“And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” 1 John Chapter 3 verse 3
Download the sermon slides: SERMON-2014-11-09
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We continue our series in the book of first John. First John is one of the last few books of the Bible, so turn with me, if you could to 1John chapter 3 and we are going to look at a very very needful subject of hope. This is what we have spoken about a few times in the past one or two years and I find it helpful to just go through the Bible and at an appropriate time God’s Word speaks to us with an appropriate message and today we are looking at the subject of hope.
Everyone of us live on because there is hope, I experienced it profoundly myself in the national service in Army. As I shared before I hate the Army, I don’t like the training, the regimentation, the loss of freedom. But the reason I can tolerate Monday to Friday of training is because I hope I can be released on Saturday and Sunday. I look forward to the weekend where I can spend it with my family, my friends, my church mates. And so one of the most devastating thing my officer can say to me is cadet Lim Kim Guan, your punishment, is to be confined this weekend, and that absolutely shatters me. I can accept doing a hundred push-ups, I can accept doing before the spirit. for those who have been to Army, you know what I mean. I can accept all kinds of punishment, please, don’t take away my hope, don’t take away my weekends. All of us live on because there’s something at the end of it, that allows us to pull through the tough times.
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Maybe today, are here and you’re going through hardships and difficulties and trials. The reason why you today are still living on is because, deep in your heart, you you have this hope. You say to yourself, it will be a better tomorrow, or in Chinese, the idiom says, tomorrow will be even better. And therefore someone said this wisely, we can live thirty days without food, three days without water, three minutes without air, but we can’t live a second without hope. Hope keeps us alive.
Not just physically but also spiritually. The Christian life is not a bed of roses. There will be challenges, there will be difficulties and we all need hope and God knows this.
Time stamp in audio 0:02:33.6.
So in His Word in the Bible, He speaks a lot about hope. Sadly, however, today, many Christians neglect hope. We talk a lot about love, we talk a lot about faith but hope is like that Cinderella, she is not invited to the party many times. So today I like us to invite Cinderella back into the life of a Christian. Hope is so vital to all of us and that’s why in the Bible, God calls Himself the God of hope. Yes, He is a God of love, He is a God of our faith, but at the very same time, the Bible calls our God, the God of hope, and John in 1John chapter 3, he says and every one who does hope in Him, purifies himself as he is pure,
And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
(1 John 3:3 ESV)
Today’s sermon is extremely simple, short, I think concise because we are just looking at this one verse, that the Christian man who really has believe in Jesus Christ, who has this real life as we have shared the Zoe, the spiritual life, this is one thing about him, he hopes in God.
Now let me explain to you what hope is. If I were to ask you right now where you are, could you define hope for me, what would you say, what is hope, what does it really mean, if you were to phrase it, if you are going to craft a statement, a definition of hope, what would it be?
It’s important for us to know what hope is exactly because it shapes the way we think, it will shape the way we approach life and the future, so, it’s vital that you have a clear and good scriptural definition of what hope is. What I am going to do now is not to ask you, because that will be taking a lot of time, but I am just going to tell you what I think hope is from the Scriptures and then I am going to unpack the various components one by one, and by the end of the day, I hope it is clear for all of you, what hope is all about.
So hope I think is
The Confident Expectation of all the Eternal Good, Promised n Jesus Christ.
Very simple definition, hope is the confident expectation of all the eternal good, promised in Jesus Christ. Would you be so kind as to say together with me, it’s one thing for you to hear another thing for you to say and to hear one another, alright. So, 1, 2, 3, Hope is the confident expectation of all the eternal good, promised in Jesus Christ. Now let me share with you why I wrote these words or phrases in particular, number one, let’s look at the word eternal. Hope is about something eternal. It is, think about it. If the Bible only gives us hope for this life, it will be a tragedy. If you enjoy all the blessings of this life, answer prayers, privilege to serve God, privilege to study the Bible and to walk in intimacy with Him, privilege of being in a church of Jesus Christ and having wonderful, loving, brethren to challenge our lives and to grow together, if God says I give you all these things in this life, but when you die, you’re going to a Christ-less eternity, you will go to hell, that will be a most tragic thing isn’t it? If hope is only for the here and now, it will do us no good.
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In fact, Paul says it very clearly
If in Christ we have hope in this life only,
we are of all people most to be pitied.
