“And Be Thankful”
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player
return to the main player
Return to the Main Player

“And Be Thankful”

Colossians 3:12–17  (ID: 3629)

What does it mean to be “in Christ”? Paul addressed this question in his letter to the church in Colossae, reminding them of Jesus’ transformative work while urging them to cultivate a heart of thankfulness. In this Thanksgiving message, Alistair Begg underscores the direct correlation between a transformed heart and a life that is lived out under the Lord Jesus. For the believer, such a life is characterized by an identity grounded in Christ, a unity marked by His love, and activity done in His name.

Sermon Transcript: Print

Our Scripture reading this morning comes from the letter of Paul to the Colossians and chapter 3 and reading from verse 12 to verse 17. Colossians chapter 3 and beginning to read at the twelfth verse:

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”


Almighty God, you have given to us your Word, and it is to your Word we now turn. It is the longing of our heart that we might hear your voice through your Word by your Spirit and that in hearing, we may both trust and believe, obey, and live in the light of it in order that you might be glorified and in order that our friends and family and neighbors may know that you are God. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Well, those of you who are routinely here will perhaps be, I hope, not upset by the fact that we’re not back in John 6. We’re still saving that big “Truly, truly” for next week. And in the meantime, I woke up last Monday morning—that is, the twentieth of the month—I woke up early in the morning, and I had just a phrase in my mind. It was a King James Version phrase, and it is the phrase that you can actually see in the ESV, right there in verse 15, if you opened your Bibles. In the King James Version it reads, “Be ye thankful.” “Be ye thankful.” Now, why I wakened up with that phrase I don’t know—partly because, I think, of the celebration that Susan and I had enjoyed the evening before, partly in anticipation of all that Thanksgiving provides as an opportunity for us in celebrating with one another God’s goodness.

But for whatever reason, that was it. And so, as the week unfolded and into this week, I determined that there was a reason that I woke up with “Be ye thankful,” and so “Be ye thankful”—or the ESV version of it, “And be thankful”—is the heading for this morning’s study. I didn’t know where it was. I knew it was in the Bible. I knew it was in one of the letters. But I didn’t know which letter.

And some of you are here as young people this morning because the childcare doesn’t extend to you, and so it’s important that we understand what we mean when we say it was in a letter. There are letters in the New Testament. And the letter that we just read from was a letter that was written by the apostle Paul, and he wrote to a church that had been established in a place called Colossae—not Cleveland but Colossae. And the reason that we’re able to read this letter this morning in Cleveland is because it was written to Colossae a long, long time ago in order that all the people both in Colossae and all the people since may be able to learn from the Bible just why it’s there.

And it is important, I think, for us as a congregation that we take just a moment to remind us of its context. After all, many of you were not present when we studied Colossians together. Twenty-nine years ago we studied Colossians—1994. I think it’s time for a refresher course. I’d like to believe that myself and all of you, too, would be able to say, “Oh, yes, Colossians; we remember all about that.” The chances are that that is not the case. So here is a brief background. You can fill in the rest on your own.

The church, I take it, began during Paul’s time in Ephesus. You can find that in Acts chapter 19. And you remember that he was speaking in the synagogue. He was kicked out of the synagogue. He moved his operation to the Hall of Tyrannus. And for two years he was doing Bible studies, I take it, in the afternoon in order that he might tell the gospel to as many people who wanted to listen. One of the listeners, presumably, was this fellow called Epaphras. And Epaphras was converted, I take it, during that time. He then went back to his hometown, which is Colossae. And as a result of his ability to tell others this same good news, the church was formed there.

At the time of the writing of the letter, Epaphras is actually now with the apostle Paul in Rome. Paul is writing from Rome to Epaphras’s hometown and to the church that is there. And Epaphras has told Paul of what has been going on. The church has blossomed. It has been fruitful. But there are various notions that have begun to embed themselves in the congregation.

And when you read the letter through, as I hope you may do for homework, even today, you will find exactly what it is to which he’s referring. For example, in 2:4, Paul writes to say, “I [am saying these things to you] in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments.” So people were saying, “I’ll tell you what this really means and why this really matters.” And so he writes in the awareness of that. If you go just down to verse 8, he says—this is chapter 2—“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition.”

