Our culture promotes high fashion, expensive jewelry, and an avalanche of beauty treatments and anti-aging products. In stark contrast, the Bible teaches that these things are perishable, but that true, unfading beauty can be found in a gentle and quiet spirit. Alistair Begg discusses the qualities of inner beauty and the difference a godly woman can make on her husband, children, and community.
Sermon Transcript: Print
What I’d like to do is give you just a closing word that says something about marriage and something about ministry. Because a lot of what we said in the opening sessions had to do with very foundational things, and obviously, your questions tackled many of the practicalities. And I didn’t really do a tremendous job on that, but time is limiting, and so is my ability. And so, go in the bookstore before you leave. There’s lots of really good books in there, and the staff is good, and they can answer your questions too.
Tell you what: if you put your finger in Titus and also in 1 Peter 3, then you’ll be ready for action. And we’ll do it that way around, shall we? We’ll do a word or two just about these questions of marriage, which I said I would address later on, and then just a word or two about the opportunities and responsibilities for ministry.
All right. First Peter 3. You will see, if you have the Bible, that it’s got a heading there, “Wives and Husbands.” And there’s only one verse given to the husbands; it’s verse 7. It’s a really heavy-duty verse, though: “[You should] be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat with them with respect as the weaker partner.” That doesn’t mean “the inferior partner”; it just means that constitutionally, God has given this protective responsibility to the husband. That doesn’t mean it isn’t reciprocal; it doesn’t mean his wife isn’t often his protector. We know that to be true, all of us, as men. But nevertheless, in the purposes of God, we are supposed to step up and exercise some kind of umbrella care for our wives as heirs with us together of the precious gift of life. We’re absolutely equal before God. We’re heirs together of the grace of life, and our partnership in the gospel is not confused in any way by the fact that God has entrusted, in our oneness, the responsibility of leadership to the man and the responsibility of submission to the wife.
The fact that God the Father is over Christ and that Christ submits to God the Father and that the Spirit submits to God the Son in no way is expressive of any sense of inferiority. Every part of the Trinity, every member of the Trinity, is coequal and coeternal. And the role that is exercised by Christ is exercised out of a sense of a God-ordained submission within the framework of the Father’s headship. And in the same way, the lady is to function in such a fashion so as to have an impact within the family framework.
The picture that is in mind here is clearly one in which the husband is an unbeliever. The terminology that is used in these opening six verses suggests that the husband may not simply be indifferent to his wife’s faith, but he may actually be actively hostile to it. And the question that Peter is addressing is that very practical question: If you have, perhaps, become a Christian, and your husband hasn’t, and you’re living now within the framework of the home, what is to be done? And the answer that Peter gives here is that the impact is going to come not through your husband’s ears but through your husband’s eyes. The responsibility that is entrusted to the wife is not to ensure that her husband hears what she believes but that he sees how she behaves.
It’s a phenomenally important distinction. The great temptation for those of us who like to talk is that we think just by talking more and more and more, we will be more effective, when we miss the potential of eloquent silence. And it’s particularly pressing upon a wife who earnestly wants to share everything with her husband: “This is what I learned. This is what I discovered. Did you know this about Jesus? Did you know what I discovered in the Bible today?” And so often, our well-meaning attempts are just a massive turn-off to our husbands. They want us to be quiet, they want us to have conversations with them about all kinds of things, but they didn’t want to have us in the car as a kind of surrogate Billy Graham. They don’t want us in there in place of the tape player, in place of the pastor, in place of the missionary, in place of the evangelist. They just want their wives in the car. And, of course, the wife’s saying, “Oh, but there’s so much I need to get across. There’s so much material I need to convey. He doesn’t understand this, he doesn’t know that. Perhaps if I had made him listen to this,” and so on. And largely, it just drives him completely nuts.
So, “instead of doing that,” he said, “why don’t you just be a walking testimony. Why don’t you be a living testimony to your husband?” And how will this then be shown? Well, first of all, he says, you can win them over without talk by their behavior. So, “Let them see your behavior.” What? Your “purity.” Your “purity” and the “reverence of your lives.” Reverential behavior, not taking place in a vacuum but taking place in such a fashion that the contrasts of verses 3 and 4 become very apparent. The contrasts are between the outward and the inward, between that which is externally attached and that which is internally produced, between that which is loud and that which is quiet, between changing styles and unfading beauty. And so he says, “I want to tell you that your beauty shouldn’t come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be the inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and a quiet spirit.”
