The Plan and Purpose of God
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The Plan and Purpose of God

From Series: The Gospel According to Luke, Volume 11

Luke 24:44-49  (ID: 2372)

Simply knowing the facts regarding the Resurrection provides no eternal benefit; without the Holy Spirit’s illumination, we are helpless to make sense of it. Alistair Begg reminds us that, just like the disciples, we will never be able to grasp the events of our world unless we have a grasp on God’s sovereign purposes. God has promised to take salvation to the ends of the earth and has given us His Word as a guide and safeguard.


Sermon Transcript: Print

Now, it is to the Word of God we’re going to turn, in Luke chapter 24, and as you turn there we’re going to pause and pray and ask for God’s help. Luke chapter 24, and we’ll be looking at the section that begins at verse 44.

And now, Father, as we turn to the Word of the Lord, we turn to you, the Lord of the Word. We pray that you will open our eyes that we may behold wonderful things in your law.[1] For we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

I think it is surely a happy providence that we are in these particular verses on this particular Sunday. I say that because many of our friends and neighbors, and some of us, have in the last few days subjected ourselves to the viewing of The Passion. I use the phrase “subjected ourselves” purposefully, and it indicates something of my own response to it. What a depiction of brutal torture and execution—absolutely unrelenting, unmitigated, so much so that by the time Christ reaches Calvary, he’s little more than a barely conscious mass of blood and flesh, almost virtually dehumanized. And we are left saying, “What is this?” And, of course, many of our friends and neighbors are asking, “What is this? What is this about? What happened here?” And that’s why, as Gary has said, we’ve provided the materials for you, because there is no question that this a wonderful opportunity. The whole nation is essentially talking about two things right now: one, what is the nature of marriage, and two, who is this Jesus of Nazareth? And so, if we can’t seize that opportunity to speak concerning the validity and sufficiency of the Bible and the wonderful works of Christ, then really, I don’t know what it’s going to take.

But the fact is that left to ourselves, left to our own conclusions, simply viewing material or reading material without explanation and without clarification is actually dangerous. And the great need of the hour is the need that was marked in the lives of the disciples here in this little section. They were, you will remember, a jumble of emotions; they were vacillating between faith and fear. They were essentially reflecting on the resurrection and, of course, on the sufferings of Christ, and they were asking, “What is this?” And Jesus very graciously tells them what it is. In fact, he says in verse 44, “This is what I told you while I was still with you,” and then he says in verse [46], “This is what is written.” “This is what I told you, and this is what is written.”

Now, of course, he is simply offering to this larger group the same approach that he offered to the two disciples on the Emmaus Road, the story of which is chronicled for us further up the page.[2] And you will remember that these two disconsolate disciples, as they made their way towards Emmaus, were joined by Jesus without recognizing him. He asks them about their unhappy posture. They say, “Are you the only one…? Are you a visitor to Jerusalem, that you don’t know what’s going on, the things that have happened?” He says, “Like what things?” They say, “Well, things concerning Jesus of Nazareth.” He said, “My, my, tell me about that,” and they begin to tell him about all of that, leading finally to their concluding statement in verse 24: “Some of our companions went to the tomb; they found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see. We’ve heard all these things, we’ve had these stories told to us,” but the bottom line is that they never saw Jesus.

Now, it’s fascinating to me what Jesus does at that point. And I don’t say that for rhetorical effect. It is fascinating to me. I remain as intrigued by it today as I was the first time it crossed my mind. “Him they did not see.” Wouldn’t it seem fairly obvious for Jesus to say, “Well, you see him now. Here I am!” After all, their great preoccupation was with seeing Jesus: “Are these stories true? What has happened here? Is he really dead? Is he alive? Can we believe the reports? What is this?” But instead of Jesus giving to them self-disclosure—saying, “It’s me! Here I am”—he provides them with a comprehensive Old Testament survey. He actually gives them a Bible study. He begins with Moses and the Prophets, and he gives them a great panoramic sweep of redemptive history, at the end of which they urge him to stay, and finally, in a moment of time, he is revealed to them as he goes about the premeal routine.

