Summary: Christ died so that both your faith and your hope are in God. He died to transform you from the power of sin.
James Hammond was a plantation owner during the Civil War who served as a congressman as well as the 60th governor of the state of South Carolina. Besides defending slavery, Hammond was guilty of an unbridled sexual appetite. In 1839, Hammond purchased an eighteen-year-old slave named Sally, along with her infant daughter, Louisa. Hammond fathered several children by Sally, and then, when Louisa was twelve, he discarded Sally in favor of her daughter. The two had several more children throughout the politician’s lifetime. Hammond’s career in politics nearly came to an end when his brother-in-law, Wade, accused him of molesting his four daughters, ages thirteen through eighteen. What makes the story even more telling is that Hammond possessed the innate ability to overlook his own sins. After his wife left him and he lost many of his slaves and livestock through sickness, Hammond wrote the following in his diary: “It crushes me to the earth to see every thing of mine so blasted around me. Negroes, cattle, mules, hogs, every thing that has life around me seems to labour [sic] under some fated malediction.... Great God, what have I done? Never was a man so cursed… what have I done or omitted to do to deserve this fate?”
Sin is deceiving disease and pride, especially is self-blinding. Like a person who thinks they can sing when everyone else knows that cannot, sin is frequently is camouflaged from our very eyes. “Pride is the carbon monoxide of sin. It silently and slowly kills you with you ever knowing it.”
Recently I sat down with a young lady who told me the heartache in her life. I hope she is here today. She talked about the pain of a husband of nearly twenty years that is drinking himself to death. She talked about the abuse that her two daughters had faced. She talked about her pain when she left him nearly two years ago now. This young lady spoke about the hurt that her two daughters faced because she couldn’t provide for her family like her husband did. So they were embarrassed by an old car and not-so-nice of a house. They hurt because the oldest child is living with a boyfriend who treats her wrong much like her father did her mother. This mother talked about the hurt of her life.
This morning I want to give you hope to that you rid yourself of your bad habits and your destructive lifestyle. I want you to sense and feel and know that real hope is possible from your pain. I want you to understand that hope is not only a city in our beloved state of Arkansas, it’s also can be found at the cross of Christ. Hope is not found in a political candidate running for President… No, ultimate hope is not found in Washington, DC, where we live, who our father or mother is… or even in nice cars and spacious homes Hope is squarely and ultimately found in Jesus Christ alone. Hope is found for the thing that really ails us.
For the pain that scars us is the pain that is inside of us. It’s the pain of our bondage to sin. We turn this morning to the words of the Apostle Peter who reminds us of the Hope that is found in Christ to rescue us from our “futile ways inherited from your forefathers” 1 Peter 1:18 I want you to see that hope is found in Jesus Christ. there is three prepositional phrases we are focusing on when it comes to our pain and Christ’s death: Our hope arrives because we know … what Christ redeemed us from… what Christ redeemed us with … and what Christ redeemed us for. Peter is going to contrast the change Christ makes by showing you your past, your future, and the “how” Christ changes you.
“And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 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 1:17-21).
Peter writes from Rome (1 Peter 5:13) to the believers in what is now know as modern-day Turkey (1 Peter 1:1), an area of many square miles. Peter writes to believers who are facing a testing of their faith. Just on the onset of a severe persecution from Nero (Peter is probably writing around 62-63 AD), modern-day American Christians struggle with identifying with the believers in Peter’s day.