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A Hope That Stands the Test of Time

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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April 16, 2022 4:00 am

A Hope That Stands the Test of Time

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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April 16, 2022 4:00 am

Is your greatest hope for wealth? Success? Love? Hear about “hope that out-hopes even our best hopes,” and find out why genuine Christian hope is joyful and confident even in difficult circumstances. That’s our focus on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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No, what is your greatest hope for wealth, success, love today on Truth for Life. We can will hear a special Easter sermon in which Alistair Begg tells us about a hope that out hopes.

Even our best hopes were studying first Peter chapter 1 verses three through five years ago and I have the privilege of meeting John wooden.

I didn't realize what a privilege it was.

It was on a golf course and I didn't know that he was a celebrated basketball player and then basketball coach. He was such a nice man that I began to investigate him and what made him take and how things work for him and in the course of my investigation I discovered that he was a man about the basics of things. Indeed, it is reported accurately so that when he brought in a freshman class to UCLA and was dealing with them in their first practice session. The first talk that he gave was a talk on how to put on your socks properly.

That is very basic. Vince Lombardi and began his preseason training, always with the legend relying this is a football you can get more basic than that and I want to take a leaf out of the book. This morning I want to be as basic as possible. Some of us are not as familiar with the Bible as we might think we are. Some of us think the epistles were actually the wives of the apostles and if we will be hard-pressed to come up with a number of the commandments, but I'm not saying that to make you feel bad is good just to be honest about things Be as busy as we can.

This is a Bible. This is a Bible is really going to start. You have one in the pew. I've suggested that you read it, we are offering you a Bible because we believe that the Bible is God's word that he speaks to us through it that it is not just a compendium of legendary tales, but it is living and it is active. This Bible is a book about Jesus. It is a story that you will not find in any other ideology or religion anywhere in the world. It is the story of free forgiveness and of new life granted to those who have done nothing to deserve it and who could never in three lifetimes achievement and we're going to discover that I'm here Peter encapsulates florescent just a matter of a few phrases this good news and I want to pay particular attention to what he says in verse three of the passage that we've read God in his great mercy he has given us new birth. Here's the phraseology into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead by the way, we should keep in mind that the Peter who is writing this is the same Peter who denied Jesus on the night that he was betrayed when one of the servant maid's in the high priest's courtyard suggested to others around her that this man, this Peter had actually been with Jesus and Peter turned to her and said woman I don't even know and yet the gospel writers tell us that Peter within a matter of a short time six weeks or so was I would on the Jerusalem streets with an entirely different message from what had been theirs on good Friday because you see for Peter and the rest of the disciples, the death of Jesus had meant the end of the road.

They had begun to follow Jesus with all kind of holds about his Messiah ship bad things in their minds that were accurate many that were inaccurate. But when they finally look to find them taken into custody and then brutalized in the way he was.

They all deserted him and fled the all window and ran away, and understandably so. Because all of their hopes and collapsed all of their dreams have faltered and he had a beginning to their story but they had no end to. So if we had encountered them in Jerusalem. We would have been hard-pressed to find him, but he would have been sequestered away fear that what had been done to Jesus might be done to them, and yet within six weeks or so. Peter is on the streets of Jerusalem, speaking for the rest of his colleagues in making this great declaration. God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses of the fact it doesn't get on the streets of Jerusalem and say Jesus is dead. But he said a lot of good things and he did a lot of good things and so we have collected the best of what he said he did and we determined that we will hold onto these tenets of the Nazarene bar carpenter and we're going to try and introduce them to the world. No not. It would have been interested in that for a moment know what he has to say something far more dramatic. Jesus is risen from the dead, and where the witness is now the skeptic will not be convinced by this. This fact this affirmation is not enough to convince the skeptic of the fact of the resurrection, but it ought to give the earnest and honest seeker pause to think what shall I do with these claims of Jesus because when we read, we discover that the Peter who is devastated on good Friday was very quickly reinstated.

When Jesus met with him on the beach in a memorable meeting around breakfast time and as a result of that reinstatement, in which he was entrusted with the responsibility of feeding the followers of Jesus, Peter writes this first letter, and then again a second letter know in writing this letter.

What he's doing and you will discover this to be true. If you read it for yourself.

He's writing to the followers of Jesus. He's not writing to people to try and convince them to be followers but he's writing to the followers of Jesus to encourage them to live for Christ to declare him as the risen Lord, despite opposition, and despite persecution. In other words, is not writing to a group of people who are enjoying the privileges we enjoy this morning that is a different place. It is a different time and it is clearly a different context.

These people's lives were in jeopardy they lived on the very knife edge of things because many of them had turned their backs on the formal religion of their upbringing.

