Summary: “I feel so much better since I gave up hope!” The bumper-sticker shocked me. I couldn’t believe his cynicism – the blatant hopelessness now on display with every word and gesture. He was barely enduring life’s struggles – just surviving. This type of..
“I feel so much better since I gave up hope!” The bumper-sticker shocked me. It disturbed me so deeply, I followed the truck and asked the man, “How do you live without hope?” I couldn’t believe his cynicism – the blatant hopelessness now on display with every word and gesture. He was barely enduring life’s struggles – just surviving. This type of depression and despair is everywhere we turn. It is the end of a world without Christ, without exception. Our hope is not in politics, nor religion, nor possessions, nor accomplishments, nor relationships. True and lasting hope is only found in Jesus.
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. 1 Timothy 3:16
The matter is settled, the vote was taken, the decision was unanimous: it is without controversy. Yet, as Spurgeon said, ‘Self-evident truths will always find self-evident fools to contradict them.’ What is about to be discussed has enough proof it could fill up an entire lawyers library… the mystery of godliness. It is grand and excellent in its scope and effects. What was once hidden from prophets and Old Testament saints has now been revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ. To solve this mystery is to find hope. Let us being…
1 - Jesus Visible
‘God was manifest in the flesh.’ This phrase alone proves that Jesus is God. He is not just ‘a’ Deity or ‘a’ god – He is God (see John 1:1,14). Jesus existed before He came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem, but now He adds to Himself a body of flesh and becomes man. 100% God, 100% man, yet without sin. He came to walk among us so that we could, one day, walk with Him. Though often celebrated at Christmastime, the incarnation (revealing) of Christ brings great hope all year long.
2 - Jesus Vindicated
He was ‘justified in the Spirit.’ Jesus didn’t need salvation or justification from sin but from sinners. He was accused of being a sinner Himself: a blasphemer, a devil, a partaker in evil deeds. During His time on earth, two specific events were vindicating. First, Christ was declared right at His baptism (Matt. 3:16) when the Father declared a ‘Beloved Son’ and the Spirit descended on Him like a dove. Secondly and most importantly, Christ was proven to be everything He claimed to be at His resurrection from the dead (1 Peter 3:18). The resurrection brings more hope than one heart can hold! Hope that death is not the end, hope in God’s power, the hope of eternal life!
3 - Jesus Viewed
He was ‘seen of angels.’ The eyes of Heaven were focused earthward upon Jesus. Never had the angels been able to see such a clear form of the glory which they had enjoyed worshiping for so long. They stared in awe and amazement. Angels were present at His birth, at His temptation in the wilderness, in the agony of the garden, as He hung on the cross, when He rose from the tomb, and as He ascended on the clouds! To ponder the sheer number of angels that surround us, and their working in our lives (Heb. 1:14), is a tremendous hope.