Hope: Our Birthright

Hope: Our Birthright: 2017 Study of 1 Peter #02

This is an exposition of 1 Peter 1:3-12. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, March 19, 2017.

Intro:

Have you ever lost hope?  Have you ever been in the midst of a situation when there appeared there was nothing you could do?  Overwhelmed you just threw up you hands and said, “I quit?”  As far as you could tell there was no reason for going on.  You were just too tired to care and besides it just wasn’t worth the effort.  Have you been there?  Are you there now?  The loss of hope is a devastating thing.  Hopeless people do desperate things.  Hopelessness and despair are major killers.  Hope isn’t just something that helps us over the hurdle – it is essential to life.  Hope is necessary for survival.  Without hope life is a dark and grim existence.  Yet more and more we are becoming a hopeless society.  Vast numbers are living on the verge of despair.  In a crisis I appreciate when others are there to give comfort but I prefer someone to give me hope!

If I’m ever stuck in an elevator and I push that button and tell them I’m in car number 6 in building number 3 – I’m not interested in feeling a hand on my shoulder and a fellow passenger say, “I feel your pain.”  I want to hear a voice from outside that car say, “We know where you are.  We are working on it now and we will have you out in 5 minutes.”  It’s nice to have someone who shares your burden it is better to have someone who gives you hope.

But where does that come from?  How do you find it?

Webster defines hope as:
“A desire accompanied by an expectation.”
“A belief in fulfillment.”
“To expect with confidence.”

In an increasingly despairing world where are we going to find hope?  War rages.  Threats abound.  Cherished beliefs are mocked.  Traditional values crumble.  Our once dominant worldview is marginalized.  Where do we turn?  Well, we find some help from a wise old man.  He wasn’t a king or philosopher.  He was not a sage or guru.  He was a fisherman.  A man who traveled the road of despair but joyously found a way out.  His name was Peter.  Our text this evening is found in 1 Peter 1.

Text: 1 Peter 1:3-12

Peter was a follower of Jesus.
He came to Jesus through the efforts of his brother Andrew.
Andrew came to Peter and said, “Come, we’ve found the Messiah.”
Peter was unique among the apostles.
He was a mixture of courage and daring yet he lacked consistency.
He was quick to speak but often slow to think!

It is hard to imagine Peter’s pain as a result of denying Jesus.
Immediately he went out and wept bitterly.
We can only imagine the pain of seeing his Lord crucified.
The despair of seeing his lifeless body limp on the cross.
And then came that word – “I am alive.  Go.  Tell my disciples and Peter.”

Hope was reborn in the heart of that despairing, defeated disciple.
Now, years later, as an old man he is writing to believers in the face of despair.
Persecution, pain and suffering await them.
Peter says to these hurting, struggling believers, “There is hope.”

The words of Peter echo through the centuries bringing encouragement and life to embattled believers today.  His words, inspired of the Holy Spirit remind us that:

Thesis: Hope is the birthright of the child of God.

I know there are those who do not believe that “doctrine” is practical.  I know there are those who prefer messages that deal with “real life issues” but consider this.  Peter is writing to a group of folks who are in desperate times.  Facing life and death issues and he begins by making a profound doctrinal statement about the nature of salvation! 

And by the way he doesn’t talk to them about salvation because they are going to need it after they die but because they are going to need it in order to live!

There are four things I want you to see related to our hope in Christ.

  1. Our hope is anchored in God’s gracious work of redemption.  (1:3-5)
  2. Our hope is fortified through adversity.  (1:6-7)
  3. Our hope is secured by saving  faith.  (1:8-9)
  4. Our hope has been the focus of God’s progressive revelation.  (1:10-12)

Conclusion:

This is our hope.  Regardless of circumstance.  Regardless of how troublesome life may be – there is hope for the child of God.  There is peace and security in Christ.  This is the birthright of the child of God.

Hope that is anchored in God’s gracious work of redemption.
Hope that is fortified by trial.
Hope that is secured through saving faith.
And hope that has been the focus of God’s progressive revelation.
Take heart child of God – rejoice in your salvation.

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