They were challenging the really there the religious and political authorities of the day and so Peter writes to him, and he says no I want you to understand these things are true of the Christian and they will help you in what you're facing in fight. He anticipates that they will get a hold of this to such an extent that there will be's occasions when people will actually ask them to give them a reason for the quotes whole that they have that they will be so defined by being engaged with the hope that stands the test of time that those who don't have that whole who might wonder granted will come and ask them about is perfectly understandable in the first century, and indeed in every century because nobody can live without hope.

As soon as hope goes our bodies and our minds shut down. We understand this and even in the highest of circumstances. As long as there is hope is radically different. Somebody can live in squalor with hope, but he cannot live in a castle without hope. No, Peter is not here vetting to phone hopes that may or may not be realized when we think in terms of hope many of us think immediately that we're talking about that which by very definition is uncertain. I hope it won't rain tomorrow. I hope the stock market will will recover II hope that I will make it to my retirement and so long, that is not what he's referring to what he's referring to Christian hope. The hope that is here in the New Testament is not the hope which clings to a mere possibility, but it is a whole I joyful confident expectation in the fulfillment of the promises of God.

It is if you like entering into our reality that is based on that which is verifiable, which produces a change in the present and help says to look to the future now. Essentially, I want you to notice those three elements past, present and future. First of all to notice that the hope of which Peter speaks here. I hope that stands the test of time is one that is anchored in the past is not swinging in the breeze.

It is not subjective. It is not a hope that is clutched out of the air so that we psych ourselves up to something know the hope of which he speaks. You will notice is anchored in the past verse to verse three in his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope so. There are two foundational elements to the hope of which he said he writes and the reality of hope in the Christian life. One mercy or the grace of God which is nothing to do without achievements or attainments and to the reality that historicity the anchor-based conviction that Jesus Christ is alive.

If you are a Christian today then you have been removed from the realm of hopelessness. That is one of the distinguishing features of a Christian the Christian genuine Christian is not someone who is decided just to be a little bit better. There are a lot of people who are a lot better and some of them are a lot better. A lot of the time than those who are genuine Christians was a little worrying, but it's a fact. I know a lot of really really nice people who are better than me a lot of the time will you say then what is your Christianity is founded in grace and mercy. If you had to be a better person in order to be accepted and some of my friends will been accepted long before me, but it's when you're a stinker that you accepted on the basis of God's grace we see many people think if there is a God and he's paying attention to anything at all, and if he is a good God that he will reward nice people for doing their best. That's normal. Peter is saying here. No way saying that this living hope is found not in the person who is decided to become better or the immoral person is decided to turn over a new leaf or the person is been largely secular, getting into quotes spirituality. All of that may be done by human endeavor, but this cannot be done by human endeavor. What he's describing here is something that is done by God in all eyes not done by offense for God in each speaks of it as a birth and it is a birth that takes place on the basis of what Jesus has done. The hope is found in the death of Jesus, so I stand in Christ with sins forgiven and Christ in me the whole of heaven is what is it that it is because of what is happened in that which we commemorate on good Friday and what is been achieved in the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday that the Christian has a living hope because their confidence is placed there. It is a living hope, because Jesus is alive and a Christian is someone who is being united with Jesus both in his death for sin, and in his resurrection, and because Jesus is alive. Therefore, I am alive, the Christian is not the person that he or she once wants. That is something that many of us have a difficult time getting our heads around because we tended to think that a Christian experience is something that we had talked we need to get up one morning and decide. I think I ought to do this you and highly hard to be a better person more moral get charge into my life after all, you know it's Easter Sunday is is is good time to start as any. Alyssa is a wonderful desire, but it will not bring about the change you can no longer know more. Make yourself a Christian, then you could make yourself alive.

Some people are attending church with great zeal and me know birth, no regeneration hanging on of Christmas ornaments that look Christian but no life in the inside. There is no living hope in that that will not stand the test of time that I will not face the backing gray know the only way that we're never put right to anticipate that right with God is a result of his mercy, and in the power of his resurrection. It is anchored in the past. Also, it is our hope that is active in the present and is of course what we need is because were living in the present in life throws at us all kinds of things. Sometimes we feel as though we're treading water, sometimes as though we feel would be put in a miry pit. Is there a hope that comes and mixes in the pit. Yes, this living hope is there a hope that comes to us when we just need strand for another day we find ourselves think Brian is make it through today. That'll be fantastic if there hope to give strength. With every passing day. Yes, there is a hope that comes and speaks to us when doubts arise and Nikolai does in the sailors and safe you really believe that Jesus is alive. Do you really believe that he is conquered death is our hope that can deal with that. Yes, there is is a real that lifts our eyes up beyond ourselves absolutely hope it is anchored in the past. I hope that is active in the present and finally a hope that anticipates the future because we need to do with our future knowingly. What hope now that my savings are gone. What hope now that I owe this. I will that one of my going to do now is there any hope for the future. Yes, Armenta pointed out to you.

But let me just say this.

