John Piper: Christians Should Make New Year's Resolutions; God Wants to Fulfill Them

(Photo: Reuters/David Gray)A woman wears a head band displaying 2015 as she waits for the annual New Year fireworks display on Sydney Harbour, Australia, December 31, 2014.

Preacher and teacher John Piper asked, "Should we make resolutions? Should we do this?" in a recent video on the DesiringGod.org website.

"The answer is a resounding yes indeed we should," he answered. Piper went on to explain that Christians should make 2015 resolutions because God has the power to fulfill them and wants to do so for His and our glorification.

The Minnesota pastor's answer is derived from 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, where the Apostle Paul prays that God "May make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power."

The retired Bethlehem Baptist Church pastor used the Scripture verses to show video viewers that God wants to fulfill the good resolutions of those who walk the path of faith in a way that is "worthy" of His calling.

Comparing the above passages to Paul's 1 Thessalonians 2:12, which charges followers to live lives worthy of God, Piper explained, "Being worthy of a calling that originates in grace does not mean you become worth it – now finally I deserved my calling — that's not what worthy means. Worthy means fitting or suitable and if you boil it down to make you worthy or to cause you to walk worthy of your calling that originated freely in God's grace to call you out of darkness into light, it means walk in a manner that shows the worth of the calling not your own worth."

As Christians begin to reflect the worth of God's calling in their lives, they can resolve to do good by making good resolutions. Good resolutions, he emphasized, are resolutions that are made by faith. When Christ-followers put their faith in God, Piper said we connect to God's power and He transforms our resolve to do good, into works of faith.

"So if you ask how does God fulfills a resolve, turn it into an active performance by His power, the answer is through our faith."

Piper continued, "It is your resolve … and it is your work, but it is a work of faith because it is in reliance on His power – that is absolutely crucial on how we proceed with our resolutions, New Year's or otherwise."

However, the preacher stressed that fulfilled resolutions all starts with God's grace.

"It's the grace of God and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that has made that power available because he bought it when he died for us on the cross so that when we trust, by faith we trust, in that power for God to turn resolves into work – when that happens, it's the name of Jesus that's going to be shown to be glorious and beautiful."

"So when we trust in this power on the basis of this blood-bought grace, God fulfills our resolves and turns them into works which leads then to God or Christ glorified in us … and we glorified in Him."

(Video: Desiring God)
2 Thessalonians 1:11–12 - New Year's Resolutions