(1 Corinthians 15:19 ESV)
If Christianity is only about the here and now, we are the saddest people in this whole world, why? Because in this world you suffer, following Jesus is following a path of suffering, of dying to self, of persecution, so if you live live this life in such pain and after you die, there is nothing, you are of all people, the most to be pitied.
But hope in the Bible is not just for this life only. That’s why hope is about an eternal good. In fact, this is so exciting, what you experience today is not the end of all the blessings God is to give you, what you experience today is just a little foretaste, of the great and glorious wonders that is to come, and that thrills our hearts. It’s almost like having a meal, and all you have is the appetizer, so sad. I treat you to a French restaurant high class one and all you need, all you have is a few strips of vegetables, isn’t it, just so disappointing, I pay so much and I eat so little. But what if I were to tell you, what you eat is just a foretaste of the lavish meal that is to come, and this meal will never end. That’s what hope is after the first dish, after the journey in this life, you say, I want more and I know there is so much more. This is what hope is all about.
You see, God made us eternal beings. You and I who are human beings, you are eternal beings. You’re not satisfied, you will not be satisfied with the here and now because you’re always thinking about what happens next, you are, because, according to Ecclesiastes, God has set eternity in our hearts and we live and we will look to something beyond death.
Every culture looks at something beyond death. You have pyramids, you have two tombs, you have all these rites and rituals, throughout the world, regardless of what your religion is because, deep in our hearts, we are wired to think about the future, beyond death. Now, animals don’t do that, animals live for the here and now. Animals plan for winter, animals hunt for food, animals do all these things, but you never see an animal, a people, er not the people, a group of animals performed funeral rites, you don’t see them gather together to build a tombstone or a coffin. You don’t have a squirrel, who is the pastor, who conducts a service for for the fellows, squirrels. Now, they don’t leave for the eternal, eternal frame of things; humans do, because we are made in the image of God.
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And so the Bible talks about an eternality for us and that’s what hope aims for. Now sure in this life we can pray that God helps us in our sicknesses, God can pull us through our trials and tribulations. But I suggest to you, if you’re thinking only to hear about the here and now, you have missed the point, because hope is about an eternal state.
Not just about something eternal, but it’s about something that is eternally good. God wants to give us something eternally good. So the question is what do you mean pastor by good because different people have different ideas about what life after death in heaven is like. Some of us think about life after death in heaven to be a great feast way I can eat all I want and I will never fat. Now that is quite a, quite a good dream huh. Or you can, you can enjoy all you want in heaven, and you will not sin. Well, those are possibilities, but maybe those are not the real things that should excite your soul.
Last week I was with my wife overseas, or we were going overseas and so we were preparing our children for the time both parents are not around for them. So I said to the, we said to the older one because the younger one has no clue what’s happening anyway, we said to Shawn, Shawn, daddy, mommy are going away this is our last trip together before you turn P1 and ah, why ? Wah, like very very important, okay, we will, we will be there, just a short few days, will be back soon and will be sure to get you something, I know you want a toy speedboat and I will try to look for a toy speedboat for you, but don’t worry Shawn, be a good boy, daddy and mummy will be coming back soon.
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On the day we were about to depart, we were at Changi airport and my wife still decided to call back and to assure our kids on the very day itself, so she called back and said Shawn, do you miss us. Wah lao we have just left, I mean, we are just a few hours, cannot .. and, and Shawn first statement he said, guess what? Mommy, have you found my speedboat yet? (Laughter in the congregation)
Wow, Shawn all you are looking forward to is the speedboat. I think Shawn has missed the point don’t you? What he should look forward to, is daddy and mummy will be coming soon. But the problem with us like Shawn is that we think the good that is promised is speedboat, when is really our Abba Father, that we will be with God.
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Sure in heavens above, we would have gates of pearl and streets of gold. Sure in heavens above, we will have a glorified body that will not decay or rot, it will be beautiful it, it is glorious, you won’t need SK-II, you won’t need all those cosmetics stuff, because you absolutely perfect and beautiful then. Those are great things, but I think John has seen something we don’t. And what thrills his heart is what I feel we should be thrilled with. In 1John 3 and verse 2, which is just a verse before verse three, he says, what do you hope in God for? What is it that you are so excited about?
we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
(1 John 3:2 ESV)
Well, when he appears, when Jesus comes again for me, this is the amazing, amazing thing, I look forward to, I would be like Him. What? I would be like Him. Sometimes you wish, you can play tennis like Roger Federer, you can sing like Jason, ah no, not like Jason Lim, huh, huh,huh, you can sing, you wish you are somebody else. I tell you what, we will be like someone else, we will be like God. This is unbelievable. What do you mean you that will be like God, you will be glorious like that, you will be splendid, you will be bright and radiant and you will be perfect and flawless, we shall be like Him, there will be no sin, no sin no filth in us and we shall see him as he.
