Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Advent Mid-week #2

Mid-week Advent 2
11 December  2013
Romans 15:4-13

The basis for hope: the coming of Christ

Introduction: We live at a time in which hope is in short supply. Many in this country are disillusioned and doubtful. We once hoped education would solve our problems. We no longer hope that ware will end war. Our hopes were raised when a new administration took over in Washington, but many are disappointed. Can a person hope in anything anymore? Now we are in the Advent season, one of hope for a new age through a coming Deliverer. Can this be an empty hope too? One thing is sure; there is no good reason to hope in man, but we can hope confidently in God.

Tonight we consider the roots of our hope –

1.    The Scripture – V. 4 “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

We can hope in the promises of Scripture for God is faithful. Here Paul defends his application of Psalm 69:9 {“zeal for Your house consumes Me…”} to Christ.

In so doing, he states a great truth concerning the purpose of Scripture. It was written for our instruction, so that as we patiently endure we might be encouraged to hold fast our hope in Christ. {See 1 Corinthians 10:6, 11; “These things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did…These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.”}

2.    The coming of the Son of David – V. 12 “And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in Him.

We can hope because Christ is coming again to set things right. Jesse was the father of David and the Messiah was the “Son of David”.  The Gentile mission of the early church was a fulfillment of this prophecy, as is the continuing evangelization of the nations.

3.    The God of hope – V. 13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

If we have God, we can hope. For God is a God of hope.  Any hope the Christian has comes from God. Paul will say in Romans 5:5 “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.” Your hope is not to be equated with unfounded optimism. To the contrary, it is the blessed assurance of our future destiny and is based on God’s love, which is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.

It has been objectively demonstrated to us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through the Holy Spirit God has poured out His love in our hearts and His love for us continues to dwell in us.  Hope cannot be conjured up by man’s effort; it is God’s gift of the Spirit.  Paul will say in Romans 8:24-25 – “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” We are saved by faith, not hope. But hope accompanies salvation. Hope is our destiny, our future in Christ. Hope is the anchor of our faith. Hope is our assurance that a mansion glorious awaits us.

Conclusion:  We hold fast our hope in Christ. We can hope because Christ is coming again to set things right. If we have God, we can hope. For God is a God of hope.  Any hope the Christian has comes from God the One in whom we trust. 

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