A Hope That Transforms / Una Esperanza Que Transforma

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Introduction

Hope is a powerful force.
Many African slaves before the Civil War longed for the day they would be freed.
Many Jews cried out in hope that they would be freed by the Allied forces.
Many immigrant first generation families hope for a better life. They long for realizing the American dream in their lives.
The people of God have had a similar hope throughout the course of redemption history:
Abraham hoped for God’s fulfillment of his promised heir.
The children of Israel hoped for their liberation from the house of bondage in Egypt.
Queen Esther hoped that God would spare her people from genocide at the hands of the evil Haman.
Simeon patiently waited in the temple of God with the hope that one day they would see the Messiah:
Luke 2:25-
Luke 2:25–26 NIV
Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.
Luke 2:25–26 NVI
Ahora bien, en Jerusalén había un hombre llamado Simeón, que era justo y devoto, y aguardaba con esperanza la redención de Israel. El Espíritu Santo estaba con él y le había revelado que no moriría sin antes ver al Cristo del Señor.
The church of God continues to hope in God. The apostle Paul directs our attention to what he calls the blessed hope!
Titus 2:13 NIV
while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Titus 2:13 NVI
mientras aguardamos la bendita esperanza, es decir, la gloriosa venida de nuestro gran Dios y Salvador Jesucristo.
Today we will consider:
Our blessed hope - what is it?
Our blessed hope - how does it affect us?
Our blessed hope - how shall we live?

I. Our blessed hope - what is it?

I. Nuestra bendita esperanza - ¿Qué es?

The story of redemption teaches us:
God created humanity and they sinned against him.
God gave the promise of a redeemer that would crush the serpent’s head.
God gave his law and sovereignly chose the people of Israel.
Israel failed to keep his law. God sent his prophets to call Israel to repentance and to declare the promise of a redeemer who would change people’s hearts and establish a new covenant with his people.
God sent his Son to be born of a virgin. He would live a perfect life and die as our substitute. He took the punishment that we deserved.
Jesus Christ died and rose again on the third day. He ascended to the heavens and is seated at the right hand of God.
Jesus Christ will come back to earth at the end of this present age to judge the wicked and to transform our mortal bodies and resurrect all those who died in faith - such that we will be with him for all eternity.
The blessed hope that Paul is speaking about is:
It is blessed because it is the greatest of all blessings. It does not compare to any material wealth or wordly pleasures.
It is blessed because we will be united forever with God.
It is blessed because it will signal the end of disease, pain, death, and sin.
It is blessed because suffering will be eliminated.
It is blessed because the enemies of God will be destroyed.
Many Christians no longer think about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We are so consumed with the toils and cares of this life.
Many are utterly immersed in the system of this world and all it has to offer that they do not think about the promise of the Lord’s return.
Many people have started to doubt that Jesus will fulfill his promise to return.
The truth is that God does not lie. He is true to his promises. Jesus will return. Just as he came 2,000 years ago and was born in Jerusalem - he will one day come back and redeem his people from the curse of sin!

II. Our blessed hope - how does it affect us?

II. Nuestra bendita esperanza - ¿Cómo nos afecta?

This blessed hope should have an effect on us! The reality of the second coming of Jesus Christ isn’t simply some abstract theological concept to fill our brains with information.
The second coming of Jesus Christ should affect our lives.
The second coming of Jesus Christ should impact our attitude, our way of life, and our hopes and dreams.
The blessed hope starts with the appearing of God’s offer of salvation to all people:
Titus 2:11 NIV
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
Titus 2:11 NVI
En verdad, Dios ha manifestado a toda la humanidad su gracia, la cual trae salvación
God’s grace appeared in the person of Jesus Christ. He ushered in the preaching of the gospel of grace.
Jesus preached that he was the one sent by God to reconcile us to God.
Jesus preached that he was the only way of salvation.
Jesus preached that he came to make men free from the bondage of sin.
Those who believe in the gospel will be saved.
The blessed hope affects our relationship with this world and all it has to offer.
Titus 2:12 NIV
It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Titus 2:12 NVI
y nos enseña a rechazar la impiedad y las pasiones mundanas. Así podremos vivir en este mundo con justicia, piedad y dominio propio,
We say no to an ungodly lifestyle and to wordly passions.
There are many
There are many things that the world sees as perfectly normal and acceptable.
There has been an incredible shift in society. Some changes have been for good and others have been extremely detrimental to society.
The liberation of African slaves what a righteous thing. The equality of African Americans was a necessary and just accomplishment.
The equality of women in the workplace, the ability to vote, the liberty to be protected against discrimination because of pregnancy, etc…was also a righteous accomplishment because it showed that women are also created in the image of God.
However, other shifts such as the right to abortions, marriage between people of the same gender, and the right to easy divorce have all resulted in the government’s support of that which God calls evil.
However, if we live in light of the blessed hope - the return of the Lord Jesus Christ we will not focus on participating in that which is ungodly or wordly.
We are in the world but we are not of the world.
We work in this world, we have friends in this world, work relationships, we go to school in this world - but that doesn’t mean we have to buy into the world’s philosophy.
What does the world teach us?
The strong survive and the weak are destroyed.
Money is the greatest achievement.
I can do with my body whatever I want.
The greatest good and my goal in life is my happiness.
There is no absolute truth. All faiths are equally valid - except any faith that would be so arrogant as to say they know the truth.
The blessed hope tells us that an ungodly lifestyle should not characterize those who believe in Jesus Christ.
Christianity is becoming too much like the world.
Being a Christian is no longer costly. Many people think they can continue living in their sin and enjoying their wordly pleasures as long as they once prayed the sinner’s prayer/were baptized/or occasionally go to church.
The truth is that this is not Christianity. Christians live a radical lifestyle. They testify to the world - I am not of this world. I cannot accept your philosophy because I serve a higher purpose.