Now, the literal force of what Peter is giving here as a warning is pressed out of context by lots of people. If we were to approach this in the wrong way, in the wrong spirit of interpretation, then we could actually make this verse to say that the wearing of clothing is prohibited as an outward adornment: “Your beauty should not be from the wearing of clothes,” or “the wearing of fine clothes”—which, of course, would give new meaning to the idea of Plain Jane. That certainly would be a big distinction.
What is being proposed here is simply the important distinction that is so necessary in our culture, as it was in his: the constant bombardment of a world that says, “If your hair is like this, your jewelry’s like that, your clothes are like this,” and so on, “then you have the potential for this,” and there is a great opportunity for enslavement. “Instead,” says Peter, “I don’t think that that is the plan for you.” And if a mother models this, then the daughters can follow it. If she doesn’t, then the daughters will largely do the same. I mean, just look around you. If, you know, if a mother has any measure of impact on her children, then her girls will become like her. You’ll notice that the way they do their hair, the way they pluck their eyebrows or don’t, the way they put on makeup or the way they don’t put on makeup, whatever else it is, there is a great potential just for the copycat syndrome.
In the same way with a son and his father. The way that a man walks, a son will largely walk that way. The way he sits in a chair and so on, the way he greets and reacts to people—most of that is learned behavior. And therefore, the impact is not simply the impact that comes from the wife to the husband, but it’s the impact that comes from the wife to the child, and it’s the impact that comes from the wife to the community. And so this picture of inner loveliness as opposed to some kind of cosmetic, externalized, manufactured beauty.
So much of a husband’s ego is wrapped up in what his wife puts on display. That’s part of the question that was asked earlier—you know, “He wants me to wear this,” or “He wants me to wear that.” Oftentimes that has to do with a perversity on the part of the man. And often he buys things for his wife not because he really is so phenomenally pleased for her to have them but because he actually gets vicarious pleasure out of knowing she has them and knowing that when people see that she has them, it reflects upon him as the great provider, you see? And Peter says, “You need to resist all of that.”
And husbands are supposed to nurture their wives in such a way that wives will value the priceless jewelry of an “unfading beauty [and] of a gentle and [a] quiet spirit.” That shouldn’t, incidentally, be confused with a certain personality type—somebody who is naturally diffident or has an uneasy reserve about things or some kind of affected piety. It’s actually a supernatural quality that is cultivated in all kinds of personalities. So somebody may be very extrovert, but they possess the imperishable jewel of a gentle and a quiet spirit. Somebody else may be far more introverted, but the same thing comes through. It’s a quality. It’s a supernatural quality. It’s a Spirit-ordained thing that God manufactures and produces. It is nurtured and helped along the line by the way in which a woman thinks about herself and the way in which she deports herself and in the way in which she actually frames her whole external personae.
And he says, “If you want an example of this”—this is actually verse 5: “the way [that] holy women [in] the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.” “Oh,” you say, “well, I don’t really want to be like some old holy woman from the Old Testament! Goodness gracious, I don’t want to be like that!” You mean you don’t want to be like Sarah? Hm? Sarah was a cover girl. Sarah was a model. Don’t you want to be her daughter? “No, she wasn’t. Where’d you get that from?” Well, she must have been some good-looking woman, for at seventy-five, you know, the king was trying to pick her up. How many women at seventy-five have you seen, you know, some king who can pick any woman up is trying to date some guy called Abraham’s wife? What do you want some old Sarah for, for goodness’ sake? She’s some Sarah, I’ll tell ya!
So she used to call her husband “lord.” “Oh, well, that’s her out. Definitely she’s out! No, I’m not doing that!” “Like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master”? You say, “Is that it?” Nah, nah. I think if she called him “master,” she called him “master” under her breath. Or when he was out! She’s not going to call him straight to his face. I mean, he may get carried away with that kinda thing. But there was something there. There was esteem, affection, devotion, everything else. However you put it together, it’s a really fabulous quality.
