October 23, 2011
When the Jewish leaders challenged the basis of Jesus’ authority, they highlighted the same issue that confronts all who consider the claims of Christ. Will we acknowledge that Jesus rightfully has authority over our lives? Alistair Begg reminds us that by nature, none of us wants to submit to Christ’s demands. We need God’s grace to humble us into seeing Jesus as our King and Lord.
Sermon Transcript: Print
We’re going to read this morning from the Gospel of Mark and chapter 11. It’s page 717 in the church Bibles, if that is helpful to you. Mark 11:27:
“They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him. ‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you authority to do this?’
“Jesus replied, ‘I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!’
“They discussed it among themselves and said, ‘If we say, “From heaven,” he will ask, “Then why [don’t] you believe him?” But if we say, “From men”….’ (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)
“So they answered Jesus, ‘We don’t know.’
“Jesus said, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.’”
Thanks be to God for his Word.
Father, help us now as we look to the Bible. May the Spirit of God be our teacher, we earnestly pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Well, let’s just be very honest to begin with: we don’t like other people interfering in our lives, commanding our attention, demanding our obedience. Generally speaking, we don’t really like people telling us what to do at all—and not least of all in matters spiritual. Because many of us have imbibed the contemporary concept of spirituality being a very personal and private thing, matters that are known only to us, and to be concerned with by ourselves, and no one else’s business at all. And it may well be that that is the way in which you view your reading of the Bible. And if you do, then presumably you have found our studies in Mark to be distinctly unsettling. Because it becomes quickly clear that Jesus interferes in our lives—for our good, but nevertheless, interferes. It’s for that reason that C. S. Lewis, in his little autobiography Surprised by Joy, actually refers to Jesus at one point as the “transcendental Interferer.” The reason that he has come is to interfere. And when we read the record of the Gospel of Mark, we discover that that is exactly what Jesus is doing.
When he calls the crowd to him in chapter 8, he calls them to a revolution. He doesn’t say, “If any of you are remotely interested in this, who would like to be marginally concerned about me…” No, he says, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself … take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life”—keep his life for himself—“will lose it, but whoever [gives his life away,] loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
Now, here’s the question: Does Jesus have the authority to make that kind of statement? Does Jesus have the authority to speak to the crowds in his day and to the crowds of contemporary American society and throw down such a gauntlet? “If you want to save your life you’ll lose it. If you lose your life for the gospel and for me you will save it.” It’s certainly not marginal. It’s impossible to avoid.
And it’s particularly challenging for those of us who’ve grown up in the school of believing that we are actually the captain of our own fate, that we are the masters of our own destiny, that we have an “unconquerable soul,” as Henley puts it in his famous poem:
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
And I don’t want Jesus or anybody else interfering with that, thank you very much.
Now, you see that the issue in the passage that we read is just such an issue. The struggle that is taking place between the religious authorities and Jesus is a struggle, a tussle, about authority. Authority. This is not something new; it hasn’t popped up out of nowhere. Because from the very beginning of the ministry of Jesus as Mark records it, this question of authority has been a thorn in the side of the religious teachers. And I want you just to see this so that you can confirm that it’s there by turning back to chapter 1: “[And] when … Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach,” Mark records—that is the end of Mark 1:21—“the people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, [and] not as the teachers of the law.”
So the distinguishing feature that marked him out was that he said things in such an authoritative way that they couldn’t be sidestepped, they couldn’t be simply dismissed. The people had been fairly routinely used to listening to the mumbo jumbo of the religious formalism that they had come to expect, that they made their way through the services, presumably. The synagogue went as per usual. But when this man, this Galilean carpenter, began to speak, suddenly it impinged upon them in a way that was quite amazing. And on that particular occasion, as Mark records, when there is a demonic encounter, when an evil spirit calls out, Jesus actually deals with that, and once again, in verse 27, Mark says, “The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, ‘What is this? A new teaching’”—and here we go again—“‘and with authority!’” “And with authority.”
You see, these fellows were the purveyors of established religion. These fellows came from the right background. They had had the proper training. They were, if you like, credentialed. And therefore, they believed with a measure of legitimacy that it was their prerogative to ensure that nothing went wrong in terms of Judaism while on their watch. And that’s why they didn’t like this pseudorabbi. Because he didn’t come from the right background. He hadn’t attended the right schools. He didn’t possess the necessary credentials. And in chapter 6, Mark records that on another occasion when Jesus is speaking with such authority, the folks begin to say to one another, “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Don’t we know his brothers and his sisters? How is it then that he speaks with such authority?”
