51am

John Piper's sermon presents a precious perspective on the 'plight' and significance of Christian singleness today. As a (currently) single pastor myself, I can relate with and vouch for much of this sermon's content, experientially and biblically.

Report Abuse

ME

March 12, 2012  7:05pm

If singleness is a gift why have marriage? Also, if singleness is a gift why do people want to get married? Doesn't God place that desire to marry into your heart? I wonder why people think that singles aren't serving God. I have been serving in the Children's Ministry for 16 yrs. Plus I have been on 3 short term mission trips. It's not a matter of serving, it's the desire that God places in you.

Report Abuse

mark almlie

October 17, 2011  10:24am

I have never heard a whole sermon on singleness from the pulpit before--many on marriage. Single adults are now the slight majority in America...we should probably direct some of our preaching to the majority in our churches, right? Piper puts to bed the feeling of many singles--that they are second class citizens in the kingdom of God--this was an excellent, motivating, and as usual God saturated sermon.

Report Abuse

Dutchy

October 15, 2011  3:14am

This married pastor completely ignores the unfulfilled desire for intimacy that singles have to cope with. He as an (I assume) happily married person can get (almost) all the intimacy he wants, but singles have to do without. I think for many single people that's much more of a problem than not being able to have physical children. That's sorely missing from this sermon and that's not something you can just "write off".

Report Abuse

Adewara Olufemi

September 02, 2011  6:53am

I think EDK is misunderstanding this message. The thrust of the sermon is that a single person is not inferior to the married particularly if his singleness is used in expanding the kingdom of Christ. I am particularly blessed with the sermon having seen how much spiritual children I was able to get for the Lord while single over and above what I've had when married. As a pastor, I have won many to the Lord from the pulpit. The intimacy of my 'children' before I got married out of the pulpit far outweighs the ones I had from the pulpit. It is also a challenge to all who are married not to rest on their oars as the expansion of the kingdom will not be calculated on the number of biological children they have but the spiritual children that come through them.

Report Abuse

Review and Rate this Article: *

Low

High

1000 character limit

* Comments may be edited for tone and clarity.

related sermon illustrations

There are currently no related sermon illustrations.

more sermon illustrations ...

related videos

more videos ...

editor's update

Matt Woodley

Why Your Church Is Bleeding Young People

October 20, 2014

archives | read more ...