Community Bible Chapel Podcast
4/21/19 A Different Way To Live – Hope
Jack and Sue have been struggling in their marriage.
-Finances, daily chores, in-laws, children, and intimacy are a constant battle-ground.
-They have lost all hope that it could ever be different.
Ruth is 16 and her relationship with her parents is at a breaking point.
-She doesn’t know where to turn and feels trapped.
-She has lost all hope that life will ever be different.
Jim has struggled with drugs for 20 years.
-He has burned bridges with his family, friends, and co-workers.
-He has lost all hope that life could be different.
Jean has a great family, but she is worn out.
-It seems that someone is awake every night, and she hasn’t slept in a week.
-And the days are filled with the mundane tasks of changing diapers, doing laundry, and just struggling through each day.
-She has lost all hope that this will ever end and life could be different.
Al has been working for the past 30 years at the same job.
-There is always pressure to produce more and more.
-His family demands more of him and his boss wants to add more hours to an already too long week.
-He losing hope that anything will be different.
Beth has been struggling with her health since she turned 75 and it seems that every visit to the doctor brings more bad news.
-She has lost hope that her will ever be different.Now, I know that might be strange introduction to our celebration of the resurrection, but as I often say – if the truth of the Gospel doesn’t have an impact on our lives, then what good is it.
-And I’m sure that most of us can relate to one of those stories.
Today we will be starting a new series – A Different Way To Live.
-Each of these folks is mired in what we call – life.
–Life has a way of sapping away any hope we might find in it.
-Which is the problem – if we are looking to this life to find hope, we are going to be disappointed.
-We need a hope that comes from outside of our lives and then changes how we live.
-And we gather today looking at a different source of hope that yields a different way to live.
–The true basis for hope is what we celebrate today – the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I invite you to join me in John 20:1-31 Pg. 768
Youversion/more/events (already read)
-It’s a hope that is based on the person and character of God.
-Which means it’s a hope that is outside of us, but changes our lives.
The Resurrection of Jesus from The Dead
The text begins with Mary Magdalene heading to the tomb.
-She arrives and the stone is rolled away.
-She runs to Peter and another disciple (probably John) and tells them what she thought – that “they have taken the Lord out of the tomb.”-That’s just what I say when I can’t find something. “Someone stole it”
-Then they run to the tomb and inspect the evidence.
-Jesus was gone, but the grave clothes were there, neatly folded up. Strange!
-It says the other disciple went in and “believed”.
-We are not sure what that means.
-Did he believe that Jesus was not there?
-Did he believe Mary?
-The text says that he still didn’t understand the resurrection.-So, he was still grappling with what all this meant.
-But then it all changed.
-She is overwhelmed in mourning the loss Jesus.
-She is crying in hopeless pain.
-The disciples leave, and Mary takes another look into the tomb and there were two angels sitting in the tomb.-They converse and Mary turns around and Jesus is right there.
-When Jesus addresses her, she recognizes who is standing before her.
-Jesus is not a ghost, but real flesh and blood.
-You can’t hug or hold onto a spirit.
-She hugs him – it is the risen Savior.
-Because of the resurrection, she is now overwhelmed with hope.-Now, there will be a different way for Mary to live.
-Then, the scene switches to the disciples who were hiding in fear.
-All hope was lost in the death of their leader.
-Suddenly, Jesus is standing in their midst.
-V. 20 tells us the disciples were “overjoyed” when they saw Him.
-Jesus gives them peace and instructions to go and share the Good News of the gospel.-Then Jesus brings the Holy Spirit upon them.
-Hope is restored in Jesus’ resurrection.
-Their lives will be forever lived in differently.
-The last scene is Thomas, who like many today, doubt that they saw the Lord.
-There is no hope that can bring back someone from a Roman crucifixion.
-And a whole week goes by in hopeless hiding from the Jewish leaders.
-A week later, they were together with the doors locked and Jesus again shows up and is standing in the room.
-Jesus addresses Thomas directly and asks him to check it out.
-The holes in his hands and feet.
-The hole in his side.
-It was the risen Lord in the flesh.-Thomas turns with the greatest proclamation of Jesus – “My Lord and My God.”
-Hope beyond all hope has come to be – Jesus is risen.
-Thomas has a different way to live.
-The hope that comes to us comes through Jesus rising again.
-Each of us is separated from God because of our sin – this isn’t heaven.
-We might place our hope in being good enough.
-We might place our hope in God grading on a curve.
-We might place our hope in a God who just doesn’t judge sin.
-But what is the basis for any of those?
-Those are all an insecure hope and leaves a lot of doubt.-And we could go farther than that because God’s Word tells us that He will judge every sin, and that the penalty for sin is death – separation from Him.
-We complain about the environment, social ills, the government, work, and the dog.
-But how often do we consider our sin problem?
-Yet, that my friends is by far, the biggest problem we have, and it’s the one we have no solution for.-But God has brought us the one solution and we read about it in the pages of Scripture.
-Jesus came and took all our sin upon Himself and paid for it on the cross.
