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Tim Keller Sermon Notes — Series: The Gospel, Hope, and the World — Sermon #6: Hope for the Church

Sermon preached on November 1, 2009.

The teaching is based on Hebrews 10:19-25.

Tim Keller preached this message. Dr. Keller is the Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City. He is also an author of the books Ministries of MercyThe Reason for GodProdigal GodCounterfeit GodsGospel in LifeGenerous Justice, and King’s Cross.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

Introduction: The purpose of the 10-year plan that we are embarking on is to train, equip, and send–this hasn’t been Redeemer so much.

 

Outline:

I. The Irreplacability of Christian Community

II. The Character of Christian Community

III. The Secret of Christian Community

 

I. Irreplacability

  • an aggregation is like a bag of marbles; a congregation is like a cluster of grapes, organically connected
    • church is not a place to come and get taught and counseled
    • v. 25 Pastors have used this to say, “Come to church!”–but the spurring on of one another doesn’t happen during worship services
    • v. 21-22–the presence of God is what changes us–so then how do we draw near?
      • We spur one another on! We access the presence of God through each other
  • C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity: “Christ works on us… above all else through each other. We are carriers of Him…”
  • Wesley: the Bible knows nothing of solitary religion

II. The Character of Christian Community–what does it mean to be in community?

1. Considering 2. Spurring 3. Encouraging 4. Working

1) Considering: As a counselor, you take notes because you’re being careful, deliberate; your purpose is to see them grow.

2) Spurring: This is the Greek word “irritate.” It means to sharply contend for someone to make them better.

  • Illustration from Homer: As Odysseus approaches the Sirens, he tells his men to ignore him and row. “Give me what I need, not what I want.” So the question is, have you given this kind of permission to some people in your life? People who you’ve told your sins and who you’ve told to check on you? A covenant is a promise to live in community and make yourself accountable to others.

3) Encouraging: This is the opposite of spurring. You’ve got to have both together. In Greek, encourage means to give assurance, to get in their shoes.

4) Good deeds: In Greek, “beautiful works.” These are practical; as a Christian, you’re not above little things, like making a casserole. Also do these toward the marginal; love those who the world has taught you not to like. No matter where you’re from, the world has taught you to despise some group.

III. What’s the secret of this community?

  • Our mouth waters to think of a church like the one I’ve been describing.
  • The secret, by this text (Hebrews 10:19-25), is the assurance of your salvation
    • v. 19: Confidence is not how you feel at a job interview; look at a little 8 year old coming to tell you something. He doesn’t think of how to do it.
    • In v. 19, we have confidence: we can speak freely to God, like 8 year olds; we can open up.
    • Objectively, you know you’re accepted, you know you’re in
    • Subjectively, draw near, actually experience it
  • J. C. Ryle: “Now assurance goes far to set a child of God free from this painful kind of bondage, and thus ministers mightily to his comfort. It enables him to feel that the great business of life is a settled business, the great debt a paid debt, the great disease a healed disease, and the great work a finished work; and all other business, diseases, debts, and works, are then by comparison small…” (this quote at greater length)
  • C. S. Lewis, “The Inner Ring,” from The Weight of Glory: People don’t realize to what degree they are motivated to be on the inside.
    • You want to hang out with people that make you feel good about yourself. It’s why you disdain some people.
      • It means, finally, that you’ll be serving people for their sake! You won’t be creating cliques any more.
  • Tony Campolo once threw a birthday party for a Honolulu prostitute at 3:30 in the morning–in response, the owner of the dive that hosted the party said, “If there was a church that did this kind of thing, I’d join that church.” (fully story here).

The secret of the secret: Jesus Christ was the high priest who opened the way. The immediate wages of sin is utter aloneness. Jesus on the Cross was getting cosmic aloneness, so that we never have to be alone. We can belong to the church.

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Tim Keller Sermon Notes — Series: James – A Faith that Comes Down to Earth — Sermon # 5: Grace and the New Birth

Sermon preached on November 5, 1995.

Teaching is based on James 1:16-18.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

Intro: If you only read the first 15 verses of James—consider it joy to face trials, testing develops perseverance… maturity… brother in humble circumstances take pride… blessed is the one who perseveres under trial—you might think that he’s saying what Mel Brooks says in his book Life Stinks. James is very realistic. He’s a pastor. People come to him in all situations; if you’re a pastor or a policeman or a counselor, you begin to really realize that life is difficult.