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No more, the suffering servant, no more the humiliated one but the glorious one, the victorious one, the all conquering one, who conquered all by love. I don’t really understand what this means, folks, I will be honest, I don’t think anyone of us really get this, but I’m saying to you when you look forward to the future, don’t talk to God, just for the speedboat but look to God for this beautiful reality we shall see Him as He is and we shall be like Him. That’s the eternal good, that’s what your heart has always been longing for.
You know today are longing for something in this world and they are just false substitutes for your hearts craving for God. One day it will all be perfectly satisfied and that’s what we refer to as the eternal good.
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You say why is this available for me? Based on what? Did I earn it? Did I deserve it? No, you didn’t, you are a sinner, you are an enemy of God. You hated God. By yourself, you don’t deserve any eternal good, you only deserve eternal damnation, but yet this is given to you and this is what you can look forward to, because it is promised in Jesus Christ.
Hope is the Confident Expectation of all the Eternal Good Promised in Jesus Christ
This is amazing thing about the Christian faith. This is the amazing thing about the teaching of God’s Word, the Bible that all these good things, are given to those who would believe in Jesus Christ, it’s promised in Him. Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins, why? So that He secure for us eternal good. Given to those who would freely belief, repent and believe in Him. It’s by His perfect act on the cross, it’s via the blood that was shed, it because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that you and I can have this eternal good that is to come. You see Peter, he says, blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, according to His great mercy, not according to your great achievements. According to His great mercy He has caused us to be born again, he has given us this new life to a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, from the dead.
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The reason why you and I can look forward to this glorious day is because our Savior is risen. There is hope for tomorrow because our Jesus, our Savior is not dead, He is alive and now I know it is for me. It is promised in Jesus Christ.
The Bible has a lot to say about the return of Jesus Christ, a lot. You will be shocked, you would think that the majority of the Bible were focused on the first coming of Jesus Christ. People have actually done studies on that and they say, for every one verse about the first coming of Jesus Christ, guess how many verses is about the second coming? Anybody knows, I think I mentioned it before, for every one verse about the first coming, they are eight verses about the second coming of Christ. That’s a lot, don’t you think. In almost every book of the Bible, the second coming of Christ is referred to almost book, except for three. There are thousands of references about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Why? because it is vital for us to have this hope, and this hope is wrapped around the return of our Savior.
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But the last component I like us to look at, not just about the eternality of it, the goodness of it, the promise of it, but lastly is about the confident expectation.
This is important. Hope is a confident expectation. Now this week, something, well, I would say unfortunate, or sad happened to me, on Tuesday I was with my son in a shopping mall and we were doing some things together and after a while, I turned and I realized, where is my wallet? Not, not my son, my son still with me, don’t worry (Laughter in the congregation) I, I turned around, where is my wallet? Now, this has happened to me before in life, I am a scatterbrain and usually, I will look around and wah, heng ah, heng ah (colloquial for lucky ) found my wallet. This time I looked around, no heng ah, heng ah, anymore, I looked for half an hour, up and down, I use my phone to be a torchlight, show signs here and there, crawled on all fours and my son went on all fours. Daddy, what are you looking for, and there it is, I lost my wallet wherein is my IC, driving license, ATM, credit cards, discount cards, EasyLink card and most of all, my wife photos. It’s all lost, it’s gone.
After half an hour of search, I decided enough is enough, brought my kids back, went to report at the police station. I suspect theft because if I dropped it, it would be there, I and I, I remember there were some people around me and so, was concerned that it might be stolen and went to the police, the next day I came back, hopefully could that I could see the CCTV recordings, I couldn’t see on the day, because they didn’t have the password to unlock it so they told me to come back. When I came back, they told me, it’s erased already.