Do your grandchildren look at your rings? Your granddaughters? Do they ever sit with you in the car, Grandma, and say, “What are you going to do with that bracelet?” Or do they ever just say stuff like, “You know, I really, really like that ring that you have. Can I try that on?” And already, if you have more than three or four and more than three or four grandchildren, in your mind, without any morbid way, you already earmarked some of them. You know that she likes that particular stone, and you’ve already made provision for that. And that’s nice.
But you know, the best jewelry you can leave to your grandchildren, the most precious jewel that you can pass on down the heritage line is the jewel of a gentle and a quiet spirit. Not always moaning and groaning at Grandpa: “Every time I go to Grandpa’s house, Grandma’s always bugging him. She’s always saying, ‘Nyeh.’ She’s always giving him this. Poor old Grandpa! He just goes out and smokes just to get away from her. He doesn’t even like smoking, but he smokes.” Well, sure she’ll get your amethyst, but she’s also got your “Nyeh, nyeh, nyeh, nyeh.” That’s a bad memory. Cut it out!
Wives, gravity takes over, right? And you can only hang stuff on stuff for so long. So this is very practical wisdom, isn’t it? This one’ll stay with you right through. The imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit. “Do what[’s] right.” In other words, do what the Scriptures say: “Do[n’t] give way to fear.” What kind of fear? The fear of people saying, “Oh, you’re such a wimpy wife. You ought to be more aggressive. You ought to stand up. You ought to do this, you ought to do that.” No, don’t be tyrannized by that, or by the evidences of the aging process, or captivated by the changing fashions of the day. This jewelry looks really good on wrinkles. This jewelry works irrespective of the height-to-weight ratio. This jewelry goes really well with compassionate eyes and an understanding heart.
And you know, ladies: there isn’t anything you wouldn’t trade for a husband who would love you the way Christ loved the church. You’d go without jewelry for the rest of your life, wouldn’t you? And a husband, too, is going to benefit greatly not from the nagging, persistent preaching of his wife but by her purity, by her reverence, by her unfading gentle beauty.
That’s all I want to say about marriage, and then I’ll spend the final ten minutes saying something about ministry. And we’ll do that by going back to Titus.
Titus. When I thought about this originally, I thought, “Well, I’ll just do the little section here in Titus,” because he’s giving advice—Paul is, to Titus—and telling him what he should say to different people in the church. And I figured “Well, what am I supposed to say to women in the church?” And then I had the answer right here, and so I thought that I would just do this. Well, maybe you wish I had now, but we haven’t, and here we are just to use it as a little PS.
“Teach what is in accord with sound doctrine”—Titus 2:1.
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled … sound in [the] faith, in love and in endurance.
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or [known for hanging around down at the wine bar], but to teach what is good. [When they get a grip of that,] then they can [teach] the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, … to be subject to their husbands, so that [nobody] will malign the word of God.
Now, there are probably no more inflammatory words than these in this age of feminist activism. If ever there was a place for a woman, a young woman, to wrestle with the exhortation of Romans 12 as paraphrased by Phillips—“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould”—it surely is in this realm here. And so the teaching that is supposed to take place— kalodidaskálous, didáskalos, with the emphasis on the front—the word in Greek doesn’t refer to formal instruction; it rather refers to the advice and encouragement that women can give primarily within the framework of the home and by example. That is not to say that women do not have a posture in teaching in a more formalized classroom context. Clearly, they do, and often more so than they’re often given the opportunity to within the framework of church and beyond. But that is not what is being emphasized here. What is being emphasized is the way in which the older women—and if you are twenty-four and you’re dealing with a fourteen-year-old, you fit the older woman category. If you’re twenty-four and the lady’s thirty-eight, she fits the older woman category. And frankly, if you’re eighteen and the girl’s eleven, you fit the older woman category. So the idea of “Well, where are the older women?”—you know, “We gotta go find all these ancient of days people”—no, no! We’ve got older women and younger women, and younger women and older women. You know, choose whichever section you want to be. If you sit in one row, you’re an older woman. If you move forward two rows, you’re a younger woman. So, figure it out. You’re on the receiving end on part. You’re on the giving end on the other part. And what’s supposed to be happening is that within the framework of the home there is to be teaching going on.
