Sermon #1037 Miscellaneous Sermons
Text: Romans 8:24
Scripture Reading: Lamentations 3:1-32
Subject: The Believer’s Hope
Date: Sunday Morning – August 9, 1992
My subject today is Hope – “We are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?”
This is a subject of deepest importance. If I am saved by hope, I must be certain that my hope is a “good hope,” a “lively hope,” and a hope that maketh not ashamed.”
Hope is the desire and expectation of good that is not yet seen or experienced. No passion is more natural than hope and none more needful. Life without hope is a pitiful thing to behold. Where there is no hope there is no joy. Every burden is an unbearable agony, if there is no hope. But hope inspires joy and lessons the burdens of life. If a man’s conditions in this world are not good, he has hope that they will improve; and that hope helps him to bear his present troubles.
However, the hope I am talking about is not a natural passion. The hope of the believer is the hope of faith in Christ. It is the gift of God’s grace. It is the “expectation of all necessary good both in time and eternity, founded on the promises, relations, and perfections of God and on the offices, righteousness, and intercession of Christ. It is a compound of desire, expectation, patience, and joy.” (Charles Back).
Somewhere between proud presumption and dread despair is the believer’s hope. Somewhere between fleshly familiarity with God and a slavish fear of God is the believer’s hope. Somewhere between modern decisionism and morbid fatalism is the believer’s hope. In the Word of God we are hedged in on both sides. On the one side stands all the promises of God to keep us from despair. On the other side stands his stern warnings to keep us from presumption. Right in the middle is what the Bible calls “Hope.”
We all hope to escape the wrath of God. We hope to die in peace. We hope to enter into heaven when we die. We hope to be forgiven of all sin, accepted with God, and at last attain eternal happiness in heaven. Is that not right? If you have such hope, let me ask you a question – What is your hope? What is the basis of your hope? When all else is gone, what is your hope?
Proposition: We need to examine our hope – We must not shy away from an honest, searching examination concerning the condition of our souls. If my hope is good examination will do it no harm, but only strengthen it. If my hope is false, I want to know it so that I may seek a better hope.
1. There is a Hope that is No Hope.
2. There is a Hope the Bible calls “A Good Hope.”
3. What is the Believer’s Hope?
I. There is A Hope that is No Hope.
The hope of the hypocrite is a hope that is built upon…
A. A Righteousness He Knows He Does Not Have!
B. A Profession He Knows He Does Not Live!
C. A Experience He Knows To Be Nothing But A Temporary Excitement!
D. A Religion He Knows To Be Altogether Without Life.
Some of you here, I fear, I have just described. You have been in Church so long that you would be embarrassed for anyone to know what you know, that you are a mere hypocrite. Yet, you hold on to your profession.
· You know nothing of prayer.
· You have no spiritual thoughts, much less appetite.
· There is no struggle, or conflict in your soul.
Yet, you hold on to the hope that all is well, when nothing is well. Unless God awakens you you will go to hell with your refuge of lies – (Isa. 28:14-20).
II. There is a Hope the Bible calls “A Good Hope.” (II Thess. 2:16).
This hope of grace is called “a good hope” to distinguish it from the hope of the hypocrite. It is “a good hope” because it is a hope that comes from and centers in our good God. (Lam. 3:21-26).
A. It is a Lively Hope (I Pet. 1:3)
It is the fruit of spiritual life and produces a life of activity in good works to the glory of God.
B. It is a hope that gives a person confidence and courage before his God.
1. It supports us in the troubles of life (I Thess. 5:8).
2. It sustains us in the hour of death (Pro. 14:32).
C. It is a Joyful Hope (Rom. 5:2).
Living as we do in hope we have joy, anticipating complete deliverance from all evil by the grace of God.
· From the Influence of Evil Around Us!
· From the Consequences of Evil Done by Us!
· From the Being of Evil in Us!
D. It is a Purifying Hope (I John 3:2-3).
That person whose heart has been purified by the blood of Christ has his life purified by the grace of God, so that he no longer lives by the same principles, in the same manner, or with the same ambitions as other men (Eph. 4:17-24).
E. It is a Sure Hope (Heb. 6:19).
The hope of the hypocrite will disappoint him in the end; but the good hope of grace will never disappoint the believer. It is built upon a sure foundation and cannot fall (Matt. 7:24-27).
III. What is the Believer’s Hope?
As it is set before us in the Word of God the believer’s hope is ten-fold. I want you to look with me into the Word of God and see what God himself tells us about our hope.
A. “The hope of the Promise made of God unto our fathers.” (Acts 26:6).
The hope by which we are saved and in which we stand is the hope of God’s promise made unto our fathers, upon which all his saints through the ages have lived.
· The Promise Made to Adam and Eve – (Gen. 3:15).
· The Promise Made to Abraham (Gen. 22:- “God will provide A Lamb”).
· The Promise Made to Moses – (A Prophet)
· The Promise Made to David – (A King).
· The Promise Made to Isaiah – (A Substitute – A Priest).
B. “The hope of the Gospel” (Col. 1:23).
· The Hope of Blood Atonement.
· The Hope of Salvation by Grace.
· The Hope of Life by Believing.
C. “The hope of His Calling” (Eph. 1:18).
1. There is a general call.
2. There is an effectual call – This effectual call is “his calling.” It sets before the sinner a door of hope and brings him through the door into the hope of everlasting life.
D. “The hope of Salvation” (I Thess. 5:8).
What a blessed hope the hope of salvation is to one who knows his need of salvation!
E. “The hope of Righteousness” (Gal. 5:5).
1. We live in hope upon the merit of Christ’s imputed righteousness.
2. We live in hope because of Christ’s imparted righteousness.
3. We live in hope of the reward of Christ’s perfect righteousness.
F. Our hope is “Christ in you, the Hope of Glory”. (Col. 1:27).
Illustration: “If Christ were in me, wouldn’t he stick out?”
If Christ is in me, I have the hope of glory. I have “a good hope through grace.” But if Christ is not in me, whatever my hope is, it is a false hope – Is Jesus Christ himself in you? (Gal. 2:20).
G. Ours is “the hope (of the) Resurrection of the dead” (Acts 23:6).
We will die, if you want to call the believer’s passing out of this world “death”; but we will rise again (Job 19:25-27).
H. “The hope of Eternal Life” (Titus 1:2).
Eternal life! Eternal life! Imagine that – Eternal life! What a prospect! What a hope for sinful men and women!
1. This is what God promised in the covenant.
2. This is what Christ purchased on the cross.
3. This is what God gives to all who believe.
I. Our hope is “the hope of the Glory of God” (Rom. 5:2).
1. The basis of our hope is the glory of God revealed in the gospel.
2. The gladness of our hope is the glory of God accomplished in all things.
3. The end of our hope is the glory of God seen and enjoyed forever in heaven!
Illustration: My letter to ____ _____ - “Do not dread death, my young brother. You are going home soon to see the glory of God in Christ perfectly!
K. The Blessed Hope of Christ’s Coming – (Titus 2:13).
· What is your hope?
· Would you have a good hope?