Summary: The second sermon of a three part series, ‘Three Things That We Cannot Live Without.’
(Slide 1) Today’s message is a message full of hope because it will contain some ways that I ‘hope’ we will choose to become involved in so that we might offer hope to others. Today’s message also includes a guest speaker who will provide us with a very tangible way of offering hope to children and I will introduce her in a few moments. But, I want to spend a few moments at the start with a look at two passages out of the New Testament book of Hebrews in which hope is a key thought and focus in each.
(Slide 2) The first passage is the first verse of Hebrews 11: What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.
Last week, in a round about way, we looked at faith. Today, we link faith and hope together because hope is a key element in faith and faith requires hope.
Hope gives direction to faith because with out it faith can be come scattered and directionless. Hope helps faith to become focus because with hope we are able to say, ‘I hope that so and so will help me.’
Faith gives strength to hope. To have a weak hope is to have a weak faith. Faith energizes hope, and a very specific hope, at that. I have faith that so and so will do what is right because they have done such and so.
Faith then is a ‘confident assurance that we hope for is going to happen’ and we read in the rest of the chapter some very important illustrations of how faith and hope worked together in many key Biblical characters.
Another passage is our main passage for today, Hebrews 10:19-25 that comes prior to these words in Hebrews 11. They are important for us to read and study as it relates to hope because what is critical for faith – what or who we have faith in and why – is also critical for hope.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place because of the blood of Jesus. 20 This is the new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us through the sacred curtain, by means of his death for us.
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s people, 22 let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.
23Without wavering, let us hold tightly to the hope we say we have, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24Think of ways to encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
We cannot live without faith, hope, and love and we cannot love without faith, hope, and love in God through Jesus Christ. In this passage there are three things that are important to remember and practice when it comes to hope in Christ alone.
(Slide 3) The first thing is that the basis for our hope must be in something that is solid and real.
Now by use of the phrase ‘And so,’ our main text is a summary statement of what has been previously said in the previous verses which are verses 1 through 18 of Hebrews 10. So, what was said?
Verses 1 through 18, in a nut shell, is very closely reasoned argument for the superiority of Christ sacrifice on our behalf over the old system (practiced in Old Testament times) which is succinctly summarized in verse 18: Now when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.
No longer is a system of animal sacrifices needed for humankind to seek forgiveness of their sins from their creator. Christ, once and for all, has made it possible for us to come to God for forgiveness. But there is another side to hope that we must be aware of that I will be stressing throughout the second half of this sermon. (Slide 4) We must be hopeful people who give hope to others as we serve and care for them.
In 1 Peter 3:15 we read, ‘Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.’
This verse is set in a context of suffering for doing what is right so that, as Peter makes clear in verse 16, ‘Then if people speak evil against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.’