James, up to now, has said, you have to be strong, you have to face it. The same sunlight that melts wax hardens clay. Difficulty seems to make some people softer, and some harder. The same troubles can make some people better and some people worse. James says meet them with discipline, faith, self-control.

It’s possible that people would eventually come to James and say, Where do you get the strength for this? Where do you get the resources? Sure, people don’t want to lose it when troubles come, but where do you get the strength for that?

If we look here we’ll see James saying, no, you can’t just suck it up and take it. You need something to get you through it.

Outline

I. There’s a motivation that you can have for Christianity (v. 17)

II. There’s a power you can have for Christianity.

I. The motivation

When James is saying here is close to what C. S. Lewis maps out in two places:

1) In a sermon called the “Weight of Glory”

2) In a chapter in Mere Christianity called “Hope”

This is his point: When you get into the presence of the good gifts of life (standing in front of the seashore, being with the person you’re in love with, listening to beautiful music) sometimes you get overtaken with the palpable sense that you’re in the presence of something that you’ve wanted all your life. When that happens, we say buy the music, build a house here, marry her. You go after the good gift; you say, finally. But what you’ll find is that the vision fades. You marry the person, you build the house, you even just take the CD home…. Like for example, sometimes there’s a passage in the music that points to something, there’s some sense in which it seems to embody something that you want, and every time the passage comes by there’s a sort of metaphysical thrill that consoles you. I have found that when you come back to the passage, you can’t get that again, because those things aren’t the light. They are the moon.

One night the moon might be enough to read by, but the next night it’s hardly there. These things are GOOD, but they don’t have in them the thing that we sense in them. Example: he heard a song in a movie that he remembered loving. He went home to find the record, and listening to it it wasn’t anywhere near as good as when he used to listen to it. He realized that the light is not in the music. The thing pointed to something else that he desperately wanted.

In “The Weight of Glory,” Lewis says that when you stand before the good gift (the woman, the seashore), after the landscape loses its celestial beauty, you suddenly realize that the beauty has smiled at you, but not welcomed you; it has not invited you into the dance…. Our lifelong nostalgia to be united with something that we feel we’ve not been connected…. The leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that we will someday be a part of that which we long for.

James mentions the Father of Light—this is what we long for, this is the light, this is the sun not the moon. James says, If you understand that, you’ll be able to get through anything.

Every good gift is from above: this means, get your friends together and have a great meal in front of a fire; go listen to a great piece of music—it doesn’t matter that Mozart was kind of a schnook; go see the wonderful seashore. These are good gifts, they’re all from God, they’re all good, every one of them. This is the doctrine of common grace. God pours talent and brilliance and beauty everywhere, not just to Christians. Every good and perfect gift is to be enjoyed.

BUT do not mistake these things for the reality to which they point, or you will be continually disappointed. The way Samuel Rutherford put it:

“Our little inch of time suffering is not worthy of our first night’s welcome home to heaven. When once Christ shall thrust your weary traveler’s head on his breast, you will find just the first one of his kisses will pay for 500 years of sore hearts. Oh my friends, don’t sell all this for Esau’s morning breakfast.”

Esau’s morning breakfast: He had the birthright, this inheritance, but he’s an impulsive man. He comes home one day and is so hungry that he tells Jacob to give him some stew, I’ll do anything for it. Jacob says, Okay give me the birthright, and Esau says, Sure, I’m starving to death, what good is it having an inheritance if I’m hungry?

We say, what an idiot! Who would do this? Answer: you and me.

When we marry the girl, or build the house, or take the job, when it doesn’t turn out, we say, “Ah, life sucks.” If you see these gifts as what they are, you’ll be able to enjoy them. If you don’t, you’ll become a bitter person. You have to look beyond, because you’re not after these gifts, you’re after the morning start.

Enjoy the good gifts, but don’t you dare sell the wedding supper of the lamb for Esau’s morning breakfast. Don’t sell the kisses of Jesus for kisses from anywhere else.

If there’s no God, your life is meaningless—you’re just protoplasm. If there is, then the wedding supper of the lamb means everything.

People: Well, I believe there is a God, and he says what I should and shouldn’t do, but I want this person’s kisses right now. What good is the wedding supper of lamb if I want this right now.

Don’t sell the morning star! Don’t sell the wedding supper!