Now, it was very gracious of God to do that for them, because it’s a big help to us as well. Because we didn’t meet Jesus walking down Euclid Avenue. We haven’t had a face-to-face encounter with the Lord Jesus. We didn’t meet him in the street. He didn’t come up to us in Starbucks and say, “Hey, I’m Jesus. Who are you?” We have met Jesus where? We have met him in the Scriptures. We have been pointed to him in the lives of those who know him, but ultimately, our verifiable data is in this book. So here, on this particular occasion, with the opportunity to simply say, “I am he,” he seizes the chance to give them a study of the Bible and thereby establishes a pattern that he’s going to follow, and he’s following it right here, when in the evening of the following week, with a crowd gathered, “with the doors locked for fear of the Jews,”[3] he appears among them, he speaks peace to them, he responds to their panic, he provides them with proofs, and into their bewilderment he says, “This is what I told you, and this is what is written.”

You see, what they needed is what we need—verse 45: “He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” Unless he opens our minds, we can’t understand the Scriptures. Oh, we can understand the language and the syntax with a knowledge of English. We know the difference between nouns and prepositions. We know what is history and poetry and things like that. But it does not come home in a life-changing way except by the power of the Spirit of God. And many who are here this morning can testify to that: “I read the Bible as a child,” or “I went to a study, and I came to church,” or “I was attending this event. And I really wasn’t making much of it at all, and somehow or another, the Scriptures opened up to me, and I saw myself, and I saw Christ, and my life was changed.” Well, that peculiar dimension of God’s revelation is not something that simply brings us to faith; it is something which sustains us in the faith. And the great need this morning for many of us is simply that our minds would be open so that we could understand the Scriptures.

It was not by the extent of Jesus’ suffering that he saved but because he was the Lamb of God.

You see, having viewed this movie, I’m more convinced than I was before that this kind of focus on the intense physical suffering of Jesus is a distraction at best. It is a distraction at its best. Because a picture of a man on the cross, framed or moving, actually tells us nothing except that there is a man on the cross. And even if the intensity of that focus is sustained over a period of more than an hour, it still does not address the issue. So we may go and return without learning anything that it is necessary to know. You will not, by viewing these pictures, learn that it was the Lord’s will to crush Christ.[4] You can’t find that out. You’ll need your Bible for that. You will not know that Christ was made sin for us.[5] You’ll need your Bible. You cannot know that Christ was saving us from the wrath of God.[6] You’ll need your Bible. You cannot know that his sacrifice was not exemplary but was propitiatory. And you will not know that it was not by the extent of his suffering that he saved but because he was the Lamb of God.

Now, that’s all I’m going say on the matter.

We need constantly to have our minds recalibrated by the Bible if our emotions are not to lead us astray. Jesus takes these emotional, disturbed, vacillating followers of his and turns them to the safeguard of Scripture. Now, is that not right? You’ve got the text in front of you. Is that what he’s doing? “This is what I told you. This is what is written.” Now, what does he say? He essentially gives to them four things, and I want to tell you what they are before I get to them so that you can know we’re at least making progress. “First of all,” he says, “let me enunciate for you the plan of God. Let me tell you, secondly, about the purpose that I have for you. Let me make clear to you that you are the personnel involved in the purpose. And let me finally tell you that there’s no point in even making a stab at this idea unless you have the power of the Holy Spirit clothing you from on high.”

So, there we have it.

The Plan

First of all, the plan. Look at it with me: Jesus is essentially giving to them the big picture, the whole scheme of things: “Remember how I told you while I was still with you…” Isn’t that an interesting little phrase? “This is what I told you while I was still with you.” Well, he’s with them! Yes, but he is and he isn’t. He is no longer with them as he was with them; now he is just visiting them. He’s gone. He is about to be completely gone; we’re coming to the ascension in just a moment. But what he’s saying is things have radically altered: “I was with you. We were together for all that time. I’m no longer with you like that, but you will remember when we were together for all that time, this is what I told you.” And we have gone time and again back to chapter 9. My Bible almost opens to the verse. I turn to it immediately there, and there’s no marker in it; 9:44: “‘Listen carefully,’” he said, “‘to what I[’m] about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.’ But they did[n’t] understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so … they did[n’t] grasp it, and they were [actually] afraid to ask him about it.” And now he says, “This is that.”