I remember on a cold and frosty morning in Scotland my mother used to sing, “This is the way we make the beds.” You sang that over here as well, I’m sure, did you? “This is the way we make the beds, make the beds, make the beds, this is the way we make the beds on a cold and frosty morning.” And I would be there. I just remember that as a small boy. I don’t know whether she really liked making the beds or not, but at least she sang to me at the time. “And this is the way we peel the spuds, peel the spuds, peel the spuds,” and so on. Okay. And I wish she’d been around these last thirty years so she could have an impact on all the people that are precious to me. She’s not, and that’s in the purposes of God. But you are, and therefore, you’ve got a responsibility and a great privilege.
Now, this happens, I think, more by default than by design, but if it’s not happening by default, then it would be good to put a little design into it. What will the package look like? Seven things. I’m going to mention them in, like, seven minutes, and that’s it.
What are the elements in this training program, in this apprenticeship? Well, first of all, they’re to teach—“train,” teach: “Train the younger women to love their husbands.” Philándrous. Andrós is “the man”; phileō is “to love.” Philándrous. Doesn’t that immediately seem incongruous? “Now, why don’t you come over to my house this evening, and at eight o’clock,” says the older lady, “I’m going to give you a little training program on loving your husband.” “Love my husband? That just comes naturally! I just love him.”
No, we understand the love that is the sort of emergence of our emotions, but there is also a love which is the servant of our wills. And the emotion thing can only carry you so long. Unless your love for your husband is a servant of your will, then it’s going to be a significant problem. And the question honestly is—and some have asked the question, and not in the same terminology, but largely so—“How do you love someone who leaves before breakfast, returns after dinner, falls asleep before bedtime? How do you love someone who is far quieter, far louder, far stingier than I ever imagined? How do you love someone who, when something goes bump in the middle of the night, nudges you and says, ‘Would you please go downstairs and see what that is?’”
Well, there’s not a book in the bookstore to help you with that. You need someone that’s been there, says, “Yeah, I’ve got one just like that. I have the same model. I got the exact same thing.” “You do? You mean he’s like that? You mean he ever said that? You mean he left that there? Oh, this is the best day of my life!” But you see, if you don’t interact with the others, if you don’t hang with them, rub with them, share with them, talk with them… This is where the training program takes place.
Secondly, “And they’re going to train you,” we’re going to train or be trained not only to love our husbands but to love our children. Philotéknous. “Oh, there’s no need for that, is there? After all, I’m sitting here,” you say to yourself, “just thinking of those adorable little bundles. Just thinking of my husband going insane with them right now. Thinking if there’s a way that we can go to Starbucks when we leave here till at least seven o’clock. Thinking if there’s any possibility of a couple of other sessions, ad hoc sessions, anything that’ll keep me away from those fiendish, adorable little creatures to which I must return.”
And what do you do when they do that colic thing with the knees up? And it’s three in the morning and you’re just going [imitates grunting sounds]. Right? How are you going to deal with that? What book? “Colic: knees come up to chest…” “I know that!” How are you going to deal with that? You need an older woman! Either she comes over and walks with you—she holds you while you hold it, like this—or she holds him or her, or she gets you through the night, and the next day she helps you out and she says, “You know what? Ours went on for four solid months! That’s the good news. No, that’s the bad news. The good news is it stopped cold turkey one night.” All you need to know at the moment is it will definitely stop: “Just tell me this will stop.” “It’ll stop.” “Okay, it’ll stop.” Not exactly fantastic, but helpful!
