Matt 21:32 Two Sons and Their Responses 3/16/2008 ßà
#1. The Baptism of John (Matt 21:23-27, Luke 3:1-9, Isa 40:3-5)
#2. The OT Vineyard (Ex 24:3-8, Eze 18:21-24)
#3. Satan’s Stronghold: A Form of Godliness (2Tim 3:1-5, Rev 22:18-19, Tit 1:16, Isa 29:13)
Please open your Bibles to the Gospel According to Matthew, Matt 21:28 (2X). I promised that I would slow down somewhat as we approach the end of this Gospel of Matthew. As you know, this is the third sermon in Matt 21, and we are seeing the second parable in this chapter. It is called “The Parable of the Two Sons”, and we should classify it under the group that is called, “Parables of the Kingdom”. The title of the sermon today is, “Two Sons and Their Responses” (2X). Therefore this is:
Mt 21:28-29 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
Mt 21:30-32 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.
Did you notice that the two sons are not ranked by the eldest and the youngest, but by the first and the second? This had nothing to do with their respective age, but it had to do with the identification of “the first and the last”, which Jesus used in Matt 19:30 and in Matt 20:16. As you remember, those who ended up first are the ones who are on the way to heaven; those who ended up last are on the way to Hell. And that applies also to the two groups of people who are represented here by the two sons.
This is one of the parables of the kingdom. The Lord could have started this parable with the words, “The kingdom of heaven is like”. But He did not start this parable this way because He was speaking to the chief priests and the elders of the people, and He was asking their opinion of the end result: “Which of the two did the will of his father?” Which of the two sons was willing to work in the vineyard?
What does that vineyard represent? For the OT church God says in Isa 5:7, “The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel”. In other words, the entire OT congregation, or the entire nation of descendants of Jacob, was the vineyard of the Lord. From them He expected much fruit, good fruit, spiritual fruit, fruit that is full with the blood of grapes, which means that it must be full of the atonement of Messiah for their sins. The Lord demanded from His vineyard that there would be many who were saved, and who would believe the truth about their sins, and a coming Messiah who would redeem them from their sins. In the NT time the church is the vineyard of the Lord, and the Lord Jesus will be the chief Shepherd of the church. For this reason the Lord Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches”. And so, when the father asked the two sons to work in his vineyard, it is as if the Lord demanded from people of the OT church to work for Him in His kingdom, so that the earthly part of the kingdom of God will benefit from their good work. In exactly the same way the Lord Jesus demands from people in the NT church to work in His kingdom. The Lord does not ask; He does not beg us to do this work. In Arminian churches their god begs and pleads with people, but the Almighty God who created this universe does not beg and plead. The Lord lays it in front of us as a mandate, something that is inescapable for everyone in the church. And if we refuse to do it, we will be brought before the Judge of all the earth for insubordination. If we call Him our Father, then He expects us to give Him honor as a Father. If we call Him Lord, then He expects that we obey Him in all His commandments. If we say that we love Him, then where are those actions with which we desire to please Him every day? When the Lord shows us how we can work for Him in His kingdom, we should consider it a privilege that we can do this for the One we love, and honor as a Father, and hold high as our Lord and Savior.
And so, in the parable the father asked the first son, who was a rebellious son, but then he later repented of his rebellion and did the work that his father asked him to do. Then the father asked the second son, who pretended that he was obeying him, but in his heart he never intended to obey him. The second son was a rebellious son who remained in his rebellion. Which of the two was a son after the father’s own heart? Of course, the first was. Then the Lord Jesus connected the answer of the chief priests and the elders to the person and work of John the Baptist, and to their rejection of the preaching of John. And this actually ties back to verses 23 through 27 where the Lord was confronting them with the preaching of John. This was the context. Therefore, let us turn to that passage, and let us look at:
#1. The Baptism of John (Matt 21:23-27, Luke 3:1-9, Isa 40:3-5)
Mt 21:23-27 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
What was going on? On Monday the Lord Jesus had cast out the money changers from the temple, and He did not allow anyone to carry a vessel through the temple. Today is Tuesday morning. The priests and elders had their counsel together, and now they confronted the Lord Jesus: “Who gave You the authority to do all these things? You are not a member of the Sanhedrin. You have no authority to do these things that You did yesterday. We are going to cast You out of the temple, unless You can show us that You have legitimate authority to do these things”. But Jesus answered them with a counter question: “The Baptism of John: was it from heaven, or was it invented by man?” Here we can see what the Lord Jesus thought of the baptism of John. Jesus certainly did not think that it was invented by man, but He knew that it was a command from God to John to baptize all people. And now the priests and the elders were stumped. They did not know how to answer this question. They were trapped in their own hypocrisy. The Lord knew their