Summary: The benediction of hope (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Romans chapter 15 verse 13.
Quote: Charles Swindoll:
• Hope is a wonderful gift from God,
• A source of strength and courage in the face of life’s harshest trials.
• When we are trapped in a tunnel of misery, hope points to the light at the end.
• When we are overworked and exhausted, hope gives us fresh energy.
• When we are discouraged, hope lifts our spirits.
• When we are tempted to quit, hope keeps us going.
• When we lose our way and confusion blurs the destination,
• Hope dulls the edge of panic.
• When we struggle with a crippling disease or a lingering illness,
• Hope helps us persevere beyond the pain.
• When we fear the worst, hope brings reminders that God is still in control.
• When we must endure the consequences of bad decisions, hope fuels our recovery.
• When we find ourselves unemployed, hope tells us we still have a future.
• When we are forced to sit back and wait, hope gives us the patience to trust.
• When we feel rejected and abandoned,
• Hope reminds us we’re not alone ... we’ll make it.
• When we say our final farewell to someone we love,
• Hope in the life beyond gets us through our grief.
• Put simply, when life hurts and dreams fade,
• Nothing helps like hope.
• According to the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 verse 13;
• There are the three abiding virtues (qualities), they are: “Faith, hope and love”;
Quote: Warren Wiersbe:
• FAITH compels us to LOOK UP;
• And have confidence in the true and living God.
• LOVE constrains us to LOOK AROUND;
• And encourage those who need our help;
• And HOPE motivates us to LOOK AHEAD;
• With assurance, knowing that the future is our friend because Jesus is our living Lord.
"HOPE" has been called the "Cinderella" of this great threesome:
• Question: Why?
• Answer: Because it is the one always left out! The one never taken to the ball!
• We hear a lot of messages on Faith, and a lot of messages on Love,
• But rarely do we hear a message specifically on HOPE.
Now our benediction and the surrounding verses:
• Are about Christian hope.
• And therefore it is a great benediction of encouragement.
(1). The SIGHT of this Hope (vs 12b)
• Note: At the end of verse 12,
• Paul quotes from the prophet Isaiah and says: "The Gentiles will hope in HIM."
The context of these verses is the Apostle Paul talking about God’s great plan of salvation.
• The apostle Paul describes a great choir of both Jews and Gentiles;
• Praising the Lord with one mouth.
Note: He does this by quoting four passages from the Old Testament:
• Each quote is very significant;
• And Paul uses them to show a beautiful progressive truth:
• Verse 9 Paul quotes Psalm 18 verse 49.
• To show the Jews glorifying God among the Gentiles.
• Romans chapter 1 verse 16 reminds us that;
• Salvation came “First to the Jew”
• Verse 10 Paul quotes Deuteronomy chapter 34 verse 43.
• To show the Gentiles rejoicing with the Jews.
• Don’t read that statement too quickly;
• Because it wasn’t always that way!
• Paul says in Ephesians chapter 2 verse 12 that the Gentiles were “Without hope”
• Because of the faithfulness of Jewish Christians to share the gospel message;
• Gentile nations had & have the opportunity to trust Christ as saviour!
• Verse 11 Paul quotes Psalm 117 verse 1;
• To show all Jews and Gentiles together praising God.
• Regarding those first two quotes;
• Let me suggest they refer to the past!
• First quote is Acts chapters 1-7: the gospel being taken to the Jews.
• Second quote is Acts chapter 15 when Gentile Christians were given equal status!
• This third quote may well refer to today (you and I):
• As one body/church made up of Jew/Gentile praise God together.
• Verse 12 Paul quotes Isaiah chapter 11 verse 10.
• Future hope when Christ shall reign over both Jews and Gentiles.
So our hope as Christians is 100% rooted in Jesus Christ:
• You and I (regardless as to whether you are Jewish or a Gentile);
• You and I who were once enemies to God and separated from by our sin.
• We can praise him this ???????????
• Because ‘in Christ’ he has reconciled us to the Living God.
• It matters not what Church (or denomination) a person attends;
• It matters not whether you are male or female,
• It matters not whether you are young or old,