The Helmet of Salvation — Part Two
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The Helmet of Salvation — Part Two

Ephesians 6:17  (ID: 3316)

In order to protect our minds with the helmet of salvation and deflect the blows of the enemy, Christians must think properly about the benefits that Christ has obtained for us. Alistair Begg examines Christ’s work on our behalf, explaining that we have peace with God, access to grace, and a certain, confident hope as the ground for our assurance. With this great salvation in view, Christians can rest confidently in the truth—and we must plead with others to look to Christ and be saved.

Series Containing This Sermon

A Study in Ephesians, Volume 10

Strength for the Battle Ephesians 6:10–20 Series ID: 14911

Sermon Transcript: Print

I’d like to encourage you to follow as I read from the Bible, from the Old Testament, turning to the book of Numbers and to chapter 21.

Numbers 21:

“When the Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the Negeb, heard that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, he fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. And Israel vowed a vow to the Lord and said, ‘If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction.’ And the Lord heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah.

“From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. And the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food.’ Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died. And the people came to Moses and said, ‘We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people. And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a fiery serpent and set it on a pole, and everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.’ So Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole. And if a serpent bit anyone, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.”


Father, as we turn to the Bible, we humbly pray:

Make the Book live to me, O Lord,
Show me yourself within your Word,
Show me myself and show me my Savior,
And make the Book live to me.[1]

For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Well, our focus is on that little phrase in Ephesians 6:17 where Paul exhorts those to whom he writes to “take [up] the helmet of salvation.” And in our previous study we sought to understand very, very clearly that what it really means to put on the helmet of salvation is to trust unreservedly in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ in all that he has accomplished on the cross. And in order to help us with that, we began to think of how Paul, in unpacking the whole panorama of salvation in Romans, lays out first of all the need for salvation, insofar as the whole world is accountable before God; and then, secondly, he goes on from Romans 3:21 to make clear the provision that God has made for man as a sinner.

And we looked at one of these three little pictures, and I said the remaining two were your own, but I want to come back to them just briefly, in case you haven’t already begun to do your homework. We’re looking here at Romans chapter 3, where he talks about “the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there[’s] no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” and here’s the first, from the law courts: “and are justified by his grace as a gift.”[2] We looked at that. And then the second picture is in the same verse, and this picture is taken from the slave market. That’s the significance of the word “redemption.” We just have been singing about a ransom paid and a redemption. And what Paul is referencing there is what Jesus actually says: that the one who sins “is a slave to sin”[3] and therefore needs to be bought back or redeemed. And so, what Christ has accomplished is not just that we are declared free to go; it’s not that the sinner is just released, but rather that the sinner is released by the payment of a ransom. And Christ has paid the sinner’s ransom and, as a result of that, sets the sinner free from sin and from death and from judgment. And it’s for that reason—for example, when Paul is writing to the Corinthians in chapter 6, he says to them, “You know, you are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”[4]

The third picture is there, immediately following that. You will notice: “whom”—verse 25—“whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood.” And this is a picture that is taken from the Old Testament sacrificial system. God’s wrath is poured out against sin, and therefore, God needs to be propitiated. God’s justice must be satisfied. The story of salvation is not that God has decided to overlook sin, for God could not be true to himself and overlook sin; therefore, sin must be punished. And what Paul is pointing out is that the sacrifice of Jesus has satisfied the justice of God, and his wrath has been poured out upon his dearly beloved Son. The wrath of God is not defused by the passing of time. And if you think it through, in the end, there are really only two ways for God’s justice to be satisfied: either by the everlasting punishment of the sinner or in the death of Jesus, his beloved Son. And for the believer, God has brought forward into time the judgment that must be faced, executing his judgment on the Son of his love in order that we, while we are still sinners, may have access into his presence.

We Have Peace with God

Now, Paul tackles all of that and more, and brings us then to chapter 5, which is where we essentially left off, in the understanding of the benefits, if you like, of what it means to have been set right with God. And I suggested that there are three that we can pay attention to, and we will do so briefly; I don’t want to expand on them unduly.