So, in the middle of ironing, washing, cleaning, feeding, screaming, opening our lives to somebody who’s just a little bit behind us or beside us on the journey, you’ll be amazed what it will be. I actually think, frankly, if you put a thing in the bulletin that said—any lady that wants to do it—said, you know, “If you are under the age of x and you want to come over to my house on Tuesdays and Thursdays for an hour between such and such just to sit on the couch, hang with me, sit at the kitchen table, ask me any question you want, just sign this list,” I’ll tell you, you’ll get a list longer than your arm. Because the assumption is that this is happening. It’s not happening! It happens intermittently, but it doesn’t really happen happen. And even mothers are not doing it with their children: “Oh, I’m sorry. I checked my Day-Timer, and yeah, we’ll be gone from such and so, and, yeah… But do tell little Jeremy that I send my best to him, and I put a little box together for him.” To which the mother of little Jeremy wants to say to her mother, “I’m going to put a little box together for you—one that’ll fit you.” You say, “She would never say that. Only a cruel person like you would say that.” Oh, yeah, that’s fine. You never have those kind of thoughts? I wish I was just as holy as all of you.
(We only got two minutes and five to go. Five into a hundred twenty is… is twenty-four seconds each.)
Third, “self-controlled.” “Self-controlled.” A necessary requirement not exclusive to younger women. But it shouldn’t be overlooked. A vital requirement for every practical wife and mother. Self-controlled in terms of eating, television watching, sleeping, planning, cooking, organizing, and so on. Self-controlled. It’s part of the fruit of the Spirit. Say, “Well, doesn’t it just come?” The Spirit promises it to us, but he uses means of grace. Somebody help us to be self-controlled. Some of us can have… Well, we’ll just leave it alone. Self-controlled.
Fourthly, “pure.” “Pure.” Purity is a choice, not a gift. Purity’s the product of planning. You plan to be pure, or you plan to be impure. Purity is as a result of saying yes to what we should say yes to and no to what should say no to. Purity demands the scrupulous avoidance of immorality in thinking, reading, viewing, and acting.
Somebody called me this week and said, “I want to thank you that last year you said it was okay for me to go trick-or-treating with my kids.” I forgot that I did, but I remembered once he started to talk to me.
This guy phoned me up, and he was all “Ooo, my kids want to go up the neighborhood and everything, and I know it’s a dreadful, devilish, dreadful, devilish, devilish” and so on.
And I said, “Oh, lighten up, Bill.” I said, “Just go get some candy, and bring it home, and sit on the floor, and turn it into a plus.”
It’s a long silence on the phone. “Are you kidding me?”
I said, “No, I’m not kidding ya.” I said, “I miss it!” I said, “I was the first guy out with the bag. I’m filling the sucker up! I get it as full as I can. I don’t care who’s up the street— demons, goblins, anybody else. Give me the stuff! Put it in the bag! We’d get down, get it all out in front of the fire, eating like pigs.”
So he called me up two days… Actually, he was so excited about it this year that he was a day ahead of the game. He called me up on… When was Halloween, Friday? Thursday? Did we have it on Thursday at our place? So I’m completely messed up. Anyway, he was having it a day early in his mind, and I had to get him calmed down. He was so excited about all this candy he was bringing home. But his wife told him, “Oh, no, we got a thing.” So he was phoning me up for a little bit of reassurance.
And then this is what he said to me: said, “You know, my wife gave me a devil of a time over this thing. But I just told her, ‘You can say what you like about this. I’m going up the street with my kids. We’re visiting the neighbors, they’re giving us apples and candy, and we’re coming home. I don’t see that that’s a problem in comparison to some of the trashy movies that you keep bringing home here from the video store.’”
Now, whether I gave him good advice or bad advice, whether you agree or disagree, it doesn’t matter. That’s not my point at the moment. My point is, the woman hadn’t a leg to stand on. He was able to play the ace: “Do you think working through the bag of candy here on the floor is worse than the impact that you’re having as their mother by sitting here in the evenings and watching this stuff when I’m on road trips?” Purity. It’s a choice, not a feeling. You plan for it.
Incidentally, if we don’t, then when the evil day comes, we’re dead ducks. And let me tell you what the evil day is: the evil day is when temptation, desire, and opportunity meet each other. ’Cause in the providence of God, sometimes temptations have no opportunity. In the providence of God, sometimes opportunities are not met with desire. But it’s an evil day when temptation, desire, and opportunity come walking up the garden path. Then, you see, the purity of life is what keeps us.