And what he has been doing is he has been making sure that the people who are now reading this letter understand what has happened to them when they have trusted in the Lord Jesus. More than anything else, that is what matters: that they understand what it means to be in Christ. And if they will grasp that fully and be grasped by it, then they will not be deluded by these specious ideas; they will not be held captive by various notions. So in other words, he is preempting the kind of danger to which Epaphras has been alluding.

And the responsibility both of Epaphras and of all in pastoral ministry might be summarized in 1:25: “of which I became a minister,” says Paul, “according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you.” The gifts that were given to Paul were given to Paul but not for Paul. They were given for these people. To do what? There you have it in a phrase: “to make the word of God fully known.”

So, every person who stands up behind a pulpit with a Bible needs to be held to this. And that’s the question: Does this individual set out to make the Word of God fully known? And then, secondly, in verse 28: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone … teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.” Making the Word of God fully known and seeking to see those who have come to trust in Jesus grow to maturity.

There is a direct correlation between a heart that is full of thankfulness to God for all that he has done for us in and through the Lord Jesus and a life that is then lived under his lordship.

Now, I need to leave you to do all the background work on your own. But the beginning of it all, I think, if you look at 1:6, where he has laid out his case: “This gospel, this hope that is yours, that you have heard, is the word of the truth. It is the gospel.”[1] Verse 6 of chapter 1: “which has come to you”—it’s “come to you”—“as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and [you] understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our … fellow servant.” Because he had been the one who came back to let them know this amazing news.

So, they are those who have heard the word of grace in all of its truth. In 2:6, they have “received” Jesus Christ as Lord. In 2:13, those who “were dead” are now “made alive” in Christ, and in a very realistic way, their old life has been buried in the waters of baptism, and their new life is now hidden with Christ in God.

In short order, he’s reminding them that they have been delivered from the rule or the dominion of sin. When a person has come to trust in Jesus, sin no longer reigns, but it remains. And so what he’s pointing out is this: that “you have been delivered from the dominion of sin, and now, in Christ, you are free and motivated to fight against the remnants of sin, which are still part and parcel of your journey as a Christian.” Anybody who suggests differently is clearly not even reading their Bibles. And so, what he does in the first two chapters is lay down these indicatives. These are the things that, he says, represent the true experience of someone who has come to know Jesus. And then from that point he’s going to go on and make application of it.

Now, at the risk of beginning a new series in Colossians right here and now, let me try and navigate back to this phrase “And be thankful.” Because some of you have already forgotten that phrase due to our little discursis here. But anyway, what struck me was that when I went to the phrase, thinking it was sort of a random phrase, I realized it wasn’t random. It’s not an isolated phrase. It’s not an isolated emphasis. In fact, 1:12; I’ll just point it out to you: “giving thanks to the Father”—“giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.” Chapter 2 and verse 7: “rooted … built up in him … established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Chapter 2 and verse 16: “Let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath,” but instead, “Make sure that you are declaring the goodness of God with thankfulness in your hearts.”[2] You will recognize that that is actually 3:16 and not chapter 2. Those of you who were turning it up are scratching their heads and saying, “It’s not there at all; I think he’s making it up”—no, I was making that up, but it’s 3:16: “with thankfulness in your hearts to God”; and in verse 17, “giving thanks to God”; and in 4:2, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

So I said to myself, “Well, you know, I think I’m definitely on to something here.” In other words, there is a direct correlation—a direct correlation—between a heart that is full of thankfulness to God for all that he has done for us in and through the Lord Jesus and a life that is then lived under his lordship. Do you get that? That there is a direct correlation between a heart that is filled with thankfulness for all that God has done for us in Jesus and then that life lived out underneath the lordship of the Lord Jesus himself.

Now, what he does when he gets to chapter 3, as you perhaps recall, is he moves from what is indicative to what is imperative. “These,” he says in chapters 1 and 2, “are the things that are true of Christian reality.” Now he says, “Your application of that in your lives by the same grace of God will be revealed in this way.”