Let me just pause there and make the point that if we don’t know that, we can’t understand this. You see? So if you take the this of a dramatic piece without the that of the unfolding drama of redemption, you say, “What is this?” And until we understand that this is that, we’re at sea. And that’s actually where a few of us are.

“This”—“my suffering, my resurrection.” They’re all part of God’s great mural of salvation. The past and the present and the future are all fitting into God’s drama, the scheme of things. The cross of the Lord Jesus Christ was not supplied by God to correct a defect in the system, as if somehow or another everything had gone wrong, and God looked from heaven and said, “Oh, this thing is totally out of control. I’m going to have come up with a plan.” No, what we discover is that it was God’s plan from all of eternity, taking into account the drama which he knew would unfold. And God the Father and God the Son and God the Spirit determined within the framework of eternity, if I may say so reverently, who would do what. And they came to the conclusion that the plan of salvation would emerge from God the Father, the procuring of salvation would be as a result of the work of the Son, and the applying of salvation to the lives of those who repent and believe would be the work of God the Holy Spirit.

Now, in a phrase or two Jesus is driving this home. And this is the great connection, incidentally, between the end of Luke and the beginning of his second volume, Acts. We’ll see that in a moment or two. But once the apostles begin to write their letters for the encouragement of their readers… And I’ll just mention one, for example: Paul, as he writes to the Ephesian believers—Ephesian believers who were saying to themselves, “Where do I fit in the big plan? Where do I fit in the scheme of things? Does God really know about me and my little life here in Ephesus in the first century?” And he writes to them, and he says, “In [Christ] we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”[7] He says, “Don’t think that you’re lost in time and space. God has planned from all of eternity to redeem a people that are his very own, and you have been included in Christ, and you are part of this, and this is where you fit, and it stretches from eternity to eternity.” It’s a vast thought. And Jesus here is making much of that: “This is what I told you, and this is what is written.”

The Purpose

Well, that’s enough on the plan. Let’s go to the purpose. To the purpose. Jesus is essentially saying, “Allow me to summarize all of this for you. This is the truth to which all of Scripture points.” All of Scripture can be understood in terms of essentially this threefold dimension. And it doesn’t come out clearly here in the NIV. I’m not sure it comes out particularly clearly in any of the English translations. But each of the verbs that he uses are in the infinitive in the Greek. There are three parallel verbs; they’re all infinitives, which, of course, you will remember from English at school—at least, four of you will. But what he says here is this: “He told them, ‘This is what is written.’” Now, it says here, “The Christ will suffer and rise” and “repentance … will be preached,” but they’re all infinitives in the Greek. This is what he’s saying: “This is how it is: it is for the Messiah to suffer, to rise, and for repentance and forgiveness to be proclaimed.” To suffer, to rise, to be preached or to be proclaimed. Three parallel infinitives, boom, boom, boom! He says, “I want you to understand this. I’ve given you the spiritual capacity by opening your minds, and now I’m giving you a helpful summary. You need to get ahold of this,” he’s saying. Repentance: a turning from sin and a turning to God. Forgiveness: the dimensions of his mercy are made available through the gospel. And this is the ultimate purpose, the evangelistic purpose, of the church. Certainly the overarching purpose of mankind for all time is that we might glorify God and enjoy him forever,[8] but it is the express purpose of the church while here on earth to see unbelieving people become the committed followers of Jesus Christ. And he said, “If you think about what I told you, if you remember what is written, then you will recognize that this is the ultimate purpose.”

Now, will you notice from verse 47 that “repentance and forgiveness of sins” is going to be preached in the name of Jesus “to all nations”? And the evangelistic program is about to begin in Jerusalem. Let me pause for a moment on “to all nations.” The Bible is committed to the united nations. Oh, not the one that Kofi Annan is the head of, but the Bible is committed to the united nations. And no true follower of Jesus in the continental United States has come to terms with the vastness of the purpose of God until we too are committed to the united nations. And here, in these waving amber fields of grain for which we are so thankful and in these vast open spaces from sea to shining sea in which we rejoice and so on, we have not begun to be moved, stirred, picked up by the impact of Jesus’ words when the extent of our concern ends at the Pacific seaboard on the west or the Atlantic seaboard on the east—when we think, “As it goes with us, so it goes with the world. If we’re okay, then that’s fine.” And when we are brought to see that the purpose of the gospel is that repentance and forgiveness should go to all the nations, then it’s a radical change. And if you take your concordance and work your way through it, you will see this is reinforced all the way along. You go to the Psalms, Psalm 2:8: God says, “Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance.” “The nations your inheritance.” Not “America your inheritance.” Not “the British Isles your inheritance.” Not “the British Empire your inheritance.” “The nations your inheritance.” You see, the thing that marks the Christian out is that yes, we are thankful for where we live and our origins… And incidentally, this week they told me that I get my test on the seventh of May when I try and find out how many stripes there are and stars in the flag. Do pray for me; I’ll let you know when we get closer to the time. My son has already passed his test, but he’s brighter than me. And so, I am thankful for all of these things. But I’m not preoccupied with here or with Scotland. Because the preoccupation of God is not with specific nations; it is with the nations, the united nations!

