July 8, 2012
While we’re not all called to be preachers, Paul’s instruction to Titus to insist on the trustworthy message of the Gospel is universal. Alistair Begg emphasizes that all Christians have a message that is reliable, and we are called to be resolute in believing and sharing it. Our unfaltering response to the Gospel should be demonstrated by our good works, not to earn salvation but as evidence of having been saved.
Sermon Transcript: Print
I invite you to turn with me to the letter of Paul to Titus and to chapter 3, and we’ll just read from verse 8 to verse 11. Titus chapter 3 and beginning at verse 8:
“The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.”
Father, we pray now for your help as we turn to the Bible together, that we might both speak and hear and understand and believe and obey. We are entirely dependent upon you, and we look to you in Christ. Amen.
You probably know the old chestnut about an ordained Anglican clergyman, a young curate, who had gone to his first charge. He had never preached there before, and he didn’t know what to do, so he wrote to his bishop letting him know this. He sent him a postcard, which just contained one simple question: “Dear bishop: What should I preach about?” And the bishop responded in an equally cryptic way by sending a card which simply said, “Dear curate: Preach about God, and preach about twenty minutes.”
The reason I mention that is because the apostle Paul here has not been bashful throughout this letter in telling Titus what it is that he is to preach. For example, at the beginning of chapter 2: “But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.” “You’re not just to be saying anything that comes into your head, Titus. You need to make sure that what you’re teaching people is in keeping with the doctrine—the apostolic doctrine—that you have received from me.” At the end of chapter 2, again an exhortation: “Declare these things.” In other words, “This is the information that I have given to you, and this is what you are to use as your sermon material.”
Titus is to be very clear about the fact that his shepherding of the people of God is by means of the crook of God’s Word—that the way in which the sheep are to be led into pasture is by bringing them to the Bible to understand, in his case, primarily and first of all, the Old Testament Scriptures, and then the material that had come to him now by way of the apostle Paul himself. He was fulfilling the role of a pastor and of a shepherd. And he’s going to be told in verse 9 that it is very important that he doesn’t get himself embroiled in all kinds of controversies but instead that, according to our verse this morning, verse 8, he makes sure that he is insisting on the right things.
Now, it’s good for us from time to time just to remind ourselves about what the Bible says concerning the role of the pastor and the teacher. Paul, when he writes to the Ephesians in Ephesians 4, describes the gift of pastor and teacher as one of the gifts of the ascended Christ to his church. That the response of the Ethiopian eunuch when he is reading the prophecy from Isaiah, and Philip comes alongside him and says to him, “Do you understand what it is you’re reading?” and you remember the Ethiopian says, “How can I unless somebody teaches me?” And the role of the shepherd of God in the people of God is to be that of a teacher.
Now, this is simply to follow the pattern of Jesus. We remember, when Jesus began his earthly ministry, he begins in his local church, as it were, at the synagogue in Nazareth, where he’d been brought up. And Luke tells us that when he went there, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, and he read from that scroll words with which we became familiar when we studied Luke:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He … sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
So, he reads from the Scriptures, and then he sits down in the position of the teacher, and Luke tells us that all the eyes of the people in the synagogue were fastened on him, waiting to hear what it was that he was going to say by way of exposition. They could hardly have imagined what was about to come out of his mouth as he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
And for three years, Jesus had a preoccupation with, had a priority of, proclaiming the good news. Remember, Mark’s Gospel begins, “The time is now fulfilled. The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” And what Jesus did in his three years of earthly ministry he then entrusted to the apostles to go out and do. And by the time Paul is writing to the church at Rome, he says to them in Romans 10, he says, “Faith come[s] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” As the Word of God is conveyed, as it is taught, as it explained by one and by another, as well as from the pulpit, so God uses this to bring men and women to faith in himself, and not only as a means of evangelism but also as a means of equipping the people of God so that they might go on to maturity.