And what the people understood, the religious leaders couldn’t miss. So, for example, he exposes their hypocrisy when they accuse his followers of breaking the Sabbath as a result of eating grains of corn as they walked through the fields; that’s at the end of chapter 2. And in chapter 3, again in the synagogue, when a man appears with a shriveled hand that no one has been able to address, Jesus then calls him forward, because he knows that the Pharisees are in the synagogue, looking for a reason to accuse him. “We’ll be able to catch him out on this occasion,” they say. And they wanted to see if he would heal the man on the Sabbath.
What unbelievable selfishness and hostility is represented in taking a disabled person and using the disabled person as a mechanism for trying to catch out Jesus. So Jesus brings the man forward, realizing what’s going on. He understands the plot. And he says to the assembled group, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” The answer is obvious. And what is their reply? “But they remained silent.” They knew the answer. They just couldn’t give it. Because if they gave it, they condemned themselves. And Jesus “looked around … in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts,” and he healed the man. And “the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.”
We could go through the whole of Mark. You say, “Well, we’ve done that already; please don’t do that now.” Well, that’s okay, that’s fair; I accept that. Just one more then, because what I’m trying to show you is that this little encounter here, the pot has been boiling underneath it for some considerable time before this confrontation takes place, before this delegation emerges.
So, for example, in chapter 7, again the Pharisees have come, they’ve challenged Jesus and the disciples: they’re not washing their hands properly, they’re not cleaning the utensils properly, they’re not observing the traditions of the elders. That’s 7:5: “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders …?” And Jesus says, “You know what, the prophet Isaiah was right about you folks when he said, ‘You people honor me with your lips, but your hearts are far from me. You worship me in vain; your teachings are but rules taught by men. It is entirely external,” he says, “and you’re missing the whole point, because you’re the ones who have let go the commands of God for the traditions of men.” “You have,” he says, “a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” And I resist any temptation to make application of that as I’m going along.
So with all of that said by way of background, let’s come back to the passage that is before us. They’re again in Jerusalem, the place to which Jesus is moving, where he will suffer and die at the hands of cruel men, as he said, be crucified, and on the third day rise again. The momentum is building. Jesus is “walking in the temple courts,” we’re told by Mark; by Matthew, in his account, he says Jesus is teaching in the temple courts. Therefore, we know that Jesus was teaching as he was walking and walking as he was teaching. And as the crowd gathered around him and as the people listen to him, this little coterie of the religious establishment show up. And their confrontation is pretty straightforward. It seems to be an official representation of the Sanhedrin, three component parts of the religious authorities: “the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders.”
Now, presumably they’d put their wooden heads together and decided that they would try and trap him with just one good question. And it must have been with a measure of anticipation and smugness that they came to ask, as is recorded in verse 28, “‘By what authority are you doing these things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave you authority to do this?’” Because after all, as we’ve noted, they were the ones that had the authorization. They were the ones that had the schooling. They were the ones that had the background. They knew that he had none of this. He was from the carpenter shop in Nazareth. He was a pseudorabbi. “So let’s just ask him. We’ll just say to him, ‘So, where did you get your authority?’” I wonder, did they think they’d trapped him, nailed him, as a result of this? And if so, how short-lived would that experience have been? Because Jesus gets them in his counterquestion. It’s a fairly Hebraic way of response. Lawyers understand this kind of thing.
And when I read this, it made me think of the man who invented radar. You say, “Well, we know that your mind is fairly warped, but how do you get from here to Sir Robert Watson-Watt, who invented radar—Scotsman who invented radar?” Well, it’s always annoyed me, that; every time I get a speeding ticket, I think of the character. But it was a wartime invention. They gave him $140,000 for it, the highest award ever made for a wartime invention. But unfortunately, while the Scotsman was driving in Canada, he was actually caught for speeding in a radar trap! And being a relatively humorous sort of soul, he wrote a little doggerel concerning that, which goes as follows:
Pity Sir Robert Watson-Watt,
Strange target of [his] radar plot,
And thus, with others I [could] mention
[A] victim of his own invention.
And that is exactly what this proves to be for these religious folks. They are victims of their own invention. Because what we know about them from the reading of the Gospel is that they were motivated not by a desire for everything to be streamlined in the way that they might desire, but rather they were motivated by envy.
By the time Jesus is brought before Pilate, Pilate, despite his own equivocation, is a shrewd judge of character, and so, when he speaks to these folks, he says to them, “Would you like me to release for you the king of the Jews?” And then Mark says, “Because Pilate knew that the only reason they had handed him over was on account of envy.” Envy.
