Because Eli’s sons had rejected God’s sacrifice as the basis for forgiveness, the Lord declared judgment against Eli’s house. Acting as God’s prophet, Samuel presented His message to Eli, experiencing for the first time the immense challenge of conveying God’s word—especially the truth of coming wrath. As Alistair Begg explains, though, God’s word will always accomplish His purposes, whether spoken faithfully by Samuel or fully and finally through the Word of God Himself, Jesus Christ.
Sermon Transcript: Print
I invite you to turn with me to 1 Samuel and to chapter 3. And I will read, as you follow along, essentially the second half of this chapter, picking up virtually from where we left off in the morning hour. Verse 10. First Samuel 3:10:
“And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant hears.’ Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.’
“Samuel lay until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. But Eli called Samuel and said, ‘Samuel, my son.’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ And Eli said, ‘What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.’ So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, ‘It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.’
“And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord. And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.”
Father, thank you for the truth that we’re able to sing because of the fact that you have spoken to us finally and savingly in your Son. Thank you for the glory of the gospel. Thank you for the way in which throughout all of history you have raised up your servants in order that this good news may be made widely known. And thank you for the place that you gave to Samuel. And as we think of him again tonight, we pray that we might think of him and yet beyond him, and ultimately to the wonder of who you are and of all that you are to us in the Lord Jesus Christ himself. For it’s in his name we pray. Amen.
Well, I encourage you to turn again to 1 Samuel. And if you did not have the opportunity to be with us this morning, some of our people here tonight will say, “Well, you dodged one. That was pretty good.” But we need just to rehearse momentarily how we looked at the opening section. We said that in verses 1–3 there was silence because of the rarity of the word of God, and then, in verses 4 and on, how God had broken into that silence in the calling of his servant Samuel. And as soon as the call has been responded to, as Samuel has been guided by Eli eventually to know how to respond properly in the awareness of who it is that’s calling him, both Eli and he now are aware that this is something way beyond them and is divine in its origin. And so Samuel had gone back and once again laid down in his place, and then the Lord spoke to Samuel. And so the pattern is very clear: he told Samuel what he was about to do, and then Samuel was to pass on the word that was given to him.
In other words, when you look at the place of the prophet in the Old Testament, it is the part of God to provide, if you like, the words, and it is the part of the prophet then to speak the words. If you remember that amazing little section in Exodus where Moses recoils from the role of being the prophet of God, and he says to the Lord, “Could you please send somebody else?” And “the anger of the Lord” is “kindled against Moses.” And he refers to Aaron, his brother, and he says, “I know that he can speak well. … He[’s] coming out to meet you, … when he sees you, he[’ll] be glad in his heart.” And then it says in Exodus 4:15, “You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him.” So in other words, in the same way that God puts his word into the mouth of his servant, so in this case Moses was to tell Aaron the word, and then he was to proclaim it.
Now, the striking thing about this, of course, is that as we consider now God’s word to Samuel, as we noted just briefly in verse 11, it was, as referred to here, an ear-tingling word. It was a word that God says is going to make everybody sit up and listen. It’s the word that is going to come and set people, as it were, on their heels. And the word, of course, is in verse 12: “I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house.” And if you have your Bible open and you look over to verse 31 of the previous chapter where the man of God comes and speaks the word of God, then the word that was spoken was “Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house,” and so on. And now God reinforces this word in the calling of Samuel, and he is telling Samuel, “I am actually going to do what I said before I would do.”
And, of course, we have learned in Hannah’s prayer that “the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.” And so it is that the judgment that is expressed in this is on account of the iniquity of the house of Eli. It’s important that we see exactly what is being said there in verse 13: “And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.” And, of course, we’ve considered this before, and it is a chilling word, because the sons of Eli had placed themselves beyond forgiveness. And all that therefore remains is the execution of the message of a judgment which is now irreversible.
Now, it’s important when we come to passages like this in the Bible that we pause and we make sure that we don’t fall foul of a kind of foolish and arrogant arguing with the Bible. I remember years ago being at church. I had a book with me in my hand. This was back in Buckinghamshire in England, and it was the evening service. And I had a book. I can’t remember what it was about, but it was called Arguing with God, and it had Arguing with God right on the front of it. And as I was shaking hands with the pastor, Jim Graham, he looked at me, and then he looked at the book, and he says, “That’s the problem with you fellows.” I said, “What problem?” He says, “You spend far too much time arguing with God. You should get rid of that book.” And so I think I did, and I can’t even remember what it was. But I found myself duly challenged by it.
