January 24, 2016
How do we come to know God? Though some may seek Him within themselves or outside in the natural world, the Bible teaches that we can only come to God through His provision in Christ. In this message from Ephesians 1, Alistair Begg explains the redemption that Jesus accomplished for us by His sacrifice. As we recognize that we cannot redeem ourselves, the riches of God’s grace draw our hearts to trust in what Christ has done.
Sermon Transcript: Print
I invite you to turn to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians and to chapter 1, and we’ll read again from verse 1. Ephesians 1:1:
“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
“To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”
We say from our hearts, open our eyes that we may behold wonderful things in your Word. Amen.
Well, the verses to which I should like to draw your attention, both this morning and then this evening, are verses 7, 8, 9, and 10. And if the first service is anything to go by, we will not get very far this morning.
In these six chapters which make up Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we have, as we observed last Sunday morning, the distilled essence of the Christian faith. The opening chapter, particularly up and through verse 14, is essentially a doxology. Paul is just almost running away with himself as, in one elongated sentence without punctuation in the Greek, he extols the wonder of God’s amazing love and provides us with, as someone has said, a symphony of salvation.
In fact, as we have read it both here and presumably on our own, it will be apparent to us that it almost defies our ability to structure it. It’s possible always to lay down some kind of structured outline on the text—and often, as preachers, we spend more time on that than we should—but there are times also where we just have to allow ourselves, if you like, to be swept along in the current of the text itself. And I think here in Ephesians 1, we’re in one of these places.
In terms of the totality of the letter, one of my friends sent me a text very early this morning from Scotland saying, “How about this for an outline of Ephesians: you have the wealth of the church in the first three chapters, you have the walk of the church in terms of its responsibilities, and then you have the warfare of the church when you get to chapter 6.” And I thought that was jolly helpful. We could even summarize that, and in the first three chapters, we have the wealth that is ours in Christ, and in chapters 4, 5, and 6, we are then confronted with the work that we are called to do for Christ. Certainly, as we saw last time, the first three chapters provide us with the nature of our belief and chapters 4, 5, and 6 with the responsibility of our behavior.
We noted last time that that order is very important. We referred to it as the grammar of the gospel—that the indicatives come before the imperatives, and that everything that Paul is calling his readers to do is dependent upon everything he tells us God has already done. That is a vitally important principle, not only in Ephesians but throughout the whole grammar of the gospel. It is on the strength of what God has accomplished in Christ that he then calls us to become actually what we are.
Last Sunday evening we found ourselves in verses 3, 4, 5, and 6, essentially swept up—caught up—in the wonder of God’s electing love. And as we spent some time on the doctrine of election and predestination, we reminded ourselves that this is a biblical doctrine—that this is not something that was invented by Augustine or by Calvin, but rather it is that which we find as we turn to the Bible together. And we began last Sunday evening to see that all God gives us, he gives us in the Lord Jesus Christ, and all that he does for us, he does for us in Christ . And if you allow yourself just to scan the verses before you, you will see that this is a recurring emphasis on the part of Paul. A famous book on Paul is entitled A Man in Christ, and Paul was amazed that he had been placed into Christ, and that comes across in all of his writings, and supremely so here in these opening verses of Ephesians.
We sang last Sunday evening, and I think with a great sense of joy,
Loved before the dawn of time,
Chosen by my Maker,
Hidden in my Saviour,
I am His and He is mine,
Cherished for eternity.
In fact, those truths are so important that if you missed last Sunday evening’s study—and that involves about two thousand of you, I’m sorry to say, maybe more—if you missed last Sunday evening’s study, then you may like to go online and pick it up there, because it is of essential importance that you, and we together, understand the biblical emphasis on God’s initiative in our salvation. The biblical emphasis on God’s initiative in our salvation.
Think about it: How does a person actually become a Christian? What is involved? How can a person actually know God? How can someone say that they know God? Who is God? What is God? How is God to be known?