-And through faith in Him our sin if forgiven.
-But the resurrection – that we celebrate today is the hope of our own resurrection into eternal life one day.
-The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the solution that we desperately need and is what the hopeless world around us is looking for in all the wrong places.
-It isn’t found in anything this world has to offer.
-It comes from God.
-The passage then ends with John’s reason for writing.“that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
-We understand that to be eternal life.
-That through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection, our sin is forgiven and we are given eternal life.
Pause – ABC
Now, as we have seen through these eyewitnesses, the resurrection changed their lives.
-We have to ask the question in our own lives: Is the resurrection something I celebrate today and then forget about until next year or even more sadly, until I die . . . .OR does the resurrection change how I go about every day of my life?
-If so, then how does the resurrection give me a different way to live.
A Different Way To Live
-If the resurrection and the hope it brings, leaves us living just like those who have no hope, (still expecting this life to bring us hope) are we any better off?
-At its root, our hope is based on the unfailing character of God.
-He is just – so all sin will be judged.
-He is good – so He was willing to even entertain the idea of a solution for our sin – otherwise He would have just judged it.-He is faithful – so He promised to save us from our sin and did.
-He is love – so He did what was best for us by dying on the cross.
-He is all powerful – so the resurrection is something He can do.
-The resurrection changes everything.
-It gives us security in a world that offers none.
-It gives us a new basis for living each day – no longer for ourselves and what we might get out of this world, but for Jesus, who died for us and for eternity.
-It gives a new direction for life – living for the glory of God and extending God’s grace to all those who need to see it, rather than living for self glory.
-It changes the game with temptation.
-Sin keeps us focused on the here and now, but resurrection hope changes our focus to the long term.
-We are running a different race to love God and others rather than ourselves because God now loves us.
-Resurrection hope is a different way to live and is the opposite of the despair of a doubtful worldly hope.
-And that plays out in a million different ways in our lives.
-Let us revisit our friends and see how the hope of the resurrection has changed how they live.
-Matt. 7 speaks to being responsible for our sin before we judge another.
-Jack was the first to begin to practice that and He sought Sue’s forgiveness for the hurt he has caused her.
-Sue responded in humility by taking responsibility for her part.
-Then they began to turn the grace and mercy they have received from Jesus, toward each other and they begin to focus on solving their problems together rather than blaming each other.
-If God can raise Jesus from the dead, then He can give us a different way to live and do marriage differently.
Ruth has been praying for her future.
-She read in Jer. 29 about Israel being trapped in their circumstances.
-But God promised a “hope and a future”.
-In Christ she is learning that she has a great future ahead of her and God has placed her parents (with all their warts and old ways) in her life, not to hinder her, but to help her grow into a Godly adult.-A resurrected hope has changed how she thinks about life and has given her patience in the excitement of spreading her wings to fly.
Jim has sought out help for his drug use.
-With the help of his Biblical counselor, he has spent the last year re-building the bridges he has burned in his drug use.
-That has been a hard process, but the resurrection hope he has, has helped him to serve others and rebuild those burned bridges.
-Phil 2 and the humility of Jesus has helped him to live life differently.
-Rather than selfishly living for his next fix – using others for his pleasure, he has been learning to serve others and learning to live life differently.
Jean was reading in the OT and has seen how God has blessed the lives of Ruth and Rahab and given her new hope.
-Both of these women, through the mundane events of their lives end up in the line of Christ.
-Neither of them knew that ahead of time, nor did they know it at their death.
-It was generations later that it came to be.
-Even in the mundane things of life, greatness can come.
-But through the faithful lives of average people, living for the glory of God, He blessed that and their mundane lives suddenly take on great importance.
-Her life is not different when she considers the hope of the resurrection.
Al heard a sermon on the radio about the goodness of God.
-He had long overlooked that as he has been buried in the burden of life.
-He began to focus on God’s goodness in giving him skills and a job.
-Instead of complaining, Al was thankful for his family and the joy of serving them and reflecting God’s goodness to them.
-Suddenly, the whole family changed course and started to realize a different way to live in the hope of the resurrection.
Beth was reading a book about the lives of the Apostles and the persecution they endured for the sake of the Gospel.
-She began to consider all the Doctors and Nurses that she was seeing regularly.
circumstances for the glory of God?
-Beth began to talk about how good God was to her and share the Gospel.-Because of the resurrection hope she had, she had a different way to live.
Now, the resurrection hope that we have didn’t necessarily change all their circumstances, but it changed how they responded to those circumstances and gave them . . . .
A Different Way To Live.
-I invite you to join us over the next few weeks as we specifically zero in on how the Gospel gives us a different way to live.
-I also invite you to join one of our Life Groups as we work together to flesh out what it means to Live Life Differently.
-That is only possible because of the resurrection hope that we have in Jesus.
-Where all these folks had lost all hope in the world, they found hope in Jesus that helped them live life differently.
-That is the abundant life that Jesus spoke about and invites you to join Him in.