III. Our blessed hope - how shall we live?

III. Nuestra bendita esperanza - ¿Cómo hemos de vivir?

The blessed hope changes us from within:
Titus 2:12 NIV
It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Titus 2.12,
Titus 2:12 NVI
y nos enseña a rechazar la impiedad y las pasiones mundanas. Así podremos vivir en este mundo con justicia, piedad y dominio propio,
We live self-controlled lives. These are lives that are not controlled by our impulses, by our flesh, by our desires. We are controlled/captive by God’s word. We live according to God’s law written on our hearts.
We live lives that are upright and manifest God’s transforming power.
This is the product of the new birth. This is not the product of religion.
Religion can give you ritual and traditions but it cannot transform your life. Religion can heap upon you many rules and requirements but it cannot change your life.
The new birth changes the way you think, the way you speak, what you do when no one else is around, it changes your most deep desires such that you want to serve God, you want to praise God, you are aware of God’s presence throughout every moment in your life.
The Bible knows nothing of carnal and spiritual Christians.
You are either a Christian - and this is manifested through a changed life.
...or you are a religious hypocrite - you have all the trappings of religion but have not experienced salvation - you need the believe in the gospel!
…or you are lost and you also need to believe in the gospel.
What is God’s purpose in all of this?
Titus 2:14 NIV
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 2:14 NVI
Él se entregó por nosotros para rescatarnos de toda maldad y purificar para sí un pueblo elegido, dedicado a hacer el bien.
Jesus Christ gave up his life to redeem us.
Redemption is the act of paying a price for our liberation/freedom/our rescue.
What Jesus did on the cross is no small thing.
Why would we continue to live in the bondage of our sin? Why would we want to continue living a wordly lifestyle if we have been freed?
The cage has been opened, the prison cell has been opened, and yet we refuse to leave our prison.
Jesus’ work of redemption was to redeem us from wickedness and to purify us for himself:
The work of God’s purification is called sanctification. This is God’s continuous work of molding us into his image.
God’s work of sanctification will continue throughout our Christian life as we become more and more like our precious Savior.
We are called, as the children of Israel of the old covenant, to be God’s chosen people.
As God’s chosen people we live for him.
As God’s chosen people we live under his law.
As God’s chosen people we live to be faithful to him above all other rulers.
As God’s chosen people we live to do that which is good.
This is why Christians have established hospitals, orphanages, and fought for the weak and protection of the helpless.
What has atheism done for the world?

Conclusion

Titus would face a difficult mission before him.
There were many believers in Crete that were living ungodly lifestyles. A common response would be:
What do you care…? This is my life!
Others would wrongly say that God does not care how we live - after all he is a God of love.
Paul encourages Titus:
Titus 2:15 NIV
These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Titus 2:15 NVI
Esto es lo que debes enseñar. Exhorta y reprende con toda autoridad. Que nadie te menosprecie.
Titus had a God given command to teach the truth of God’s word. Titus had to faithfully discharge his calling from God.
In the same way, Titus had a God given authority to rebuke the people of God.
Rebuke is a difficult thing.
Rebuke can be uncomfortable. But rebuke is sometimes necessary to awaken us from our spiritual slumber.
The servant of God must rebuke the people of God with the authority of the word of God.
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