“Now to Him”
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“Now to Him”

Jude 1:25  (ID: 3618)

Jude closed his letter to Christ’s followers with a doxology praising the splendor and sovereignty of the one true and timeless God. Wrapping up a study in Jude, Alistair Begg explains why our knowledge of God shapes the way we worship Him and directs how and why we share the Gospel with others. Like Jude, those who have experienced God’s mercy and salvation should be driven to humbly declare His glory to a predominantly lost and self-focused world.

Series Containing This Sermon

A Study in Jude

Contend for the Faith Jude 1:1–25 Series ID: 16501


Sermon Transcript: Print

Well, I invite you to turn to Jude.

I hope you appreciate the lyric of the hymn that we’ve been singing. I’m sure you do. I hope you noticed that noun—“Sweet is the work, my God, my King”[1]—and the endeavor that’s involved in giving ourselves to his praise and to his worship; and then, in the second verse, the adjective “sacred”: “Sweet is the day of sacred rest; no mortal cares disturb my breast.” It’s harking back to a time when the Lord’s Day really was the Lord’s Day—that it didn’t end at twelve with a dramatic rush to the things we would really want to be doing if only we could have begun them sooner, but of course, we had to go to church. Clearly, the hymn writer had an entirely different perspective. I want to have his perspective. I think you do too.

Father, thank you that we turn now with our Bibles open before us in order that we might hear your voice beyond any other voice—the voices that ring around in our heads when even we’re silent for a moment or two. Come, Lord, and meet with us, we pray. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Well, I’ve had a number of cards in the last ten days or so thanking me for ending Jude. And I found myself saying out loud at my desk, “Oh, not so fast! We’re not there yet.” But we are here this morning, at the end of a journey that, staggeringly, began on the twenty-sixth of February—with many stops in between, admittedly. But this is our eleventh and final study in this important letter, a letter which began with Jude praying for those to whom he writes, and it ends with a hymn that Jude invites those to whom he writes to join in in singing, at least in adding their amen.

It also serves, in the economy of God’s purposes, as something of a postscript to what we heard last Sunday from Pastor Schillero. And he gave us the privilege of listening to the closing verses of Romans chapter 11. So, last week was a doxology from Paul as taught by Danny, and this week is a doxology from Jude as taught by Ali. And so I’m glad that he has done some of the heavy lifting, which will allow me not to constantly say, “Of course, we learned this last week”—but you can imagine every time there’s a pause that that’s actually what’s going on in my mind, and maybe in yours as well.

Now, it is not our purpose to rehearse the entire letter, but we need to make sure that we understand that Jude has alerted the church to whom he writes, alerted them to the infiltrators who had established themselves in the context of the congregation. And the warning that he sounds is a warning that was relevant in his day. And as you read church history right up to the present time, it remains supremely relevant. Just because people talk about God in a compelling way or introduce intriguing notions or share their dreams, and do all of that with an air of spirituality, we must constantly be vigilant; we must be on our guard.

And that is exactly what Jude has done throughout the letter. He has urged his readers—we his readers—to “contend for the faith,”[2] to “keep yourselves in the love of God,”[3] and as he draws it to a close, he reminds them that in their exercise of building themselves up in their most holy faith,[4] God is keeping them. In Pauline terms, he’s essentially saying to them, as Philippians 1, “He”—that is, God—“who [has begun] a good work in you will bring it to completion [by] the day of Jesus Christ.”[5]

And so, here we are with the final phrases of the letter: “To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” So we end by considering that what we believe about God (that’s theology) informs how we worship God (that is doxology) and directs how and why we share the gospel of God (that is missiology). And those are our headings.

Theology

First of all, the theology which runs through his entire letter.

You will notice that he returns to what he began with in the opening phrase of verse 25: “to the only God.” “To the only God.” The Jews understood monotheism. They did not understand mediatorship—the fact that God was one and God was three, without division and yet without a cohesion that mingled the members of the Trinity. But he’s establishing the fact that in the sounds and sights that would have surrounded the people in Jude’s day, there is only one God. Now, that, of course, was a challenge to many of them, and frankly, it is a challenge to many of us. If people have any notion of God at all, they will probably say to you, “Well, of course, I do believe in God, but I believe in lots of gods,” or, “I believe in the God that I choose out of a selection.”