You know, they don’t store too long recordings, but it is gone and ah, nevertheless, I was optimistic, I was hoping that I’ll get my wallet back. I mean, I was hoping someone kind would find it on the floor maybe or maybe the the person who took it would have a conviction of the Holy, ah huh, convict of sin and aiyah, I should return, I can take the money but at least, I returned his IC, his driving and all this stuff, lah. So I hoped and I hoped and a hope, and amazingly, on Saturday, no one called in. (Laughter in the congregation) you see, all along, I was hoping and hoping, hoping, I would get my wallet, but you know something, I never have the assurance I will get it.
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I have no guarantee. There is no one who promised you will get your wallet back. When I said, I hope for my wallet to be returned, I was actually saying I wish it would happen, I wanted to be happen, returned, I desired it to be returned, but I don’t know if it will return. That’s not the hope of the Bible. The hope of the Bible is not wishing, it is knowing. It is a deep assurance, a confident expectation, it will surely come to pass, I have not seen it yet, but I know deep in my heart, all the eternal good promised in Jesus Christ, will be mine.
That’s what hope is. There is a hope that burns within my heart. You see, this is the reality of the Christian life. A Christian is not someone who just grasped things intellectually, he knows these things. No, there is a reality in the heart, there is a clear conviction. If you have the real life, you will have a real hope. It’s not someone, something that someone has to persuade you about. But you’re not fearful death, you are not fearful of what happens after you die. Now let me be clear, I am scared of dying, okay, I am scared because I can die in very sad ways, right, people can kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, wah can kick a knife, and goreng, goreng (colloquial meanings stirring) my tummy, and I .. wah that kind, I am very scared. I’m scared of dying from cancer, where the cancer is you up. Am I scared of that, yes, I am, but I am not scared of death in that I am not scared of what happens to me after I die. I have the conviction and the confidence and the obvious expectation Jesus will come for me, and all those things go away. So, did I psycho myself to believe that? No, I have never tried to, at least. And if you today are a child of God. If you have Zoe, if you have eternal life, you hope in God. Not just you wish God will be good to you, but you know, you have the confident expectation, God is good to you, because, He has given you His Son, it is promised in Jesus Christ and you look forward to the day you will be with Him, and you’ll be like Him all eternity.
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This is the hope we are talking about. And when you have this hope, it changes your life isn’t it? It does. How does it change your life? Well, I just want to say two things about how it will change your life and people have been very clever to use this, HOPE as an acronym for something more.
Some people say hope that stands Hang On, Pain Ends. It’s a clever way to say it, it’s true, Hang on, Pain Ends. Why are the patriarchs, Abraham and so on. Why are they able to journey through life, journey through pain. Why are the heroes of the faith able to give of themselves, to be sawn asunder, thrown into the fire? Why could they go through pain? Because they all have hope, that faith, that God has prepared for them, an eternal city made without human hands. As we have sung earlier on, by faith, they saw it, they have this confident expectation, and so they say, we will hang on, this life is difficult, but we will hang on, because one day all pain will end and all glory will come, hang on.
Maybe you are in a tough ride today, an illness, a death, a crisis, a breakup, hang on, pain ends. I hate the army, it’s difficult for me, but hang on, pain ends. The Christian life is not an easy one, but hang on pain ends. If you have known God, there will be the hope that is burning in your hearts. While this is true and I think very, very useful for Christian walk, I must say this is not what John has to say. John’s priority in these verses, is another acronym. He says, Helps Our Purifying Efforts. He is saying, hope is necessary for Christian sanctification. The word sanctification means, to be made more and more like Christ, to be less and less like the world, to be more and more righteous and holy and pure in our living. He says hope Helps Our Purifying Efforts, because he said everyone who thus hope in him, purifies himself as he is pure.
And everyone who thus hopes in him
purifies himself as he is pure.
(1 John 3:3 ESV)
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This is what a Christian is. He has real life from God. Now he has therefore this real hope from God and now he will pursue real holiness with God. He is so sure he will meet with God one day, he is so confident of that reality, he says, I cannot be slack anymore. If God is coming for me and He is pure. He’s holy, He has called me to be holy then I want to purify myself right now. Like a bride, getting ready for her wedding. She doesn’t want to be dirty,she doesn’t want to go near mud, she doesn’t want to walk with barefoot on the floor. She wants to be clean, because she knows that the groom is coming again. And if you are real believer of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will not just talk about being pure, you will really strive to be pure, you do it.
