There once was a preacher who was at a dinner and was asked to get up and give a short 10 min talk. Well we all the dangers involved in asking a preacher to get to give a short talk. Anyway, after the 20 min had expired the preacher just kept on talking. After 35 min. the master of ceremonies gave a little rap on the table with is gavel. The preacher just kind of ignored it and kept right on talking. After 40 min. the master of ceremonies gave a little louder rap with his gavel. Still the preacher kept right on talking. After 1 hour with no end in sight the master of ceremonies band his gavel as hard as could. But still the preacher went on. Finally in a fit of rage the master of ceremonies threw the gavel at the preacher. The gavel sailed over the preachers head and hit an old man who was sitting at his table fast asleep. The old man woke with start and shouted, "Hit me again I can still hear him!"
I would like to tell you a more serious story. This story is found in the gospel of Luke, you do not have to turn there I just want to rely the story to you. It is Luke’s account of two disciples who were waling to their village one Sunday afternoon. As they walked they were discussing the events concerning Jesus death. As they continued their walk they were joined by a stranger who happened to notice how said they were. The told the of how the high priest had delivered Jesus up to be crucified. Then they said "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel…"
There is nothing so devastating as having lost hope. For these men there hope was gone. The one they had hoped to be the redeemer of Israel, was in their minds dead. Along with the death of Jesus, came the death of hope.
We have all lost hope in some sense at some point in our live. Maybe it was our favorite shorts team that gets so far behind in points that there was not hope in them winning. Maybe it was a little more serious, maybe you there was time when you were without a job and with no money. Maybe it was a health issue were you thought there was no hope for you or loved one.
During those time perhaps you want to take the advice of Job’s wife, who told Job to "Curse God and die".
But let us never give up hope, because for the Christian life is essentially a life of hope. And that is what I want to talk about today. The Hope we have as children of God.
Please turn with me know to our chapter for today, Titus chapter 1 verse 2. I am going to read both verses 1 & 2 so that we get the context.
"Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began,"
Paul uses this word "hope" three times in the book of Titus. Twice here and in 3:7 he speaks in regards to the "hope of eternal life". In 2:13 he uses the word Hope in regards to the glorious seconding coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Today I just want to focus on this hope that Paul mentions, and wherein this hope lies for the Christian. Next week we will deal with the object of this hope as mentioned here which is eternal life.
Hope let us realize is necessary to the human spirit as oxygen is tot he physical body. When we lose all hope we are overcome with feelings of senselessness, purposelessness, and despair. Lack of hope can destroy our very lives.
He word Hope occurs some 52 times in the New Testament alone. And if you take the time to look up those 52 passages you will find that it ALWAYS is connected in some way to God. God is the author of hope, Romans 15:13 tells us "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Our God is the God of hope, and here there is a prayer that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Thess 2:16 tells us that we can be recipients of "good hope through grace". We are told the Christ is our hope in 1 Tim. In Col. it is stated that Christ dwelling in us is our "hope of glory".
So over and over again we see that our hope is connected with our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hope is that which connects us with the future just as memories connected us with the past. How do we know what has happened to us in the past, we know through our memories, we can think back at what happened.
That is what hope does for our future. How do we know what will happen in the future. We have hope, which is our Lord Jesus Christ. Sure there might be valleys, just as there were valleys in our past. But the hope we have in Christ Jesus should make us realize that some day we will stand on the Holy Mountain of God, reigning with Christ, beautifully adorned as bride for the bridegroom. Worshiping God, praising God, dwelling with God. That is what hope does for us.
But what exactly is hope? One of the definitions I read for hope stated, "Hope is, desire, with the expectation of getting what is desired." One cannot hope for that which he neither desires or expects to receive.
Sometimes our hope can be misplaced. There are those who hope to receive eternal life in heaven without acknowledging Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
There are those who hope to grow in Christ without reading His word or going to God in prayer on a regular basis. There are those who hope to live happy lives even though they are in rebellion to God.
All these are misplaced hopes, false hopes, hopes that our not founded and based in God.
Life can be difficult and harsh, and there are times we may think that it will not get better. But there is hope, true hope in Christ, and there is hope no where else.
I want to give three reason for the type of hope Paul mentions in Titus 1:2.
The first is The WORD OF GOD GIVES HOPE. A verse that we referred to a lot when we did that series of sermons from the OT a while ago. Romans 15:4; "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."
The scriptures give to us hope. The stories of old give us hope. This verse can be looked at in the context of both the Old and New Testaments.
You see folks are problems are not now. We may think that our problems our unique to ourselves, but there has been someone else who as gone through them before.
God ministered to them in their situation and He will do the same for us. The same God who dealt with those saints of old, deals with us today. God ministered to their needs and He will ours.
Our you lonely and depressed. Look at Elijah, he thought he did not have a friend in the world. He thought he was the only one who still loved God. He was alone and depressed. But Elijah found that God was still with him, that God was there. God showed Elijah that things were not as bas as he thought.