And so it is that Paul is telling Titus throughout this letter that he is to take great care in providing this instruction. He’s to do so with conviction. His instruction, as we’ve seen in our previous studies, is to be marked by integrity, and it is to be marked by dignity. And the way in which people will discover whether he is fulfilling the role of a teacher is when they actually start to learn stuff. It’s very straightforward, isn’t it? You know that leadership is taking place when people are following, and you know that teaching is taking place when people are learning. I know I sometimes joke that the average school bus is met by a cluster of mothers who are all saying to their children as they come off, “Oh, did you have a nice time? Did you have fun today?” And I often say—and this is to set forward my Chinese friends and my Asian friends—I say, “I never heard them asking that question.” They’re always asking, “Did you learn anything today?” They don’t really care whether you had much fun. They want to know if you learned anything. That’s why they sent you there, for goodness’ sake! And people coming out of church, talking to one another, say, “Did you have fun today? Was he good today? Any jokes today?” Did you learn anything today? Did you learn something about God—about what God has done in Jesus? Did you learn something about ourselves—our need of a God who has intervened in Jesus and so on? Did we learn what it means to be the followers of the Lord Jesus? Did you learn anything today?
And the late archbishop of Canterbury Donald Coggan used to speak about the three p’s that are present in the pews. When he was teaching other young ministers how to preach and to teach, he told them, “You will find in the pews those who are puzzled, who are in need of consistent advice; those who are promising, who are in need of constant encouragement; and those who are perplexed, who are always in need of compassion.” And he said, “As you address those three p’s in the pew, it is important that you pay attention to the three c’s that need to be present in the pulpit—those three c’s being,” he said, “first that the preacher needs to be candid, so that there is no concealment of the truth; that he needs to be clear, so that there is no obscurity of expression; and that he needs to be confident, so that he is able to speak without fear of the consequences.” It’s all very, very helpful advice, I think.
Now, I want to give us three r’s to help us through verse 8, which is our focus this morning—just this one verse. And the first r is the first letter of the word reliable. Reliable. Why reliable? Well, it’s really a synonym for “trustworthy,” which is the word that is used there in the opening phrase of verse 8: “[This] saying,” says Paul to Titus, “is trustworthy.” “The saying is trustworthy.”
This is actually a routine phrase in the Pastoral Epistles—that is, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus. And you will find that there are, I think, five occasions, including this one, where Paul uses this very terminology. I’m not going to work my way through them; you can do that on your own at home. It’s a useful exercise. You’ll be able to find them. They stand out. In certain cases, it seems directly related to a very pithy statement. In this case, it would seem to be referring to the previous lengthy statement that he has just made, comprising what we have in verses 4–7. Because I think verses 4–7 seem to flow together, don’t they? That “when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared”—he starts there, with that epiphany—“he saved us, not [by] works done by us in righteousness, … according to his … mercy”; he tells us how this has come about, and so on.
And what he’s been doing there, between verses 4 and 7, is essentially focusing on the gospel, on the good news. When people ask, “What is this good news?”—it is the account of what God has done for us in the Lord Jesus Christ to save us from sin and from the devil and from death. This good news is not good advice about what we might do to make ourselves acceptable to God. It’s not good advice about how we can soup up our lives and do better than we’ve been doing. No, the good news is the good news of that which has been accomplished by God on behalf of sinners.
And so, having spent verses 4–7 on that, he now comes to verse 8. And essentially, he’s saying in the opening phrase, “This is solid truth.” “This is solid truth.” Or, if you like, “You can count on this, Titus. You can count on this. And it is this trustworthy saying which you are to make your own in your teaching of these congregations there on the island of Crete.”
Now, I think it’s important for us to recognize this and to pause for it just a moment—to remind ourselves of three other words with which I think we’ve become familiar as we speak about Christianity. Because this approach does stand out from so much that is part and parcel of our culture, with its renewed interest in spirituality—a spirituality that is often grounded in the subjective experiences of people who may not be able to give any basis whatsoever for why it is they believe what they say they believe or why they affirm what they affirm, but nevertheless, they’re prepared to make much of it. If you watched Barbara Walters’s special for two hours on the subject of heaven during the week, then you were given plenty of illustrations of this kind of idea—people talking again and again about the nature of heaven without having any foundation whatsoever other than that which is there in conjecture, in their imagination, in their hopes and in their dreams.