heart, and that is why He asked them this question. God allowed us here a glimpse into a battle of the puny mind of man against the infinite mind of God. How ridiculous. And how ridiculous it is when silly man is questioning God on the things that He wrote in the Bible. Today we see it all the time. Silly theologians are questioning the sovereignty of God in the affairs of man, and they are questioning God in the atonement of Christ on the cross, and they are questioning the righteousness of God in creating a place that is called Hell, and many other things that are stated in the Bible that should be accepted without any question. But let us now review what God said about John the Baptist. Please put a sticker here in Matt 21, for we will turn to that page many times, and please turn in your Bibles to the Gospel According to Luke, Luk 3:1 (2X). Here is the record and the time frame of the first appearing of John the Baptist. From Luke 1 we know that Jesus was only six months younger than His cousin John. And John preached only a few years before Jesus came on the scene, and then John was put in prison for his witness of the truth, and there he was beheaded. We read in Luke 3:1-9,
Lu 3:1-3 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;
Lu 3:4-6 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
Lu 3:7-9 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Clearly, God stated that John was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Isa 40:3-5. John preached of a baptism unto repentance. Until that time the Jews baptized only proselytes, for they believed that they would enter into heaven automatically since they were sons of Abraham. But John preached that everyone needs to repent, and thus John baptized everyone, Jews and Gentiles. That is why John said, “And begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham”. Verse 9 is significant in the light of last week’s sermon on the Fig Tree, which is symbolic of the nation of Israel. Paraphrased God says through the mouth of John in Luke 3:9, “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the Fig Tree. If it does not bring forth good fruit, it will be hewn down and cast into the fire”. Not only the Fig Tree, but every tree that does not bring forth good fruit shall be cast into the fires of Hell. This tells us again that God is done with the nation of Israel as a special nation before Him. Beginning at the cross every nation has an equal standing before the Judge of all the earth. Please return now to the parable of the two sons in Matt 21.
What was the Lord’s answer to the priests and the elders? He said that the publicans and the harlots were represented by the first rebellious son who repented, and that the priests, the elders, the scribes, the lawyers, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees were represented by the second rebellious son who gave the appearance of serving God, but who did not repent. Both sons represented two groups of OT people who were in the OT church, but who started out as rebellious people. And does this not agree with God’s declaration that we all were by nature the children of wrath, even as others? We all came into the world as rebels against God. The publicans and the harlots acknowledged this, and through the preaching of John they repented of their sins, and God had mercy on them. That is why the first son represented the publicans and the harlots who repented, and were no more extortioners and no more harlots. But the leaders of the Jews had come to the conclusion that they needed no repentance, since they were descendants of Abraham. And thus the second son, who made an external show of serving God, started out just as wicked as the first son, but, repented not. The second son represented the religious leaders of the Jews who by their false theology led many people astray. Both sons were in the OT congregation, and both sons received the same command to repent and believe on their Savior, the promised Messiah, who will take away their sins. The publicans and the harlots received the mercy and grace of salvation through faith in this Messiah, and to them was imputed the righteousness of God through the cross of Christ. But the unrepentant religious leaders of the Jews were a stench in the nose of God, and they remained on a slippery slide into Hell. And so, what we are told here in this passage is that the OT congregation actually consisted of two nations, one nation who became the children of God, and another nation who remained children of the Devil. In the parable they are both called sons of the father, since they were members of the OT church, which was an organism created by God. But as individuals they started out as children of the Devil, since the Lord Jesus in John 8:47 says, “He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God”. These two nations in the same congregation are at war with one another. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Genesis, Gen 25:20 (2X). When we think of these two sons, which represent two nations, we are reminded of another pair of two sons representing two nations: Jacob and Esau. That is why I had you turn to Genesis, because there we clearly read that these two brothers represent two nations. Jacob and Esau were twins, grandsons of Abraham, and born of Isaac and Rebekah. We read in Gen 25:20-23,
Ge 25:20-21 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter of Bethuel the Syrian of Padanaram, the sister to Laban the Syrian. And Isaac intreated the LORD for his wife, because she was barren: and the LORD was intreated of him, and Rebekah his wife conceived.
Ge 25:22-23 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to enquire of the LORD. And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.