The purpose of the gospel is that repentance and forgiveness should go to all the nations.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”[9] We like that verse, don’t we? Sitting in traffic, its craziness and everything: “Be still, and know that I am God.” How does the verse finish? “I will be exalted among the nations.” He says, “Think about it! It’s not about putting your feet up on an ottoman and drinking coffee.” He says, “Now, think for a minute! Be still, and know who I am. I am the God of the nations!” Isaiah 49, the same emphasis: the servant of the Lord stands up and says, “Listen to me, all you islands, and pay attention to me, you distant nations.”[10] And he’s not long into his little tale when he starts to falter a little bit, and he looks around at how things are going, and he starts to doubt himself, and then he soliloquizes—easy for him to say—and he says, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing.”[11] “This is a waste of time, what I’m doing.”

Do you ever feel like that? Pastors do. I can guarantee you they do. I just came from San Francisco, in a group of pastors, and many of them are just like… Just poor souls! You want to say, “Come on! It’s just not as bad as that, is it?” But for many of them, it is! “I don’t see anything happening. I don’t know if anyone’s listening to my sermons. I expected hundreds of people would be converted; there’s not even a handful being converted.” Suddenly Isaiah 49 sounds so right: “I’ve labored to no purpose. I’ve spent my strength in vain. I’ve done it all for nothing.” And the Word of God comes to the servant of the Lord; he says to him, “Hey, listen, Isaiah. Chin up. Chin up. Don’t get so focused here. Stand back. I’ve got big news for you.” “I will … make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”[12] To the ends of the earth!

See, the story’s not finished yet. You come into the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2 of Luke. Some of you may remember that we were in chapter 2—many birthdays ago, but we were in chapter 2. And some of you may even recall that when we studied the bringing of Jesus into the temple to do for him as to “the custom of the Law,”[13] he’s taken into the arms of this old chap called Simeon. And, you know, I always tell you, “Look in the Bible and see what you find interesting.” I mean, look at it and say, “This is weird,” or “This is strange,” or “This is… What is this?” You know, have you ever had anybody take a baby in their arms and say what Simeon said? I mean, people take babies, say, “What a lovely baby,” says, “Nice color, one eye blue, one eye green. It’s an interesting combination,” that kind of thing, or “Looks like his dad.” But Simeon takes the child in his arms and he says, “You can dismiss your servant now, Lord.”[14] Why? Because “my eyes have seen your salvation.” And what does that mean? Well, it’s a salvation that “you have prepared in the sight of all people,” and it is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles,” and it is the “glory [of] your people Israel.”[15]

But you see, here we are today, and it looks as though the tides are weighed against us, doesn’t it? I mean, no matter how much you may argue for the political clout of the right or the left or the center or whatever else it is, you look at the average church congregation, no matter how well it’s doing, and you’ve gotta say that this is a tiny representation of the city of Cleveland. The vast majority of Cleveland has no interest in Jesus or the Bible. They’re not in church. Hundreds and thousands of them have apparently no concern about the gospel at all. And that can become very dispiriting—until we remind ourselves of God’s plan and of his purpose and the fact that the story’s not finished.

