Creator of the universe. Savior of all men.
Hope is a word filled with meaning. Usually we think of hope as a verb, as in, “I hope something good will happen today.” We hope to have a good life; we hope to avoid pain and suffering. We hope to have a healthy family and live happily and satisfied.
Yet, hope, in the Bible, is more often than not used as a noun, rather than as a verb. Scripture tells us, For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4). This begs the question: why do we even need hope, much less hope from the Scriptures?
The answer to that question is more important than some may think. Before the Bible gives us hope, it clearly teaches us the reason we need hope. Moreover, it tells us what that hope is and how to make it our own.
Way back, early in the history of humanity, the Bible teaches us about man. Just after He made the earth and the things in the earth, God created Adam (man). So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them (Genesis 1:27). Later, in chapter 5 of Genesis, we learn that God had expressed His dominion over man in a simple way—God named man. Only one in authority over another can give him a name that is permanent. In this way, God was expressing that He was the Master; therefore Adam was
the servant. However, this was not a twisted environment. On the contrary, things were perfect. God also expressed His authority in one other way in Adam’s life: He told man to eat from every tree in the Garden of Eden…except one.
You may know what happened next. Of all the food that God gave to that first couple to eat, they chose to disobey God’s instruction and eat from the solitary tree of which they were commanded not to eat. As the representative of all humanity, Adam led every person who would
be born into rebellion against the great God who has authority over all mankind. You may read of this event and think, “How could he? Did God not give them everything they needed? Why would they turn their backs on such a wonderful situation?” That is a good question. The
answer is that Eve was tricked into disbelieving God’s words. She gave into the lies which appealed to her flesh and chose to follow her own desires instead of the commandment of God. On the other hand, Adam willfully disobeyed. He was not tricked, but instead chose straightforward rebellion.
Unfortunately, from that point on, every one of us on earth lives in that rebellion. Romans 5:12 tells us sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin. We are born into disobedience toward God; then before we realize it, we follow our fleshly desires further into sin, and worse yet, we rebel willfully. Sin causes us to fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23); it makes us unable to match up to God’s perfect standard (Matthew 5:48); it separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) and places us before His judgment, where He will not let the guilty go unpunished (Deuteronomy 7:10; Isaiah 59:18; James 2:10-13). The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Why do we need hope? Because through sin, we became a hopeless people.
However, God is very kind. Even in the midst of punishing Adam & Eve, God spoke words of hope. He would send One that would crush Satan, who tricked Eve, and would put an end to all suffering and rebellion. This One was none other than God’s perfect Son, Jesus Christ. He
showed us God’s kindness in that while we were still weak, Christ died for the ungodly...God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6, 8).
Scripture tells us that For our sake He [God] made Him [Christ] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him [Christ] we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus Christ, as God Himself, took the place of rebellious sinners on the cross. By dying on the cross, He received the punishment which we all earn through sin—as if the judge paid the penalty for the crime committed. After dying on the cross, He rose to new life overcoming the death and condemnation first earned by Adam & Eve in the garden. He took away the cause for hopelessness and renews His followers to a living hope. He did what none of us can do—pleasing God and renewing condemned sinners to life.
For this reason, we have hope, not that we wish without assurance for good things from God, but that we trust in One who has settled a sure thing. Our hope is not founded on our weakness, but on the Solid Rock of Christ Jesus. You may have heard the song which says, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” Herein is the sure hope we have—not in ourselves who fail, but in Christ who is faithful.
That is why Christ said, "If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it" (Matthew 16:24-25). We have no power to help ourselves in a genuine way. Instead, we must give up our own ways, and follow Christ, trusting only in Him.
God still has authority over man. Though we have turned from Him in rebellion, He has graciously offered a way to forgiveness. It is found in none other than Christ. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). Those who find forgiveness through Christ trust only Him and turn from rebellion to obedience to God. Will you find hope in the only sure place—the Savior Jesus Christ? Stop trusting in yourself and submit your life to Him, who was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God (1 Peter 1:20-21).
You have hope—it is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If you need more to think about, listen to this helpful sermon about the reality of Christ from Jerry.
You Have Hope exists to preach the clear, inspired, sufficient Word of God without compromise and with true conviction, so that listeners learn, understand, and trust the Hope which God has provided in His Word.
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