Two nations and two manner of people in the same family, in the same congregation? When God speaks of “two manner of people” He clearly points to saved and unsaved people in the same church. And when God says: The elder Esau, shall serve the younger Jacob, He says that because the right of the firstborn shall be transferred from Esau to Jacob. Why would God do this? Please turn in your Bibles to the Epistle to the Romans, Rom 9:11 (2X). We have here a passage that is the most hated passage in the Bible, because God, in no uncertain terms, stated here His sovereignty in all the affairs of man. The majority of churches today have abandoned the sovereignty of God. They are adherents to the doctrines of Jacob Arminius, and therefore they look at the Bible with an Arminian slant. Their god is a powerless god, who is like them, for their god is a servant of men. Are they our brothers in Christ? Absolutely not! They worship another god, but he is not the God of the Bible. They have erased out of the Bible many passages and chapters, such as Rom 9, and therefore their bible is a different bible than the Bible that we read. Let us read what God says here in Rom 9:11-13,
Ro 9:11-13 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
God stated these words “in order that that the purpose of God according to election might stand”. In other words God says, “So that you may understand what election is I have declared, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated; and this condition of Jacob and Esau was My decision before the children were born, before they could have done any good or evil”. Here are the two sons, representing two nations. These were the two groups of people in the OT congregation, and these also represent the two groups of people in the NT church. And in the NT church, just like in the OT time, there are many more Esau’s in the church than there are Jacob’s. Watch out that you are not led astray by those who claim that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. As you remember, in the parable of Matt 21 these two sons were commanded to work in the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts. What was the OT vineyard?
#2. The OT Vineyard (Ex 24:3-8, Eze 18:21-24)
Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Exodus, Ex 24:3 (2X). You find Exodus in the beginning of your Bibles, right after Genesis. God called Moses up into Mount Horeb, and God instructed Moses in how the Law of God was an integral part of the covenant of God, and how the typology of many things in the Law were types and figures of the coming Messiah. Then we read in Ex 24:3-8,
Ex 24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.
Ex 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel.
Ex 24:5-7 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, which offered burnt offerings, and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the LORD. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basons; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.
Ex 24:8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words.
Twice we read in this passage that the children of Israel said, “All that the LORD hath said will we do”. Twice they promised it, and Moses wrote it down and declared that the blood of the covenant was a witness against them if they would break this promise to God. And did they break this promise? They surely did. It was a vain promise to God that they would do all the things that God said. Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy According to Ezekiel, Ezek 18:21 (2X). You find the Prophecy of Ezekiel in the middle of your Bibles, right after the Prophecy of Jeremiah. Just like in the parable of Matt 21, in the OT vineyard there were two groups of people, those who repented of their sins and those who did not repent. God promised to have mercy on those who would repent of their sins. God said in Ezek 18:21-24
Ez 18:21-24 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.
You see, our God is a gracious, merciful God, a God who delights in mercy. “All his transgressions that he hath committed shall not be mentioned any more”, for they shall all be covered by the atonement of Christ. But when they who think themselves as righteous, like the Pharisees and Sadducees, commit one sin, that sin is enough to send them to Hell. And so, we see it is impossible for anyone to remain sinless for all his life, and thus salvation is all by the grace of God. But all the servants that are found in the house are sent into the vineyard of the Lord of hosts. What was the work that the Lord laid on the harlots and publicans in the parable of Matt 21? It was that they repented and believed the true Gospel of Christ crucified, and that they talked with each other about the wonderful things that God has done for them. And so, more and more harlots and more and more publicans came to hear the Gospel message, and were eagerly hearing that there is hope for them. And so, their faith resulted in actions that were altogether glorifying to the Lord. Let us now translate these findings to the NT time period.
Please turn in your Bibles to the First Epistle to the Corinthians, 1Cor 6:11 (2X). We read here about the NT equivalent of the harlots and publicans of Matt 21. False teachers in our day and age are saying: Sin is sin, and we are not under the Law but under grace. But God answers them in 1Cor 6:9-11
1Co 6:9-11 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
Do we see this list of sins clearly? God says, “Be not deceived”. We cannot say, “Sin is sin”. It is true that we still sin after the moment of our salvation, but here are a number of sins which God will not tolerate. Be not deceived. But thankfully, those who have repented of these sins can look at themselves as having been washed, having been sanctified, and having been made just through the atoning work of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is hope even for homosexuals and drug addicts and alcoholics. In the medical world of today there is no hope for them. They are marked for life. But with the God of the Bible there is hope, for they too can be cured of their addiction. And in this we can rejoice. Please turn now to the First Epistle to Timothy, 1Tim 1:12 (2X). We have here in 1Tim 1:9-10 another list of sins that God does not tolerate. God says that these people are lawless and disobedient. But let us read now how God has given the apostle Paul a task to perform in the vineyard of the Lord of hosts. We read in 1Tim 1:12,
1Ti 1:12 ¶ And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
You see, we must consider it a privilege and an honor if the Lord has given us a task in His vineyard. And if He has given us a task, He will enable us to do this task faithfully. This is the Lord’s promise, and this is also what we should pray for. And what was the Gospel that the apostle Paul faithfully preached? Please turn a few pages to your right, to the Epistle to Titus, Titus 3:3 (2X). We cannot escape the judgment of God on the utter depravity of man, which is the state of everyone who is born into this world. The publicans and harlots of Matt 21 are an excellent illustration of who we were before Christ saved us. Here in Tit 3:3 God gives us another list of nine sins that are common in unsaved man. The good news is not good news unless it is preceded by the bad news. The bad news is that all mankind is on the way to Hell, and thus everyone of mankind is in need of salvation. But then comes the good news. We rd in
Tit 3:3-6 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Not by our works of righteousness which we have done, for we do not have any of those. Therefore according to His mercy He saved us. God’s actions are totally sovereign. His grace is poured upon us entirely by His good pleasure, and through the work that the Lord Jesus accomplished for us on the cross about 2000 years ago, when all our sins were still future sins. And God demands that we work in the vineyard of the Lord of hosts by declaring this beautiful plan of salvation to the world. But now we also need to look at the hypocrites among us. Remember the second son in the parable of Matt 21? These are the people who in OT time were the Pharisees and Sadducees, who claimed to be working in the vineyard already. And today these are people in the church who are still not saved, but who are trusting that they are already serving the Lord. But God says in Rom 8:8, “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God”. Only if someone is saved can he do work that is pleasing to the Lord.