Now, when Paul writes to the Corinthians, he says this to them: “Although there may be so-called gods,” small g, “in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many ‘gods,’” in inverted commas, “and many ‘lords,’” in inverted commas, “yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.”[6] And this “only God” is the “Savior,” coming to us in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ in order to save us—that what God the Father has planned Christ the Son has procured and God the Holy Spirit then applies to the lives of those who trust in him. And this is the faith that Jude is very, very concerned that his readers will pay attention to, that they will be prepared to “contend for the faith”—not simply for faith. In similar terms, when Paul writes to Timothy, he says to him, “Timothy, I want you to follow the pattern of sound words. I want you to guard the good deposit.”[7]

And it is this theology, this knowledge of God—the way in which he has revealed himself in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—that is going to give rise to this conclusion. It’s almost, as Jude comes to the end of this, that he is saying to those to whom he writes, “Do you realize how great is our God? ‘Sing with me! How great is our God.’[8] ‘Let the amen sound from his people again.’”[9] And in order to help us in that, he provides four words which convey the splendor and the sovereignty of God. And we’ll look at them just in passing.

First of all, “To the only God … be glory.” What is glory? Well, it comes all over the Bible, but it is essentially this: it is the public, visible, acclaimed presence of God. It is the establishing of the presence of God in a moment of time and amongst his people. If you have a concordance and you have the interest, you can do your own homework on this. Let me just give you three cross-references and read them briefly to establish this in our minds.

Exodus 24:15: “Then Moses went up on the mountain”—this is at Sinai—

and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. [And] Moses entered [into] the cloud and went up [onto] the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Fascinatingly, when you go on just a few chapters to Exodus chapter 33: “The Lord said to Moses”—verse 17—

“This very thing that you have spoken I will do [for you], for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” [And] Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And [God] said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious [to those] to whom I will be gracious, and [I] will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face … and live.”

If you follow for my last one, you get to 1 Kings and chapter 8, a chapter that holds great fascination with the ark of the covenant being brought into the temple. And in our studies in 1 and 2 Samuel, you will remember that the presence of the ark and the presence of God and his glory was manifested. You may remember our sermon on Ichabod, where they said, “The glory now has departed,”[10] the glory having departed from God’s people in some measure in the exile.

But here now, in 1 Kings 8 and—what is it?—verse 10: “And … the priests came out of the Holy Place,” and when they did, “a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”

I’d like to be present for one occasion like that—just one—where suddenly the service stopped because God manifested his presence, declared his glory, shifted all thinking entirely in his direction.

Of course, when we go on into the New Testament and we begin to read the Gospel of John, we have this amazing statement that is repeated again as you go through and listen to the disciples and listen to Peter as he writes his letters. And this is the fourth cross-reference (I said there was only three): “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory.” That’s what John says: “We’ve seen it now”—“glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”[11] Jude says, “I want you to sing out the glory of God.” We’ll come to that in a minute.

His “glory,” his “majesty.” In other words, there are no rivals to his dignity. There are no rivals to his splendor. There is no one that can jump up in a moment in time and take on the challenge of the living God. Remember that the opening hymn of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II contained the verse:

So be it, Lord! Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away.
Thy kingdom stands and grows forever,
Till all thy creatures own thy sway.[12]

She was the longest serving monarch, but in her death she reminded us she said to God, “Your Majesty.” He was the only one that she had occasion to address in that way.

You see what Jude is doing here? “Glory.” “Majesty.” “Dominion.” Dominion over all the earth. You say, “Well, it doesn’t look much like it now.” It doesn’t always seem so that the Lord God omnipotent reigns, but the Bible says it is so, and we trust his Word.[AM1] 

And “authority”: the authority to do whatever he wills in heaven and on earth; his authority over all creation; his authority in the exercise—as Paul puts it in Ephesians 1—in the eternal counsel of his will, so that for those who love him the things unfold according to his plan.[13]

And you will notice that all of this is unbounded by time: “before all time and now and forever.” This can be true of no one and can be true of nothing else.