This is a hope that out hopes. Even our best hopes. In other words, I'm a little let you off the hook of your skeptics wife suddenly said I have got it now.

This is for the people who are deadbeats and I'm not that person.

My portfolio is fine. My husband's waistline is average. Gravity is not completely collapsed his chest into his drawers.

My children are relatively respectable and so long. Therefore, thank you for the whole thing about the future but I just so you know I got it, listen to CS Lewis. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world, probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy but only to arouse the longing for satisfaction so that helps me to understand the longings in the human heart.

When we first fall in love or the longings in the human heart. When you're reading the travel magazines and you say like to go to that place, or the longings in our hearts when we matriculate into a masters program in a fine university like case all of those longings are no longer longings which are marriage or our travel or are learning can satisfy and even in the best of cases so that was a great wife with super travel with a terrific job that man or that woman will also give honest in their heart of hearts have to admit I do not have a whole that stands the test of time.

You notice here that it is an inheritance you don't earn an inheritance. It is again on account of God's grace and mercy.

It safely deposited is guaranteed because ultimately our inheritance is Jesus himself, and this inheritance, unlike any other human earthly inheritance is not going to perish is not going to spoil and is not going to fade refinishing this way if we have living hope and is built. If you like on these is will go living hope is now the stool that I made in woodwork when I was 14 or something a miserable looking stool never ever did anything except warble like crazy. I remember it was in the shape of an artist diesel very really terrible and he had an ad screwing legs and my legs were worthless if you imagine how my worthless stool but the stool is called living hope and one leg is is the mercy and grace of God and the other is is the resurrection.

Is there 1/3 language holds the stool of yes there is. I want tell you what it is all that Jesus has accomplished for us is of no value to us as long as we remain outside of Christ. So another words, here is the essence of genuine Christian faith which brings us into a living hope is found in Christ alone. He is the only Savior 40 is the only one qualified to save no one else has risen from the dead. No one else has made an atonement for your sins.

It is in Christ alone. It is by grace alone. We don't deserve it and we could never achieve. And it is through faith alone and don't for a moment thing that faith is a work that replaces endeavor and so God looks on as this is what he had faith. Therefore, I will reward him for his faith know in actual fact it is not like that at all. One of the Puritan writers put it masterfully when he said God justifies the believer not because of the worthiness of his belief but because of the worthiness of the one in whom he believes in others were put right with God. Not because we managed to believe, but because our believing is in the strength of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done using the real question is, in this whole religion issue is it's is about accent and descent religion essentially is an ascendant thing. Man says whatever else is endowed. I'm really not the person I need to be. If there is a God, then there is a vast gap between myself and him. Therefore, what I need to do is I need to ascend to God I need to get myself sorted out and so by means of mysticism or by means of moralism or by means of cell theism. I will endeavor to close the gap.

Many people's lives are engage in that pursuit and in a way that makes as much meaning of their existence as it can, but it doesn't answer the deepest issues. If that person then will turn in the New Testament. What we will discover is that in actual fact, the story of Christianity is not the story of us and what it is the story of descent that it is a story of a God who comes down into our time, a God who indwells our humanity. A God who dies in our place.

A God who is raised for our justification.

A God who rules over the sovereign affairs of the lot the world and who will bring history to completion.

In his own good time. What then is faith. Faith is nothing other than the empty hand which reaches out to the initiative taking grace of God and accepts as an offer of free mercy and kindness the gift of forgiveness and whole in the future, and a whole new family. So I say to you today understand clearly you are not put right with God because your good you will start to be good when you put right with God coming to him. He made you he loves you. He is patient with asking to forgive you, telling Don with pretending your ally asking to make you a life. He will he's promised. Ultimately, our hope is anchored in God's grace is mercy is initiative not in our own endeavors listing the Truth for Life weekend. That's Alister bag with a message titled hope that stands the test of time. Alister just explained how faith is having nothing to offer. Aside from empty hands that reach out to accept God's gift of forgiveness and hope you like to find out more. We want to recommend to you a short video that explains God's plan for salvation. The videos entitled the story explains the gospel and introduces viewers to all who Jesus is. With this being Easter weekend. This video is a great way for you to share the good news with friends, just bypassing them the link to find it story as we celebrate Easter we realize the story of Jesus is interconnected with the lives of a lot of other people and those people were not always religious people or holy people, author Nancy Guthrie has written a book titled saints and scoundrels. She writes about how, from John the Baptist to the apostle Paul to Jesus own family. The priests and criminals he encountered. The gospel presents a large cast of both saints and scoundrels. The aim of Nancy's book is to help us get to know some of these people more personally by examining their motives, their emotions and their strengths and weaknesses so we can see how similar they are to our own. Find out more about the book saints and scoundrels. When you visit our website Truth for Life.Bob Lapine probably have questions you'd like to ask God what he has some surprising questions for you as well, sure to join us next weekend as we start a new series titled seven questions God asks the Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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