And he points out that those who get a new life in Jesus also get a new wardrobe. In other words, they get rid of a lot of stuff that was in their “old life” wardrobe—not actually necessarily their clothes, although that would be good to do in certain cases, I’m sure; but a punk rocker may decide that she doesn’t really want to be a punk rocker for Jesus anymore, and she thinks that was part of her old life. I don’t know, because I don’t know any punk rockers at the moment. But the fact of the matter is, in verses 5–11 he is explaining, “You don’t wear this stuff. You don’t wear rage. You don’t wear malice. You don’t put on a jacket that is marked ‘uncleanness.’” So he deals with the negative, which we’re not going to touch, and then he goes in verse 12 to deal with the positive.

Essentially, he’s answering this question: What do people whose thankfulness flows from the grace of God—what do people whose thankfulness flows from the grace of God—look like, not just as individuals but as communities? Because remember, he’s not writing to an individual. There are some letters written to individuals. But he’s writing to a community. In many ways, it would be as if someone had written us a wonderful letter to the church in Cleveland and had reminded us in chapters 1 and 2 of everything that is ours in Jesus. And then, in chapter 3, the application comes: “Therefore, here is your dress code.”

Dress code is an interesting phrase, isn’t it? I don’t know how recent it is, the idea of dress code. I mean, there’s always been different codes. In Scotland, sometimes it’s formal wear with a kilt. Sometimes it’s not. It’s usually dangerous whether it is or it isn’t. But we’ve got it now. You end up asking the question, “Well, what is the dress code? Is it formal, semiformal, informal, casual, business professional, business formal, business casual, smart casual, casual?” How do you actually decode the dress code? There’s no difficulty here.

And I’m going to identify three pieces that are part of those whose lives are transformed by grace, community-wise. Number one, our identity is grounded in Christ; our unity is marked by the love of Christ; and our activity is done in the name of Christ. Now, in doing that, I’m going to leave you plenty of leftovers, just as you did from Thursday, for you to enjoy at your own leisure. But I’m going to just go through these as purposefully and as briefly as I can.

Identity Grounded in Christ

First of all, he is pointing out that our identity is grounded in the work of Christ. And the work of Christ is seen in his calling us to himself. Notice how he begins verse 12: “Put on then…” “Put on then”—“get your clothes on”—“as God’s chosen ones…” The story of the Bible—as we’ve been considering these last couple of weeks in John 6—the story of the Bible from the beginning is a divine search on the part of God for those who are not actually looking for him, a divine search on the part of God for those who are hiding from their Maker. And he is reminding these people that God has chosen them—what Jesus on one occasion says to his disciples. He says, “You did[n’t] choose me, but I chose you.”[3] Wow! Out of all the people in the world, these people in Colossae.

You see, we thank God for our salvation, don’t we? Because we know that God was entirely responsible for it. That’s why we thank him. “Chosen ones, holy,” a people of his own possession—a recurring emphasis throughout all the letters of the New Testament. The glory of the gospel is actually in the fact that God is doing something in his church that is absolutely different from what he’s doing anywhere else. Martyn Lloyd-Jones was very strong on this. He would say to his people always in London that the great glory of the gospel when it is revealed in a community is revealed in the fact that God makes his people different from other people. Different from other people!

If you think about that for a moment, it is actually the other side of the notion which is a prevalent notion: that the way we can go out and reach the greater community is just to let them know we’re just exactly like them. But that would be a fiction, because we’re not like them. We used to wear those clothes, but we don’t wear those clothes now. And it is when the difference is seen, when the attractiveness of the difference is seen, that people will actually begin to pay attention, will actually begin to listen, even though they may hate us for it at first.

We thank God for our salvation, don’t we? Because we know that God was entirely responsible for it.

