The Legacy of John Piper’s Passion OneDay Sermon 20 years later

You can find the full sermon “Boasting Only in the Cross” by Pastor John Piper at the bottom of this blog post, as well as more footage of Passion OneDay.

It has been 20 years since Pastor John Piper’s sermon “Boasting Only in the Cross” was preached at Passion OneDay. It is hard to think of a single sermon in the modern era that has had such a lasting legacy and which stirred so many to give their lives for what matters most: the name and fame of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Desiring God has just recently released the documentary about that day and its impact on those in attendance. I watched it today and thought to myself that there must be many others who would be interested in watching it as well.

In the year 2000, I was in the 5th grade. Needless to say, Passion OneDay was not on my radar. That day, God used John Piper to change the trajectory of countless men and women in that crowd. That day, in that field, John Piper was preaching. Matt Chandler and Matt Carter (seen in the documentary) were sitting on the grass. 10 years later, God would begin to pull my heart to ministry through a long season of prayer and seeking the Lord and seeking wisdom from my pastors. Matt Chandler and Matt Carter’s preaching had begun to shape the call to ministry in my life. At Passion 2010, I accepted the call to ministry immediately after John Piper preached a similar sermon on the glory of God as the purpose for which we were created. That, I realized that night, was worth it all. I wanted to give the rest of my life to that vision for the spread of the gospel for the sake of the fame of God’s name.

In the sermon, Piper says that the American Dream (get rich, retire early, entertain yourself on your riches) is not worth giving your life to. It’s a tragedy. It’s not what we were created for and it can not satisfy. He says, “There are people in this country that are spending billions of dollars to get you to buy it. And I get 40 minutes to plead with you, don’t buy it!”

Don’t underestimate what God can do in 40 minutes.

Not long after being called to ministry, I would hear a recording of this sermon and be shaken to the core, as God continue to work in me a passion for the gospel that is bigger than the American dream. I would encourage you to set aside an hour to watch this documentary, then to watch the full sermon (below).

Who knows what God may do in your life in 40 minutes.


Here’s another incredibly dated video that gives a peak into what OneDay was like. I love what Louie Giglio says (24:40) about the central idea of the event: “Yeah, we are all fallen short, but the cross of Christ has finished the work of God for our lives.”

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