Now, when we come to Christianity, we don’t find that it is characterized by that kind of perspective. No, we’re up against something a lot harder than that. Because now we’re up against a historical Jesus who claimed to be the incarnate God, who claimed to be the sole sacrifice for sin, who claimed to be heading through death into a resurrection life to prepare a place for those who are ready to meet him. In other words, Christianity stands out against the subjectivism of contemporary spiritualities by introducing us to the objective statements that are provided and recorded for us in the Bible.
So, when we read what Paul has just said here concerning this trustworthy and reliable material, he is saying what we’re dealing with is first of all historical—that these things actually happened. “When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared…” “Appeared.” What he’s saying is that in time, at a certain time, God invaded our time and our space in the second person of the Trinity, and he did so appearing—2:11—to bring “salvation for all people.” Hence the salvation that Peter later says is found in no one else other than Jesus. Why not? Well, because Jesus is the only one who’s actually qualified to save. Now, you must think this out for yourselves; it’s not the substance of our discussion this morning.
First of all, he’s saying it’s historical. Secondly, he’s saying it is rational. It is rational. In other words, you can read this. It doesn’t sound like mythology. It doesn’t sound like contrivance. You realize that if you take his premise and you then work from that premise, there is a logical progression in his thought: God made the world in all of its goodness and its perfection. Man turned his back on God and brought the world into decay and into death. God in his mercy has stepped down into that decay and in that death to provide the only salvation possible for humanity. That Christ has now ascended through death to the right hand of the Father, and from there he will return and eventually will bring about a new heaven and a new earth. Now, you may dismiss that summarily, but not on account of its illogicality. It is actually rational. You can think it out.
And thirdly, it is empirical. Or, if you like, it is verifiable. It’s not the verifiable spirituality that looks inside of ourselves to find that which encourages us to believe this is actual, but it is the verifiable data that is outside of us that is then confirmed by our embracing of that truth. So, for example, “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Trust him.
You stand outside one of the churches—the Episcopal church on the west end of Princes Street—when you go there to visit, as many of you will this summer, I trust. And as you’re standing there on a lovely sunny day, the building itself looks rather gray and dull and drab. I could tell you from the outside that the windows are quite magnificent. The stained glass in those windows is fantastic. But you’re going to have to step inside to believe me. Because when you step inside and the sunlight comes through the prism of those windows, then you will realize that what I was telling you is actually true. But it took you stepping inside to discover that.
The message of Christianity—this trustworthiness, this reliability, this put-it-to-the-testedness stuff—it’s historical, it is rational, and it is verifiable. Indeed, the thing that separates Christianity from all the other religions of the world, in one word, is grace. Is grace. Every religion in the world has a mechanism whereby we can somehow or another make ourselves acceptable with God. We don’t need to worry in Buddhism, because Buddhism doesn’t believe in God. Buddhism works its own way along the line. It’s quite remarkable, isn’t it, that… It’s not remarkable at all. It’s understandable. I watched that thing, and you probably did, too, and the Dalai Lama is there. I didn’t know whether to take him seriously or not, to tell you the truth. But apparently, he’s the fourteenth reincarnation. And people will swallow that stuff.
You tell them, “Well, have you ever examined the New Testament evidence? Have you ever applied your clinical mind to the Gospel records? Have you ever examined the evidence? Have you rejected Christianity because you examined the evidence and you found that it was wanting? Or is it not true that you’ve rejected Christianity without ever having examined the evidence?”
Because when you look at it, you will discover that it is grace that opens our eyes. And until grace opens our eyes, showing us that the story of Christianity is not the story of what we must do, but it is the story of what God has done in Jesus… Religion is saying, “Do this, do this, do this, and do this.” Christianity is saying, “Look at what God has done!”