You’ve known that, some of you who work in an office, and you came to faith in Jesus Christ, and you were part and parcel of the usual milieu at the coffee breaks or whatever else it was. And you remember those stories, and you remember your language, and you remember all the things that you were able to engage in without even a thought. And suddenly, it all began to feel like dust in your mouth. You were no longer a participant in that way. And the people hated you for it. They called you names. But wasn’t it you they came to when their son was diagnosed with cancer? Wasn’t it you they came to seek out when they felt that their life was on a shaky foundation? They hated you. You were different. They listened. They came. And some of them came to Christ—because of you! Because you were chosen, because God made you holy, and because he loved you. “Chosen …, holy and beloved.”

You see, that is not merely a term of affection. We understand what it is to say “I like you” or “I love you.” Mere terms of affection are wonderful things. But what he’s actually saying here is “You are objects of God’s love”—of God’s love; a love that has been exercised toward sinners even while we’re actual sinners; a love that has been unconstrained by any qualities in us. It’s unlike any other love. We love because “Well, this is a nice person to love. I mean, they’re like me,” or “I like them,” or “I like what they do.” But God looks on us, and despite what we are, he loves us. “In this is love, not that we … loved God but that he loved us and [gave] his Son [as a] propitiation for our sins.”[4]

When I was studying this, it made me think again of Jonathan Edwards and the distinction that he makes in his Religious Affections concerning gratitude. This is what he says:

True gratitude, or thankfulness to God for his kindness to us, arises from a foundation, laid before, of love to God for what he is in himself; whereas a natural gratitude has no such antecedent foundation. The gracious stirrings of grateful affection to God, for kindness received, always are from a stock of love already in the heart, established in the first place on other grounds, [namely,] God’s own excellency.[5]

So, is there then a difference between natural gratitude and gracious gratitude? I mean, everybody’s been out there saying, “Hey, it’s Thanksgiving. Let’s be thankful. Let’s have a turkey. Let’s be thankful we’ve got enough money to go and use it up on Black Friday and worry about it on whatever Saturday’s called.” But only the person who is in Christ has any inkling of this. Otherwise, you see, what about all the people in the world that have nothing and yet in Jesus have everything? When everything that is represented as an essential dimension of human existence is no longer part and parcel of their lives, is Christ really all in all?

Well, our identity is grounded in the work of Christ.

Unity Marked by the Love of Christ

Secondly, our unity is to be marked by the love of Christ.

Paul, as you will notice as you read this letter, was really conscious of the fact that there was a scandal, really, represented in the Colossae valley, and the scandal related, essentially, to social distinctions. Social distinctions—division that had to do with ethnicity (Jew and gentile) or with social status (high or low), whatever it might be. And so he is essentially making sure that the people who are in this church to which he writes, that they understand that in Jesus, all of those things have changed. Because as he says, actually, in verse 11, “Christ is all,” and he is “in all.”[6]

So in other words, the old distinctions that mark people before they become Christians are not irrelevant distinctions, whether it is by virtue of our birthplace or our background or our home life or our education or our capacity of intellect or our social standing. They are not irrelevant, but they’re transmuted. They’re changed. Because what happens is, those things which make us the people we are, to exist in a community that only understands those values, are then actually made something radically different when we are now in Jesus. Because that is the unifying feature—not the color of my skin, not the school that I went to, not my bank balance. None of those things! They’re not obliterated, but they’re absolutely transformed.

That’s what he’s saying: the old distinctions of race and religion, Jew and gentile, of culture, the Greek and the barbarian… “I am going to a very good education system.” The barbarian goes, “I don’t want any education.” They’re both sitting together in the church, and this letter is being read, and they’re looking at one another and going, “You know, this is right. I am a barbarian, and you are a Greek intellect. And look at us, singing the same songs! Who does this? How can this happen in the world?” Jesus does this! He’s the only one who does this! That’s the point. Distinctions of social status—slave or free—and the marks that are then expressed in such a unity.

And it’s very important that we’re honest about these things. I love it when Christopher Ash says, you know, the church is not made up of a bunch of people that you would automatically want to go on vacation with. I mean, just look around. I mean, get beyond your own little group that you like to sit in. Just look around. You go, “I don’t want to go on vacation with them. No!” No. “And I don’t want to go on vacation with him.” No! I get that. But that’s the whole jolly point! Otherwise, what are we, clones?