Now, the Reformers—Calvin and Luther, in particular—did us a great service by pointing out the way in which the God who is, in one sense, hidden in his essential being made himself or disclosed himself, placed himself within the orb of our ability to lay hold upon him. Both of them pointed out that God in his essential being is beyond the realm of our natural experience and is beyond the realm of our speculative logic. All right?
So in other words, God is not known by looking inside of ourselves, as is a contemporary view in the spiritualities of our day: “God, whatever he is, is included in nature, is part of nature. We are part of nature. Therefore, if we will look inside of ourselves, we will somehow or another be able to meet him.” Not so, says the Bible. “No,” says somebody else, “that’s not how you do it. It’s not experiential, it is simply investigative. If you are clever enough and try hard enough and you are logical enough, you will finally be able to meet God.” But in actual fact, there is no intellectual road to a knowledge of God. Don’t misunderstand; that doesn’t mean that if you’re an intellectual you will never meet God. It simply means that whether you’re an intellectual or, like me, a dummy, you will meet God in the exact same way and at the exact same place. Because in his essential being he is not known in those ways, but he is actually known not by speculation but by revelation—the disclosure of himself. And he has made himself known through his Word written—the Bible—and through his Word living—his Son. Therefore, if anyone is ever to come to a knowledge of God—to a saving knowledge of God—it will be down those two pathways. It will involve discovering God in his Word and in his Son. In fact, it is indispensable that that is the case if we are to come to know him.
David Wells, who is wonderful at this kind of thing, has a purple passage along these lines in one of his books that I want to read to you. It’s fairly brief, but it is wonderful. He writes:
There is an invisible boundary between [God] and [ourselves], both with … his being and with respect to what we know. We cannot cross [the] boundary to know him savingly. He is not found in our deepest self. He is outside the range of our intuitive radar. … We are [in fact] alienated from him and shut out from his fellowship and knowledge. We cannot access him on our own terms [or in] our own [time].
No, it is he who must cross [the] boundary if we are to know him. … And this he has done
finish the sentence,
“And this he has done in Christ.”
It was for that reason that last Sunday night, before we thought about the wonder of God’s electing love, we said, “Let’s make sure that we realize that of all the things that God does by means of his prevenient grace, the one thing that he doesn’t do for us is believe for us.” We must believe. And I took a moment to do what I’m going to do again now, because as I say, the vast majority were not present to think this out. And we simply rehearsed the way in which—and this is not a mechanism, this is simply an observation—the way in which these constituent elements will be involved in some way in a person coming to a knowledge of God.
First, that as the truth of the good news of God crossing the boundary in the person of Christ—as the good news of the gospel—as that truth is presented, the Holy Spirit convinces us of its truth. All right? So in other words, we are brought along to some event like this. We are interested or disinterested bystanders, we are not impressed with this, we didn’t like that, and so on. But somewhere along the line, as the Bible is being taught, there’s like a knock at the back of our hearts or the back of our heads, and just this little note is sounded. And it is the sounding note of the Holy Spirit, who says, “You know what? This is stuff is true.”
At the same time, if God is at work, the truths of the gospel, when they are recognized, then become applied to ourselves. So we don’t simply say, “Oh, this is a very interesting religious notion about salvation, and I’m sure it is very helpful to somebody, and probably to some who are here today.” But, no, it goes beyond that. All of a sudden, now we find ourselves saying, “This actually refers to me.”
Then, when we are convinced of our sin, the Holy Spirit makes it clear to us that the only remedy for it is in the person and work of Jesus . In trusting that, the result is that our faith then rests not on the wisdom of man but in the power of God, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians. And then when we tell others about it—that God has reached into our hearts and saved us—we’re able to tell them that he has done this entirely without any reference to our merits. Because many of our friends will say, “Oh, well, what was it that you did?” Or, “How did you achieve that?” Or, “How did you make yourself a Christian?” If you are a Christian, you know you didn’t make yourself a Christian. You know that you were made one—not against your will, but your will suddenly was constrained.
And then when you read, for example, “he predestined us”—verse 5—“for adoption as [his] sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved,” you say to yourself, “That’s exactly it. I don’t understand the depth of it all, but I do know this: that I have been numbered in his family, and I have been granted the privileges of being a son of God, and this has been given to me”—notice the final phrase of verse 6—“in the Beloved.” “In the Beloved.”