Let this thought settle for a moment, if you can. I sat at my desk, and I said to myself, “This is truly amazing.” Because philosophy, mathematics, science, logic, language itself, if you think about all of these things—with the progress of time, they are all inevitably superseded. People once thought of the world in a certain way. That is long in the past. They’ve moved on, they say. And part of the problem is that they want to apply that same logic to the eternal God in all of his glory and his majesty and in his dominion and his authority.

But God, you see, the Creator, is completely independent of his creation. That’s the fallacy of our contemporary preoccupation, which is pantheistic, with the earth—that somehow or another, God and his creation are mingled together; therefore, our care of the earth is a care of God. Nothing could be further from the truth. God stands outside of time and stands independent of his creation. He shapes it; it does not shape him.[AM2] 

Doxology

And it is our knowledge of him that then shapes our praise—which is our second word, doxology. Doxa is Greek for “glory,” hence doxology. And hymn writers have often been able to encapsulate for us large areas of truth, not least of all about God and his glory and power and so on, and done so often in a way that allows children to learn it in their smallness. It’s no surprise to any of you that hymns have underpinned so much of my understanding of God since I was small. And Horatius Bonar, the lesser-known brother of Andrew, before he was ordained into the Free Church of Scotland, which was a psalms-only church—they only sang metrical psalms—before he was ordained into that, he taught Sunday school. And when he taught Sunday school, he wrote hymns, because he decided that some of the tunes might be better, and the words might be clearer. He wrote some six hundred hymns, one of which really challenges the way many of us come to the opportunity of praise.

How do we come? Well, thinking about ourselves, perhaps preoccupied with ourselves, wondering just what this is going to mean to me. The question is the entirely wrong question. The question is: What will this matter to God? Will it be a declaration of his glory, his majesty, his dominion, his authority? And the hymn begins, “Not what I am, O Lord, but what thou art!” There’s the starting point: “Not what I am but what you are.” “’Tis what I know of thee, my Lord and God, that fills my soul with [praise], my lips with song.”[14] There’s a direct correlation, as we learned last Sunday, that what engages our minds then stirs our hearts and challenges our wills. And so the hymn writer says, “Let’s start where we need to start. It is about you, Almighty God—your glory, your majesty, and so on—not about me. And so help me in this regard.”

Now, of course, in the Bible, God has given us our own hymnbook. And we have 150 of those songs in the Psalms. And I want you to turn for a moment to the psalm that I read, in Psalm 29, because I think we can be helped by following David’s line. Psalm 29 begins in the heavenlies—begins in the heavenlies—where David says,

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
 ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name.[15]

It’s quite amazing, isn’t it? Heaven is a place of worship. Ascribing glory to God is essentially acknowledging this aspect of God in his essence. Because really, in essence, God is glory. And so the psalmist says, “Okay, heavenly ones, okay, angels: ascribe to the Lord, heavenly beings.” Somebody asked me a question two weeks ago about the hymn [“Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven”], and particularly the line which reads, “Angels, help us to adore him; ye behold him face-to-face.”[16] I think that that line—but I can’t say—probably came from Psalm 29, because that is exactly what David is saying. He calls on the angelic beings to ascribe glory to the Lord. And we need help in that. And who better to help us?

Now, let’s be very clear: we cannot add to the divine glory. We cannot increase in any sense the inherent glory of his being. But that’s why that verb is really good, isn’t it? It’s better, even, than give. I mean, it means essentially “give,” but it’s better than give: “Ascribe.” “Ascribe to the Lord.” We’re not giving him glory. He is glory. We’re ascribing glory. We’re saying, “You are glory. You are.”

Now, he goes on—and we’re not going to expound the psalm, you’ll be delighted to know—but he goes on in verses 3–9 to make the point that God’s glory is not only on display in the heavens; it’s on display on the earth—on the earth; in the brightness of the heavens, in starlight or in sunlight. “The heavens declare the glory of God.”[17] In the heavens we see something of God’s invisible qualities. Remember Romans 1: his invisible qualities, his eternal power—these things have been understood, says Paul, from the beginning.[18] How could they be understood from the beginning? Because he manifests his glory in his creation. And you will notice the repetition of “the voice of the Lord.” That’s why I read it as I did: “The voice of the Lord”—verse 3, verse 4, verse 5, verse 7, verse 8, verse 9.