There are really only two ways for God’s justice to be satisfied: either by the everlasting punishment of the sinner or in the death of Jesus, his beloved Son.

But first of all and straightforwardly, the “therefore” that begins 5:1 is on the strength of the argument that we have just given a very brief précis of: “Therefore,” he says—in light of the fact that God has done this in Christ and has used Abraham as the great illustration of justification—“therefore,” he says, “since [then] we have been justified by faith,” here’s the first benefit: “we have peace with God.”

Now, you will notice that this matter of justification, as we said before, is about acquittal. It is the absence of condemnation. That’s why, by the time we get to chapter 8 with Paul, he will say, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them [that] are in Christ Jesus.”[5] Why? Because they have been justified by grace and through faith. How does this come about? Well, as we have just seen: in and through the work of the Lord Jesus. When Paul writes to the Colossians, in chapter 1, he gives it to us in just a phrase or two: he says, “For in him”—that is, in Jesus—“all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him”—that is, through Jesus—“to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”[6]

This, I think, is important on a number of levels, and one that may not be immediately obvious to us is helping us to understand God’s plan and purpose for his world. People will sometimes come to us and chide us for the fact that the world doesn’t seem to be getting any better at all. “If you really had a God who cared about these things, surely,” they say, “he would have sorted it all out by now.” Why didn’t Jesus do this? What was it that Jesus told his disciples he came to do? What is it that Jesus promised his disciples? Or, if you like, what did he not promise them? You can never read in the Gospels and find Jesus promising his followers absence from trouble. No, he says, “In the world you will have tribulation.”[7] And there is nowhere that Jesus promises that as a result of his work, there will, in the history of man, be the absence and freedom from war. Nowhere does he say to us that as a result of his coming and his dying and his ascending, that in the course of time the world is going to be a better place. He does not say any of that at all. In fact, he says to them, “I have told you all of these things so that in me you might have peace. In the world, you will have this.”[8]

Now, this is very important in understanding the nature of salvation and what God has done, and what God is doing, and what God plans to do. Part of the problem with people is that they get mixed up in the very process of God’s redemptive purpose. They want to import into now that which is promised only then. And so they find themselves making claims that are incapable of substantiation, either from the Bible or from human experience. But since we’re putting on the helmet of salvation, since we’re thinking, since we’re thinking properly about life from a biblical framework, since we’re trying to understand the nature of salvation itself, we can be free from that. And we can realize that the only true peace that is really available in the entire world is the peace which comes in and through the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

Now, I say that having grown up, as some of you have done, in the ’60s, with various refrains that were so strong and residual and emphatic. Lennon and Yoko in the bed for peace: “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”[9] And “So it is Christmas, we hope you have fun, the near ones and dear ones,”[10] and so on. And then that song, “Peace is coming if you want it, peace is coming if you want it.” And, of course, who lives in this world and wants war and discord and hatred and strife? No one.

But where is true peace to be found? Where is true peace to be found in the heart of a man, in a relationship in marriage, between parents and children, between warring factions in a country, between the nations of the world? You see, this is what it means to think—to think—wearing the helmet.

As you know, I read obituaries. I know many of you think it’s morbid, but—and it may well be. But in my obituary reading this week—and I usually get three every morning—one was of a Russian author who pioneered Soviet Beatlemania. He did this at the time that the Soviet Union—the USSR, as it was then—was denouncing the music particularly of the Beatles as horribly decadent, as an indication of Western capitalism, as everything that would be destabilizing to all that they were trying to achieve in the USSR. Now, the Beatles were not singled out alone; the Beach Boys were included—some of you will be encouraged by that—and particularly, they did not like “California Girls.” That’s probably ’cause they’d never met any of them, but that’s by the way for now.