No, you see, this is the distinction. Because the culture outside, which is full of thankfulness, doesn’t understand the grace of God unless the grace of God is communicated, not simply by lip but by life. So they come to a church in the Colossae valley, and they say, “You know what? It’s amazing, the diversity of people in this place. What is this?” Well, it’s Jesus.

Yeah, because when you become a Christian and you end up in a local church, you’re forced to associate with people with whom you wouldn’t ordinarily choose to associate. You say, “Well, I don’t think that’s right.” I think that is dead right. And I’ve quoted this to you before, but I like to quote it, so I’ll quote it again, from my friend Steve Turner, the poet in London. And this is what he says:

The church humbles us. It’s one of the few places in our societ[y] today where we sit with rich and poor, young and old, black and white, educated and uneducated, and are focused on the same object. It[’s] one of the few places where we share the problems and hopes of our lives with people we may not [even] know. It is one of the few places where we sing as a crowd. [And] although the church needs its outsiders to prevent it from drifting into dull conformity, the [outsider] need[s] the church to stop them from drifting into individualized religion.[7]

“Individualized religion.”

Incidentally, let’s just be very, very clear about the fact that none of this takes place in online chats. This doesn’t work in cyberspace. Whatever dimension exists as a result of what we’re able to do this morning through technology, it is a very poor substitute for the reality that God intends. Physical friendships are being impacted by smartphones and by online chats. And those relational friendships within the body of Christ are being impacted in the selfsame way. And that is why it is so vitally important that when we talk about community, when we talk about participation, when we talk about engagement, this is not something that we drummed up as a concept. This is at the very heart of what it means to be in Christ: that our unity is marked by the love of Christ.

Notice what the marks are. We can’t go through them all; our time hastens. Look at it: “Put on … as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts”—number one. What do “compassionate hearts” look like? Well, there’s “kindness” in our treatment of others. “Humility” in our view of ourselves. “Meekness,” or gentleness—a disposition of tenderness. “Patience,” learning to bear with each other, to deal with complaints about one another. Forgiveness: “forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” Goodness gracious! When I’m full of thanks for the mercy and grace of God that has granted me forgiveness—when I am full of that thankfulness—I will find it much easier to extend the same forgiveness to others who have wronged or who are wronging me. When I am filled with thankfulness to God for the way he has treated me despite who I am, then how in the world am I going to hold on to these complaints, to these grievances, to these petty issues?

Listen: some of you, in your marriages, are right here. Let’s leave the church aside for the moment. Sir, how long do you plan to hold on to your complaints, grievances, and issues about your wife? Madam, how long are you planning to deny your husband, or whatever it might be? This is for the church. The church exists as individuals. Individuals are joined together in marriage. And the attractiveness of our world’s allure is dim in comparison to this. It’s not easy. Everybody says forgiveness is a great idea until they have somebody to forgive.

When I’m full of thanks for the mercy and grace of God that has granted me forgiveness, I will find it much easier to extend the same forgiveness to others who have wronged or who are wronging me.

But, you will notice, verse 14: “And above all [this] put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” If you think about the clothing of the Eastern world and layers and so on, and then that big—you see it also in parts of South America, those amazing shawls or whatever they are. They’re like gigantic blankets. You see it in South Africa as well. And eventually the person just pulls it all around them. And then sometimes you see them gathering up their children inside of it and managing to make a whole cluster out of it all. And it’s as though Paul is saying, “Listen… And when you put all these pieces together and you gather them all up, then you will discover what God desires for you.” “Above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Well, I’m going to resist singing for you, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.”[8]

Activity in the Name of Christ

Finally, the activity that is done in the name of Christ. Our identity is grounded in the work of Christ, our unity is based on the love of Christ, and our activity is done in the name of Christ.