In other words, there is no knowledge of this apart from being “in the Beloved”—apart from being “in Christ.” “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” If anyone remains outside of Christ, he is not a new creation. There’s an inherent logic in this. And it is “in the Beloved.” Who’s the Beloved? The Beloved is the Lord Jesus. And Jesus steps forward to be baptized by John, and the voice pierces the heavens and says, “This is my beloved Son, [in] whom [I’m] well pleased.” Jesus goes on the Mount of Transfiguration, and again the voice from heaven, the voice of the Father: “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.”
The love of the Father for the Son from all of eternity is beyond our ability to comprehend. Which is what makes it so staggering when you hear Jesus praying—John 17, in his High Priestly Prayer—and he’s praying to the Father that those who are his followers may be one even as he and the Father are one, and then he goes on to say, “so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” The love of God for you, if you are a believer, is the same as the love that he had from all of eternity for his Son. That is the extent of it, that is the vastness of it, that is the incomprehensible nature of it.
And some of you are here this morning, you’ve said, “I don’t know that anybody loves me. I don’t know that I’m loved in my earthly father,” or whatever it might be. Life breaks down like that; we understand that. But if you are in Christ, you’re
Loved with [an] everlasting love,
[You’re] led by grace that love to know;
[The] Spirit, breathing from above,
[He has] taught [us this] is so.
This is the wonder of it.
And in verses 3 to 6 we looked at how it is stated so clearly that the believer has been chosen by God the Father. Beginning in verse 7 and through, essentially, verse 12, Paul is explaining how we are redeemed by the work of the Son. And in verse 7, you will notice, it begins again, “In him we have redemption.” And this seventh verse is really, I could say, the heart of the gospel—the heart of the gospel.
If you turn just for a moment to Exodus chapter 6—and if you rustle your pages, then I’ll know that you’re still awake—Exodus chapter 6, and just remind ourselves of the context. There are many words that Paul uses to describe the wonder of God’s work in bringing a people to himself. One is justification, which we sang about, one is redemption, another is reconciliation, and so on. But here the picture is of being set free by the paying of a price. And in Exodus 6:5, “I have heard,” says God,
the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, “I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the [burden] of the Egyptians.”
And you will remember how God, then, institutes the Passover and instructs his people to ensure that they take a lamb without blemish, and that they kill that lamb, and that they take the blood from that lamb and they mark the lintels and the doorposts of their home so that when the angel of death passes through in God’s inevitable judgment, he will pass over the firstborn in that home, who will live because the lamb has died. And the work of God in redeeming his people out of the bondage of Egypt and the slavery that was theirs in Pharaoh is pointing forward eventually to the great work of redemption to which Paul now refers. He says that which was foreshadowed in the release of the people from Egypt has now been brought to its great fruition in the work of Christ upon the cross.
They were enslaved to Pharaoh, but we are enslaved to Satan, to sin, and to death. And what has happened, says Paul, is that Christ has justly purchased us back to God, and he has done so at the cost of the shedding of his own blood. You remember when John the Baptist sees Jesus on the other side of the valley, he says to his followers, “If you look over here, behold, the Lamb of God, who bears away the sin of the world!” In other words, Jesus is the great Passover Lamb.
Now, I’m not going to work this all the way through, but let me just give you one other thought in relationship to this. When in the Mount of Transfiguration, to which we’ve already referred—and I’m referencing, now, Luke’s record of it, in Luke chapter 9—Jesus is there on the Mount of Transfiguration with Peter and John. He was talking with Moses and Elijah; it was just an amazing encounter. “And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” It’s very interesting.
Actually, that word there is “spoke about his exodus, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” What did he accomplish at Jerusalem? He bridged the gap. Penetrated the barrier. Bore the punishment. Bore the wrath of God. Took the judgment that sinners deserve. Fulfilled what he had said: “I didn’t come to be served but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for many.” You see, it was here that redemption was accomplished. And it is in a moment of time that that redemption, which has been accomplished once and for all, is then applied in the life of the believer.