But I was intrigued by this, this man Kolya Vasin, who was the man. Ironically, by the end of his life he’s being hailed by Putin and the rest of the Kremlin for the work that he’s done in helping the USSR to become the wonderful place that they believe it to be. He turned his home into a veritable shrine to the Beatles. He was consumed with it. In the obituary, we learn of the fact that his influence had extended beyond himself. He was consumed with it. He never married, he never had children, he trained as an architect, and by his own testimony, he said, “[I never married or had children] because all my time and [my] soul were dedicated to the Beatles.” He eventually put his training and his architectural plans to use when he designed a 210-foot temple of love, peace, and music dedicated to John Lennon. It had been intended to stand on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, with two large spheres on its roof, one inscribed with “All You Need Is Love” and the other with “Give Peace a Chance.” He actually went so far as to plan to launch a yellow submarine in the sea nearby St. Petersburg. I’m reading this in the morning, and I’m saying, “This is amazing!” And as you read an obituary, you have to get to the point where it finally says, “So what happened to this fellow?”

“[Kolya Vasin jumped] to his death from the third floor of a St Petersburg shopping centre.”[11]

You see, the substitute gods that are offered by the Evil One are self-depleting. There is no possibility whereby they can satisfy the longings of the human soul. It is to the believer that is given the wonder of peace with God—freedom from the fear of judgment and of death, and of recrimination, and of the dredging up of that which has been satisfied in the death of Christ on the cross.

That’s the first benefit that he mentions.

We Stand in Grace

The second is there in verse 2: “[And] through him,” Jesus—it’s always through Jesus. Notice: “We have peace with God through … Jesus …. Through him we have also obtained”—what?—“access by faith”—into what?—“into this grace in which we stand.”[12] So, number one, peace with God; number two, we stand in grace. In fact, we every so often sing a song that I think has that very title.

This wonderful picture here of “access” should be familiar to us. “We have … obtained access.” How do you get in? I just was listening again, as some of you have been doing, to Paul Simon as he comes to the end of his career, at least by his own testimony. And in one of his songs he sings about “If you don’t have a wristband, you’re not getting in.”[13] You got no wristband. Gotta have a wristband! Well, how do you get access to the living God? Only through faith in Jesus.

Now, Paul has been mentioning this in our studies in Ephesians. I don’t expect you would be able to pick it up immediately. I couldn’t; I had to go look for it. But I knew it was there. Ephesians 2: “And [Jesus] came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him”—that is, through Jesus—“we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”[14] It’s the same word. Actually, you find it in 3:12 as well: “according to the eternal purpose … realized in [Jesus Christ] our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence”—here we go again—“through our faith in him.”[15]

The substitute gods that are offered by the Evil One are self-depleting. There is no possibility whereby they can satisfy the longings of the human soul.

That word in Greek, paidagogein, is a word that was used primarily of making an introduction or ushering somebody into the presence of someone. So, for example, if we think in terms of majesty or we think in terms of royalty—we’ve seen that. Some of you have watched The Crown, and you know that the fellow goes in, and he says, “Your Majesty, I want to present to you Mr. X or Miss X,” and then he ushers them in. Well, this is a wonderful picture: Jesus comes before the Father, and he says, “Father, I want to present to you Mary. I want to present to you Bill. I want to present to you some of your children, your dearly bought children, that you have loved from all of eternity and whose redemption I have purchased. I usher them to you. I bring them in.” What an amazing reality this is!

And it’s not that we get, as in the picture of royalty, you know, a five-minute opportunity to be with Her Majesty—not for us, as it were, an occasional appearance, but rather a lifetime privilege. And when Paul will go on through Romans, he will make it wonderfully clear that there is nothing that will ever separate us from the love of God—that when we’re ushered into his presence, we can rest in that, and we can be glad of it.

