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How Do I Live the Authentic Christian Life? // Ask Pastor John



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passage on over the years you have

referred to the acronym apt at ap ta T

in your books and sermons and your

classes he's been with you for a long

time and it seems to be central to your

understanding of how the Christian life

should be lived each day and I know a

lot of our listeners have probably never

heard you explain apt at and why it's so

important so today introduce it to us

and explain the the big issue that it

addresses for you okay here's the big

issue how do you go about living the

Christian life in such a way that you

are actually doing the living doing the

acting doing the Willing and yet Christ

or the Holy Spirit is decisively doing

the living and doing the acting and

doing the willing in and through your

acting and willing and doing that's the

key issue it seems to me of the

Christian life that's the way Paul says

he lived and and he means for us to live

that way he says 1st Corinthians 15:10

by the grace of God I am what I am and

His grace toward me was not in vain on

the contrary I worked harder than any of

them though it was not i but the grace

of God that was with me now my question

is and I think everyone listening to me

right now should ask how do I do that

how do how do I work hard and yet be

able to say when I'm done God's grace

was the worker in and through me

now that's what apt at apt 80 an acronym

is intended to answer or to put it

another way how do you obey Philippians

2:12 work out your salvation with fear

and trembling for God is the one

at work in you what are the strategies

that we take to make sure we can say

that with integrity about our Christian

life or to put it another way how do you

serve others in a strength that isn't

your own first Peter 4:11 whoever serves

let him serve as by the strength that

God supplies how do you do that or

Romans 8:13 by the spirit put to death

the deeds of the body so how do you put

to death the deeds of the body yes you

put to death the deeds of the body the

sinful deeds and you do it by the spirit

now what does that mean how do you do it

that's that's what I'm trying to get at

or Galatians 5:16 walk by the spirit

5:18 be led by the spirit 5:20 to bear

the fruit of the Spirit 5:25 keep in

step with the spirit so my answer to all

of that is apt act it's what I did

hundreds of times sitting on the front

pew in the sanctuary two minutes before

I'm supposed to preach and I did act it

I walked through app tete in my heart

because when I stood behind that pulpit

I wanted to preach by the spirit

I wanted to preach in the strength that

God supplies I wanted to preach in a way

so that I could say not i but the grace

of God that was with me I didn't want to

get up there and do nothing it's my job

I'm supposed to preach I must preach and

yet the devil can preach people can

preach without the Holy Spirit but

that's not the Christian life okay so

there it is apt at a PTA T each of those

letters stands for an action that I take

and you can do this in one minute before

you face some challenge so a

admit I admit that without Christ I can

do nothing John 15:5 I'm the vine you

are the branches whoever abides in me

and I in him he it is that bears much

fruit for apart from me you John Piper

can do nothing

so I admit that I say that I believe

that I am helpless to do anything of any

significance any eternal value any

spiritual worth whatsoever in any way

without Christ P I pray

of course you pray right if you admit

you can do nothing you you oh god help

help me ask and you will receive jesus

said you do not have because you do not

ask James for to call on me in the day

of trouble some fifty fifteen so i asked

the lord i sat there on the pew and i

asked the Lord for freedom from

self-consciousness give me liberty give

me memory

give me authentic emotion protect me

from error don't want to mislead these

people give me a prophetic anointing so

that words come to my mind that are

miraculously penetrating and and

liberating and saving and purifying and

embolden informed of that to happen by

the Holy Spirit so I'm asking for it

T apt I trust a specific promise I think

this is right at the heart of the matter

I trust a specific promise that God has

tailor-made it might not be just a

preaching situation it might be a

financial situation or sexual temptation

or you name it

I need a specific promise to believe

right now because I just I want to trust

him and I don't want to just trust in

general I want to trust that he promised

to do something for me

so I might say generally I am your God I

will strengthen you I will help you I

will uphold you I use that one I've used

that good night in the last 40 years

thousand times ever as I faced

challenges in my life I will help you I

will strengthen you that's Isaiah 41:10

I will make all

grace abound to you second corinthians

9:8

i am your god i'll supply every need

Philippians 4:19 or in preaching I might

say my word will not come back to me

empty John Piper Isaiah 55 it is not you

who speak but the Holy Spirit who speaks

through you in Matthew 24 so I take a

promise and I trust it I consciously

preach it to myself and put my faith in

it so apt a I act act in obedience to

God's Word expecting God to act under

and in and through my acting so that it

is decisively his acting we act the

miracle we did a whole conference on

this and wrote a whole book about it

called act the miracle in fact my book

future grace is just nothing but an

unpacking you might say of app tad so

act work out your salvation Philippians

2 I worked harder than any of them

first Corinthians 15:5 I now live in the

flesh by the faith of the Son of God

galatians 2:20 put to death the deeds of

the body you by the spirit so we do the

acting we are the act or and God is the

miracle maker so APTA

and then finally when I'm done I sit

down I thank him t-thank I thank God for

whatever good comes I thank him and I

give him give and go give thanks always

Ephesians 5:20 but the key the key the

fulcrum in this sequence where

everything hangs I think is that point

of trust yeah

trusting God's promised help future

grace for the next five seconds or five

minutes or five hours it's it's called

living by faith in future grace it's

called God will help you I will help you

I will strengthen you I'll meet every

need and you trust him for that that's

that's app tap and that's what I think

it means to live by the spirit and walk

by faith and by the spirit and work out

your salvation and act

miracle of the Christian life and I just

say one last thing I was thrilled he I

don't know how many years ago this was

maybe 15 years ago cuz I've been doing

apt at for 35 years plus I was thrilled

on page 126 of J I Packer keep in step

with the spirit to find these exact

steps I mean it was uncanny if you go to

the top of page 126 anybody and look at

how he describes Augustinian

sanctification that's he gives apt

netted I just came out of my chair you

know he doesn't use the the acronym but

the steps are all there in sequence so I

was I just say that at the end here lest

anybody think this is kind of a quirky

quirky Piper thing but it I think it's

just biblical through and through and

it's one of the most central and

important discoveries I've ever made how

do you walk by the spirit confirmed by

Augustine and J I Packer that's

beautiful and deeply helpful and

practical thank you Pastor John these

are the types of practical questions

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on hand well next time we hear from

listener who is burned out who finds

life to be an unceasing grind and who

wants pastor John to give him

perspective to keep them going I'm your

host Tony ranky and I'll see you

tomorrow on the ass Pastor John podcast

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