FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT - HOPE
by Dr Gregory Magruder | December 3, 2018
Gregory Magruder Parkview Baptist Gainesville, FL 12/02/18
INTRODUCTION: The Christmas season is the time of Advent. Advent means “coming.” The prophets of old predicted that the Messiah would come. God’s people anticipated his coming. We lit the first Advent candle, the Prophet’s Candle or the Candle of Hope, on the Advent wreath this morning. Christmas celebrates the promised coming of God in the flesh through his son Jesus the Messiah. Christmas also anticipates the time when Jesus will come again and establish his eternal kingdom. God offers us hope at Christmas.
Paul writes in Romans 15:13:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
HOPE BEGINS WITH THE GOD OF HOPE.
*Our God is the source of hope. His name is Hope. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing (15:13).
*At a time of despair and hopelessness, God promised his people that a Savior would come who would deliver them. The people looked to God in expectation for the coming Messiah. “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness’ (Jeremiah 33:14-16).
God is your source of hope this Christmas.
HOPE BELIEVES, ENDURES AND OVERCOMES.
*God fulfilled his promise to Israel. It took many centuries, but the hope of the coming Messiah helped God’s people to endure. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:30-33).
*God gives us the faith to trust him in all circumstances. The Holy Spirit empowers us and encourages us to keep going. We can thrive and have peace and joy no matter how difficult the situation. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (15:13).
You can go on in hope because Jesus is Immanuel, God with us.
HOPE LASTS FOREVER.
*Hope is eternal. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
*Christmas is about God becoming one of us, so we could become part of his family. Jesus Christ gives us the hope of eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
You can have the hope of eternal life this Christmas!