Are you frightened? Something in your life has gotten out of control? Look at David, he fought a 9 foot 6 inch giant and beat him. God was with David, no need to be afraid when God is on our side. As the Bible states, "if God is for us, who can be against us?"
Are you being treated unfairly? What about Joseph? He was treated unfairly. He treated unfairly by his family, but Potiphar’s wife, by Potiphar himself, and the list goes on. Yet His hope was in God. He rose for prison to be the second most powerful man in Egypt.
Are you in some sort of crisis? Talk about a crisis how would you like to be facing a group of hungry lions with nowhere to run! That’s were Daniel found himself. What did Daniel do? He prayed, because He knew where is hope was, it was in God.
These stories and more are given to us that we might have hope. Hope in God, knowing that He is still there, that He cares for his children. No of our problems are new, God has seen them before. Maybe the outcome will be different then what we see in the Bible, but let us know where are hope is!
The promise found in the Bible give us hope. In Hebrews 13:5 "…For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Jesus will not leave us, He is always with us. Even when we go places we should not be, or say things we should not say, or do things we should not do, Jesus is with us, our hope is there.
No matter what our situation, hope is there, that Hope that is Jesus Christ.
The second reason for hope is the Cross of Jesus Christ. The cross ought to remind us that someone loves me, and that someone is master of the universe, He is Lord of all, King of kings. Listen to Jesus words in
John 15:13; "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends."
There is no greater love then the love Jesus Christ as for the saints of God. A love by which He came to earth and died for our sins, paid the price of our sins with His own blood. We cannot even begin to understand that love of Christ.
That love ought to give us hope, because that love demonstrates to us, how much Jesus cares for us. How much the Father cares for us and desires what is best for us.
Romans 8:32 "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
If the heavenly Father sent His own Son for us, to die for us, to give eternal life. Why would He not freely give to us all things. All things here does not pertain to our desires but our needs.
Our hope is in God because He has demonstrated to us through the cross of Christ that He desires for us what is best.
The cross also reminds us that God will forgive me. Our sins have been for in full by Christ. When we place our trust in the finished work of Christ there is no place for guilt in our lives, we are forgiven!
Listen to Col. 1:21-22; "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight;"
What hope there is in the cross of Christ. What assurance! Jesus as reconciled us to the Father, presenting us holy, blameless, and above reproach. Our hope is not in what we have done, our works, our hope is seen in the finish work of the Cross of Jesus Christ. AMEN?
Thirdly, the empty tomb give us hope. The resurrection of Christ assures me that I can change too. Many times we wallow in our sin, thinking we cannot change, that there is no hope. We just resign ourselves saying that is just the way things are, that is just who I am.
That is not the truth, there is hope. If God can take a body that had been dead for three days, and give life, make it a glorified body, then He can and will change us.
Listen to Romans 6:3-6; "Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin."
There is hope in the resurrection of Christ. Hope to no longer be slaves of sin. Not just some sins but all sins. Just as Jesus was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so should be walk in the our new life in Christ. By what? Our own strength? Our own will? No, but by the glory of the Father, by our hope, which is God!
Let us not give in to sin saying that this is the way I am, this is that way life has to be. That is lie from the father of all lies, Satan. We can change, no we must change.
If we have received Christ we are a new creature in Christ. Listen to 2 Cor. 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
Brothers and Sisters if you have received Christ as your Saviour and your life has not changed you need to take a good hard look at your Salvation and whether it is genuine.
Because the Word of God states if you have truly received Christ as Lord and Saviour you are a new creation, old things have passed away, they have died. Things have become new! Change has come to soul and that change will effect your life, it must effect your life.
The resurrection give me hope that I no longer have to live as slave to sin, that just as God rose Christ from the dead, He has raised me from being Spiritually dead.
The empty tomb also assures me of eternal life. It gives me hope for a better life in the presence of God. Better then anything I have ever known on this earth. We are going to talk more about that next week.
We will talk on the hope of an eternal home which is undefiled and spotless.
We will recognize who Jesus Christ is, as John 11:25-26 tells us Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
So we have seen this morning who are hope is. We have seen three reasons for hope, God’s Word, The Cross of Christ, and the Empty Tomb.
In closing I want us to realize something, that without Christ there is no hope. With God in your live, there is no hope.
As someone once said, "Life with Christ is an endless hope, life without Christ is a hopeless end."
If you are here this morning and you have never acknowledged that you are a sinner and placed you trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sin, you have never professed Him as Lord and Saviour. Trusting in Him and in Him alone for the forgiveness of sin, if you have never done that let me ask you. Where is your hope? What are hoping will get you to heaven? Good works? Do you think you could actually do enough good works to earn your way into the presence of a Perfect, Holy God? Cause that is what it will take.
Is your hope in the fact that you come to church or that you are religious? The Bible is full of people who were religious yet they missed the mark.
Your hope needs to be Jesus Christ, he is your only hope. I pray that you would trust in Him today. Acknowledge Him as your Lord and Saviour, go to for forgiveness. Place your hope in the only one who can provide hope.
LET US PRAY