You see, Christ didn’t come to tell us what we have to do to make ourselves Christians. We can’t make ourselves Christians. He didn’t come to tell us what we have to do; he came to do something. He came to act on our behalf. And so, when you look on the cross, you realize that the forgiveness that is offered is free to us, but it is costly to God —that Christ on the cross absorbs the judgment of God. God’s character is such that in his holiness, sin must be judged. In the cross, the Lord Jesus Christ provides in himself the Lamb, and in the cross, he bears the punishment that rightly falls on sin.
So, if we are in Christ, then he has borne our penalty. If we are in Christ, then he is at work, enabling us to deal with sin’s power in our lives as it makes appeals to us and causes us to trespass and to wander away. And one day, because we’re in Christ, we will be saved from sin’s very presence. Those are the three tenses of salvation as we teach them in Sunday school: we have been saved from sin’s penalty, we are being saved from sin’s power, and one day we will be saved from sin’s presence.
The one thing that we dare not think is that somehow or another God in the cross is simply overlooking sin—that somehow or another the message from the cross is, “Hey, forget about it. It doesn’t matter.” It does matter. It mattered enough for God from all of eternity to plan to save all who are in Christ by the death of his only Son. That’s why we sang together,
My Lord, what love is this
That pays so dearly
That I, the guilty one
May go free!
No wonder Paul trips over himself with this! Think about his life. He was an arch-opponent of Jesus. He was committed to the destruction of the followers of Jesus. And now listen to him: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” How does this happen? How does this happen? He was a very religious fellow. He was very convinced.
I’m not going to read it now, but I have a letter with me here that—I can read it this evening—of a very religious fellow. And it’s his testimony of how God opened his eyes, to see that all of his righteousness and all of his religion and all of his keeping and all of his doing didn’t matter one iota when it came to an understanding and knowledge of God.
You see, what Paul is saying is that before God could forgive our sins, he had to deal, first of all, thoroughly, and once and for all, with the problem. And that’s the cross. You see, the message of the cross, the message of Christianity, takes us to a cross. It’s a bloody mess, isn’t it? It’s a dreadful scene. I mean, what kind of religion has this as its epicenter? Who would invent this?
And it’s foolishness to people. If you’re here this morning and you’re unbelieving and you’re skeptical, even as I speak to you, as my words fall upon your ears, you’re going, “I can’t believe this guy is on about this! I’ve never heard anything so crazy in all of my life—that God somehow or another, in the death of his Son, has dealt with the barrier that exists between me and him from all of eternity.”
But the fact is that it’s foolishness to us, and it’s also painful to us. Because when you look on the cross, if the Holy Spirit is at work at all in your heart, you find yourself saying with one of the thieves on the cross, who, remember, looks at Jesus from his position on the cross, and he shouts to his friend on the other side, “Hey! We are up here getting what we deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then why would a sinless man die? For sinners! And that’s why the cross is so difficult. Because it confronts us with the reality of our sin. It unmasks us, it exposes us, and it says to us, “The man on that cross is the Savior, and furthermore, is the Savior that you need.”
The reason that some of us today are not in Christ is on account of the fact that we’ve never realized, or we refuse to accept, that our sins need to be forgiven. You want a nice, cozy Christianity, a nice thing to bring up your children, a kinda nice place to go for an hour on a Sunday and do all these things. That’s fine, that’s lovely. But that’s not salvation. No, the very epicenter of it is this Galilean carpenter,
Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
[And] in my place condemned He stood;
[And He] sealed my pardon with His blood.
… [He’s my] Savior!
He didn’t come to judge the world, He didn’t come to blame,
He didn’t only come to seek; it was to save He came.
And when we call Him Saviour, then we call Him by His name.
Tonight, I hope we can sing that song,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;
Because in Christ we’re delivered from the judgment.
Be of sin the double cure,
Cleanse me from its guilt and power.
We’re delivered from the bondage of sin. And how is this? Well, it’s “according to the riches of his grace.” “In him we have redemption,” it is “through his blood.” The need for it is because we’re sinners; the nature of it is “through his blood.” It’s “the forgiveness of our trespasses,” and it’s “according to the riches of his grace.”