So, when we come to something like this, there are certain things that we should just make a note of, as it were, in the flyleaf of our thinking. We should remind ourselves that… Because when you look at this, you’re tempted—at least I am tempted—to say, “Goodness me, it wasn’t really that bad, was it? I mean, he didn’t restrain his sons, and they were a bad group, but…” Well, what we have to remember is we’re not the ones executing the judgment. It is God who is executing the judgment. And God, as the psalmist says, “is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day.” One of the reasons that we’re able to look so cursorily at sin in our own lives and in the lives of others and in the life of our nation is in part because although we begin the day singing, “Holy, holy, holy,” we don’t fully grasp the fact that God is of such holiness that it is impossible for him to look on wickedness. And yet that same judge in Genesis 18 is “the Judge of all the earth,” who will do what is right.
And it’s not uncommon for us, as I say, when you come to something like this in the Bible—certainly if you’re in conversation with somebody else—to begin to pontificate on things in a way that actually is distinctly unhelpful. And I find myself going back to, for example, Romans 11: “Who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” You say, “That’s Isaiah 40.” Yes, it is, but it’s being quoted there in Romans 11. Or again in Romans chapter 9, where Paul is forced to ponder virtually the imponderable, and remember, he says, “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder…?” So that we are molded by God: “Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” You see how the doctrine of creation plays into this as well, that God has actually fashioned us according to his own purpose. He is the potter; we are the clay. Shall the clay call the potter to account?
So, it’s good to pause and acknowledge that the reason it is such a challenge is because of the horror and because of the terror that is attached to this message. Do you notice there how that word “forever” comes twice? “[And] I am about to punish his house forever,” and at the end of verse 14, “[and] the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” Forever’s a long time. Eli’s sons had rejected the sacrifice of God. And in doing so, they had rejected the very basis of forgiveness. So having rejected the basis of forgiveness, there is therefore now no basis for forgiveness, save the basis for forgiveness that has been rejected.
Now, in the New Testament—and we noted this before, but I think it’s important for us to make sure we’re clear in our own minds—this is the explanation, isn’t it, of one of the apostasy passages in Hebrews chapter 10, where “if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth…” In other words, if after we have come to a place where we’ve said, “Yes, I think I believe that,” and we are then defiant of God, defiant of his truth, unwilling to obey, and so on—if we remove ourselves from the realm of God’s grace, of the realm of God’s forgiveness—then, says the writer, there is “no longer remain[ing] a sacrifice for sins, but [only] a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
This week I was helped in this regard—and I hope you will be helped by this quote, and I’ll quote it to you in full—by a quote from Tim Chester, a vicar in England. And this is what he says on this. He says,
It is not that there are sins which are beyond the scope of the cross. There are no sins which are too big for the grace of God in the blood of Christ to cover. The point is this: if you despise the cross of Christ, then you reject the only means of salvation. [Reject] Christ’s sacrifice, [and] you have nowhere [else] to turn.
And that, then, is the significance of the word that God speaks to Samuel.
That takes us to verse 15, where we’re told that “Samuel lay until morning.” It’s hardly surprising. It would be hardly surprising if he decided to stay in his bed for a little longer on that morning. After all, he’d been up and down all evening. Every time the word came, he was up and running off to Eli. And now, as he lies in his bed… It’s interesting, it doesn’t say anything about sleeping. It does say that he lay there. And “Samuel lay until morning.” I wonder, did he sleep? It’s not difficult to imagine him wrestling with the implications of the word that he had just heard. God had now spoken to him so very clearly, and he had made a pronouncement of judgment on the house of the very man in whose company Samuel was serving, the man who was the very priest of God, who was the representative of the establishment, if you like. And so he “lay until morning.”
But when duty called, and he went about his business, and “he opened the doors of the house of the Lord”—it’s a wonderful picture. I don’t know what age he is. We don’t. Let’s guess. Let’s make him seventeen. And he’s seventeen, and he gets up, and he says, “Well, I better just do what I’m supposed to do,” and his day begins, and he opens the doors of the house of the Lord, and the writer tells us, “[But in his mind, he] was afraid to tell the vision to Eli.” Well, I don’t think any of us would be surprised by that. I think we would have been afraid to tell the vision to Eli as well.
