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I Love My Church Series – Part 3
“Hope of the World”
Read Matthew 21:8-11
Jesus entered Jerusalem to celebration and excitement. The people were putting their hope in Him as the one to set them free from their oppression under the Roman Empire. But Jesus didn’t come to be a political or military leader. He came to offer a greater hope. That of being set free from sins, eternal salvation and living a purposeful life.
Hope is a necessary element of life. There are some things in life that we can’t do without for very long, like food, water or air. But it’s been suggested that we can’t live without hope for more than a second. We need hope in order to cope with all that life throws at us. We need hope not just when we’re in trouble, but every moment.
Some people place their hope in things that don’t last forever, like their bank account or their career. These things are only temporary.
We all need hope, but where do we find it?
God is the ultimate source of our hope and He can be trusted to keep His promise (Heb. 10:23).
As we conclude our “I love my Church” series, it’s imperative that we know that as the church we are God’s chosen means of taking His hope to a lost and broken world. We are the only organization that Jesus left to communicate God’s love to a world who desperately needs it. This means the church is the hope of the world.
FOUR WAYS GOD GIVES HOPE:
1. Salvation: I follow Jesus
Our greatest source of hope is a relationship with the God who loves us, sent His Son to die on the cross for your sins, never changes and who never lets us down.
The Bible tells us that God is perfect but we humans are not perfect. We’ve sinned, messed up, fallen short of what God desires for us. Our sin separates us from God; from His peace, presence, and power in our lives. The Bible says that we are dead in our sins, because we’re separated from God and life seems hopeless. But Jesus gave His life for us on the cross taking the punishment for our sins so that we could be forgiven, and have eternal life in heaven.
2. Identification: I am baptized
The Bible says that when you confess your sins you are adopted into God’s family and you become a child of God. You receive a new identity. The greatest demonstration of this new identity and life is baptism. Baptism is an outward sign of an inward transformation that happens at your salvation. In baptism by water immersion you identify with Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection. It demonstrates death to an old way of life, and the washing away of sin.
3. Edification: I am a growing church member
Edification means building up and growing in your faith. God doesn’t want us just to experience salvation and baptism, but to grow in our faith daily. When we are truly saved the process of becoming more like Jesus begins in us.
4. Invitation: I share my hope
Once you become a Christian God wants to use you to offer hope to those who are without hope. When we have made the decision to follow Jesus, then the greatest expression of that hope we have in Him is sharing our hope with others.
Let’s look at two steps in sharing our hope with those in our life.
HOW TO SHARE MY HOPE
1. Ask God to Use Me
That is one of the most powerful prayers to pray. God will answer that prayer when you pray with all your heart! God’s plan is to use us to offer hope to the people in our lives who don’t have a relationship with God.
And Jesus shared His plan for His disciples to go into the world and tell others about Him (Matthew 28:18-20).
This is God’s master plan to share the hope of Christ with the people in our lives who are living without hope. God says I have a woman at your office who’s going through a divorce, and she’s discouraged, she is without hope. Who will go for me and encourage her?
God says there’s a single mom living in your apartment building, and this month she can’t pull together enough funds buy groceries for her kids. Who is going to go for me and help her in that situation?
God says that guy that you play sports with every week, he looks fine on the outside, but on the inside he’s empty. He’s drowning, without hope and he’s thinking about giving up. Who will go for me, and invite him to church, so that he can meet Me, so he can know Jesus Christ?
You may be the only Christian that your co-worker or your neighbour or even your family members know. If you don’t invite them to church, if you don’t share your faith, who will?
And God wants to use you to share the hope of Christ with them. The Apostle Paul understood that his life was worth nothing if he didn’t use it to do God’s will of telling others about Him (Acts 20:24).
Ask God to use you to share your hope with the people in your life.
2. Boldly Invite Your Friend To Follow Jesus!
Paul told the believers in Rome he was not ashamed of the powerful Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16).
Memorize and reflect on Peter 3:15-16
It’s our ‘I Love my Church’ principle for this week.
We’re the best hope for the people in our lives to connect to the God who loves them.
We started this series with the words of Jesus in Matthew 16:18, …the powers of hell will not conquer the church.
We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, Jesus Christ our Lord!
I Love My Church Principle:
‘My church is where I can make an eternal difference.’
Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 15:58 that ‘nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.’
I Love My Church Principle:
My church is the hope of the world.
Always be ready to explain your hope (1 Peter 3:15-16)
God help us be the Church and make a difference in our world by bringing hope!
This sermon was preached by Pastor Elio Marrocco on September 23, 2018 at New Life Christian Church