Summary: 1. Real hope is hungry to be holy (vs. 3, 5-7). 2. Real hope refuses to be satisfied with sin (vs. 4, 8). 3. Real hope is secure in the Savior (vs. 9). 4. Real hope is led by love (vs. 10).

The Life Changing Power of Godly Hope

1 John 3:1-10

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 24, 2016

*Hope is a wonderful thing. John Maxwell said, "Hope is one of the greatest gifts leaders can give to those around them. Its power should never be underestimated. It takes a great leader to give hope to people when they can’t find it within themselves.

*Winston Churchill recognized the value of hope. He was prime minister of England during the darkest days of World War II. Churchill was once asked by a reporter what his country’s greatest weapon had been against Hitler’s Nazi regime. Without pausing for a moment he said: 'It was what England’s greatest weapon has always been -- Hope.'" (1)

*In vs. 3, the Apostle John talks about the hope we have as Christians, but what kind of hope was he talking about? One Thanksgiving when he was a little boy, Pastor James Chandler got asked to say the family prayer. And in that prayer he said: "Dear God, I sure hope the Oakland Raiders make it to the Super Bowl!"

*James remembers that prayer, because he learned it "wasn’t really appropriate." And he said, "As I grew, I also learned that real hope is not the kind of hope I mentioned in my prayer. Real hope is not a wish, but confidence in a certainty." (2)

*I like that definition: "Real hope is confidence in a certainty." Real hope, Godly hope, Bible hope, is joyful confidence in something that is certain. That is the kind of hope John is talking about in vs. 3: Confidence in the certainty of all we have in Jesus Christ.

*He’s talking about: Our hope of Heaven, our hope of the resurrection, our hope of perfection, the hope of all that we have in Jesus Christ. And John says: "Everyone who has this hope in (Jesus Christ) purifies himself, just as He is pure."

*In other words: Real hope in Jesus Christ has the power to change our lives. And in today's Scripture, God gives us four truths about the life-changing power of hope.

1. First: Real hope is hungry to be holy.

*Real hope longs to be like the Lord Jesus Christ. We see this truth in vs. 3, but we also see it down in vs. 5-7. There John said:

5. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin.

6. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.

7. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

*In vs. 7, there is a hunger to be righteous, just as Jesus is righteous, a hunger for holiness. Jim Elliot had a full measure of this holy hunger. He was one of the heroes of our faith in the last century.

*Jim Elliot was one of the five missionaries who were speared and hacked to death by Auca Indians in the rain forest of eastern Ecuador. It happened on Jan. 8, 1956, and the missionaries were armed with rifles but they did not try to defend themselves.

*"Life Magazine" later ran a ten-page article on their mission and death. But I want you to hear these few words from Jim Elliot’s journal, written in 1949:

*"I am dwelling in a generation to whom nothing is holy. Sacredness is an aspect people never assume toward anything. . . Oh, to be holy! Just to sense for a moment that I have somehow, however small, simulated some measure of Thy character, Lord Jesus." (3)

*Jim Elliot was hungry to be holy. And the Apostle John says that all Christians should hunger for holiness. But why should we be hungry for holiness?

[1] One great reason is because of what’s behind us, and that is the cross of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

*The cross of Jesus is why John could say what he said in vs. 1: "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" The cross of Jesus Christ was what led those missionaries to lay down their lives, even when they could have defended themselves.

*Colossians 1:14 tells us that in Jesus Christ "we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." And Colossians 1:20 tells us that our peace with the Heavenly Father came "through the blood of His cross." So Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price to give us hope.

*God’s Son took all of the punishment for all of our sins on Himself when He died on the cross for us. And the more we really look at Jesus' sacrificial love, the more it gives us a hunger for holiness.

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