And fortunately, in the providence of God, he doesn’t have to find a way to broach the subject. Because in verse 16, Eli calls to Samuel. And notice his terms of endearment. This has come previously, and it’s reinforced here: and “Eli called Samuel and said, ‘Samuel, my son.’” It’s almost as if he looks on Samuel now and looks on him as the boy he wished he’d had—for his own boys are a disaster, and the judgment of God hangs over them. “‘Samuel, my son.’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ And Eli said, ‘What was it that he told you?’” Verse 17: “Don’t hide it from me. May God punish you if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.” And so I imagine that Samuel just took a big intake of breath, and then, verse 18, he “told him everything and hid nothing from him.”
Here’s the role of the prophet. Now we know that Samuel has been set to the task. For the responsibility of the prophet is not that of invention or of creativity or of the ability to stimulate the mind of the listener with intrigue, but it is simply to take from God God’s word and to convey God’s word to those who are to hear that word.
And in that same passage to which we referred in Exodus chapter 4, it’s quite striking and also encouraging, isn’t it, that God says to Moses, “I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak”? You remember, at one point he actually says to him, “Who made your mouth?” It was no wonder that Moses recoiled when he realized what it was he was supposed to say, what he was supposed to do.
You have the very same thing, surely, in Isaiah chapter 6: “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” And then the coal comes and touches his mouth and sends him out, and what is the very first thing he has to say? It’s a message of judgment! Who wants to go out and do that? Who gets up in the morning and says, “I think I’ll go out and just pronounce judgment on people”? Well, maybe some misguided souls, but nobody should, other than those who are to speak the very word of God.
He spoke the word of God, and he held nothing back.
Now, there’s a challenge in this, and I want to pause on it for just a moment. Because the pattern is clear, but it is not easy to do. Consider, in more contemporary terms, how many otherwise useful—potentially useful—servants of God are condemned by their silences, condemned by the things that are left out. People will always say, “But he’s such a nice person. He says so many nice things.” True and true. Where, then, would the problem lie? Well, the role of the prophet is to make sure that they say everything and that they hide nothing.
Now, I don’t sit in judgment on those people, because it is an easy temptation. And I’ll tell you where it comes up just like hounds on your heels more than any other in my experience, and that is in the funeral service—the conducting of a funeral service. If you listen carefully to people reading the Bible in funeral services, unless they’re prepared to read the text exactly as it’s written, you will often find that Psalm 90 is a great favorite in funerals. In fact, it has become a funeral psalm, although really, it’s not about dying; it’s about living. You remember it:
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or [you] ever … had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
And it goes on, and later on: “Make us glad,” and “[may] your work,” and “your glorious power,” and so on. But right in the middle of it are two verses that are often skipped. And this is what they read:
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
You see, you should never read that unless you have the gospel—because it is such a chronicle of absolute and utter judgment and despair and finality. Because the person whose funeral you’re conducting, if they have remained outside of Christ, have according to the Bible been lost forever, forever. Now, who but the prophet of God with the word of God would say such a thing?
I’ll tell you another one in the New Testament. It’s very common to hear people reading 2 Corinthians 5. And again, I don’t say this in any spirit of judgment. I confess I’ve often been tempted to skip a couple of these verses. You know, “For we know that the earthly tent we live in, if it is destroyed, we have a building from God, not made with hands,” and so on—the wonderful picture of rolling up the tent of life and heading for our permanent dwelling and so on. And “Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we[’re] at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.” Amen. Not so fast! You just skipped the kicker: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” It’s a kind of selective prophesying.
You say, “Well, are you suggesting, then, that the way to handle this is always to lead with this and always to emphasize this and so on?” No. I think, as we’re going to see, Samuel helps us in this. There is a really unsavory dimension in the psyche of certain individuals who feel that to lead in this way, you know, is to really be doing the job: “We’re not like those who are cutting out verse 7 and 8 of Psalm 90. We are not those who are leaving off verse 10. No, we’re starting with verse 10! We’re leading with verses 7 and 8!” Those are the polar extremes, aren’t they?
And the real challenge, you see, is in allowing the Scriptures themselves so to adjudicate not only on what we say but also how we say it and in what context we communicate it. So, for example, Paul says, “Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men.” The prophetic role, the role of the preacher, in every generation is by definition a persuasive role. He’s not simply the provider of information. Knowing the fear of the Lord, we seek to persuade men. We’re not coming to it to say, “You can take it or leave it.” No. And in that context, says Paul, it is “the love of Christ” that constrains us.
When Lloyd-Jones gave his lectures to the students at Westminster Seminary back in the ’70s, at one point he asked the question rhetorically, “What kind of preacher do we need today?” And this is what he said:
The chief thing is the love of God, the love of souls, a knowledge of the Truth, and the Holy Spirit within you. These are the things that make the preacher. If he has the love of God in his heart, and if he has a love for God; [and] if he has the love of the souls of men, and … concern about them; if he knows the truth of the Scriptures; and has the Spirit of God within him, that man will preach.
