Look back at sermon notes from each Shepherds Conference 2024 general session.

General Session 1: The Triumph of Obedience — John MacArthur

The believer’s relationship is to the Lord, not to the law. But because he loves the Lord, he loves the Law of the Lord (Ps 138:2). He has a love defined by obedience.

Obedience prompted by love is the character of the Christian faith and the reality of sanctification. The work of justification and glorification are God’s work. We have the responsibility in the middle to strive toward Christlikeness.

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General Session 2: The Triumph of Truth — Mike Riccardi

Our culture has exchanged the truth of God for a lie and God has given them over to a debased mind (Rom 1:25–32). If our society has come under this judgment, we must come under the prescription: proclaim the gospel (Rom 1:16–17).

Truth will triumph in the end. So we proclaim the truth—the truth of God, the truth of God’s Word, and the truth of the gospel. 

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General Session 3: We Only Triumph Through Obedience — Josiah Grauman

God shows how utterly unique and glorious He is. He is a God whose mercy is blind and whose justice is blind. By His blind justice and mercy, God takes sinners like us, declares us righteous in the image of His Son and then brings us home to rejoice over us. 

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General Session 4: Truth Triumphs Through Pleasure — John Piper

The ultimate goal of all things is the fullest exhibition of the glory of God. That exhibition in the age to come will not happen if God’s people do not find their greatest enjoyment in Him. 

As a pastor, huge things are at stake in your people’s pleasure in and enjoyment of God. The goal is that you, and your people through you, would find pleasure in God more than in anything else.

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General Session 5: Triumph Through Persecution — Phil Johnson

Persecution, if it is well-received, is a powerful, practical affirmation and an unanswerable testimony to the world that our faith is real, that the gospel is true, and that heaven will ultimately triumph over all the evils of this world. 

If you are in Christ, you are already a participant in His triumph. If you see things from heaven's perspective, remembering the hope of the resurrection, you can always rejoice in that triumph—even through persecution.

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General Session 6: Truth Triumphs Through Believing Prayer — H.B. Charles Jr.

Truth triumphs through proclamation. But here we’re reminded that truth triumphs through prayer because we can’t do the Lord’s work in our own strength.

If you believe that God still hears and answers prayer, then labor hard in believing prayer for your local church and for the global church. With confidence that truth triumphs, may we preach courageously and pray continually. 

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General Session 7: Truth Triumphs Through Perseverance — Abner Chou

One of the keys to perseverance is this reality: truth triumphs. When we find ourselves in trials, we don’t look to ourselves—to our own wisdom, ability, or resources. Instead, we look to Christ. We look to His glory, His majesty, and His person. And we look to His ultimate victory. What compels us in our hardest moments is the full confidence that truth will triumph in the end—that God will triumph in the end.

All of God’s plan is moving through history to a particular outcome—to a moment when truth will triumph. This is the moment we are all waiting for. And that waiting compels us, it gives us perspective, and it gives us perseverance.

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General Session 8: Truth Triumphs Through Providence — John Piper

The promises of God are going to triumph. The nations will be reached, the elect will be gathered in and made beautiful for Christ, and that beauty will consist in our echoing back His excellencies in the enjoyment we have in Him. These truths, these realities, cannot fail because God’s providence is all-governing and all-pervasive. God will see to it that everything is under control to bring about these glorious end-time consummation promises.

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General Session 9: The Triumph of Divine Pardon — Nathan Busenitz

The power and necessity of forgiveness is this: where forgiveness is absent, no sinner, no matter how noble or seemingly moral, can ever earn the righteousness necessary to enter into heaven. And yet, where divine forgiveness is bestowed, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, any sinner, no matter how wretched or worthless, can be pardoned, justified, given the hope of eternal life, and welcomed into the presence of God. This is the triumph of divine pardon. The truth of God’s grace in Christ triumphs over the truth of what we deserve as those who are both utterly unable and desperately wicked.

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General Session 10: Truth Triumphs Through Pastoring — Austin Duncan

Spiritual leadership is not about us. It’s not about our authority, our word, or our great ability to preach. The triumph of pastoring exists as pastoral leaders follow Jesus faithfully and invite their people to walk alongside them all the way to where Jesus is. That’s our calling. We can do nothing else of value. 

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General Session 11: The Triumph of the King — Steve Lawson

In Revelation 19, John captures for us the triumph of the King—the one who will have the last word in human history; the one who will bring it all together to its consummation. Jesus is returning to take back the planet and reclaim what is rightfully His.

Christ is coming to judge in righteousness, and in that day, He alone will be King. In that final day, the truth of God will be the only thing that is heard. This is the triumph of truth at the end of the age because this is the triumph of the King. 

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General Session 12: The Triumph of Divine Love — John MacArthur

The greatest proof of God’s promise to keep us is what He sacrificed to get us (Rom 8:32). God’s love is so strong that He gave his son for us. Would God have given His Son if He did not have the power to hold onto the ones for whom His Son died and whose sins His Son bore?

Our salvation is secure because God is working all things together for good (Rom 8:28–30). God didn’t just predestine us to justification, He predestined us to glorification. God had a purpose to conform us to His Son in eternal glory, and He takes every step in the process to make sure that plan comes to pass. Nothing works against this plan, everything works for it because that is what God has predetermined. 

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