Christmas According to Christ — Part Two
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Christmas According to Christ — Part Two

Hebrews 10:5–7  (ID: 2421)

If we read the Bible carefully and thoughtfully, we can’t help but meet Jesus in its pages. In his epistle, the author of Hebrews identified this same Jesus’ purpose: to do God’s will. As Alistair Begg explores his words, we see that Jesus’ predetermined mission was prophesied throughout the Old Testament. Christ, our Savior, willingly submitted to God’s will for Him as He was born as a man and suffered on earth for the sins of humanity.

Series Containing This Sermon

Behind the Scenes of Christmas

Selected Scriptures Series ID: 24901

Sermon Transcript: Print

As we turn to the Bible, I invite you to pray with me:

God our Father, we pray that with our Bibles open before us you will help us by your Spirit to pay attention, that you will enable us to understand, to believe, and to obey. And we look to you alone for this. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hebrews chapter 10, we pick up our study from last time. I hope you like leftovers, because this was left over from last time. I’ve been enjoying some wonderful food this week, as you have—a little more than I should have done, and a lot of it has come about as a result of wonderful meals that have been so good that we’ve had a little left that we can return to. And last time, as we looked at these verses in Hebrews chapter 10, we had some food that was remaining on the plate and to which we need inevitably to return. We said that in Hebrews chapter 10, in this text, which takes us behind the scenes of the birth narratives, that we had Christmas according to the perspective of Jesus himself. Because here in Hebrews chapter 10, we read in verse 5 that “when Christ came into the word, he said…” What did he say? Well, he said the words of Psalm 40.

And as we began to look at that passage of Scripture, we said we would pay attention to three phrases in particular. The first of these, “a body you prepared for me,” which we dealt with last time and where we ended last time, and then two further phrases: “it is written about me in the scroll,” and then finally, “I have come to do your will.”

“It Is Written about Me in the Scroll”

So it is to the second of these that we now turn—a parenthetical statement, as you will notice if your Bible is open and you’re gazing at verse 7. Particularly if you have the NIV, you will see that after “Here I am” there is a dash, and then after “scroll” there is another dash. It could equally well have been in brackets. It is a parenthetical statement. Jesus is saying, “Here I am … I have come to do your will,” expressive of his purpose. But he recognizes that what he is going to do, what he has come to do, is that which has been previously foretold in the scrolls or in the writings in the Old Testament.

The Bible is a book about Jesus. And indeed, when we take our eyes off Christ, then we will find difficulty in the study of the Bible.

Now, what I want you to do is allow your fingers to do the walking. I’m going to turn you to a couple of portions of Scripture in order that we might grasp this. And in studying this, what we are reckoning on is the fact—if we might say so reverentially—Jesus hasn’t just popped up out of nowhere. Jesus has not arrived out of nowhere. But the principle that is reinforced in this statement is the fact that the Bible is a book about Jesus, and the Old Testament is about Jesus. And indeed, when we take our eyes off Christ, then we will find difficulty in the study of the Bible.  And indeed, when people do not study the Bible with reference to Jesus, then they will find it distinctly possible to make the Bible say all kinds of things that it doesn’t say.

In our Scripture reading this morning in Luke chapter 4, which was read for us earlier—and this is the first portion of Scripture I’d like you to turn your gaze to again—we find Jesus returning to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. There surely was a great buzz about the place. After all, he had now become very famous. The carpenter’s son was making waves everywhere he went, and the word about him had spread through the whole countryside.

He did what was his custom; he went to church, to synagogue, and in that environment on that day, he was handed a copy of the scroll of Isaiah, at least part of it. And from that scroll he read, in verse 18, “The spirit of the Lord is on me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor,” and so on. He then hands the scroll back to the attendant, he sits down in the place of the teacher, and he says, in a quite unbelievable and unexpected way, with “the eyes of everyone … fastened on him,” “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”[1] In other words, “What I have just read to you from the scroll of Isaiah about one who comes to bring good news, freedom, recovery of sight, to release the oppressed, this is now fulfilled in me.” Jesus has not come merely to declare a solution, but Jesus has come to be a solution.  Jesus has come to bring deliverance in himself; he has come to be Redeemer.