Now, what is he doing here? Well, either in real time or in reflection, David has experienced, if you like, one of these great thunderstorms that has come out of the Mediterranean. And as it has come surging out of the Mediterranean and moving across Lebanon and all the proud cedars of Lebanon standing there as created by God, he breaks them. He breaks them. And so the psalmist says, “On earth, as it is in heaven, your glory is being displayed.”

I don’t know about you, but I thought about it a great deal yesterday afternoon, depending on where you were, when those thunderclaps began. And boy were they loud! And I said to myself, “There you go again! There you go again!” You say, “What an idiot! Don’t you understand science?” Of course I understand it a wee bit, but the reality is God made the world in such a way that the thunders made that sound, that the lightning shone like that. And this is simply a magnificent picture of its reality. That’s why the psalmist is so helpful.

John Oxenham, the poet and the writer, wrote a little piece on the hidden years of Jesus. I just discovered this—on the hidden years of Jesus. Of course, that means between the age of twelve and the age of thirty, where people read the Bible and they say, “So what was going on between the age of twelve and thirty?” And of course, it is pure conjecture, and this is conjecture too. But I thought it was good. And since I did, you’re hearing about it.

When he writes on the hidden years of Jesus’ life, he pictures a younger lad telling of a hike in the country with the carpenter’s son—i.e., Jesus. So you’ve got Jesus and a friend on a hike. On the way home to Nazareth, the younger lad, who’s the voice now, said,

I saw a great black cloud sweeping in from the West and darkening all the sky. …

… The thunder was clapping all about us … long before we began to climb the hill.

But the boy seemed actually to like it, for he began singing at the top of his voice … ‘It is the Glory of God that thundereth… Eloi! Eloi! Eloi!’ …

… with his arms thrown up[wards] towards the terrible black sky. …

… He sang amid the thunder-claps, and his voice was … steady as a trumpet, and he knew no fear.[19]

That’s conjecture. But it’s good. The hymn writer does similar when he says, “Heav’n above is softer blue, earth around is sweeter green, [there’s] something lives in every hue”—h-u-e—“[that] Christless eyes have never seen.”[20] You see, because we’re spiritually dead. We don’t see. We see ourselves. We see our own interests, our own plans. But we don’t see his glory until our eyes are opened.

Well, the psalm actually begins, for those of you who are Latin scholars, with gloria in excelsis and ends with pax in terra:

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
 the Lord sits enthroned as [a] king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
 May the Lord bless his people with peace![21]

Yeah, we come through the floods. We come through the storms. But the God who brings us through the storms is the God who’s in control of the storms, and he’s the God who’s able to bring us peace.[AM3] 

Now, that means, however—since we’re still under the heading “Doxology”—that when it comes to our praise, we do not design our times of praise for unbelievers. People often come to me and say, “Well, why would you sing a song like ‘Sweet is the work, my God and King’? The average person off the street, they don’t know a thing about ‘my God and King’ and ‘sweet is the work,’ and what are you on about—‘sacred rest’ and so on.” I care that they don’t know, and I care that they might come to know. And I’ll tell you how they’ll come to know: when they hear you singing it and meaning it. But if they hear us just stumbling and bumbling around as if somehow or another we wished it was moving on to something else, it’s probably very unlikely that the glory of God will be revealed in our praise.

It’s for this reason that we honor God’s name, that we treat God’s name with reverence. Our Orthodox Jewish friends do not even use the name of God. They don’t write it down. How vastly different from some of us, who use it as a means to punctuate the end of a sentence or to react to an event of life. No, we “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,” we “bow down before him, his glory proclaim.”[22]

Missiology

And in doing so—and this brings us to our third and final word—in doing so, we are making his glory known to the world, which brings us to missiology. What is missiology? Well, it’s the story of Christian mission—its method and its purpose. It’s a kind of new word, isn’t it? Missiology. We understand missions. But I liked it because I wanted an -ology as a third word in any case. So it fit perfectly.