And the way it finishes is wonderful: “[And] after this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count,” from the united nations! Actually, it says, “from every nation, tribe, people … language.” And they were “standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb,” and they were singing, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”[16] That’s how the story ends. The book of Revelation—which I’m about ready to begin, actually, to tell you the truth. I’m now brave enough to tackle just about anything after all this time—or, I should say, foolish enough to tackle just about anything. I want to tell you the whole story of Revelation in two words: Jesus wins. That’s the book of Revelation. And the fact that you’ve been fiddling around with it like a kid playing with a Meccano set is not my problem. I’m gonna help us understand this gigantic comic book at the end of the Bible, some day in the next twenty years. But that’s the story, you see.

So he says to them, “This is what is what I told you. You need to understand. This is what is written. And the purpose of my suffering and my resurrection is in order that repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached to all the nations, and the evangelistic program will begin in Jerusalem.” That’s the purpose.

The Personnel

Well, who’s involved? Verse 48. Here we’re introduced to the personnel: “You are witnesses of these things.” “You are witnesses of these things.” And he’s looking at the people that are in the room. When you go to the second volume for Luke—when you go into the Acts of the Apostles—you find out, you say to yourself, “Well, if they are witnesses, how well did they do as witnesses?” And it’s a fun read. I started it myself; I stopped after a while. But I began to do it, and then I had enough and quit, but you could go further than me. I’m not going to tell you to look these up, but…

Jesus says, “You are my witnesses. Here’s the plan, here’s the purpose, and you’re the personnel. You are my witnesses.” So now Peter stands up on the day of Pentecost, and he begins his sermon. And he says in verse 32, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”[17] He must have said to himself, like, “See? I knew I was supposed to say that.” Looked across at one of the other apostles: “Told you. We’re witnesses.” Chapter 3, same thing, verse 15: “You disowned the Holy and Righteous One … [you] asked that a murderer [to] be released to you. You killed the author of life, … God raised him from the dead.” What does he say? “We are witnesses of this.”[18] Chapter 5, you find the exact same thing, 32: the story of Ananias and Sapphira has ushered in persecution and so on, and “We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” Chapter 10—I’m only gonna give you two more, ’cause you’re already fed up with it—but 10:39, Peter at the house of Cornelius: “We are witnesses of everything [Jesus] did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging … on a tree, … God raised him from the dead on the third day … caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen”—namely, “by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.” And in the passage that was read for us by Gary in chapter 13—I’m sure you picked it up now—verse 30: “God raised him from the dead, and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. [And] they are now his witnesses to our people.”

Now, I belabor that for this very reason: because most home Bible study groups, as soon as you get to verse 48—“You are [my] witnesses of these things”—will immediately launch into a thing about how we’re going to reach our neighborhood for Christ: “Well, we are the witnesses of these things.” No, we’re not. He says, “You are the witnesses.” To whom is he referring? The disciple band. The people who were witnesses. Were you there? So he’s not referring to you, then. And I wasn’t there, so he definitely isn’t referring to me. Does that mean that we’re not witnesses? No, we are witnesses; we’re just not these witnesses. See, we can’t go out and tell people the things that they could tell them: “This Jesus we proclaim to you, we have seen him, we have heard him. These are the things that we have handled, that we have touched, that we have seen,”[19] and so on. We can’t say any of that. Does that mean we have nothing to say? No, we have plenty to say.

All of my salvation is outside of me in the ultimate sense. It is because of what another has done for me.

Well then, what are we allowed to say? How are we to witness? What are we supposed to believe and proclaim? Well, the answer to that is very clear: we may believe and we may proclaim only the truths that we are authorized to believe and proclaim by the teaching of the Twelve. And where do we have the teaching of the Twelve and the friends of the Twelve? In the New Testament, right? So what is it that we are authorized to teach and proclaim? The Bible. Jesus says, “I want you to understand how this fits with the Old Testament,” then he sends them out in the power of the Holy Spirit, and they give us the New Testament, and we then are guarded and guided, once again, by the safeguard of the Scriptures. The safeguard of the Scriptures.

The most alarming thing to me in the last two weeks… I said I wouldn’t mention the movie again; here I am. But the most alarming thing to me is the unwitting adoption of this movie by people who ought to know better. I have searched virtually in vain for any evangelical leader brave enough to go cross-grained to the wholesale adoption of that which is a diatribe for Roman Catholicism. And I can only assume that the inroads of ecumenism in our nation and amongst our community is far more significant than any of us are prepared to even countenance. Protestants who reject the apocryphal books and have kept them from the canon of Scripture are prepared to baptize into orthodoxy apocryphal statements placed in the mouth of Christ within the framework of a moving film. If it’s wrong in written form, it’s wrong in acted form.

