Christ Is Our Hope

Advent 2023  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:02
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Hope in Scripture is not an wishful hope, but one of certainty.
We all are looking for this certainty and are tempted to look in the wrong places, as Isaiah and his fellow disciples of God were tempted as well. Let’s turn to Isaiah 8:11-21 and discover where our hope truly is.
Isaiah 8:11–21 ESV
11 For the Lord spoke thus to me with his strong hand upon me, and warned me not to walk in the way of this people, saying: 12 “Do not call conspiracy all that this people calls conspiracy, and do not fear what they fear, nor be in dread. 13 But the Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy. Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he will become a sanctuary and a stone of offense and a rock of stumbling to both houses of Israel, a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many shall stumble on it. They shall fall and be broken; they shall be snared and taken.” 16 Bind up the testimony; seal the teaching among my disciples. 17 I will wait for the Lord, who is hiding his face from the house of Jacob, and I will hope in him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me are signs and portents in Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells on Mount Zion. 19 And when they say to you, “Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,” should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the teaching and to the testimony! If they will not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn. 21 They will pass through the land, greatly distressed and hungry. And when they are hungry, they will be enraged and will speak contemptuously against their king and their God, and turn their faces upward.
Romans 9:33.
Romans 9:33 ESV
33 as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”
Hope springs from our relationship with God. We often do not see his hand at work, but we are to hope in his character and fear him more than we fear the uncertainty of this world.
Where are you looking for hope?
If you are looking to the world, you will not find a lasting hope.
You will find yourself distressed, hungry and enraged.
So how does one find hope in Jesus?
First, we remember the birth, the cross, and the empty tomb of Jesus.
Second, we look forward to his return to bring peace through judgement in his second coming. Isaiah 9:1-7 proclaims the hope of his first and second coming.
Isaiah 9:1 ESV
1 But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
Isaiah 9:1.
War usually comes from the north or south into Israel since these are the trade routes. The Assyrian and Babylonian attacks came from the north, and were an anguish to Israel. Yet when Jesus began his earthly ministry, he centered it in Galilee in the North, bringing God’s glorious good news to the people.
Christ brings us hope.
Isaiah 9:2 ESV
2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
Isaiah 9:2
Christ, the hope of the world, shines his light into their darkness.
He shines his light of hope into our darkness. Will we receive it?
Isaiah 9:3 ESV
3 You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
Isaiah 9:4 ESV
4 For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
Isaiah 9:5 ESV
5 For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.
Isaiah 9:3-5.
Christ, Israel’s hope, brings peace through judgement, culminating in the Armageddon war of Revelation 19:11-21.
We, in hope, look forward to this true world peace.
Isaiah 9:6 ESV
6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6.
Jesus, Emanuel, our hope, comes to us in the humility of a baby, the Son of God, who governs rightly.
His titles of Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, show he is more than qualified to bring hope to the world.
Isaiah 9:7 ESV
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:7.
This hope of Christ is sure and steadfast, for the Yahweh of heaven’s armies will accomplish it.
The Israelites of Isaiah’s time waited in hope for Christ’s first and second coming.
We wait in hope for Christ’s second coming where he brings peace through judgement.
Christ brings us a sure and steadfast hope now as we live in relationship with him. Hebrews 6:13-20 speaks of the surety of this hope in Jesus.
Hebrews 6:13–20 ESV
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
Christ is the fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham.
Christ is our Hope. May we hold fast to him.
Christ, the sure and steady Anchor In the fury of the storm When the winds of doubt blow through me And my sails have all been torn In the suffering, in the sorrow When my sinking hopes are few I will hold fast to the Anchor It shall never be removed
Written by Matt Boswell
Christ is our hope, our sure and steady anchor is this world. May we hold fast to him.
Today, if you are without hope, then reach out and grasp Christ, for he is your only true hope for this world and the next.
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