See now what God has done
Sending his only Son,
Christ the beloved one,
Jesus is Lord!
And until we understand that our acceptance with God is on account of what God has done, then we will continue, if we’re interested in being accepted by God, to try and do it for ourselves—the dreadful tyranny of turning over new leaves, seeking to forsake bad habits, attending Bible studies, saying our prayers, doing everything that anybody suggests to us as a possibility, until suddenly it dawns on us by the Holy Spirit. It is sin that pays wages—those wages being death. “But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Now, it is this that is so reliable. So reliable. That’s the first word. Spent too long on that, but you’re used to that.
The second word is the word resolute. Resolute. Notice what he says: “I want you to insist on these things,” or “I want you to be resolute in your emphasis of these things.” Titus is clearly directive in his teaching. And Paul wants to make sure that Titus, aware of the fact that he has a reliable message, is now committed to being a resolute messenger—that he is prepared to make sure that his people understand that he himself is convinced and that he in turn is committed, under God, to convincing them.
It’s very important that he doesn’t let people disregard him. And the inference would seem to be that the chances were the people would dismiss him, for whatever reason. “Nevertheless”—2:15—“declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority.” What authority? Not the authority of Titus’s personality. Not the authority that comes because he’s so convinced, convinced, convinced. No, the authority that is found in the reliability of the message—in the reliable nature of that which is trustworthy. “Here’s your authority,” he says, “Titus. This is what you have to say, and this is why you have to say it. You may not amount to much. The people may be tempted to disregard you. They’ll write you off for all kinds of reasons. But you must continue, Titus. Teach and exhort, rebuke, and do it with all authority. Remember, the message is reliable. Come on, now. Put your foot down.” That’s what he’s saying. “Take a firm stand on these matters.” What matters? On the matters of the gospel.
See, at the end of the day, when the people who outlive Titus as their pastor—when they were getting together and having a meal, they would never have cause to regret that Titus had insisted on these things. They would have had cause to regret if he’d gone into verse 9 and violated that. It might have been far more appealing to the people who love controversy—the people who like obscure and esoteric things, who like nothing better than the pulling apart of knotty problems. (That’s with a k.)
No, at the end of the day, they would say, “How grateful we are that Titus didn’t deviate. How thankful we are that Titus was committed to these things. How thankful we are that when we asked him, ‘Tell me the old, old story of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love’—when we said to him, ‘Tell me the story softly, as to a little child, for I am weak and weary, and helpless and defiled. Tell me the story simply’—how thankful,” they would say to one another, “we are that Titus did that; that he taught us so that we could understand first principles and he exhorted us so that we might understand the way in which that which we have understood is to be written into the very fabric of our lives, so that he didn’t simply keep telling us and exhorting us without giving us the instruction that was the foundation for the exhortation; that he didn’t exhort us without reminding us again of the gospel, of the good news, of God’s grace and of his mercy and of his loving kindness, of the fact that we are accepted in Christ. He kept telling us that again and again and again. Goodness! He kept saying the same thing all the time! Why was he doing that?” they would have said to one another. “Well, it must be that letter that he got from Paul. Because, you remember, when he read it out that time we were together, Paul had said in 3:8, ‘Now, listen: this is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these things.’”
I was thinking about it this week, in relationship to teaching and the progression that there should be. There’s first of all the “What?” What, question mark. The people come and say, “What is it that you’re on about?” Then there is the “So what?” which is, “Does it really matter what Paul, a converted Jew, wrote to a guy that we’ve never met called Titus in first-century Crete? I mean, we’re in the twenty-first century. This is Cleveland, not Crete. So what?” So, first the pastor’s got to tell you “What?” Then they’ve got to tell you “So what?” so that you can then say, “Now what?” But if the teacher goes too quickly to the “So what?” without giving you the “What?” then you’ve no idea what in the world he’s on about. And that’s what often happens when people talk about having somebody preach the gospel to them. What they actually mean is that he keeps asking them to do something at the end of service. But he’s never, ever explained what it is that God has done in order to make significant their response!