It’s wonderful, isn’t it? I’m just looking for it now, as I speak. There we have it: “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation”—he just heaps all the phrases up—“will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”[16] And the Evil One comes to us and says, “Yeah, but you might not make it to the end.” And we say, “Oh yes I will.” Why? Because “he who promised is faithful,”[17] and because “he who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ,”[18] and because all my hope and all my confidence is grounded not in my worth or what I own but in the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We Rejoice in Hope

Well then, you can notice the third of the three: that “we have peace with God,” that we stand in grace, and “we rejoice in hope.” “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”[19]

And I’m not going to go on into 3, but I can’t resist just pointing out—you will notice that “not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings.” So for the person who says, “You see, now, once you get peace with God, you stand in grace, you rejoice in hope, it’s plain sailing from that point on.” No, immediately after he says, “We rejoice in hope,” he says, “And by the way, we rejoice in our sufferings.” Why? Because our sufferings produce “endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,”[20] and “after all, as I mentioned,” says Paul in writing to the Thessalonians, “the helmet is the very hope of salvation.”[21]

And that hope is a hope that doesn’t make us ashamed.[22] Because when the Bible uses “hope” in that way, and when we use it, for example, in the words of committal at a graveside, we’re not talking about uncertain hope. We’re not talking about the hope we have of “Well, I hope the weather holds,” or “I hope my exam results come through,” or any of those things. But no, J. B. Phillips paraphrases it as a “happy certainty”—that the Spirit of God creates within the child of God a “happy certainty,” a confident, joyful expectation which rests in the promises of God. In the promises of God. Now, we thought this evening we might sing “Standing on the Promises,” but we reversed before we got there. But it would be fine to have done so.

You see, it is important, again, when we put on the helmet of salvation, to make sure that we are thinking theologically and we’re not thinking sentimentally. I went searching for a song that I know for another reason, and I didn’t realize that it came from a musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein, which some of you are old enough perhaps to have seen. I haven’t. It’s called Carousel. And in the movie Carousel, one of the barn-burning songs has these lines:

When you walk through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don’t be afraid of the dark.

This actually is the theme song of the Liverpool Football Club, and it is sung routinely at Anfield with great enthusiasm by these well-meaning people sometimes bursting into tears in their enthusiasm for all that is represented in the song. It is absolute, unbelievable sentimentality. It’s rubbish, actually: “When you walk through the storm, hold your head up high,” and so on. “Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart.”[23] Okay? It’s a good thing to do. But hope in what? Hope in whom? Hope in hope?

No, you see, we’re not just hopeful of things. The Christian has been set free, so that when the Evil One comes and threatens to undo us and challenges us in this way, we remind him, “Hey, I’m wearing the helmet. I’m wearing the helmet. I am trusting unreservedly in the work of Jesus. He has accomplished on behalf of the sinner (and I am a sinner; therefore, he’s accomplished it on behalf of me) all that is necessary for me to have access into God’s presence, to stand in grace, to rejoice in hope, and to be justified by faith.”

“And what, then, is the reason for your assurance?” the Evil One may ask. What, then, would you say in response to that? So the Evil One comes to you and says, “Well, that sounds pretty good, Begg. You’ve got those three points down. It’s very good. But why do you actually believe that?”

Well, I tell him: “Because of the Bible. Because of what it says in the Bible. I have an objective reason, and I have a subjective reason.”

“Well, give me your first one,” he says.

“Well, let me give you the objective one, in Romans 5:10.” Here’s the logic that you will find as you wear your helmet: “If while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

So what he’s saying is this: that we were justified on the basis of his death in the place of the sinner. If he has gone to that extent to put us right with God, do you not realize that we will then be glorified one day in his presence on the strength of his life? In his death, our justification; in his life, our glorification—and that grounded in the love of God. Verse 8: “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I love the hymn which has the stanza:

For the love of God is broader
Than the measure of [man’s] mind;
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.

It also has the wonderful lines “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy, like the wideness of the sea.”[24] It’s a tremendous picture of the love of God.

Do you doubt the love of God? Are you convinced of the love of God? Those of you who fancy yourselves as theologians, are you prepared to tell people of God’s unmistakable love for them? Are you prepared to share your faith in such an open and unequivocal way as to say to men and women, “Let me tell you of the love of God for sinners”?

A Personal, Passionate Plea

John Murray, you will remember… And this brings me to my final point, and that is that I said once we considered the importance of the thinking in a Christian mind and of the importance of thinking properly about salvation itself, so that we might understand that those whom he called he justified, and those he justified he also glorified,[25] then I said we would want to think about making a very personal and passionate plea to men and women to be reconciled to God—to say to men and women, “Will you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ in order that you might be saved?”