Well, with this we will stop. Paul is very fond of this notion of riches; he has already mentioned it, and he’s coming back to it here, isn’t he? “His glorious grace,” in verse 6; “the riches of his grace,” now in verse 7, “which he [has] lavished upon us.” He’s lavished upon us. It’s a wonderful thought, isn’t it? In other words, God’s grace is torrential. God’s grace is extravagant. God’s grace is like the snowfall on the East Coast. It is so unbelievably overwhelming that nobody could escape its clutches, its impact. He lavishes it on us.
Isn’t that the way you want to give a gift to your loved one—to lavish it? And not somehow or another to squeak it out: “Oh, here. You know, I suppose you gotta get something. I had to get you something.” Some of us have a view of God like that. It’s not formed by the Bible; we’re thinking completely wrongly—some notion of reluctance on the part of God. There’s no reluctance on the part of God. He loved from all of eternity. He is love.
Thomas Goodwin, speaking of the riches of God’s grace and its availability, says, “Thou needest not bring one penny. God is rich enough.” “Thou needest not bring one penny.” Archbishop Temple says, “I bring nothing to it save the sin from which I need to be redeemed.” Goodwin comes from it from the other side and he says, “You don’t need even to bring a penny.” People say, “I’m coming over to your house. What do you want me to bring?” Absolutely nothing. “I want to trust in Jesus. What do I need to bring?” Absolutely nothing.
I remember years ago, in the early ’80s, I had the privilege of leading a lady to the cross of Christ—an afternoon on Fairmount Boulevard. And as we knelt down in the room—she was a very prosperous lady, I found out afterwards, and she came from a very religious background. And we went through John Stott’s little booklet Becoming a Christian. And as soon as we had said amen and she stood up, she said, “Now, I must write you a check.” I said, “We’re gonna have to start this whole story all over again.”
Isn’t it great when you go for lunch and you’re rummaging around somewhere for a dollar or two, and the person says, “I’ve got you covered”? That’s what God says: “I’ve got you covered.” He’s not saying there’s no payment to be made. He’s saying, “I’m making the payment. I’m paying for you out of the riches of my grace.” Actually, “according to the riches of his grace,” not just out of the riches of his grace. If you’ve got somebody who is wonderfully wealthy and they wanted to give you a gift, then make sure they give it according to their riches and not out of their riches. ’Cause out of the riches you may only get a five-dollar bill, but if they give according to their riches, it’ll be a good day.
Spurgeon goes off on one of his wonderful runs when he comes to this—and I’ll stop here—preaching many years ago now to his congregation in London. And as he comes to this phrase “the riches of his grace,” he just goes on one of his Spurgeonic runs, which are just so wonderful. I’ll just articulate it for you. He says to them, “Listen, the riches of God’s grace are beyond calculation.” And then, I think in an extemporaneous way, he says, “For example, the riches of his grace are above all limits. All limits. Height, depth, breadth, and so on—above all limits. Above all observation.” He says, “You stand at the River Thames, and you think you see it, but you only see a tiny part of it. It goes on and on, and so on.” He says, “Such is the grace of God. It is beyond,” he says, “all of our ways of action.” All of our ways of action. “We may forgive but we can’t forget. God both forgives and forgets. It is beyond all of our understanding. It is beyond all of our sins. In fact,” he says to his congregation, “you cannot sin as much as God can forgive.”
You’re here this morning, you say, “You know, I have sinned myself out of God.” No you haven’t. No you haven’t. “Because you cannot sin more than he can forgive. You cannot exhaust the riches of his grace. I sin as a man in my limitations; he forgives as God without limitations. The riches of his grace are greater even than all of his promises. Because his promises, his grace or his mercy, is the father to the promises. His grace is greater than all that his children have already received.” There’s more! There’s more! More! Inexhaustible riches of grace! His grace is beyond all measure.
