Summary: God has given you the ability to put your Faith in Him, and when you do so, He freely pours out his Mercy and his Forgiveness, and by His Divine power, you are RE-BORN, spiritually you become new, unblemished.

Genuine Faith Always Gets Tested

1 Pet. 1:3-12

Sept. 25, 1999

I am really excited about getting this sign put up, and I’m excited about being a

church that proclaims Hope through Jesus Christ. I thought about the people that will

drive by our sign, some everyday on their way to work, some everyday from their house

to town, some once a week to play golf, some once a week to eat at Lazy Earls, and it

could go on and on. Alot of people are going to see our sign. In fact, I have had quite a

few people ask me if we were selling our property since we took our old sign down, I told

them no, we were putting up a new one. People notice, people are watching, and folks

will read this message, New Hope for the New Millennium.

I’ve been thinking about these people. They have names, addresses, families, they

have sorrows and victories, they have hurts and hopes, they suffer through divorce, some

are just getting married. There a lot like us. They are busy, they are trying to make their

way. They get many of the same bills that you get in the mail. They listen to the same

world news that we do.

You see, we do have many of the same trials and tribulations in this life, we endure

many of the same things, it’s part of the human experience, the difference for the Christian

is This Hope that goes beyond this World. We have a Hope that far outlive the Y2K

crisis, if there is one. We have a Hope that will still be valid even if Wall Street becomes

obsolete. We have a Hope that goes beyond health, sickness, and even death. Our Hope

is Eternal, and as a Christian, That Hope Lives in Me.

Let me tell you today, there’s Hope for Clarksville, there’s still Hope for America,

it’s found in Jesus. If you have this Hope say Amen!

This morning, I want to share with you a Great Scripture describing this Hope

Eternal that is ours to have today. Let’s read again v.3-5.

To possess this Living Hope something must happen in your life. There must be

what the Bible describes as a New Birth. And the Bible in v.3 tells us that this New Birth

is a Gift of God, It’s the Gift of Faith.

God has given you the ability to put your Faith in Him, and when you do so, He

freely pours out his Mercy and his Forgiveness, and by His Divine power, you are

RE-BORN, spiritually you become new, unblemished.

This gift of Faith flowed from His Mercy. God’s Mercy described in this verse

characterizes who He is and how He relates to people. We should Praise God for His


ILL. A survey was taken of CHRISTIANS concerning their understanding of being born

again. One-third said they had heard the term used but didn’t know what it meant.

Another third said they thought they understood it but had never experienced it. The last

third said the new birth had happened in their lives.

Friends, if this survey was accurate, 66% of people who profess to be Christians

have not experienced the New Birth. Sadly, I believe that probably is pretty accurate in

our society.

Friends, there are many, many people who would call themselves Christian, but

would not be able to explain exactly what that means, or what happened spiritually to

make it so.

Can I tell you something this morning? If there’s anything we need in our church’s

more than anything today, it’s people who are genuine in their faith, people who are

authentic in their walk.

I can tell you what people are looking for in a church today, and I’m talking about

unchurched, non-chistian folks who would consider coming to church. They want a

church were the people are real. A church that doesn’t just go through the Religious

motions, but instead a people who actively involved in Worship and in Service. They have

all heard the talk, they are looking for the Walk.

Friends, this New Birth produces a real live Spiritual Life, this new Birth produces

a living hope that is evident in your life.

“This hope is the eager, confident expectation of the life to come.”


“Take from us our wealth and we are hindered. Take our health and we are handicapped.

Take our purpose and we are slowed, temporarily confused. But take away our hope and

we are plunged into deepest darkness.........stopped dead in our tracks, paralyzed.”

Where do we get our Hope? The Christians Hope is based on the Resurrection of

Jesus Christ. Eternal life is ours because God has promised it to those who put their trust

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