Envy is the flip side of the coin of vanity. When I’m envious, it’s because I’m vain. It’s because I’m proud that I would be envious of anyone who can outdo me. If I am humble, then I can rejoice in the success of another, or the giftedness of another, or the extent of the crowd that is gathering to listen to another. But if I am envious, it basically says that I’m proud, and I think that more people should be listening to me than are listening to him or listening to her, or whatever it might be. And that’s what was going on with these characters. They were full of pride: proud about their religious background, proud about their credentials, proud about the way everything had gone along. And now this upstart rabbi shows up, and everybody’s listening to everything he says and following him in great numbers?
No, you see Jesus is now going to set them on their heels by asking them in response. “Well,” he says, “I’ll ask you a question. You answer me, and then I’ll tell you by what authority I’m doing these things. John’s baptism—was it from heaven or from men? Tell me!”
Now, I could assume that we would all have very clear in our minds the relationship between John and Jesus. That might not be a wise assumption; therefore, let me turn you to John chapter 1, get you started, and then you can follow up on this on your own. But this is important, because otherwise we might say to ourselves, “Well, that’s a strange response on the part of Jesus. Why, of all things, would he say this?” Well, the way to make sure we understand is by understanding the relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus. And the prologue of John’s Gospel is as helpful as any part of the Gospels in making that clear for us. So, for example—we can’t read it all—but verse 6: “There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” You must read on, on your own.
And then verse 19: “Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was.” Once again, the religious establishment has to find out, “Who is this fellow who is setting the heather on fire? Who is this strange preacher in this hot, uninhabitable depression to whom the crowds are going out day and daily? Who is this man that dresses in such a strange fashion, has such a strange diet, and yet is on the receiving end of crowds and crowds of people? We need to find out!”
“And he did not fail to confess, but he said, ‘Well, I’ll tell you who I’m not. I’m not the Messiah,’” so then they probe him and so on. Verse 22: “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” Which is, of course, a question that many of us love to have asked. We can keep people for a very long time answering that question. But John the Baptist replies, “Well, I’m actually a voice. I’m just calling out, preparing the way for the Lord. I baptize with water, but among you stands one who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and I’m not even worthy to undo his sandals.” In other words, “My role as prophesied in the Old Testament is to say, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.’” And the people had got that clear in their minds. They understood that John the Baptist was a prophet.
Now back to verse 29. So Jesus says, “Well, let me ask you a question: Did John’s baptism come from heaven or did it come from men? Was it divine, or was it human? Did he invent this, or does it have divine authority?”
Verse 31: “They discussed it among themselves.” I love this picture. I don’t know, it’s maybe perversity on my part, but I just have the picture of them all having arrived, the three groups, and “We’ve got a question for you, Jesus: By whose authority are you doing these things?” Jesus says, “Well, I can answer that, but let me ask you a question.” He asks them the question, and then they go, “Okay. Well, we’re just gonna have a little talk amongst ourselves here.”
They pull away—not a holy huddle, more like more like an unholy huddle—and they put their wooden heads together once again. And one of them says, “Well, we can’t say the baptism comes from heaven, because if we say it comes from heaven, then he will want to know why we don’t believe in him.”
Well, another one says, “Well, we can’t say it comes from men, because the crowds are convinced that John the Baptist was a true prophet, and we need the crowds on our side if we’re gonna finally get rid of this pseudorabbi, so we daren’t alienate the crowd by saying that it came from men.”
So one of them says, “Well, there’s only one thing we can say. We’ll just tell him we don’t know.”
And surely this is one of the most pathetic scenes in the whole of Mark’s Gospel. So they answer Jesus, “We don’t know.” That’s a flat-out lie! That is expediency ruling over truth. They know! But they can’t admit what they know, because it will then demand either their obedience to the lordship of Christ, or it will put them in an unfavorable position with the majority. So essentially, what they do is they play politics with Jesus. Barclay says, “They [give] the lamest of all lame answers.” It’s impossible for them to answer otherwise without either condemning themselves or incurring the opposition of the people.
“So they answered Jesus, ‘We don’t know.’
“Jesus said, ‘[Well,] neither will I tell you by what authority I[’m] doing these things.’
“He then began to speak to them in parables.” And that’s where we’ll go next time, but for now we have to stop here.
“I’m not gonna tell you,” said Jesus. The inference being, “I don’t need to tell you. Because you know the answer to this question. And the way you have answered my question tells me that you do know the answer to this question. Therefore, you are the ones on the horns of a dilemma. You have come here to investigate me? You have come here to put me on the spot, as it were, to justify my existence, to explain my miracles, to explain my preaching? Are you kidding?” You see, their problem wasn’t intellectual; their problem was moral. They were threatened by the people. The people were inspired by the words of Jesus; they were amazed by the miracles of Jesus. They were not inspired by the words of these religious teachers, and there was frankly nothing amazing about them. Their influence and their prestige was diminishing; Jesus’ star was ascending. That’s the confrontation.