Now, it is important that we understand that. And if we’re going to consider the claims of Jesus Christ, these are his claims. John—if we turn over into John’s Gospel in chapter 5—Jesus is speaking to the folks who are peculiarly interested in and have a facility with the Old Testament Scriptures. And in John 5:39, he says, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.” “How could they possibly testify about me? Well, because ‘it is written about me in the scroll.’ The Scriptures testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”[2]

Now, what Jesus is simply pointing out is that the whole story of human history had been preparing for Christ’s coming—that the prophets and the preachers had been preparing the way of the Lord. John the Baptist, the last of the prophets, stands up and prepares the way of the Lord. He takes the words of the prophets, and he says, “This is what I’m now doing.”

If you turn back just a couple of pages to John chapter 1, you see how this is introduced to us. In the calling of the first disciples and in verse 43, Jesus, leaving Galilee, finds Phillip. He says to Philip, “I want you to follow me.”[3] Philip, we’re told, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida, and Philip immediately found Nathanael. And look at what he told Nathanael. He didn’t say to Nathanael, “I’ve become a follower of Jesus,” which, of course, he had. But he says to Nathanael, strikingly, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

“Nazareth!” Nathanael says, “Can anything good come [out of Nazareth]?”

“Come and see,” said Philip.[4]

When you turn over a page into John chapter 3, and Jesus is in dialogue with a teacher—one of Israel’s teachers, Nicodemus, making inquiries about the nature of eternal life—in verse 10 Jesus says to Nicodemus, “You are Israel’s teacher … and yet you don’t understand these things?”[5] Now, on what basis would he say that? On the basis that “it is written about me in the scroll.” “Nicodemus, you are a scroll man, you are a scroll reader, you are a scroll teacher. And Nicodemus, you don’t understand this?”

Look at 5:45 again. Chapter 5 will repay your careful study: you will find that the testimony to Jesus doesn’t just come from himself; but it comes from John the Baptist, it comes from the signs he performs, it comes from the Father, it comes, as we see, from the Scriptures. And this Jesus interacts with these who “accept the praise of men but do not accept the praise that comes from God”;[6] he says, “[Don’t] think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.” Now notice verse 46: “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Now, this is not some marginal piece of esoteric theology; this is foundational to a discovery of who Jesus is. And to some extent or another, the whole Western world, at least, has turned its gaze towards Christ in some measure and to some extent in the last four or five weeks. And all kinds of articles have been written, and various things have been said, and songs have been sung—many of them with apparently very little reference to Jesus’ own self disclosure.

Luke chapter 24—famous chapter, you remember. Jesus speaks to the folks who are on the Emmaus Road; they’re disconsolate. All the things that had been said by this Jesus seem to have come to a dreadful halt. It all seems to have ended in a tomb, women have been going around saying the tomb’s empty, but so what? They haven’t seen Jesus. And in Luke 24:25, he says to these individuals, “‘How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! [Didn’t] the Christ have to suffer these things and … enter his glory?’ And beginning”—notice—“with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”[7]

Do you see what he’s saying? “When Christ came into the world, he said: ‘…a body you [have] prepared for me’”—“Here I am, a real person.” “When Christ came into the world, he said: ‘… it is written about me in the scroll’”—“If you will read what is written, you will meet me—if you read what Moses said, if you read what the psalmist said, if you read what the prophet said.” It’s a staggering statement, isn’t it? I mean, it’s an incredible statement! This Galilean carpenter stands on the stage of human history and says, “The whole of the Old Testament is about me!” 

In fact, when he comes back to it in verse 44—still in Luke 24—he says, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Those are the three divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures. If you’re from a Jewish background this morning, you know that. And Jesus says, “Every part of your Hebrew Bible finds its focus and its fulfillment in me.”

