Summary: This message is the conclusion of the series and focuses on Christ being our hope.
Painting God’s Masterpiece Part 8
This message will conclude this series. This morning we will examine how Christ represents our hope, our vision and our image. As I have gone through this series, I have been working on this drawing of Christ being the image we should be focusing on. I have previously shared with you that Christ is the head and we are the body and therefore whatever Christ does and wherever He goes, His body does and goes with Him. This is the image that we should be focusing on versus one of being alone and without any hope.
I. Jesus Christ: Our Hope; Our Vision; Our Image
When First Timothy opens, the following is stated in verse one: “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope.” (1 Timothy 1:1) Paul immediately identified that our hope lies with Jesus Christ. What this means is that He is our source for victory; our source for comfort; our source for healing; and our source for eternal life. He is our head and we are His body. All that we are rests within Him as He is the one who gives us the victory. Let me use this example. All of us at some point in our lives have been exposed to some type of competitive sport. If you are familiar with any sports team, most team have a star player, the one who makes it happen and can be counted on in most cases to help the team win. When this player is on the field or the court, the team plays different because they have what? They have hope based on the skills that this one individual has displayed in previous games. They have hope for a victory and they have hope in this one player. The coaches place their hope in the person and therefore the other players do the same. This person often carries the weight of the team, the fans and the sponsors on their shoulders. In Christianity and for me in all things spiritual, Christ is our hope. He is the one that will lead us to victory. When He is on the field or the courts of our lives, we play in this world a lot differently than when He is absent. When He is present, regardless of the outcome it is going to be all right. We must begin to see His image within us. Look at 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:17-18) In these verses Paul makes a couple of points that I want you to get a visual of. The first point I want you to see is what he said about where the Lord is. He says where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. We actually sing this verse in a song sometimes during our praise service. Where Jesus’ Spirit is, there is liberty. Have you ever wondered why this is? Liberty is defined as the “freedom from slavery or captivity; a particular right.” Many read this verse and think about having the liberty to do whatever they want to do. However, I want you visualizing your freedom from the slavery of sin; the slavery of sickness; the slavery of despair; the slavery of hopelessness; the slavery of past weaknesses and failures. All of these things we have been freed from when Christ entered our midst. The second part of the definition talks about having a right to something. Do you see yourself having the right to expect forgiveness for all sins? Do you see yourself having the right to feel hope; happiness and security? Do you see yourself having the right to be totally free from the things of your past that was unlike God? This is what this verse is talking about. Paul is letting us know that when Jesus is in the house (the house of our hearts) we are freed from all those things that hold us down and we are given the right to expect more. We do not have to be worried about “what if” because we have the right to focus on what shall be.
In verse eighteen Paul makes this dramatic statement: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” Before we go into this verse, I want to remind you of Paul’s background. Remember, he was the one who was out killing Christians. When He came face to face with Christ, he was a changed man and became instrumental in documenting what is available to us through Christ. So what he is sharing is coming from a man who made a dramatic turnaround in his life. He was really coming from left field because he had not trained under Christ directly as the other disciples had so he had a lot of catching up to do. He spent a lot of time with Christ in prayer and meditation receiving revelations from Him. So when you consider his background, he speaks of our transformation which is similar to what he himself went through so he was speaking from first hand experience.