So what do you do with that? What do you do with that by way of application? That’s the challenge, isn’t it? What can we legitimately say? Here it is. It’s recorded for us. There we have it. What has it possibly got to do with somebody who’s about to go out for lunch in suburban Cleveland on the twenty-third of October? Is it simply there by way of information, so that we can know that it took place? Well, no. All of the Scripture is given for us, to correct us, to reprove us, to train us in righteousness, ultimately to confront us with the claims of Jesus.
You see, the issue for each of us in relationship to Jesus is an authority issue. It is an authority issue. Whether it involves our minds intellectually, or our morals personally, or the decisions that we are making politically or financially, it is ultimately an authority issue. And we were honest enough to acknowledge, as we began, that we don’t like people demanding our obedience. Therefore, we would rather have a spirituality—if we have any interest in divinity at all—a spirituality which is essentially ours, that is circumscribed on the north, south, east, and west by our own little agenda, by our own little lifestyle: “This is what I believe. This is what I hold to, and I don’t want anybody interfering with this at all. This is what we’ve always done, this is our traditional view, these are the things that we do,” and so on. And Jesus comes crashing into that, turning everything upside down, taking the values that are human and upending them. Saying, “If you want to be first, you need to be last. If you want to be the master, you need to be the servant of all. If you want to save your life, you’ve got to lose it.” And instead of that driving people away, they’re coming to him in droves. The religious establishment are losing people faster than they can say.
And isn’t it fascinating? Do you find it fascinating that when Jesus finally takes his leave of his disciples and he commissions them to go out into the world to “make disciples of all nations” and to “baptiz[e] them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” do you remember what he says before he makes that statement? Of course you do. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Did you hear what he said? The Galilean carpenter says, “All authority [on] heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
“Like, all authority?”
“Given to you?”
“Yes. Now, go and make disciples of all nations.”
Some of us have succumbed to the notion that making disciples of the nations is simply a form of colonization—simply an agenda to foist our view of politics, or economics, or ecology, on the world—because that dripping-tap notion has rained on us for the last twenty-five years. And the only way that we will ever go around the world to tell the whole world about Jesus is when we understand that all authority on heaven and earth has been given to Jesus Christ—that he doesn’t share that authority with anyone.
And so, it has an impact internationally. When Psalm 2 follows Psalm 1, do you remember how it begins? “Why do the [nations] rage, and the people[s] imagine a vain thing?”—“and the peoples plot in vain?” (“People imagine a vain thing,” I think, is King James.)
The kings of the earth take their stand
… the rulers gather together
against the Lord
and against his Anointed One.
So you got this picture of a global antagonism towards the Lord’s Anointed. Who is the Lord’s Anointed? The Lord Jesus Christ. So by the time Peter preaches, once he’s got everything sorted out post-Pentecost, after the Luke 24 delivery of Jesus explaining all the Old Testament Scriptures to them, he quotes from Psalm 2, and he says, “All of the world is opposed to our Jesus of Nazareth.”
Loved ones, you need to read the news and listen to the news in light of Psalm 2. You can’t explain history without your Bible. You cannot explain the history of the world properly without the Bible. You can’t explain the history of the world apart from Genesis 3:15 and the great antagonism that exists between the one who will come and bruise his heel, and this Messiah will crush his head—so that all of the conflict, all of the alienation in our world is directly related to the cosmic struggle in the heavenly places because of the triumph that has been effected in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
No, the authority thing needs to be thought out globally or internationally. The authority thing needs also to be thought out nationally. Because nationally—that is, we’ll just talk about America for the moment—nationally, all that we’re really interested in as a nation is a sort of respectable Jesus, not a “transcendental Interferer.” We’re prepared to give Jesus a place in the pantheon of contemporary gods, in the syncretistic world in which we live, in the pluralism which has swept over us in the last twenty-five to fifty years, at the level of our high school education, at the level of university graduate programs, and so on—the inherent notion that is there, that if there is any authority spiritually in the world, it must be a shared authority. There is no one person that can stand up and say, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me.” And we read the New Testament and we discover that that is exactly what Jesus says.
