Focus On Hope

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Scripture Focus- Romans 5:1-5

Click Here To Listen To The Sermon (The vocal quality is very poor due to the preacher being under the weather.)

What are you looking forward to?

 Hope (in popular thought) is uncertain optimism.

Hope (in biblical thought) is a strong & confident expectation.

Hope is an activity and an object of focus, and is never passive. Hope is active.

Focus is directed attention on a point of concentration.

In the Bible, hope focused on salvation from God and the past, present, and future blessings of knowing God.

The foundation of our hope v1 Since we have been declared righteous by faith. The doctrine of justification (sinners are declared righteous)- Through faith in Jesus, God declares an ungodly person to be righteous based on his finished work at the cross. We do not deserve nor can we earn righteousness, it comes to us by the grace of God. Since we have this certainty, we can focus on hope.

V2 We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.

We can focus on hope because we have peace with God.

V 1. . .we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The world chases after peace. The United Nations sponsors an International Day of Peace (September 21st this year). Ultimately, it is about bringing people together and reminding them of their common humanity. In the entire existence of the world, less than 10% of time has actually experienced peace. There are currently 40 armed conflicts going on in the world.

Eternal peace can only be found in God. Peace with God is different from the peace of God. The peace of God is inner peace that God gives to believers. Peace with God marks the end of our being enemies of God. Colossians 1:21 Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions. Our sin brings about the wrath of God. Jesus endured the wrath of God toward sinners, satisfying God, and ending our hostility through faith.

Isaiah 9:6 For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Jesus is our peace, Jesus has made peace, and Jesus preached peace.  He is our peace and is the origin of peace. He brought peace and he proclaimed peace. Everything God has for us is found through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Our Lord- Deity and Sovereign Power

Jesus- Humanity, took on flesh in the incarnation, without sin.

Christ- Promised Messiah, Anointed One

We can focus on hope because we have standing with God.

V2 We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand.

We have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace. The same idea was used to speak of introducing someone to royalty.

Our condition before Christ- We were alienated and hostile because of our evil actions.

A man and his 12 year old son got lost hunting in Manitoba a few weeks back. When they didn’t return the police began the search. A police dog named Enzo and his handler followed their tracks and in about three hours tracked them down.

 Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Colossians 1:22 But now he has reconciled you by his physical body through his death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before him.

Ephesians 3:12 In him we have boldness and confident access through faith in him.

Belief brings us into God’s grace. Have obtained> we stand= past action, with ongoing results. We stand in a place of solid footing because we are in Christ.

We can focus on hope because we have certainty in times of affliction.

 V3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions.

So if we have peace with and access to God, why do we have afflictions/difficulties? We live in a sin-fallen world and yet God is redeeming his people and promises to see us faithfully through to be with him. Our future hope is that present afflictions will be overcome eternally. Experience the reality of your situation and face it directly. Trust God to use your afflictions to shape you.

We know that affliction produces endurance- literally pressure brings perseverance. Endurance cannot be produced unless there is a time of testing.

We know that endurance produces proven character. Proven character is character that has passed the test and shown itself to be genuine.

We know that proven character produces hope. The same hope is in view as in verse 2, but now it is deeper, stronger, and more lasting. At the beginning of the Christian faith people are full of hope. Then afflictions come. When afflictions come and you hold on to God, you become more certain of hope than you ever have been.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

The Roses Will Bloom- Ralph Stanley (Shine On): For Job every rose in his garden had faded. All the flowers in his life had all withered away. But he said I know my Redeemer liveth and the roses for Job they all bloomed again. The roses will bloom again some morning no matter how long the winter has been. When you see the Rose of Sharon in the beautiful garden it’s gonna come spring time again.

V5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 Hope will not disappoint us, hope will not make us ashamed!