12/02/2012 The Gift of Hope!

Posted by Pastor Steve Siegrist on Thursday, December 6, 2012 Under: Sermon
Text: 1 Peter 1:3-6

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials.

12 That at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:12-13 (NKJV)

Intro: At Christmas time do you really give must thought to having hope becoming a reality in a Baby wrapped up in swaddling clothes lying in a manager? You should, because without Christ you have no hope! The gift of hope allows us to experience the proof of Christ working in our own life; this gift also allows us to understand there is permanence in this relationship, and a power that the Holy Spirit enables us to use.

Application: The gift of hope is Christ.

1. The Proof: vs. 3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

It is a guarantee by the resurrection of Christ!

Ephesians 2:12

The unsaved person is “without hope”; yet the believer has a living hope because he has a living Savior. Christ is our Hope, and we look for His soon-expected return. The Christian does not work for this hope; it is a part of his spiritual birthright. We are born again into this living hope. This hope is not only a living hope; it is a lasting hope. It is reserved in heaven, where it cannot decay (“incorruptible”), be defiled, or lose its beauty and delight. But not only is the hope reserved; the believer too is kept (guarded as by a soldier) by the Lord! We are kept by God’s power because of the faith we have placed in Him. Eternal security is not based on the faith of men, but on the faithfulness of God. The believer is saved; he is being saved daily through sanctification; and he will be saved completely when Christ returns.

The resurrection of Christ was in a real sense the birth of the Church.

The gift of hope is Christ and that is all the proof we need!

2. The Permanence: vs. 4 “to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”

It is kept in heaven for us.

“We have a priceless inheritance - an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”

The inheritance is incorruptible. All things earthly have in themselves the seeds of decay and death; but “when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption,” the redeemed of the Lord shall receive a kingdom that cannot be moved, where “neither moth nor rust doth corrupt.” It is undefiled. The inheritance of Israel was defiled, but into the heavenly inheritance entereth not “anything that defileth.”

"But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." Revelation 21:27

It fadeth not away. “The grass withereth, the flower falleth away;” is not so in the “land that is very far off.” There are no tendencies to corruption there, no possibilities of defilement, not even that fading which must pass over the fairest things of earth. “Reserved in heaven for you.” The many mansions in our Father’s house have been kept from the beginning, and still are kept for his elect; Satan cannot rob them of it, as he robbed man of the earthly paradise. John 14:1-3 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

The gift of Christ and the Hope we have should be the reason we celebrate Christmas every year! Do you have a reservation for this inheritance, there excepting applicants right now! But this extended offer isn’t forever!

We can live in this Hope because the hope of that inheritance is the present joy of the Christian life. God according to his great mercy begat us again into a new life, and one important aspect of that new life is hope, the hope of ever-deepening fellowship with God now, of everlasting life with God in heaven. This gift of hope is Christ and that is permanent!

3. The Power: vs. 5 “who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

God’s mighty power assures us that we will safely arrive in heaven.

That’s the Gift! That’s what Christmas is: the proof of Christ, His permanence and His power that allows us to have hope and experience the Gift!

With this power we can live, we do not have to live in disappointment or depression because of what has happened in our life. “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:5

That hope in living; it is “saturated with life, carrying with it in undying power the certainty of fulfillment, and making the heart joyful and happy.” “it has life in itself, and gives life, and has life as its object”. And it liveth, it does not perish like the hopes of this world, but it lives on in ever fuller joy till it reaches its consummation in heaven!

Christians are kept by His power! Philippians 4:7 “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

The peace of God shall keep the hearts of those who trust in him, - they are guarded by a heavenly host and the power of God. His power is all around them; through faith. Faith, the evidence of things not seen, realizes the presence of the heavenly guard, and gives courage and confidence to the Christian when attacked by temptations and dangers; faith is the instrument by means of which we grasp the Divine strength, so that it is made perfect in our weakness.

In a lot of churches throughout the country during the month of December they follow an Advent Schedule, this is a time of preparation for the celebration of Jesus' birth. The name "Advent" comes from the Latin "adventus" which means "to come." During this season Christians remember the Old Testament promise that God would send a Messiah and the New Testament promises that Jesus will come again.

During this time the Church focuses on the events which led up to Jesus' birth. These include Old Testament prophesies: Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” The prince of Peace is our proof, the everlasting father is permanent and this mighty God gives us power, that is the gift of hope!

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