Summary: As we take a look around our world today, we can easily surmise that there simply is not much hope for people out there. As we consider the ongoing wars and battles being fought, the increase in violent crime, the proliferation of outright sin acted out r
Walking in Absolute Hope
Text: 1 Corinthians 15:58
Introduction: The Corinthian church was filled with problems. There were divisions; sin was being tolerated; false doctrine abounded and even strange, fleshly practices were being openly practiced during their worship. Paul wrote this letter to address their problems and to attempt to bring the Corinthian believers back into line with sound Christian beliefs and practices. The chapter before us is a defense of the reality of the resurrection. Verse 12 indicates that some were denying the reality of the resurrection of believers that is to come. Consider Paul’s words: "Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, There is no resurrection of the dead?" Apparently there were those in the church questioning the resurrection from the dead. Paul spends the remainder of this chapter declaring the awesome doctrine of the resurrection and laying a solid foundation for our hope as believers.
Nowhere else in the Bible can we find such a clear and complete statement concerning the death and resurrection of the believer and our future hope in Christ Jesus. Paul concludes his thoughts with the verse we have taken for our text today. This verse touches on the hope we enjoy as children of God and on what that hope accomplishes in our lives. This verse can help us dedicate ourselves to walking before the Lord in absolute hope.
As we consider the thought, Walking In Absolute Hope, please understand I am using this word "absolute" for a reason. As we take a look around our world today, we can easily surmise that there simply is not much hope for people out there. As we consider the ongoing wars and battles being fought, the increase in violent crime, the proliferation of outright sin acted out right before our eyes, the depravity of mankind in both his thoughts and actions, and all the rest of the horrors of this modern life, we are left with feelings of complete hopelessness.
The Father does not want His children living in hopelessness. In fact, He desires we live and walk in absolute hope. Absolute hope is a hope that is complete in itself. This absolute hope is complete within itself because the One who gives it is complete within Himself.
We must be careful that we do not fall into the trap of loosing our hope. When we loose hope, we often loose our desire to serve the Lord. We can easily come to the place where we say “What’s the use?” As we look at this verse, let’s consider what Paul has to say concerning hope and the benefits believers can derive from having an inner, absolute hope.
Paul begins by clarifying who the people of this absolute hope are.
I. The People of Absolute Hope
A. Paul calls them "my dear brothers" or "my beloved brethren."
1. He is referring to the children of God.
2. Not only the believers in Corinth, but to believers of all the ages.
3. Those who are born again, are the people of absolute hope!
B. These are a people delivered by grace –
1. Verses 1 and 10 reveal the fact of their conversion experience.
a. In v. 1, Paul says: you received the gospel message - referring to all who have acted upon the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
b. In v. 10, Paul clarifies the fact that it is by God’s grace alone that we are what we are.
2. We are a people saved out of the deadness, depravity and death of our sins by the amazing grace of God.
3. We have been brought into a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ through the grace of God.
4. If you have received the gospel message, repented of your former life and ways, confessed your sins then you have absolute hope!
C. They are a people destined for glory –
1. If you will read this entire chapter, you will come to understand that God has some big things waiting for His people.
2. Whether we leave here by means of death or the rapture, we are a people possessing a powerful hope of a bright, better future!
Application: Do you have that absolute hope today? You need not worry anymore about all the trying times the people of this world are having to go through. With God in your life and on your side, you have an inner hope that will not go away. I’m glad that I have hope! Things may look bad down here, but our prospects are out of this world!
Paul now expresses the power of this absolute hope.
II. The Power of Absolute Hope
A. The opening word "therefore" draws our minds back to all that Paul has said in these verses.