In a sentence, here you have it: “The ultimate goal of evangelism is the glory of God.”[23] “Oh,” you say, “I thought the ultimate goal of evangelism was to get as many people converted as you possibly could.” Uh-uh. No, the ultimate goal of evangelism is God’s glory. God created a world in which both wrath and mercy would be displayed.

And in Romans chapter 9 you have this amazing statement which, again, takes us back into the domain of last week. But in Romans 9:22, Paul is writing, and he says, “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory[?]”—that God’s glory is over all the earth, and it is the purpose of God that when our knowledge of God issues in our worship of God, then that will frame the way in which we live our lives in the world of [AM4] God, first of all in our own little lives.

We all have to go somewhere tomorrow, whatever it might be, or the next day, and so on. And in that little world in which you and I live we have a measure of influence, don’t we? And the influence that we bring to bear is in a context which, by and large, is a world that is focused on itself. It’s focused on pride. It’s focused on achievements, depending on how high up the office you are: What floor are you on? Do you have a corner office? Whatever it might be. And people walk around as if somehow or another, “I have achieved all this. I am very good at this. You should meet me, and you should hear of me,” and so on. And it’s all just selfishness, ultimately. Not to diminish people’s qualifications! But it’s the posture, the mindset. You’ve got to say to these folks, “You couldn’t even blink your eyes were it not for the grace of Almighty God. You wouldn’t have enough synovial fluid in your knees—you would be walking around like this through the whole world—were it not for God’s mercy to you. Why are you like that?” And then the question is “Well, you seem a bit like that yourself.” And the dagger is there, isn’t it? For now we’ve begun to strut.

No, worshipping the Lord in the beauty of holiness means I come humbly. I come as one who needs mercy.[AM5]  I come as one not pretending to be something but relying entirely on someone—not someone seeking to attach any evidences of glory to oneself but to recognize that that belongs to God alone.

You see, every one of us this morning is either a mission field or a missionary. We’re either the mission field, having never actually come to trust in Jesus, or we’re a missionary. I think some have never actually come to believe entirely in Jesus because of pride. Just pride. Jesus addressed the Pharisees in his day—it’s recorded in John chapter 12—and he says of these individuals, “They loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”[24] Perhaps you’re an eminent physician. Perhaps you’re a scientist. Perhaps you’re a businessman of some influence. Perhaps you’re a lady of great skill. And you’re so concerned that your CV is not tarnished in any way at all. Yes, you’re orthodox in your understanding. You would say there is a God and there was a Jesus and so on, and you show up. But that’s where you’re stuck. You love the glory of your peers more than your concern for the glory of God.

You see, when what we know about God invades our lives to unleash our tongues in praise of God, then in our little world it will be obvious.[AM6]  In our church life it will be obvious—absolutely obvious. I was thinking this week about 1 Corinthians 14 when I came to this point, and I was remembering what Paul says in those great chapters, in 12, 13, and 14 of 1 Corinthians. And he’s talking about “Here is the assembled church, and people come in. And if they come in and certain things are going on, they will react in a certain way.” He says, “[Listen,] if … the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you[’re] out of your minds?” Okay. “But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or [an] outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed.”[25] How does this happen? It happens in speaking out the Word of God—revealing God’s glory in God’s Word—and in singing out the Word of God.

What do you care if your bank manager thinks you’re a nut because of the way you sing? He’s supposed to think you’re a nut because of the way you sing, because he cannot understand what has happened to you. And if he asks you on a Tuesday, for goodness’ sake, tell him: “I used to be like you. I knew the words. I heard the lyrics. I listened to the melodies. But I just jingled the change in my pocket while it was all going on. I used to say to myself, ‘Whoever those people are, they’re into it, and they’re crazy.’ But now I’m as crazy as them! Why? Because the secrets of my heart have been disclosed.” “And so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare” what? “That God [really is] among you.”[26] That would be the declaration. He didn’t say, “It was a great talk.” He didn’t say, “They’re nice people.” He said, “The glory of God was there. It almost stopped the service, I think, at one point.” But listen: nobody’s going to fall on their face before God if our attempt at the worship of God is little more than a one hour in all the hours that are ours in a week.

You see, it’s our theology which must drive mission. Our theology. Otherwise, why go to the end of the earth? What would you do that for? Psalm 108:5: “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!”

