This Sunday marked the first week of Advent, a celebration of remembrance of the birth of Jesus and anticipation of His promised second coming that incorporates a particular theme for each of the four Sundays in December up to Christmas. Today Pastor Loraine presented hope - the anticipation of something happening or coming. She shared about the hope that God gave when he sent Jesus to live and die for us; and about the hope we have of His glorious return to faithfully complete the work He started in us.
The passage she used from Ephesians 2:1-10 tells us why we needed hope. We were all dead in our sins, we had no hope. No amount of working, begging, or even sacrifices could get rid of sin. It was God’s love, God’s mercy, God making us alive that got rid of our sin.
Notice a theme here? It was all His doing, we did nothing to warrant mercy or solicit His grace. If we could have done anything to earn His favor and love, the founding reason He came in the first place would be for naught. Even the worst thing we ever did or could ever think of doing is forgiven as we receive the grace Christ came to offer. He made the way back to God possible, He opened the doors of heaven that the original sin had slammed shut and barred.
Even the worst thing we ever did or could ever think of doing is forgiven as we receive the grace Christ came to offer.
The hope He fulfilled at His first coming as our Savior also births within those who receive His forgiveness a new hope that one day He will come again and we will be finally free from the sin tainted restraints of this earthly life. One day; either through death or we witness His return while alive, we will be changed outwardly into the glorious creation He created within us on the day of our salvation. Only then will there be no more need of hope. His work will be perfectly manifested for all to see and to give the glory to Him alone for all He has done.
John Clark is a husband to Julie, a father of one son living in Valrico, Florida. He has an Associate Degree of Theology from Life Christian University, and serves at Life Center of Brandon where he is a teacher and writer.