So Eli said, “Tell me everything. Hold nothing back from me.”
Interestingly, Lloyd-Jones, prior to writing that book, in the UK was preaching on one occasion when a mutual friend was leading the service. The mutual friend was a much younger man than the doctor. Lloyd-Jones preached in his normal fashion, and it was an event to be present when he preached. And he sat down—or better still, he collapsed into his seat. And following the benediction, my friend went to him and said, “Dr. Lloyd-Jones, how do you feel?” And Lloyd-Jones said, “I feel tired.” Unhappy with such a short response, my friend pressed him. He said, “In what way?” He said, “Young man, I think this is the closest that a man will ever come to the experience of childbirth.” And he wasn’t being funny. The agony, the ecstasy, the carrying of something that has to be released, has to be discharged—all the joy that accompanies it, all the pain that is part of it, all that dimension. No wonder it says that he got up, and he opened the doors, and he was afraid to tell Eli what God had told him to tell.
Listen: if we are not afraid, if we are not fearful, if we do not cringe from that responsibility, then there’s something actually wrong with us—if there is not within our own hearts that which recoils from the reality of it all. Because it is such “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” And there is a large crowd in every generation that simply want you to tickle their itching ears, to tell them something that they would like to hear. That was what Paul said to Timothy in Ephesus, and it’s as true in Cleveland as it ever was in Ephesus. And the danger was that Samuel would be tempted just to tickle the ears of Eli when the message was supposed to tingle both of the ears of Eli.
You know what the real challenge is? The challenge in teaching the Bible and in preaching in this way at all is in recognizing that you have to somehow or another make sure that in seeking to comfort those who are afflicted, that you don’t lose out on the opportunity to afflict those who are comforted. And one of the unique challenges of a congregation such as our own, if I may just put it to you in plain terms, is that the congregation is so diverse—that in an average service here, we have all of the categories of listeners to which Perkins referred in an earlier era.
Perkins said to the preachers of his day, “You need to be aware of the fact that these various categories of listeners are present when you preach the Bible.” I’ve told you them before. You’ve all forgotten, and I had forgotten, but I keep notes, and so here’s what he says: “When you proclaim the Word of God, there will be non-Christians present who know nothing about the gospel and don’t care.” True. Right? There will be non-Christians who know nothing about the gospel, but they’re teachable. There will be those who know what the gospel is but have never been humbled by it to see their need of a Savior. There are those who have been humbled, some in the early stages of seeing their need, others who see that they need salvation, not merely an improvement, and are convinced that only Christ can save them. There will be genuine believers who need to be taught. There will be backsliders who are in that condition either as a result of failing to be taught or as a result of failure to live constantly in the light of what they have been taught. What you have, he says, is a mixed congregation of believers and nonbelievers.
That simply heightens the challenge and reinforces what we say to one another about how the effectiveness of the delivery of the Word of God, of the bringing home of the Word of God to the lives of a variegated group of listeners, is surely directly tied to the prayers of the people of God—praying home the Word of God. It’s as if the person is firing the truth like arrows from a vantage point, and the people are saying, you know, “Bring this home, Lord. Bring it to me. Bring it home to people.” For that was going to be the issue in Samuel’s case.
And of course, you’ll notice that Samuel responds. And in just a sentence we have what some commentators say was a kind of spirit of fatalistic resignation: “It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him.” This is where we need the video. I need to hear his voice. Did he go, “Hey, it’s the Lord. Whatever.” Or was this his greatest moment? Was this when he said, “You know, it is Yahweh. It is Yahweh. Let God do what God does. That matters more than anything—matters more than my welfare, matters more than my family’s continuance. Let God be God.” That’s what he’s saying. I want to believe that’s what he’s saying.
And then, in the concluding two or three verses, we can simply say that God is no longer silent. How many times are we going to read “And Samuel grew”? Here it is again! I wish I knew how old he was, how tall he was. Don’t you? I mean, how big is this? This guy’s gonna be a giant here if he keeps growing like this! It’s just the picture of progress, though, isn’t it? Could Hannah have ever imagined this? Remember in her prayer, “The Lord brings them down, and the Lord lifts them up.” Would she ever have thought that this boy who was given to her, for whom she longed, for whom she cried, would be lifted up in this way, to such a place in the purposes of God? He grew in the presence of God, and he delivered the word of God. And the word of God accomplished the purpose of God. “None of his words fall to the ground,” because God speaks through his servant. And remember in Isaiah 55, that “my word,” says God through the prophet, “will not return to me empty but will accomplish the purpose whereunto I have sent it.”
