Summary: It seems the more we go on in our walk, the more we seem to drag down and not remain energized in the Christian life. Hope fixes this.
Reason to Hope
Griffith Baptist Church – 7/20/08
Text: Romans 8:23-25
Key verse: Romans 8:23 - And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Reaching the end of a job interview, the Human Resources Person asked a young accountant who was fresh out of school, "What starting salary were you thinking about?" The Accountant said, "In the neighborhood of 100,000 a year, depending on the benefits package." The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of 5 weeks vacation, full medical and dental, Company Retirement Fund to 50% of salary, Executive Share Option Scheme, Profit Related Pay and a company car leased every 2 years - say, a 5 series BMW?" The Accountant sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?" The interviewer replied, "Yes, but you started it."
As we grow in Christ, we are challenged more and more in life: trials, temptations, growth pains
o Even our text says, Romans 8:22-23 - 22For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
o As we grow up in Christ, we really learn what hardships and discouragements are about
o We also should be learning how to deal with them
It seems the more we learn, the more we seem to drag down and not remain energized in the Christian life
God knows this and gives us encouragement with words of hope
o Look at Romans 5:1-5 - 1Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
o Tribulation produces patience which in turn gives us experience that finally gives us hope
o This is an ongoing cycle
o It is designed to keep us joyful and energized for Christ
Sadly enough, too many Christians are missing out on this portion of their life
o They are bogged down by the cares of this life
o They are missing the essence of their future by only living in the present
o They rob themselves of the very fuel they need to get inspired and do great things for God.
There are three reasons found in our text that we have a cause to hope
Transition Statement: The first reason is that we have the completion of our redemption to look forward too.
1. Reason One: Complete Redemption (23)
A. A little girl was sitting on Santa Claus’ lap. She gave him a whole list of expensive toys which she wanted for Christmas and then without a word of appreciation, she jumped off Santa’s lap and started toward her mother. Her concerned mother spoke quickly, "Honey, haven’t you forgotten something?" The little girl thought for a moment, then said, "O, yes." Then turning back toward Santa, she shouted, "Charge it."
i. Our sins are charged to someone else’s account
ii. Jesus Christ paid it all to redeem the unredeemable
iii. There is nothing that can equal the cost or the value of the one paying for the release.
B. This Christian life is only the first stage of redemption (first fruits of the Spirit)
i. “First fruits” were the beginning or the first installment of the Palestinian harvest (Lev. 23:10)
ii. The Spirit’s presence in believers is the actual beginning of the future world.
iii. This first stage in redemption is the deliverance in Christ – Romans 3:24 - Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
a. Redemption = to deliver by paying a price
C. The next life offers a complete fulfillment of God’s plan
i. We have the guarantee (seal) of the Holy Spirit - Ephesians 1:13-14 – 13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
ii. Our life ought to please the Holy Spirit - Ephesians 4:30 – And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.