But it doesn’t just end in the Gospels. Luke does a wonderful job here in chapter 24 as he closes out his Gospel. When he writes his second volume, and that’s the Acts—and this is the last place I’ll turn you—but in Acts chapter 8, you have this amazing account of Philip and the Ethiopian financial chap. The financial chap has been up attending religious ceremonies; he’s reading the Old Testament on his way home. Philip is directed by the Spirit of God to go to the chariot and stay near it. When he runs up to it, he realizes why: because the man is reading from the prophet Isaiah. And in those days, a bit like our grandmothers in these days, people read out loud. And they read out loud; it’s good to read out loud, it aids our understanding. And as he read out loud from Isaiah 53, Philip slipped up, heard him reading, and said, “’Scuse me, do you understand this?”[8] And the man, quite remarkably, says, “How can I [understand it] … unless someone explains it to me?”[9]

Calvin says, “What a wonderful man this is who freely and frankly acknowledges his weakness, in contrast with the person who is swollen-headed with confidence in his own abilities.” And Calvin goes on to say, “That is why the reading of Scripture bears fruit with so few people today, because scarcely one in a hundred is to be found who gladly submits themselves to teaching.”[10] That is why Scripture has such little impact today, because scarcely one in a hundred are prepared to say, “No, I don’t understand this, and would you please explain it to me?” Scarcely one in a hundred is able to look at Calvin in Geneva and say, “You are a gift to the church, Calvin; you are a pastor and a teacher. We look to you, not alone and exclusively as the great interpreter, but we recognize that we don’t read our Bibles as much as you, we don’t understand it as much as you; therefore, help us to understand.” As opposed to, “Entertain us, intrigue us, cozy up to us, make us feel good!” No, “How can we understand this unless you explain it?”

I hope Calvin’s statistics are wrong. How many are here right now, 1,500? So for every 100, 4 really listen. So I’ve got, what, 60 out of the group, if Calvin is right? Surely it has to be better than that. Could we take it up to 120, maybe?

When you read this book you meet Jesus, because this book testifies to him. Therefore, all of our teaching should be judged, essentially, on this basis: ‘Did it bring me to Christ? Did I discover Jesus in it?’

Well, you see, I don’t know whether you’re listening or not. And I don’t know if you’re listening with your ears or listening with your heart. And I don’t know if you’re listening so that you can find things to criticize. I don’t know whether you’re listening so that you can give points for humor or its absence. I don’t know what’s happening, but God who wrote this book does. And when you read this book you meet Jesus, because this book testifies to him. Therefore, all of our teaching should be judged, essentially, on this basis: “Did it bring me to Christ? Did I discover Jesus in it?” 

Do you know that it’s possible to study your Bible without ever achieving that? Do you know that even in our bookstore, there are tons of books that allow you to go to passages of the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, and you read the passage and you answer questions? Good questions and good answers. But unless that study of the Old Testament finds its focus and its fulfillment in Jesus, and unless our understanding of that passage leads us to Jesus, then even if it tells us good and important things, ethical things, moral-imperative kind of things, it can be discovered, it can be studied, without reference to its purpose at all.

God has graciously given us the Bible; he’s given us teachers to open up the Bible, to explain it, to apply it. And the reason that this individual—namely, Philip—was able to answer the questions of the Ethiopian gentleman was because Jesus had explained to Philip Isaiah 53 in terms of his death. He said to his disciples, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life … a ransom for many.”[11] He took, in the Last Supper, the cup and the bread, and he said, “This cup is the … covenant in my blood.”[12] Philip processes this information, runs up to the chariot, realizes the man is reading the Old Testament scrolls; the man says, “How do you get to grips with this?” Philip says, “I can answer that for you: this is about the Lord Jesus.”

“I Have Come to Do Your Will”

Jesus enters the world and he says, “A body you [have] prepared for me.” Jesus enters the world and says, “It is written about me in the scroll.” And then, finally, Jesus enters the world and says, “[And] I have come to do your will”—to do the Father’s will. “A body,” a real person; “a scroll,” an eternal plan; “to do your will,” an express purpose.