Now supposed today, I said to my son, Shawn go and clean your room, daddy will come in half an hour and check. My son says, okay, daddy, he goes in his room. Half an hour later I turn up, I’m not on his door and says, Shawn, how is it? He says to me, daddy, I, I, I studied what it means to clean my room. I found out what it means, I, I went to Google, I went to YouTube and I listened to messages on cleaning the room. In fact, I called my friends, and we did a study of what it means to clean the room. I had a care group daddy, it care group that told me what it means to clean the room, I had a care group that encouraged me to clean the room, I had a group that shared with me their struggles with cleaning the room and we pray for one another about cleaning the room and daddy, some more, I researched further and I, I found the Hebrew and the Greek word for cleaning the room and I cried about cleaning the room, daddy, I did all that, I understand it.
Shawn did you clean your room? My question to you is, Jane, John, Michael did you purify yourself? Oh, pastor, I really appreciate your sermons on Christian growth. Wah, I really appreciate those messages on how we count we can walk in the Spirit and how we must not fulfill the lust of the flesh, I, I, I listen to the sermons ten times already. I go back at our CG we talked about it. We always talk about our Christian lives and I, I have devotions and God spoke to me about dealing with the sin of pride and anger and pornography, wah God really works in my heart.
My question to you is, have you purified yourself?, I am not asking if you know the Hebrew, the Greek, now, all that is good and necessary, in its place, but if all, you are looking for is, fill your head with knowledge, talk and talk a lot about it, but you don’t do it. I tell you something, it shows that you never really had this hope. It might be that you never really had known Jesus Christ. Now, it could be that you are saved, but you are just not in a good state of life. But, I’m saying to all my brothers and sisters, it’s including myself, I am speaking to myself, because I am so guilty of this. We can know so much, talk so much, but we are not walking what God wants.
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Today’s sermon is not complicated, it’s as straightforward as it comes. But my question to you is, are you doing what is already clear, you see that there is no difficulty in this verse. When Jesus was on earth, He preached one of the most famous sermons ever, it’s called the sermon on the mount, He concluded with these words, there were two men, one wise man, one foolish man, the wise man built his house upon the rock, the foolish man built his house upon the sand. I ask you today what is the difference between the wise man and the foolish man, what’s the difference? If you have never read the passage, you will immediately reply ah, the wise man is very clever, he knows he is to build his house upon the rock and the fool is the man who doesn’t know how to build a house, therefore he builds it on the sand. That’s absolutely not the point of Jesus Christ. The point that the master was making, Jesus was making is the wise man is someone who builds his house upon the rock because he hears, and he does what I’ve told him, but the foolish man is, someone who hears the exact same things, but he just doesn’t do it, he is a fool. It’s not here (pointing to the head), it’s here (pointing to the heart).
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Supposed today you met a friend, she is in a horrible shape, her hair is messy, her mascara is running, she has this kangkong (a local vegetable ) between her teeth and she says (slurring in her speech), hello, how do you do ? She says, what’s up with you Mary, when did you go? What do you mean where I go, I came to church. If you look at yourself in the mirror? Yes I did. Then, what did you do about it? Nothing, because, all I thought I needed to do was to look at it.
You say, how ridiculous, Mary would be. You look at the mirror so that you can do something to change what is ugly. So often we read the Bible, we just want to look at it, I just want to look at myself, I just want to look at God. I am just in CG, just like to talk about these things, I like to be comforted with the fact that I went for a CG, I went for a Bible study group. Don’t be comforted by that. Jesus says that’s being a fool.
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GLCC has a clear mission, leading generations into a life changing relationship with Jesus Christ. This is not just for the unsaved. We have a deep burden to help those who are yet outside the kingdom to come to know Jesus. That’s our clear burden, but at the very same that if you today are a child of God, don’t be satisfied with that alone, I say I want to be more like Jesus and it is life changing relationship, it’s not just information but transformation. Because if you really have this life, you will hope in God and if you hope in God, you will purify yourself, you actually do it.
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Now, please don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think sanctification or purification is mere humanistic efforts. No, no, no, please don’t get me wrong, we have shared before in this church, the only way you can be sanctified, is when it is all God and all men. I need to apply myself diligently to sanctification, but it is not done in fleshly power, it is done in the power of the Holy Spirit. But you need to apply yourself and a person who has this hope, will apply himself, he will.
