Summary: Jesus is the Hope that arrived for our lives.
“The Hope of Christmas”
November 27, 2005
Theme: Hope gives us an eternal perspective on life.
Intro: Hope is a great encourager in our day to day lives. It gives us the ability to understand that our life can have a future of promise and a clearer path. We hold on to hope to see us through the difficult times and to give us a vision of better things to come.
Today we are going to begin a series of messages on the Advent. It is the leading up to the celebration Christmas and the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ to earth. (Light the first candle of the advent wreath.)
A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, "Eighteen to nothing--we’re behind."
"Boy," said the spectator, "I’ll bet you’re discouraged."
"Why should I be discouraged?" replied the little boy. "We haven’t even gotten up to bat yet!" (Found on WWW.Sermonillustrations.com)
Sometimes in life we simply need new perspectives, or gentle reminders that there is hope for better days ahead.
I. Jesus is the Reason We Have Hope
Ex: Without Jesus, all of mankind would be completely hopeless in escaping the consequences of our sin.
All of mankind is guilty before God.
“And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everyone else?” Romans 3:20 (The Message)
God gave hope to everyone that He would provide a path to Himself.
“Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)
Immanuel means “God with us”.
God himself was going to step into the world to provide the payment for the hopelessness of man.
The birth of Jesus brought light into darkness.
“The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.” Matthew 4:16
“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’” John 8:12 (NIV)
NAR: Darkness is the absence of light. We would not understand light if we didn’t understand darkness. Hopelessness is the absence of hope. We would never understand hope if we didn’t understand our desperate need for God.
APP: What are you hoping in? Good works? Doing enough?
II. Jesus is the Way We Receive Hope
EX: Jesus is not only our reason for hope, but he is also our path to hope. It is through Jesus that our hope in God is realized.
Jesus is God’s answer to our hopelessness.
“By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us – set us right with him, make us fit for him – we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand – out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.” Romans 5:1-2 (The Message)
God offered Jesus to us when we were completely separated from God.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this; while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8 (NIV)
It was in sacrificing Jesus that God gave us hope of peace with Him.
Our hope in Jesus is secure because He is our lifeline to God.
“This hope is like a firm and steady anchor for our souls. In fact, hope reaches behind the curtain and into the most holy place. Jesus has gone there ahead of us, and he is our high priest forever……” Hebrews 6:19-20 (Contemporary English Version)
The curtain represents the wall between God and man. But through Jesus that wall was eliminated and we are able to have peace with God.
I WILL SAVE YOU
John Piper puts it this way:
If we only knew it, every one of us is stranded on an ice face in Greenland, and the wind is blowing fiercely. Our position is so precarious that even if we inhale too deeply our weight will shift and we will plunge to our destruction. God comes to us and says in that moment, “I will save you, and protect you from the storm. But there is a condition.” Your heart sinks. You know you can’t meet conditions. Your face is flat against the ice. Your fingernails are dug in. You can feel yourself giving way. You know that if all you do is move your lips you’re going to fall. You know that there is nothing you can do for God!