What activity? Well, actually, everything. Look at verse 17: “Whatever you do, in word or deed…” “Whatever you do.” It’s comprehensive, isn’t it? No compartmentalizing of things, no saying, “Well, I don’t do it over here, but I do it over there. It’s in my Sunday, but it’s not in my Mondays or Tuesdays,” or “It’s in my work, but it’s not in my sport.” No, no: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

In other words, he’s saying that the whole realm of human conduct is to be brought under the lordship of Christ. And when that is the case, you will notice that “the peace of Christ” then “rule[s] in your hearts.” The word here is the word for an umpire who is adjudicating on things, rendering a verdict in contested situations. And he says, “Now, it should be the peace of Christ that is the umpire in these areas.” We were designed for peace. Christ is our peace. And anything that promotes discord is not in tune with Jesus—that promotes discord.

In the Anglican churches which I sometimes attend when I go home—and in others, I’m sure, here, too—but they say, “And now we’re going to say the peace to one another.” It’s a distinctly embarrassing moment, I’ve found, for me. I don’t know anybody in the place, and they all start turning around, going, “Hello, Brenda,” and you say, “Peace. Yeah, ooh! Peace. Peace.” It’s like, you can’t just fake this. You can’t just, like… That doesn’t… That’s not peace. That’s, like, non-peace. It’s a nice idea, but you can do that, and it doesn’t do anything.

Peace is what allows you to live together, to put up with one another, to forgive one another, to rejoice with one another. And he says, “Not at the expense of principle, but let the peace of Christ rule in all your circumstances.” “We’re supposed to live in peace!” the man said to his wife, the daughter said to her mom. “We’re supposed to live in peace. This isn’t peace.”

Filled not only with peace but with the word of Christ: “Let the peace of Christ rule”; “Let the word of Christ dwell”—in other words, our fellowship is based on a mutual submission to the Word of God—“[as you teach] and [admonish] one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.” We should sing a spiritual song here and draw this to a close. And make sure that as you do, you give thanks to God. You give thanks to God.

One of the harvest hymns in Britain, which begins… No, it’s maybe not that one. Well, anyway, one of them—either “We Plow the Fields and Scatter”[9] or “Now thank we all our God with heart[s] and hands and voices.”[10] I think it’s that one. It ends like this:

No gifts have we to offer
For all thy love imparts
But that which thou desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.[11]

What would the church in Colossae look like as people came around to try and deceive it, to captivate them with false ideas, if they really got to grips with what it means to be in Christ? Well, they would be a radical light shining throughout that valley, because people would have an opportunity to see something that they had never seen before and to meet someone that they had never met before: he who is the Light of the World, shining out into the darkness through the lives of those who’ve had the lights turned on for them.

Actually, what he’s really saying is what Paul says in Romans 13, in a phrase: “Put on … Jesus Christ.”[12] “Put on … Jesus Christ.” To be like Jesus. That’s it. The trouble is, I’m not really like Jesus. (Some of you are pretty good, though.)

Well, just a brief prayer.

Paul writes to the Romans,

The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

[And] as for the one who[’s] weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.[13]

Father, we acknowledge that only in Christ and by Christ is it possible for us to increasingly look like your dearly beloved son. We acknowledge that, Lord, and we pray that you will help us, in such dependence upon your grace, to live as you have designed us to live, to the praise of your glory. Amen.

[1] Colossians 1:5 (paraphrased).

[2] Colossians 3:16 (paraphrased).

[3] John 15:16 (ESV).

[4] 1 John 4:10 (ESV).

[5] A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, in The Works of Jonathan Edwards (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1974), 1:276.

[6] Colossians 3:11 (ESV).

[7] Steven Turner, Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2001), 122.

[8] Bill Backer, Billy Davis, Roger Cook, and Roger Greenaway, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (in Perfect Harmony)” (1971).

[9] Matthias Claudius, trans. Jane Montgomery Campbell, “We Plough the Fields and Scatter” (1782, 1861).

[10] Martin Rinkart, trans. Catherine Winkworth, “Now Thank We All Our God” (1636).

[11] Claudius, “We Plough the Fields.”

[12] Romans 13:14 (ESV).

[13] Romans 13:12–14:1 (ESV).

Copyright © 2024, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Alistair Begg
Alistair Begg is Senior Pastor at Parkside Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and the Bible teacher on Truth For Life, which is heard on the radio and online around the world.