And it made me think of Murray, because Murray is the one who was involved in the interchange with our friend who was here and led us a cappella in the singing of two psalms, William Mackenzie of Christian Focus. And it was in their conversation in the car, in the Highlands of Scotland, that William was stumped by Murray when Murray asked him, “What is the difference between a lecture and preaching?” And Mackenzie couldn’t come up with an answer to satisfy the old professor, and eventually he gave up. And the professor said to him, “The difference is this: that in preaching it is a personal, passionate plea.” To which Mackenzie replied, “In what sense?” He said, “In this sense: 2 Corinthians 5, ‘We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.’”[26]

Now, that same John Murray makes this observation. And this is for those of you who are in the honors program, and you will know who you are, ’cause you’ll just sit up a little more in your chair when I read this to you. The rest of you will slouch a little. I made that up. There’s no honors program. Some visitors are going, “How’d you get in the honors program?”

This is Murray: “The passion [for] missions,” for going into the world with the gospel, “is quenched when we lose sight of the grandeur of the [gospel]”[27]—when we actually start to circumscribe the message of God’s love for sinners. “It is a fact,” he says,

that many, persuaded as they rightly are of the particularism of the plan of salvation and of its various corollaries, [many] have found it difficult to proclaim the full, free, and unrestricted overture of gospel grace. They have laboured under … inhibitions arising from fear that in doing so they would impinge upon the sovereignty of God in his saving purposes and operations. The result is that, though formally assenting to the free offer [of the gospel], they lack freedom in the presentation of its appeal and [of its] demand.[28]

In other words, they become tied up in their own theological predilections.

The gift of salvation is a gift. It is not purchased, it’s not earned, it’s not worked for in any way. It is simply received.

The gift of salvation is a gift. It is not purchased, it’s not earned, it’s not worked for in any way. It is simply received. And that is a stumbling block to people. Because people want to do something; they want to bring something.

Invite somebody over to your home, and what’s one of the first things they’ll say to you? “What do you want me to bring?”

Say, “Well, I don’t want you to bring anything. I just want you to come.”

“Oh, are you sure?”

“Goodness gracious, how long do we have to have this conversation?”

“What do you want me to do?”

“I don’t want you to do anything. I’d like you just to come.”

And so people come to the issue of the gospel, and they respond in the same way: “Well, what shall I bring to this?” Well, what could you possibly bring to it? Nothing! “What do you want me to do?”

That’s the response of Naaman when the girl said to him, “If you go to the prophet of God…” He goes to Elisha; Elisha says, “Dip yourself in the Jordan.” What’s Naaman’s response? “Why do I have to go there? Why can’t I do what I want to do? Why can’t we do this my way? What about the other two rivers? They’re better rivers. Couldn’t I get washed in those rivers?” Answer: no. You couldn’t get washed in those rivers. There’s only one river in which you can get washed. And pressed again by his servants, he went and was washed.[29]

For those of you who were wondering why I was reading from Numbers as we began: for the self-same reason. What an amazing story! They were bitten. They suffered. Their suffering brought them the cry. They cried to Moses to intercede for them, a forerunner of Jesus, who intercedes on behalf of sinners. And the Lord said to Moses, “Tell them. Tell them to look.”

Can you imagine as he went to them, and he said, “Now, folks, I know some of us have already died, and the word from God is straightforward: he’s asked me to put together this serpent on a pole”?

People are asking, “Well, what size is it, and—”

He said, “Don’t worry about that just now. And he wants you to know that if you have been bitten and you look, you will be healed.”

Someone says, “Well, how long do I have to look? How close do I have to get? How bad has the sting got to be?”

Moses says, “Are you going to listen or not? Here’s the word: look. Look.”

Here’s the word: believe. Believe.

