Summary: Abraham hoped against hope. How did he do that? How can we do that? Let's see what Paul says!
• Rango Video Clip
• SLIDE #1
• Everyone needs to have something to believe in. We need hope.
• For hope to be real it needs to be based in reality or put another way hope needs to be based on something obtainable.
• There were many things in life that I HOPED for when I was younger, to play in the NFL or to pay Major League Baseball as a pitcher (or any position).
• These hopes were not based on reality or something that I would be able to obtain.
• There are others things we can place our hope in that are obtainable but can only be obtained with a lot of hard work and some blessings along the way.
• Last week we looked at the attack on hope and we examined some of the promises that God made to Abraham. Abraham left everything because of the hope and faith he had in God and God’s ability to fulfill His promises.
• In the book of Romans Paul throughout the fourth chapter goes back to the example of Abraham to make his point with the readers.
• By the way we will start our look into the life of Abraham for the next six weeks in our Life Groups!
• The gist of chapter four is that justification by faith (or being made right before God) has been taught even on the Old Testament.
• We are told in verse 18 of the text we will examine together this morning that Abraham hoped against hope that he would be the father of many nations.
• This hope sustained Abraham.
• How could hope in a promise that took over 25 years to begin to take form and another 60 for the first grandchildren to be born?
• As you live your life how can you place your hope in God? How can you place your hope in His promises?
• I mean we do not see God; He does not hang out with us at the Mall. He does not text, email, call or Facebook us. Although I did get a Facebook message from God the other day, at least that is what the message said.
• When we follow God sometimes it will not make sense.
• Sometimes people will not understand.
• SLIDE #2
• 1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV) For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
• Hoping against hope means to still be able to place your hope in God even though your eyes may not tell you that you can hope in God.
• Sometimes we must hope against hope but to do that we need something to base that hope.
• Let’s start our examination with verse 16.
• SLIDE #3
• Romans 4:16 (ESV) That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
• SLIDE #4
We can hope against hope because:
I. God’s promises rest on His grace, not OUR perfection.
• In the first part of chapter four Paul speaks on the issue of the Law verses grace.
• Now for us today, we do not think of the issue of the Law of Moses. WE would think more in line with the thought of getting to heaven by being a “good” person.
• In verses 13-15 the discussion deals with the fact that Abraham’s promises were realized through faith, not because of the Law of Moses.
• Abraham could place his hope in God because Abraham did not have to be sinless perfect in order for God to be faithful to His promises.
• If man were innocent on his own, then it would make it impossible for God to be gracious.
• SLIDE #5
• Ephesians 2:8–9 (ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
• The Old Testament Jew was in a bad way because for them to have salvation, they had to be SINLESS perfect 100% of their lives. In other words they would not need to have sins forgiven because they would have none to be forgiven.
• It was easy to see why the religious leaders of the day took Ten Commandments and turned them into over 700 laws. They were really trying to help people to not sin.
• Abraham was promised he would be the father of many nations, he was promised that the world would be blessed through him and he was promised his descendants would be as the number of stars in the sky in Genesis 15:5.