Some have already this year, I think, turned over a couple of new leaves: written in a book certain things that we hope to do or achieve, established plans or wills. I don’t know when it first begins; I’m pretty sure it doesn’t begin in the cot or in the crib. When you see a new baby, and you visit the mom, or the mom and dad together, and everyone coos over the baby, and Gran is there, and Grandpa too, and they all look in, and they will often say, “Oh, I hope this will happen,” or “I have already begun a fund for him,” or “I have already got plans. I hope he goes to my alma mater,” or someone says, “Well, I hope that she’ll follow me as a terrific sailor,” or whatever it is—all kinds of purposes looking in.

But it would be a remarkable thing if the child was to look up and say, “Hold your fire; I already have a purpose. I already know what I’m going to do. I’ve come to do the Father’s will.” You say, “Who is this?” Exactly! This is part of the uniqueness of Christ. Christ enters the world and says, “A body you have prepared for me—I’m a real person. It’s written about me in the scroll—I didn’t pop up from nowhere; this is the unfolding of an eternal plan. And I’m absolutely clear about my purpose—I have come to do your will.”

Now, we see that very quickly, don’t we, in the life of Jesus at the age of twelve? Luke chapter 2, the scene with Jesus in the temple, talking with the intelligentsia, with the religious leaders and teachers. When his folks and his family and Mary and Joseph have gone back down and suddenly realize, “I thought you had him,” “No, I thought you had him”—the kind of thing that can so easily happen at the mall. And then both Mary and Joseph realize that nobody has him, and back they go to find out where he is, and they find him in the temple, discussing with the folks. And when they say, “Jesus, we’ve been looking for you all over the place,” Jesus says, “It’s very important that you understand this, and you might as well understand it now: Don’t you realize that I have to be about my Father’s business? Don’t you realize that I have to be within my Father’s house?”[13] And doubtless, Mary and Joseph said, “Come on, now; let’s just get going.” And as they went down the road, they said to one another, “What does he mean by that kind of thing?” And Mary said, “You know, I am convinced that it has something to do with the message of the angel. The angel said, ‘And you will give him this name, Jesus, and he will be the Savior.’”[14] And the Savior has been planned from all of eternity, and Christ is about that fulfillment.

Now, it is with this that I want to end this morning, and I hope that I can do so in a way that is clear. The will of the Father in sending Jesus—the will of the Father in sending Jesus—was in a song that I used to sing on Sunday afternoons at a Bible class in Scotland. This is it in a song:

There’s a way back to God from the dark paths of sin;
There’s a door that is open and you may go in:
At Calvary’s cross[, that’s] where you begin,
When you come as a sinner to Jesus.[15]

When Jesus steps foot in time and on planet Earth and declares, “I have come to do your will,” what he has come to do, planned from eternity, is absolutely essential. The world as God made it was made in its pristine perfection. God entered into a covenant with the first man, Adam, and said to him, “Adam, you can live in this garden, you can enjoy fellowship with me, you can continue here as long as you please, provided you obey certain conditions.”[16] Adam fails to live up to his side of the agreement, and as a result, death enters the world as a result of sin. And as a result of his sin, Adam and Eve are banished from the garden. And the way back into the living presence of God is barred by cherubim with flaming swords.[17] God, who is a gracious God and who has planned from all of eternity to deal with the sin of man, decides to implement that which was conceived of in eternity. And so, from the very get-go, mercy and judgment are interwoven.

God floods the world but sends Noah to stand before the flood—Noah, finding “grace in the eyes of the Lord”[18]—to say to men and women, “God is going to do something that you will not believe. Come now and hide in the safety that he has provided.” And men and women said, “We don’t need no safety! We’re fine with the flood. We don’t need God, we don’t need Christ, we don’t need anybody’s help. Thank you!” And judgment is executed, and mercy is conveyed. And down through the corridors of time you see this interweaving of mercy and judgment.

And so, when Christ comes into the world, in the same way that God made a covenant with Adam, so he made a covenant with his Son. And the covenant that he made with Jesus went like this: “Jesus, I want you to satisfy all the demands of the law by your perfect obedience, and I want you to take the sins of men and women upon you; I want you to suffer their penalty. And Jesus, if you will do that, I will set your people free, and I will pronounce them to be just in my sight.”