A false believer doesn’t do this and hypocrite doesn’t do this.
In second Peter.
Scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, ìWhere is the promise of his coming?î
(2 Peter 3:3-4 ESV)
It says scoffers, will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires, they will say, where is the promise of his coming? You see, those who were never born again, the false teachers, they say, aahh Jesus won’t come back, where is the promise of his coming, so let’s do all that our heart desires to do. So they talk Christian terms, they preach Christian messages, but they live sinful lives because they never really have this confident expectation. They never really had this hope.
But they who know the Lord Jesus hopes in him and purifies himself.
It is John Stott who says
unrighteous conduct is unthinkable in the Christian who has grasped the purpose of the two appearings of Christ. The fact of His first appearing and the hope of His second are both strong incentives to holiness.
Why should I be holy? Because God loves me and gave me His Son. Why should I be holy? Because God is holy and He is coming for me again. And if you live between these two appearances they are powerful incentives for Christian sanctification, Christian growth and Christian purity.
It is Warren Wiersbe the who puts it this way.
No matter in which direction a Christian looks,
he finds reason to obey God.
If he looks BACK, he sees Calvary, where Christ died for him.
If he looks WITHIN, he sees the Holy Spirit who lives within and teaches him the truth.
If he looks AROUND, he sees the encouragement and examples from Christian brethren whom he loves
And finally, he looks FORWARD, he looks AHEAD, he sees the return of Christ!
No matter in which direction a Christian looks, he finds reason to obey God.
No matter, no matter in which direction a Christian looks, he finds reason to obey God say, you say, how? When he looks back, he sees Calvary, where Christ died for him if he were to look within. He sees the Holy Spirit who lives within him and teaches him the truth and if you were to look around, he sees the encouragement and examples from Christian brethren whom he loves and finally, when he looks forward, he looks ahead, he sees the return of Christ.
A true believer wherever he looks, he finds reason to obey God.
Time stamp in audio 0:35:42.9.
One thing I want to say, please don’t step out of this room and said to yourself, the first thing I need to do, the most important thing I need to do is to now change my lifestyle. Now, I think it is important, don’t get me wrong, it is necessary that you make certain decisions for your life. That’s what it means to purify yourself, decisions and steps of faith to obey. That’s necessary. But I actually think that more fundamental than the external change of behavior, is that you allow God to work in your heart. You give space in your heart for God to minister to you, because it’s only when the heart, the fountain of life is sorted out properly then the outward manifestations of life will be right.
So yes, I think there is a practical aspect by which we change our lives that is necessary, but please, don’t forget what is necessary in the heart. Now, let me just say, first of all, that this is where you have to look at hope. I think John is getting to something, he says, if you really want to have a pure life, you’ve got to have this hope and there maybe some of you today, do not have this hope and you may walk out of this place, saying, I know what, this Gospel Light Christian Church pastor is saying, he’s saying that if God is to give me hope then I need to live this pure life, then when I lived this pure life, He likes me then He gives me this hope, He gives me this salvation. No, no, no, no, if you do this, you are whole way wrong. You don’t be holy, so that you may have hope, that is not the order of Scripture. The order of Scripture is when you have hope, then you live holy lives. So, the fundamental thing today is I’ve got to have this hope. How to have this hope? Can I manufacture it? Can get it from someone, well, the only way you can have this hope is when your born again, according to God’s great mercy.
In other words, you need to repent of your sin, you need to come to Jesus Christ for salvation and life, you need to cry out to God, God have mercy to save me, have mercy to do a change in my heart, give me that new life and when you come to God humbly, believing in Jesus, His Son, He gives you new life and then there is hope and when there is hope, you apply yourself to purification.
Time stamp in audio 0:38:17.2.
John, did he say, anyone who, everyone who hopes in him has to now purify himself. He says anyone, everyone who hopes in Him will, or purifies himself, it’s the natural consequence of having hope. If you’re here today, you do not know Jesus, priority number one, come to know Jesus as your Savior, then your life will be one of thanksgiving and praise, you will praise God for that.
