Libraries and book stores can be daunting places. With a multitude of options, it can be hard enough to simply locate what you’re looking for, much less find other titles of interest and usefulness to you.
The same could be said of John MacArthur’s online sermon archive. Like any good library, we’ve done our best to organize it sensibly, helping listeners like you find what you need for your spiritual growth. But with over three thousand messages, it can be intimidating to hunt around our website—especially if you’re not looking for something specific.
To help encourage your continued perusal of our sermon library, and to point you to resources you might not have otherwise considered, today we’re launching a new weekly feature on our blog. Every Friday in this space, we will highlight a different sermon from John MacArthur. Some of them will be landmark messages you’ve heard before, others will be more obscure. All of them will be handpicked by members of the Grace to You staff—when possible, we’ll even include personal testimonies about how the Lord has used these sermons in our lives.
To kick things off today, we’ve chosen a message that speaks to the heart of our faith, drilling down to the very core of gospel truth. In fact, “Fifteen Words of Hope” has been referred to as “the finest single summary of the gospel message in the entire sermon catalogue. Eds. Phil Johnson and Mike Taylor, Truth Endures (Panorama City, CA: Grace to You, 2009), 215.
Expounding the rich truth of 2 Corinthians 5:21—“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”—John walks us through the glorious doctrines of justification, imputation, and reconciliation, explaining how, as he often says, “On the cross God treated Jesus as if He had lived our lives with all our sin, so that God could then treat us as if we had lived Christ’s life of pure holiness. John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: 2 Corinthians (Chicago: Moody, 2003) 217.
Second Corinthians 5:21 isn’t a long verse—just fifteen words in Greek (hence the sermon’s title). But packed into this short verse is deeply humbling and encouraging truth about Christ’s sacrifice for His people. This sermon looks into the intimate relationship within the Trinity, and the incomprehensible cost Christ paid on our behalf. It will enrich your worship and energize your love for the Lord. And it’ll be a valuable tool as you reach out to others with the life-transforming truth of the gospel.
Here’s what one of our staff members said about “Fifteen Words of Hope”:
People often ask us which sermon by John MacArthur offers the clearest presentation of the gospel. While virtually every sermon from his fifty years of Bible teaching is in some way a gospel message, and many include an extended, in-depth explanation of some facet of the gospel, his sermon “Fifteen Words of Hope” is firmly fixed at the top of my list. Because 2 Corinthians 5:21 is a favorite passage of John’s, it has been a go-to sermon he has preached at various churches, conferences, and radio events over the years. I’ve probably heard him deliver “Fifteen Words of Hope” more than a dozen times, and it never fails to grab and keep my attention, and stir my affections for God and His gospel. In it John articulates profound truths in simple ways, including the doctrine of justification by faith, and offers a sweeping, God-centered view of the gospel—and the whole of human history—that cuts across the grain of superficial, man-centered presentations. Beginning to end, this is compelling, winsome exploration of the most important subject in the universe. –Jay F.