Well, you’re here this morning, and you’re discouraged, you’re overwhelmed, you’re depressed—whatever it might be. Well, cast yourself, throw yourself off the deep end into Ephesians chapter 1. Just throw yourself in. Allow yourself to be swept up in the current of God’s eternal love for you in Jesus.
You’re here as a nonbeliever this morning, and you’ve been trying to figure it; you’re looking into yourself to find God. He’s not in there. You know that he exists by conscience, by creation, and now the Holy Spirit is at work in you saying, “Have you read this book? Have you considered this? Do you see who Jesus is here?” Well then, just come to him! Believe in him. Rest in the fact that his love is vast beyond all measure.
And a German boy, born in Mecklenburg, moved to Iowa, lived in Iowa, finished his days in 1953, in Pasadena, California. He was a bit of a poet, and he wrote different songs and bits and pieces. His best-known song has a closing stanza that’s a real kicker. And he never wrote it, really. He acknowledged that; he wrote the first two stanzas and the chorus, but the third stanza came as a result of a poem that was scrawled on the wall of an asylum—a poem that had first of all been written by a Jewish rabbi. And this fellow took that poem and that context and he wrote this:
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
I say to you again, you go throw yourself into the depths of God’s mercy—he elects, he adopts, he redeems, he cherishes, he provides, he never quits—being confident of this, “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion [in] the day of Jesus Christ.” And he has lavished this upon us, “the riches of his grace”—the next little phrase to which we’ll come later on—“in all wisdom and understanding,” so that we might know “the mystery of his will.” It’s fantastic!
Father, thank you. Thank you for a love that is vast beyond all measure, like a mighty ocean. Lord, some of us are here, and we’ve got such warped views of you because of things that have happened to us in our lives; we have concluded that you are just a sort of projection of our earthly fathers, who, perhaps, have let us down, or we just have a difficult time. So, Lord, assure us that we are loved from before the dawn of time. Help us to come and to lay hold upon your great and precious promises. Convince us of this, that we’ll go out from here absolutely sure that, even if we did our best job at singing or proclaiming this, we could never quite magnify your grace and goodness to the degree that would do it justice. But help us anyway, because we want to. And we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 See Psalm 119:18.
 John A. Mackay, God’s Order: The Ephesian Letter and This Present Time (New York: Macmillan, 1953), 75, quoted in John R. W. Stott, The Message of Ephesians: God’s New Society, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1979), 32.
 See James S. Stewart, A Man in Christ: The Vital Elements of St. Paul’s Religion (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1935).
 Stuart Townend, “Loved before the Dawn of Time (Salvation’s Song)” (2007).
 David F. Wells, What Is the Trinity? (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2012), 11–12.
 See 1 Corinthians 2:5.
 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV).
 Matthew 3:17 (ESV). See also Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22.
 See Matthew 17:1–8; Mark 9:2–8; Luke 9:28–36.
 See John 17:11.
 John 17:23 (ESV).
 George W. Robinson, “I Am His, and He Is Mine” (1876).
 Exodus 6:5–7 (ESV).
 See Exodus 12:3–13.
 John 1:29 (paraphrased).
 Luke 9:30–31 (ESV).
 Matthew 20:28 (paraphrased). See also Mark 10:45.
 Graham Kendrick, “Amazing Love (My Lord, What Love Is This)” (1989).
 Luke 23:41 (paraphrased).
 Philip P. Bliss, “Hallelujah! What a Savior!” (1875).
 Dora Greenwell, “A Good Confession,” in Songs of Salvation (London, 1874), 27.
 Augustus M. Toplady, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me” (1776).
 Thomas Goodwin, The Works of Thomas Goodwin, vol. 1, Containing an Exposition of the First Chapter of the Epistle to the Ephesians (1861; repr., Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2009), 125.
 William Temple, Nature, Man and God (London: Macmillan, 1949), 401. Paraphrased.
 C. H. Spurgeon, “The Exceeding Riches of Grace,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 28, no. 1665, 343. Paraphrased.
 Spurgeon. Paraphrased.
 Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, Frederick M. Lehman, “The Love of God” (1917).
 Philippians 1:6 (ESV).
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.