And the wonder of it is—the wonder of it is—that God’s grace and mercy is given to those who don’t deserve it. So, “[while] we were … powerless,” Christ died for us; “Christ died for the ungodly,”[19] Christ died for sinners, Christ died for his enemies. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that [whosoever] believes in him [should] not perish but have [everlasting] life.”[20]

“Jesus, what are you doing in this garden?” Answer: “I am in this garden in order that it may be possible for men and women to be restored to the garden. I am in this garden according to your will. I have come to do your will, Father. Father, if you are willing, if there is any other possible way for me to keep the covenant to fulfill your law’s demands, to bear the penalty of sin—if there is any other possible way—now would be a great time to introduce it. Because everything in me, Father, from a human perspective, shrinks from this. Everything in me just withdraws from it. Yet, nevertheless, not my will but yours be done. I have come here to do your will.”[21] And because of what Christ has done, doing for us what we cannot ever do for ourselves, we may then, included with Christ, join him in eternity.

Augustus Toplady got it wonderfully, didn’t he? When he wrote,

Not the labors of my hands
[Could] fulfill your laws demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,

if I was constantly contrite and crying over my condition,

All [of this] for sin could not atone;
You must save, and you alone.[22]

Well, that’s essentially it. “A body you prepared for me,” a real person. “It’s written about me in the scrolls,” an eternal plan. “I’ve come to do your will,” the execution of a saving purpose.

Now, let me as a PS make one point of application which is uppermost in my mind, as it happens, this morning. Yesterday, when I was washing some salt off the car—actually getting myself wetter than the car, as it turned out—and at the same time listening on earphones to some “classical music,” provided by Simon & Garfunkel, as I came around the corner of the car, I suddenly saw two young men in suits standing right there like they appeared from nowhere. And one began to talk to me; well, I couldn’t hear a word he was saying, because of Simon, and my hose was squirting everywhere. So I disengaged myself; I took one earphone out, and they began to tell me that he was here as a representative of a particular group, and the young man that was with him was holding a Bible, I noticed; it said “Holy Bible” on it. And he asked a number of questions and began to share a number of things. I thanked him for their visit and said that I was a committed Christian and, with my family, seeking to follow Christ.

“Well,” they said, “could I just leave you with a piece of information?” “Yes,” I said, “I’ll gladly take whatever you have to offer.” And so they gave me this piece, which is entitled “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” And, of course, it has a tremendous amount in it that we would find immediate and total agreement with: the importance of marriage between a man and a woman—no place for homosexual marriage—the priority of the roles within marriage, and so on. Tremendous amount of very, very helpful material. 

Now, parenthetically, I should tell you this: that during the day, and also while I was washing the car, I found myself debating in my own mind about the value and validity of coming back to the verses that we’ve just touched on just now—in my mind, things like, “Oh, it’s the new year; surely people don’t want to hear about the scrolls and ‘[I’ve] come to do your will.’ Why don’t you do something that’s a little more friendly, a little more accessible? A lot of people are in from out of town. They have their friends; they’ll be ticked off at this.” And the devil said, “You change your message, have another message, get a message, get a life,” whatever it was.

And as I was going through all of this, all of a sudden, you know, the “suits” were there. And as I began to put myself back together again, I began to read the piece. And it said,

All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents ….

In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize [his or her] divine destiny as [an heir] of eternal life. … Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God.[23]

“Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make … possible … [the individual’s] … return to the presence of God.”

I said to myself, “Where do these people get this stuff from?” Well, the answer is, they get it not from the Bible, but they get it from one of the other three books which they regard as equally authoritative. If you doubt that, then let me quote to you the doctrine: The standard works of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints—the standard works of the church—are “the following four volumes of scripture: The Bible, [the] Book of Mormon, [the] Doctrine and Covenants, and [the] Pearl of Great Price. … These four volumes of scripture are the standards, the measuring rods, the gauges by which all things are judged.”[24]

And then I looked at this “spirit children” thing. I said, “I didn’t know that I was a ‘spirit child’; I never came across that before.” And then I looked it up, and I discovered—and this is Mormon Doctrine, 1977: “Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother. An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness … could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother.”[25] And as a result of that union we have the production not only of us, but of Jesus, who—quote, again—“was the most intelligent, the most faithful, the most Godlike of all the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father in the spirit world.”[26] And this godlike person, this intelligent son, this most faithful son was in himself unable to provide atonement in the way that we have just seen in the Bible.