Now, I think I can work this out if we had time, but we don’t, so I won’t. But let me give you one little tiny indication of this kind of thing. When the Tiger Woods thing erupted, with his moral collapse, one of the commentators on television—a fellow by the name Brit Hume, I think, by memory—was bold enough to say that Tiger Woods needed to meet Jesus Christ. Why did Brit Hume say that? Well, Brit Hume said that because he actually believes the story of the healing of the paralytic: “Why does this man say, ‘Your sins are forgiven?’ Who can forgive sins, save God alone?” And Jesus says, “I’m going to tell the fellow to take his mat and walk out of here, so that you might know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” The reason Brit Hume said that is because he actually happens to believe that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, and that what was needed here was apparently not therapy but theology. What was needed here was not suggestions but a Savior. And so he says, “I have found that my life has been turned upside down by Jesus of Nazareth, and I think that it would be wonderful…” And did you ever see such a backlash in your life? Did you ever see anybody run off the broadcast faster?
He could’ve used just about any other name, and it would’ve been regarded as au fait. “I think he needs to meet Krishna.” People say, “Isn’t that amazing?” “I think he needs to meet Muhammad. I think he needs to meet whoever it might be.” People said, “That’s fine.” But he said, “I think he needs to meet Jesus.” Said, “No, we can’t have Jesus. We know Jesus interferes. Jesus claims authority.” People understand.
You see, this struggle here is an authority struggle. Internationally it’s so. Nationally it’s so. And let me finish by saying, personally it’s so. ’Cause this is where some of us get off the bus. If you never ride the bus, you don’t know what it’s like when you say, “This is my stop.” I rode the bus all my life in Glasgow. You don’t want to miss your stop. You don’t want to go one stop past, ’cause then you gotta walk. And some of you come here Sunday by Sunday, and it’s every time it gets to here, you go, “This is my stop. This is where I get off. I don’t mind adding Jesus to a little corner of my existence, but I don’t want him interfering in my life. I don’t want him commanding my obedience. I don’t want him dictating to me in any fashion at all.”
And usually the thin disguise that is used is intellectual: “You see, I have a number of questions, and I’m still looking for my answers.” I respect everybody who’s trying to think everything out. But beware, lest what you’re doing is clever stuff so as to resist the demand of Jesus for our submission.
Listen to how John puts it—and with this I’ll stop:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
“Whoever does not believe stands condemned” before God. It is an issue of authority. And until we bow to the authority of Jesus, acknowledging his lordship over our time, our talents, our money, our everything, then we will never know him as a Lord and a Savior and a friend and a guide.
And so they came to him and they said, “Tell us by what authority you do these things.” They didn’t really know what they were asking.
Father, thank you that you’ve given us minds, that we can think these issues out. Thank you that you’ve given us a Bible that we can read. Thank you that you’ve given to us the Holy Spirit, who illumines the Bible to us, and all of a sudden it jumps at us and challenges us and calls out to us. Forgive us, Lord, when we just trying to play politics with Jesus and his claims, trying to take the fifth, saying, “Well, I don’t know,” when we do know.
Gracious God, come to us, we pray, today, and grant that we might by your grace bow down before the authority of Jesus and embrace him as a Lord and a Savior, rather than one day bow before him and meet him as our Judge. Hear our prayers.
And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God our Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest upon and remain with each one who believes, now and forevermore. Amen.
 C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World, 1955), 172.
 Mark 8:34–35 (NIV 1984).
 William Ernest Henley, “Invictus” (1875).
 Mark 1:27 (NIV 1984).
 Mark 6:3 (paraphrased).
 See Mark 2:23–28.
 See Mark 3:1–2.
 Mark 3:4 (NIV 1984).
 Mark 3:5–6 (NIV 1984).
 Mark 7:6–8 (paraphrased).
 Mark 7:9 (NIV 1984).
 See Matthew 16:21; Luke 24:7.
 See Matthew 21:23.
 Robert Watson-Watt, “A Rough Justice” (1959).
 Mark 15:9–10 (paraphrased).
 John 1:6–9 (NIV 1984).
 John 1:20 (paraphrased).
 John 1:23, 26–27, 33 (paraphrased).
 John 1:29 (paraphrased).
 William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, The Daily Study Bible (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1958), 2:285.
 Mark 11:33–12:1 (NIV 1984).
 See 2 Timothy 3:16.
 Mark 9:35; 10:43–44 (paraphrased).
 Mark 8:35 (paraphrased).
 Matthew 28:19 (NIV 1984)
 Matthew 28:18 (NIV 1984).
 Psalm 2:1 (KJV).
 Psalm 2:1 (NIV 1984).
 Psalm 2:2 (NIV 1984).
 See Acts 4:25–26.
 Mark 2:7 (paraphrased).
 Mark 2:11 (paraphrased).
 John 3:16–18 (NIV 1984).
Copyright © 2023, 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.