And for those of you who have already trusted in Jesus, but your hope is not strong. It’s flickering, what do you do, what can I do to have God pour this oil of hope into my flask once more. Well, the Bible tells us,
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
(Romans 15:4 ESV)
Hope is flamed or it is fanned when we find encouragement in Scriptures. So if you want God to work in your heart, you create space. How do you create space? You create space by studying the Scriptures and looking to God in His Word, because when you look at God, when you see God in the Bible, you are filled with this encouragement that He is so faithful to His people, He is faithful to the nation of Israel, He is faithful to the saints, He will be faithful to me. Scriptures, so whilst I say the point of Christianity is not Bible study alone, Christianity cannot flourish without Bible study.
I hope you get what we’re trying to get at. Not only should you study the Scriptures, but I think you need to pray, you need to pray that God will send this hope alive in you, because that’s what Paul prays for 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.
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.
(Romans 15:13 ESV)
Hope is not an intellectual thing alone, it’s not just the mechanics of thinking, it’s got to be worked through the power of the Holy Spirit in your heart. So when you pray and when the Spirit works, hope may abound, the word that is the super abound, it’s to super overflow and that is God’s desire for you.
Time stamp in audio 0:40:37.5.
So how can we have a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, today. Well, you got to know Christ and if you already know Christ as Savior, then I say to you, pursue a deeper intimacy and walk with Him through the Scriptures, in prayer that He will and that He will fan that hope alive, and when it is so, you will live out purity, you will live out sanctification, to live for His glory. How are you doing today, how’s your hope, how’s your life? May God speak to you this morning, let’s bow for a word of prayer together.
I wonder, right here, right now, can you really say, there is a hope in your life, I want to say to you, you say, aah, I love this subject on hope. I want this hope, so what I do to get this hope, I know what I need to do I,I, I, I need to give my life to Jesus, I need to be a good person and I need to sacrifice myself and then God may see me, and like me and save me and give me hope. No, no, you gotten the order wrong. We don’t try to be holy, in order to have hope. It is when you have hope that you can really be holy. You say how can I have this hope? Well according to Peter, you’ve got to be born again. You got to be born again, according to God’s mercy. This morning, there is mercy available for you. There’s beautiful assurance and promise in the Scriptures, when God said, whosoever believes in Jesus Christ, shall not have, shall not perish but have everlasting life. God is saying, I’m going to give you this hope this confident expectation, you have everlasting life. How, if you are born again, if you believe in Jesus Christ.
So this morning, if you are here and you do not know Jesus, He calls you to repent of your sin and believe in His Son. Then, you will realize something changed, your heart changes, your thinking changes, there is that confidence about death and what happens after death, but you see this hope is the work of God in someone who is born again. It begins right here, turning from sin and believing in Jesus Christ. Are you today cold and slack in your Christian walk? Maybe you have not been looking enough, you been looking at your computer, you have been looking at your stock market, you been looking at your car, you been looking at your house, but you failed to look back to Calvary and maybe you have been looking at Calvary, but you have forgotten to look ahead to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Today, John reminds us everyone who hopes in Him, purifies himself. That is the natural consequence of someone whose eyes are looking Christ coming. He will come for me, and I want to live for Him right here, right now. But, mind you this is not just mental gymnastics, you got to look at Scriptures and you got to pray, by Your Spirit, God burn this hope deep in my heart. And brothers and sisters in Christ, that’s what I asked you to do today, I believe God’s call for us is not that once we step out of this room, we say we will purify ourselves. Now, that’s a good desire, but maybe, work more in the foundation at the source at the root, walk out of this place saying to yourself, I will pursue God in Scriptures, I was seeking and pray that He will really do that work of growing and burning and shining hope in my heart, so that when my fountain is right, the rivers of life flows, righteousness will be a consequence of His work in my heart, but come back to the first works, come back to communion with God, seeing His glory, His love, His faithfulness, His promise, may the Gospel burn deep within your soul.
Maybe there’s something you need to say to God today, there is a sin, you need to repent of, maybe there’s something about your devotional life. Maybe there’s covetousness that you need to repent, let this be a time for your heart to be healed, for your life to be changed. After all, it’s not information, but transformation. Father we thank You this morning, we can gather in a simple manner. Much has been spoken, but dear God we need Your Spirit to make this real. So we pray this day, that You bring those who are yet outside the kingdom to Jesus Christ that they may also enjoy and experience this beautiful living hope and I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, that on this pilgrims’ journey, we will not lose sight of the fact that You are coming back for us again. May we have this hope, burning bright and may we then, be living right for You. Lord, do that work in our hearts this morning, would You, because we ask and pray all this in Jesus, Amen.
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