First the “What?”—what God has done—then the “So what?” of faith, and then the “Now what?” And that brings us to our third word, which is the word result. Result. You’ll notice that there’s a purpose clause here: “This saying is trustworthy. It’s reliable. I want you to insist on these things. Be resolute, so that”—here’s the result—“so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works.” Notice that it is “those who have believed in God”—those whom he has described in verse 14, who have been redeemed from all lawlessness, set free from lawlessness in order to belong entirely to him.
That was an interesting statement by the president there, wasn’t it? With those magnificent cowboy boots that he had on, sitting in… What was that, a jeep or a tractor or something? “Whatever days remain to me belong to him.” “Whatever days remain to me belong to him.” That’s what Titus is saying here: “He redeemed you from all lawlessness. He set you free from what you were in order that you might become a slave to him.”
It’s paradoxical, isn’t it? The hymn writer captures it:
Make me a captive, Lord,
And then I shall be free.
Force me to render up my sword,
the sword of my rebellion,
And I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life’s alarms
When by myself I stand;
Imprison me within [your] arms
And strong [will] be my [stand].
Set free in order to be… “Now what?” Those who are committed, having “believed in God.” If Titus is to be careful about his proclamation, the congregation is to be equally careful about the application, thereby devoting themselves to good works.
Now, Paul has already made it clear in verse 5 that our acceptance with God is not by these good works, but now he makes clear that it is for these good works. This is something that he says also when he writes to the Ephesians in Ephesians 2:9–10. You can look for it yourselves. The reason this is so important is because at the end of chapter 1, he has identified some individuals, to whom he’s going to return, who—verse 16—“profess to know God, but they deny him by their works.” “They deny him by their works.”
You see the progression of thought here. All the way through, he’s been showing the outworking of what salvation really means. So, in the “reliable” statement, he’s shown that the need for salvation is on account of our sin. He’s shown that the source of salvation is the loving kindness of God. He has then shown that the ground of our salvation is in his mercy, and that the means of our salvation is in the regenerating work of God the Holy Spirit, and that the goal of our salvation is that we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life, and now that the evidence of our salvation is to be seen in our good works.
Someone says, “I’d rather see a gospel than hear one any day.” Isn’t that what Jesus said in Matthew 7? I’d better just quote it exactly, in case I quote it inaccurately. When Jesus issues the call of the kingdom, when he encourages those who are to be his followers to think seriously about these things, he says to them in a salutary warning, Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” Not everyone who says, but the one who does. Titus 1:16, he says there are many who “profess to know God, but they deny him by their works.” They talk the talk, but there’s no evidence. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary.
Now, that’s not an outlandish statement. That is in concurrence with what Jesus is saying here: “There will be people who say to me—many who say to me—‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name? Cast out demons in your name? Do mighty works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” “Lawlessness”? Go back to 2:14: “Who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness”—“from all lawlessness”—to set us free from that principle of death and sin in order that we might become slaves of righteousness and in order that by our very deeds we might declare the evidence of our justification.
Now, this means a great deal, doesn’t it? It means what we’ve said all along—namely, that in Christ, all of our days and all of our deeds may be good for someone and may be good for something; that we ought not to see our daily routine, our vocation, our motherhood, our nursing, our banking, our carpentry, our factory work, our driving those fantastic big things that dig—we ought not to see that as simply a context for engaging in personal evangelism. It is a context for engaging in personal evangelism! But you know you can operate that digger to the glory of God, don’t you? You know you can give an injection in a way that fulfills Titus 2:8. You know that you can respond to an inquiry on the telephone in a way that conveys kindness to the greatest and the least. Didn’t we sing about that? “Kindness to the greatest and the least.”