Now, let me finish with Spurgeon. It’s always good to finish with Spurgeon. Because Spurgeon’s conversion is a wonderful illustration of this very principle. If you know the details, forgive me if I reiterate them just for a moment. But remember, he’s going off to church as a boy. It’s a miserable morning. It’s snowing. He decides that he’ll bail on the church that he’s planning to go to when he turns in to a church, a small Methodist chapel, that he was unaware of, only to discover that there were precious few people in the building, and the minister himself was not there, and some gentleman was there in his place—a gentleman of rather limited abilities, it might be said. It was a December morning. It was 1849.

And Spurgeon says that the great longing of his heart was only one thing: he wanted to know how he could be saved. He wanted to know how he could be saved. A simple man—Spurgeon referred to him as “really stupid.” Spurgeon had a way with words. A great hero of mine, as you would think. And he stood in the pulpit, and he read the text: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”[30] The preacher began,

This is a very simple text indeed. It says, “Look.” Now lookin’ don’t take a [great] deal of [pain]. It ain’t liftin’ your foot or your finger; it[’s] just, “Look.” Well, a man needn’t go to College to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn’t be worth a thousand a year to … look. Anyone can look; even a child can look. But … the text says, “Look unto Me.” [Ah]! … Many [of you] are lookin’ to yourselves, but it’s no use lookin’ there. You’ll never find any comfort in yourselves. … Some [of you] say, “We must wait for the Spirit’s workin’.” You have no business with that just now. Look to Christ. The text says, “Look unto Me.”

Spurgeon writes, after the good man “managed to spin out [about] ten minutes or so” on Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, Spurgeon says,

he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery …. Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said, “Young man, you look very miserable … and you will always be miserable—miserable in life, and miserable in death,—if you don’t obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.” Then, lifting up his hands, he shouted, … “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothin’ to do but look and live!” I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said,—I did not take much notice of it,—I was so possessed with that one … charming word it seemed to me! Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away. [Then] and [there] the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and [the] moment I saw the sun; and [I felt] I could have [sprang from my seat] that instant, and [sang] with the most enthusiastic of [those Methodist brethren], of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, “Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.”[31]

And what’s on Spurgeon’s tombstone in Upper Norwood? “E’er since by faith I saw the stream thy flowing wounds supply, redeeming love has been my theme, and shall be till I die.”[32]

That, my friends, is what it means, at least in measure, to take up the helmet of salvation.

[1] R. Hudson Pope, “Make the Book Live to Me” (1943). Language modernized.

[2] Romans 3:22–24 (ESV).

[3] John 8:34 (ESV).

[4] 1 Corinthians 6:19–20 (paraphrased).

[5] Romans 8:1 (KJV).

[6] Colossians 1:19–20 (ESV).

[7] John 16:33 (ESV).

[8] John 16:33 (paraphrased).

[9] John Lennon, “Give Peace a Chance” (1969).

[10] Yoko Ono and John Lennon, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (1971). Lyrics lightly altered.

[11] “Kolya Vasin Obituary,” The Times, September 20, 2018,

[12] Romans 5:1–2 (ESV).

[13] Paul Simon, “Wristband” (2016). Lyrics lightly altered.

[14] Ephesians 2:17–18 (ESV).

[15] Ephesians 3:11–12 (ESV).

[16] Romans 8:38–39 (ESV).

[17] Hebrews 10:23 (ESV).

[18] Philippians 1:6 (ESV).

[19] Romans 5:2 (ESV).

[20] Romans 5:3–4 (ESV).

[21] 1 Thessalonians 5:8 (paraphrased).

[22] See Romans 5:5.

[23] Oscar Hammerstein II, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” (1945).

[24] Frederick W. Faber, “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” (1854).

[25] See Romans 8:30.

[26] 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV).

[27] “The Atonement and the Free Offer of the Gospel,” in Collected Writings of John Murray, vol. 1, The Claims of Truth (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1976), 59.

[28] Murray, 81.

[29] See 2 Kings 5:1–14.

[30] Isaiah 45:22 (KJV).

[31] C. H. Spurgeon, C. H Spurgeon’s Autobiography, vol. 1, 1834–1854 (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1897), 106–8.

[32] William Cowper, “There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood” (1772).

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.