Does sola scriptura mean anything? “Only the Bible.” Not the Bible and the Roman magisterium. Not the Bible and the ex cathedra statements of the Pope. Not the Bible and our own little fundamentalist predilections that we like to stick in there. Not the Bible and our own little legalistic tags. Not the Bible and anything at all. Just the Bible. And the Bible is a self-interpreting book. The Bible is not interpreted by the church. The church didn’t write the Bible. The church doesn’t tell us what the Bible means. The Bible tells us what the Bible means. Sola scriptura and sola gratia—not an infusion of God’s enabling power so that we may then work our own way towards a final redemptive conclusion, but the imputation of the righteousness of Christ; a forensic thing, so that it is all outside of me. All of my salvation is outside of me in the ultimate sense. It is because what another has done for me. And then sola fide and solus Christus.

Do you realize, my dear friends, how far we are, how bizarre my words sound in the ears of vast segments of evangelical America? You are sensible people. You must examine the Scriptures, and you must come to your own conclusions. Here I stand.

The Power of the Holy Spirit

Finally… “You’re the personnel,” he says. “You’re the folks who are taking on the assignment.” It begs the question, “How are we supposed to do this? Look at us! One minute we’re believing, the next minute we’re unbelieving.” He said, “Well, I am going to send you what my Father has promised.” Way back in chapter 11 he said, “If you, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”[20] He says, “I don’t want you to be afraid, little flock. It is the Father’s good purpose to give you the kingdom.”[21] He gives his Spirit to us in order that we might be involved in kingdom business.

And with this phrase we have the end of the statements of Jesus as recorded by Luke—thus leaving the reader wondering, wanting to jump forward into the Acts, to volume 2, find out how it finished. I wonder, you know, if you could only read through Luke and you didn’t know anything else… He says, “I want you to stay in the city until you’ve been clothed with power from on high,” and then it has the story of the ascension, and the people are going, “Well, what happened next? Did they stay? Did the Spirit come? Did they believe?”

Well then, just think about us this morning. Well, somebody must have come to these shores with this good news, didn’t they? And the people who came to these shores with the good news must have come from some other shores, and someone must have come to those shores with the good news. And you take it all the way back, and you come to Acts chapter 1, and they’re all gathered in the upper room,[22] just as Jesus said, and they’re waiting for the power of the Holy Spirit to descend upon them so that they might be his witnesses to the nations and to the ends of the earth.[23]

Well, we’re done. What’s our great need? To have our eyes opened—eyes opened to see that God’s great plan of redemption is vast. We need to get involved with the purpose of God: to see repentance and forgiveness of sins proclaimed. We’re not the witnesses to which he referred, but we are witnesses, and we witness to the truth of Scripture. We need to take our place, and we need to rest in God’s power, and we need to do so in light of the fact that one day we will be gathered around the throne of God in heaven, with the united nations, and we’ll sing of the Lamb. Frankly, that’s the only thing—one of the only things—that keeps your chin up on the average Monday: Jesus wins.


[1] See Psalm 119:18.

[2] See Luke 24:13–35.

[3] John 20:19 (NIV 1984).

[4] See Isaiah 53:10.

[5] See 2 Corinthians 5:21.

[6] See Romans 5:9.

[7] Ephesians 1:11 (NIV 1984).

[8] See the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Q. 1.

[9] Psalm 46:10 (NIV 1984).

[10] Isaiah 49:1 (paraphrased).

[11] Isaiah 49:4 (NIV 1984).

[12] Isaiah 49:6 (NIV 1984).

[13] Luke 2:27 (NIV 1984).

[14] Luke 2:29 (paraphrased).

[15] Luke 2:30–32 (NIV 1984). Emphasis added.

[16] Revelation 7:9–10 (NIV 1984).

[17] Acts 2:32 (NIV 1984).

[18] Acts 3:14–15 (NIV 1984).

[19] See 1 John 1:1, 3.

[20] Luke 11:13 (paraphrased).

[21] Luke 12:32 (paraphrased).

[22] See Acts 1:12–14.

[23] See Acts 1:8.

Copyright © 2021, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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

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

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