“Titus, listen! You’ve got a reliable message. Make sure that you are a resolute messenger in order that you might have a responsive congregation—a congregation that hears the call of the kingdom and says, ‘It is to that kingdom that I am committed. It is to that King that I bow. It is to that agenda that I will give myself, whether it takes me from here to there, or wherever it puts me.’”
But don’t, for goodness’ sake, say to yourself, “If I was going to take it really seriously, I would stop being where I am and what I am, and I would become something else.” You may! But for the time being, bloom where you’re planted. Be the best schoolteacher you can be. Be the best journalist you can be. Be the best builder you can be. Be the best! And when people say, “What is this? Are you trying to earn your salvation?” say, “No! I could never earn my salvation. In fact, that’s all been paid for.” “It’s been paid for? Who paid it?” “Well, I’ve got news for you! It’s reliable news. It’s historical. It’s rational. It’s verifiable.”
You see, that’s the challenge that’s before us.
I love to read biography, as you know, and a biography that I read when I was still in my teens or early twenties is a tiny biography of the fellow who became the general director of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship, the China Inland Mission. It was Hudson Taylor to D. E. Hoste, and D. E. Hoste to a most unlikely character called Fred. You know, you think about leading a missionary organization: “Hudson Taylor”—it’s got a ring to it, doesn’t it? D. E. Hoste—“Woah! He must be something.” And then we’ve got Fred. Fred Mitchell from Bradford in Yorkshire. He
accomplished no great thing. His name was linked with many Christian organizations, but he was the founder of none. He turned the feet of many into paths of righteousness, but not more than others of his contemporaries. He made no spectacular and inspiring sacrifices. He effected no reforms. For the first forty-five years of his life the pathway he traversed was similar to that of thousands of other … moderately successful business men. “From village school to chemist shop” [he was a pharmacist] would have been an appropriate summing up of his outward course.
Here’s the sentence I want you to get: “On that ordinary, hum-drum track, however, he walked with God, climbing steadily in spiritual experience.” “On that ordinary, hum-drum track … he walked with God.”
Hey, let’s just be honest: that’s the track we’re all on. It’s ordinary. It’s humdrum! There are little moments where it might be drumhum, but it’s mostly humdrum. Walking with God on the humdrum track is what the people in Crete were called to do, same as what the people in Cleveland—we—are called to do. We have a message that’s reliable. Our messengers are called to be resolute, and we as a congregation are called to be responsive.
Gracious God, as we bow before the instruction of your Word, we offer our lives again to you. We realize that all of our days and all of our deeds may be good for someone and good for something because you have redeemed us from lawlessness in order that you might purify for yourself a people who are your very own possession—possessed by God to live for God. Show us, Lord, increasingly what that means in the context in which you’ve set us as individuals and as a church. And in all the time that we have left, grant that we might offer ourselves afresh to you today, to live in order that your kingdom might come and your will might be done on earth as it is in heaven.
May grace, mercy, and peace from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit rest and remain with all who believe, now and forevermore. Amen.
 Titus 2:1 (ESV).
 Titus 2:15 (ESV).
 See Ephesians 4:11.
 Acts 8:30–31 (paraphrased).
 Luke 4:18–19 (ESV).
 See Luke 4:20.
 Luke 4:21 (ESV).
 Mark 1:15 (paraphrased).
 Romans 10:17 (KJV).
 See Titus 2:7–8.
 See 1 Timothy 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:11.
 Psalm 34:8 (ESV).
 Timothy Dudley-Smith, “Name of All Majesty” (1984).
 Romans 6:23 (KJV).
 Kate Hankey, “Tell Me the Old, Old Story” (1866). Lyrics lightly altered.
 See Titus 2:14.
 See Romans 6:18.
 George Matheson, “Make Me a Captive, Lord” (1890).
 Matthew 7:22–23 (paraphrased).
 Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, “Holy Spirit, Living Breath of God” (2006).
 Phyllis Thompson, Climbing on Track: A Biography of Fred Mitchell (London: China Inland Mission, 1953), 11–12.
 See Matthew 6:10.
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.