Summary: This is the 46th sermon in the series "3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope".
Series: 3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope [#46]
THE HOPE THAT COMES FROM FAITH
This morning, as we continue our “3:16- Numbers That Bring Hope” Series, I want us to also continue in our Advent Series. The word “Advent” means “arrival”, and it refers to the arrival of Jesus Christ into the world.
Matthew 1:19-21 (NIV)
“Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
The 2nd week of Advent is about faith. Joseph and Mary were engaged to be married. The tradition of that time was a 1 year engagement. When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, he was going to divorce her quietly. Can you imagine how sad and disappointed Joseph must have been? During a dream, Joseph was told that Mary was carrying the Messiah and that he was to continue to marry her.
This was a dream. Joseph had to believe that what the angel was saying was true; although he had no physical proof. That is exactly what faith is- Believing in something that none of your senses can pick up on.
Galatians 3:1-6 (NIV)
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing--if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness."
1. In human effort will always fail.
If you are trying to find salvation in living right or through will-power, you are going to fail. There was people in the Galatian Church that were being convinced that they needed to follow the Law if they wanted to be saved. Paul reminded them that the Law proves that we are guilty and should be eternally punished.
There is nothing that you can do on your own to be found righteous before God.
Galatians 3:11-16 (NIV)
“Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Christ.”