And that’s what’s being described here. He doesn’t need to mount a PR campaign. He doesn’t need to somehow or another send himself out, as it were, over the radio to let everybody know who he is. No, everybody knew. “All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord.” And once again, “the Lord appeared … at Shiloh.” What does that mean? Well, “the Lord revealed himself to Samuel.” And how does that work? Well, “by the word of the Lord.”
Well, that was a thousand years ago, and here we are tonight. So what is the takeaway when you read a passage like this? What are we supposed to do with that? If we’re not careful, people will be saying, “Well, I see what it is. We’re supposed to pray like crazy now for a prophet to be raised up—perhaps another Samuel who will arise in our day.” No, it’s good to pray for those who preach the Bible and so on, but that’s not what we need to do. We don’t need to pray for God to send a prophet. Why? Because of where we began our service. God has sent his Prophet. In the past he has spoken in various ways by the prophets, but now “in these last days he has spoken to us [in] his Son.”
And you remember the voice from heaven regarding his Son: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And Jesus sends out his followers: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and you will be my witnesses to the ends of the earth.” And off they go. They’re only a few chapters into it before there’s a hullabaloo. Somebody’s complaining about something, and the food distribution is not working as it should, and immediately, the practical ramifications of this burgeoning church comes to the knowledge of the apostles. And the apostles say, “Well, we better get this thing sorted out.” And in the opening verses of chapter 6, that’s exactly what they do. And the express purpose in doing what they do is so that they might give themselves to prayer and to the preaching of the word of God. And they do. And then Luke records, “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly.”
Read church history, and you will find there is a direct correlation between the Word of God being proclaimed, believed, obeyed, shared, and lived and the multiplication of the church. Because as we like to say to one another, “The Word of God does the work of God by the Spirit of God in the people of God.” And so tonight, throughout the whole world, his kingdom grows unabated. No earthly kingdom has been able to last the test of time. But since Jesus is an ascended King, we can be sure of victory in the end.
Well, let us pray together:
God our Father, thank you for the way in which this turns us again to Christ and to the living Word. Thank you that we were able to begin the day magnifying you, the triune God, in your holiness and in your grace. And now, as we seek to part from one another, we remind ourselves that as the day ends and as a new day dawns, your kingdom continues to grow, and we rejoice in this, and we pray that you will make us faithful. Help us, Lord, to be compassionate and yet to be clear, to be truthful and yet to be kind. Help us not to be so focused on love that we become so soft and become absolutely hopeless. Help us not to so focus on truth that we become hard and embittered and like a refrigerator. Make us like Christ, we pray. For it’s in his name we ask it. Amen.
 Exodus 4:13 (paraphrased).
 Exodus 4:14 (ESV).
 1 Samuel 2:3 (ESV).
 Psalm 7:11 (ESV).
 Genesis 18:25 (ESV).
 Romans 11:34 (ESV). See also Isaiah 40:13.
 Romans 9:20 (ESV).
 Genesis 2:7 (ESV).
 Hebrews 10:26–27 (ESV).
 Tim Chester, 1 Samuel for You, God’s Word for You (n.p.: Good Book Company, 2014), 39.
 Exodus 4:12 (ESV).
 Exodus 4:11 (paraphrased).
 Isaiah 6:5 (ESV).
 Psalm 90:1–2 (ESV).
 Psalm 90:15–16 (ESV).
 Psalm 90:7–8 (ESV).
 2 Corinthians 5:1 (paraphrased).
 2 Corinthians 5:8–10 (ESV).
 2 Corinthians 5:11 (RSV).
 2 Corinthians 5:14 (ESV).
 D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, “The Preacher,” in Preaching and Preachers, 40th anniv. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011), 131.
 Hebrews 10:31 (ESV).
 See 2 Timothy 4:3.
 William Perkins, The Art of Prophesying, ed. Sinclair B. Ferguson (1606; repr., Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1996), 56–63. Paraphrased.
 1 Samuel 2:7 (paraphrased).
 Isaiah 55:11 (paraphrased).
 Hebrews 1:2 (ESV).
 Mark 9:7 (ESV). See also Matthew 17:5; Luke 9:35.
 Acts 1:8 (paraphrased).
 Acts 6:7 (ESV).
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.