Psalm 96, the psalmist helps us with all of this. We draw this to a close. Listen: “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!” This is not just an esoteric interest, no.

Sing to the Lord, bless his name;
 tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
 his marvelous works among all the peoples!

Why?

For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
 he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
 but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
 strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.[27]

I think it was C. T. Studd who, in listening to these things being expounded, he said to himself in an amazing piece of spiritual logic, “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice that I could ever make for him could ever be too great.”[28] There is an inherent logic in that. It’s theological: “This is who God is, and this is what God has done. And his glory is to be extended to the heavens.”

So why is it that the work of missions is largely contained—that 95 percent of the people who know Jesus are stuck in the United States of America rather than out in the world? Oh, a few strange people might go.

Every so often, now, I keep meeting people; I say, “I haven’t seen you in a while.”

He said, “Oh, no, I retired.”

I said, “You did what?”

He said, “Yeah, I retired.”

I said, “How old are you?”

He said, “Sixty-one.”

I said, “Man, I should get a job like you!”

And I met another guy just outside Heartwood in Chagrin; he told me, “Yeah, I didn’t see you.”

“Oh,” I said, “I’m usually in Starbucks.”

I said, “How do you keep doing that?”

He said, “Because I’m retired.”

“Oh, well, how old are you?”

“I’m sixty-two.”

Wow! What are you going to do with the rest of your life? What are you planning on doing with the second half, for goodness’ sake? You just going to sit in Starbucks, check your stocks, sit around?

Listen: those of you who are mature and are vertical and taking nourishment, there are opportunities for you throughout the world in all kinds of ways. And the reason you would be there is because of who God is and why God came and what God desires. That’s the great privilege. But listen: you will never lead souls heavenward unless climbing yourself. You needn’t be very high up, but you must be climbing.

And if you doubt what God is doing, then just go to the final book of the Bible and listen as the writer gives it to us:

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

And the angels, à la Psalm 29:

And all the angels were standing around the throne … around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever!”[29]

So “let the amen sound from his people again.”

Father, thank you for your Word. Thank you for the privilege, Lord, of the morning hour. Thank you that we can be here. Thank you that we don’t stay here. We go out into our little worlds. But when we’re together, we want, Lord, to ascribe glory to your name. And we pray that you will quicken us, show us your glory, visit us. For we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


[1] Isaac Watts, “A Psalm for the Lord’s Day” (1719). Emphasis added.

[2] Jude 3 (ESV).

[3] Jude 21 (ESV).

[4] See Jude 20.

[5] Philippians 1:6 (ESV).

[6] 1 Corinthians 8:5–6 (ESV).

[7] 2 Timothy 1:13–14 (paraphrased).

[8] Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, Jesse Reeves, “How Great Is Our God” (2004).

[9] Joachim Neander, trans. Catherine Winkworth, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (1680, 1863).

[10] 1 Samuel 4:22 (paraphrased).

[11] John 1:14 (ESV).

[12] John Ellerton, “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord, Is Ended” (1870).

[13] See Ephesians 1:11.

[14] Horatius Bonar, “Not What I Am, O Lord” (1861).

[15] Psalm 29:1–2 (ESV).

[16] Henry Francis Lyte, “Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven” (1834).

[17] Psalm 19:1 (ESV).

[18] See Romans 1:20.

[19] John Oxenham, The Hidden Years (New York: David McKay, 1925), 21–23.

[20] George Wade Robinson, “I Am His, and He Is Mine” (1876).

[21] Psalm 29:10–11 (ESV).

[22] John Samuel Bewley Monsell, “O Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness” (1863).

[23] John R. W. Stott, The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1994), 315.

[24] John 12:43 (ESV).

[25] 1 Corinthians 14:23–25 (ESV).

[26] 1 Corinthians 14:25 (ESV).

[27] Psalm 96:1–6 (ESV).

[28] Quoted in Norman P. Grubb, C. T. Studd: Athlete and Pioneer (1933; repr., Harrisburg, PA: Evangelical Press, 1943), 145. Paraphrased.

[29] Revelation 7:9–12 (ESV).

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

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

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

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