Listen—quote, from the Articles of Faith:

The Individual Effect of the Atonement makes it possible for any and every soul to obtain absolution from the effect of personal sins, through the mediation of Christ; but such saving intervention is to be invoked by individual effort as manifested through faith, repentance, and continued works of righteousness. … [The] blessing of redemption from individual sins, while open for all to attain, is nevertheless conditioned on individual effort ….

Individual salvation or rescue from the effects of personal sins is to be acquired by each for himself, by faith and good works …[27]

And then I said to myself, “Well, you know, I think it is important that I go back to that section. And if only 60 out of the 150 get it, and Calvin is right, then I will content myself with the 60. Because the 60 can reach another 60, and the 120 can reach another 120, and the 240, by exponential growth, can reach America for Jesus Christ.”

The reason I make this point of application is not in order to jump from nowhere to the detriment of these often-deluded, well-meaning souls, but it is to make the point, my dear friends this morning, that this Christian journey, as we go into the twenty-first century in this country—that it is in the issues of Christian doctrine, it is in the absolute truth of who Jesus is, and why he came, and how he achieved it, and why it matters, that the battles will be fought. And unless you and I are prepared by sometimes dull, often unpalatable, and all times necessary instruction, then if not ourselves, our children and our grandchildren may be flushed away on an attractive craft that has at its helm the devil himself. 

Let us pray together:

When Jesus came into the world, he wasn’t a phantom or an idea or a metaphysical concept but a real flesh and blood person.

O God our Father, we pray that you will make us the students of your Word, that you will save us from every silly idea, save us from ourselves. Thank you when Jesus came into the world, he wasn’t a phantom or an idea or a metaphysical concept but a real flesh and blood person, because a body was prepared for him.  Thank you that he didn’t pop out of nowhere, but he came as the fulfillment of all that the prophets had written. And thank you that he was not vague concerning the reason for his arrival, but he came to do your will from all of eternity, to provide an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Make us, then, we pray, men and women of your Word. Grant us grace that we might become its students and its servants, and that we might learn with every right approach to make much of the Lord Jesus Christ as we look out on this new year.

And may the grace of the Lord Jesus and the love of God our Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit rest upon and remain with each of us, now and forevermore. Amen.

[1] Luke 4:20–21 (NIV 1984).

[2] Hebrews 10:7; John 5:39–40 (paraphrased).

[3] John 1:43 (paraphrased).

[4] John 1:45–46 (NIV 1984).

[5] John 3:10 (paraphrased).

[6] John 5:44 (paraphrased).

[7] Luke 24:25–27 (NIV 1984).

[8] Acts 8:30 (paraphrased).

[9] Acts 8:31 (NIV 1984).

[10] John Calvin, The Acts of the Apostles 1–13, trans. John W. Fraser and W. J. G. McDonald, ed. David W. Torrance and Thomas F. Torrance, Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965), 246–47. Paraphrased.

[11] Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45 (NIV 1984).

[12] Luke 22:20 (NIV 1984).

[13] See Luke 2:41–49.

[14] Matthew 1:21 (paraphrased).

[15] E. H. Swinstead, “There’s a Way Back to God.”

[16] See Genesis 1–2.

[17] See Genesis 3.

[18] Genesis 6:8 (KJV).

[19] Romans 5:6 (NIV 1984).

[20] John 3:16 (NIV 1984).

[21] See Matthew 26:36–46; Mark 14:32–42.

[22] Augustus Toplady, “Rock of Ages” (1776). Language modernized.

[23] Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” (proclamation, General Relief Society Meeting, Salt Lake City, September 23, 1995).

[24] Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 764.

[25] McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 516.

[26] Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel through the Ages (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1945), 21.

[27] James E. Talmage, A Study of the Articles of Faith: Being a Consideration of the Principal Doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 42nd ed. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1961), 89, 476.

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.