#3. Satan’s Stronghold: A Form of Godliness (2Tim 3:1-5, Rev 22:18-19, Tit 1:16, Isa 29:13)
Please turn in your Bibles a few pages back to the Epistle of Second Timothy, 2Tim 3:1 (2X). God warns us here in 2Tim 3 of the many who will be in churches all over the world, especially near the end of time, who will pretend to serve God with a form of godliness, but they will deny the truth and the power of God to save whom He will. We read here in 2Tim 3:1-5,
2Ti 3:1-5 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
How can we detect these imposters? The Lord Jesus said in Matt 7, “Ye shall know them by their fruits”. And what sort of fruits should we be looking for? Look for external evidences of salvation, for we read in Jam 2, “Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone”. But look also for internal evidences of salvation. The fruit that we should be looking for is spiritual fruit. Test the doctrines that they believe, and do not brush some controversial issues under the carpet as if they are not salvation issues. Test all things, for God says that we must be aware of some who have a form of godliness, but are denying the power thereof. And be not afraid to use Rev 22:18-19 as your sharp edge of the sword of the Spirit. We must know who our brothers in the faith are. God warns us in many places in the Bible for these people who infiltrate churches and lead astray many. For example, we read in Tit 1:16,
Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. And God says in Isa 29:13,
Isa 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:
Therefore, when we look at the parable of Matt 21, let us be aware that the scribes and Pharisees, the chief priests and elders, and indeed the Jewish nation in general were like the second son that gave good words, and they made a show of professing the true religion. But when the kingdom of the Messiah was brought among them by the baptism of John, they turned their back upon it, or we might say, “they lifted up their heel against it”. A hypocrite is more hardened in heart than a gross sinner, for the form of godliness that he trusts in becomes one of Satan’s strongholds. Let us then be aware why they would be infiltrating our church, and what their intent and purpose is. It is to steal sheep to bring into their own fold those that are weak in the faith. We are commanded to love them, and we love them as our enemies, but loving our own sheep and protecting our own sheep is of a higher priority than loving our enemies.
Yes, even though Esau is among those whom God never saved, Esau personally displayed more grace than the sheep stealers who are in the future infiltrating our church. We must put up our guards against them. Let me read to you what Esau did from Gen 33:1-4,
Ge 33:1 ¶ And Jacob lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, Esau came, and with him four hundred men. And he divided the children unto Leah, and unto Rachel, and unto the two handmaids.
Ge 33:2-4 And he put the handmaids and their children foremost, and Leah and her children after, and Rachel and Joseph hindermost. And he passed over before them, and bowed himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept.
Jacob was afraid to meet Esau, knowing that he had embezzled him out of a birthright, and that he had stolen Esau’s blessing from his father Isaac. God assured Jacob by wrestling with him that Jacob had nothing to fear. But Jacob was still afraid. And Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him: and they wept. And so, the peace between the two brothers was restored. This was the good side of Esau. He did not harbor a grudge against his brother. And this we must honestly admit of Esau, even though God does not have much good to say about him. God says in Heb
Heb 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
God considers the selling of his birthright to Jacob one of the most heinous sins that Esau has ever committed. And why is that? His birthright was the honor of being the progenitor of the coming Messiah. This was the right of the firstborn. But it was an honor that looked for a realization far into the future. And so it is today with all those who neglect so great salvation. They have no desire for honor far into the future. They are only interested in the here and now. But we who are saved do care for this future hope. That is why we are delighted to read in Heb 12:28, “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear”.
AMEN. Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.