“Busy at home.” You say, “Well, don’t start me on that right now. I’ve been enjoying today.” “Busy at home.” Does that involve sacrifice? Sure. Does it bring rebuke? Certainly. Does it challenge the culture? Without doubt. No amount of government money thrown in the direction of daycare centers can compensate for the tragic absenteeism on the part of mothers from the place of their calling. I’m not talking about single moms. I’m not talking about the pressure that demands that of us. I’m not talking about that at all. I’m talking about sitting down and making the choice—choosing to expend all of that nervous energy, all of that physical force out there, because apparently, digging around in somebody’s mouth as a dental hygienist allows you to go to the mall and say, “Well, yes, I’m a dental hygienist.” Well, frankly, good for you. You can’t go and say, “Well, I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I’m looking after these guys.” “Is that all you do?” “Well, clearly, Fanny, you’ve never done it, because if you had, you wouldn’t be asking, ‘Is that all you do?’”
Finally, “kind.” Training them “to be kind.” Interesting word, isn’t it? “We got a training program for kindness. Those of you who would like to become kind people can sign up. It will be taking place in the afternoons on a Tuesday at four.” It’s interesting that kindness comes after keepers at home, doesn’t it? Teach them how to stay at home and, you know, do the job; and then you better actually teach them how to be kind.” Yeah! Because if they stay home, then the danger of growing irritable, cruel, downright vindictive is quite large. Therefore, a little segment on kindness is probably going to fit in very nicely.
Incidentally, here’s where the husband’s sensitivity or lack of sensitivity will be most obvious. How many of us have made a complete royal hash of that, walking in the door as if somehow or another, everything about us and everything we’ve done and everywhere we’ve been and everything we’ve experienced is really now the priority for everyone. “Father is home!” It’s like that guy with the whistle on, you know, Sound of Music? You know, [imitates whistle sound]. “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start.” No. You know, I wish I could try it all again. I wish I could try the whole thing again.
And finally, “subject to their husbands.” What does that mean? Whatever you work it out to mean. It certainly doesn’t mean ordering people around. Just means that every team has to have a captain. Someone has to know on the airliner who the final thing rests with. Someone has to know within the framework of the home and the family, “Where does this eventually hit dead center?” And God says, “Here’s the deal: I’ve given to the man priority, which does not equal superiority; it equals responsibility. And I’m going to hold him to accountability for the way in which he has exercised his role in the framework of that. And I am going to hold the wife accountable for the way in which she has responded to the privileges and opportunities that are hers.”
You know what strikes me more than anything else? I’m listening to myself, and I’m saying, you know, “Who can do this? Who can do this?” You know, if the Christian life was a big bunch of rules and regulations where we said, “Now, look, I want you to work your way through here and try pages 1–9. And then we’ll meet again on Monday, we’ll try 11–16 and so on. And just pull your socks up. Do you best, do your best, do your best, do your best.” It’s such a chronicle of despair, isn’t it? “Come on now, folks, let’s be better, let’s do better. Let’s be better wives. Let’s be better husbands. Let’s be better everything. Let’s see if we can’t get up the ladder here and tip the scales in our favor.”
What do we know? We know at our best we’re unprofitable servants. We know at our best we’re not particularly good husbands. We’re not brilliant wives. We’re okay moms, and we’re not very good dads. And you know what the whole journey’s about? From beginning to the very end, it’s about grace. It’s about the fact that God in his grace and in his mercy comes again and again and again, and he gives to us what we don’t deserve, and he keeps back from us what we do deserve. And he says, “Come on. My grace is sufficient for you. You can do this! Because my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
So if you’re saying to yourself going out the door, “Oh golly, I do feel very weak, I feel inadequate,” then that’s good. That’s actually a great start. Because if dependence upon God is the objective, then weakness is an advantage.
Thank you for listening. Thank you for the opportunity of these sessions. And I’ll give it back to Liese and—make a run for Starbucks. That’s my suggestion! Or whatever it is. There’s still time to go to the mall!
 Romans 12:2 (Phillips).
 See Galatians 5:23.
 Oscar Hammerstein II, “Do-Re-Mi” (1959).
 2 Corinthians 12:9 (paraphrased).
Copyright © 2022, 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.