Your motivation for giving yourself to God is HIM.

I once saw a preacher, preaching through Revelation, the One who overcomes will be given the morning star. The preacher didn’t go Greek, give background, he said: I haven’t the slightest idea of what this means, but I can’t wait for it. Because you can’t break down the morning star! You can’t break down the wedding supper of the lamb.

If this isn’t real, there’s nothing worth being heroic for. If there is a God and we can know Him, then NOTHING is worth losing Him for.

So: that’s the motivation. Christians on the one hand aren’t ascetics, they enjoy life, but on the other hand, there’s nothing they’d not give up for Him.

II. The Power: To be born again

You need a power. Verse 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all He created.

All I can do at this point is summarize. There are people who say, Yes, I know born-again Christians, and most of those people make me nervous. It’s a kind of Christianity, right?

That’s not what this says—it says that us Christians are born-again. The brevity of the reference here shows that this is just something that everybody knows.

There are always people who say Oh my goodness, to have this sort of cathartic experience of “born again” isn’t necessary, it’s just about following the golden rule, following the sermon on the mount, turn the other cheek, do unto others, etc. The important thing is just to live a good life like that.

That’s such a hopeless, naïve thing to say.

Do you know what the Sermon on the Mount means? Anybody who really reads that will have two responses.

1) This is just common sense. The world will only be a good place if everybody does this.

2) The second right response is that this will bring you down to the dust and you’ll say unless I’m born again I will never do this. We know that we couldn’t possibly live like that.

So the first we learn here is that there’s some sort of outside thing that comes in and empowers us. The next thing is that it’s a humbling thing.

Have you seen anyone physically born lately? They’re very immature when they’re born. You can say, okay honey, let’s get dressed and come home, but they don’t. They’re babes and they’re helpless. This is saying that if you want the power to deal with life, you start from the bottom. It doesn’t matter how many PhDs you have. You come as a babe. You have to receive this new life and start with baby steps. It takes a terrific amount of humility. Just the metaphor is saying that if you want this power, you’ve got to start at the very bottom.

This is saying that you’re born again through the word of truth.

On the one hand, it’s saying you go by the truth—but the truth becomes something alive in you. It’s not just an experience or a set of rules, it’s a truth that come inside you and becomes part of you. Look at veggie life, animal life, and human life. If a human goes back to being animal, you feel they’re dead; if an animal goes back to veggie, you see it as dead. What’s the difference?

Sensation. Plants can sense their environment, but they don’t have the senses. Animals can perceive the environment through the senses, but they can’t distinguish between justice and tragedy, right and wrong. Every level of sensation moves you into a higher level of life. Eternal life, when born again, means you are ushered into a new level of life.

It doesn’t mean your IQ goes up, but it means that things that were once theoretical and nonsense become solid. The mercy of God, the crown of life, the morning star. Did anything stir in you when I spoke of these things, or did you say, this is stupid? The way you know if you’ve been born again is if these things become real, begin to affect you.

You will never deal with the difficulties of life unless it becomes real to you, becomes solid, not just theory. A person might say, all my life I believed Jesus died on a cross—but then they began to affect me! When you say, Thou O Lord are the shield for me, you’re my glory and the lifted of my head—does your whole life flash before your eyes? Or do you say, Nice song.

It’s not that you get smarter, but once-theoretical things now console and move you.

Conclusion: In Jane Eyre, there’s a place where she’s being tempted, the married man’s physically incapacitated wife, the guy says, Come and live with me, Jane says, While he spoke my very conscience and reason turned traitors against me. They clamored loudly, O comply! Think of his misery. Love him, console him… Still indomitable was this reply: I care for me, and the more unstained by him, the more I will respect myself. I will hold to the principles I well received when I was sane. They are for times like this when body and soul rise against them…. If at my individual convenience I abandon them, what good would they be?

I don’t know if Jane Eyre is being depicted as a Christian here, but the truth is, when truth becomes that real to you.

Because the shield is beaten, I’m whole; because it is splintered, I’m in one piece. When David said thou are the shield for me, He had no idea how true it would have to be. Christ took our blows. That’s truth. That’s reality. So you should be able to say, when your veins are running with fire, you’ll have to rely on truth as a living power in your life.

In fact, life doesn’t stink.

Tim Keller Sermon Notes — Series: In Christ Jesus How the Spirit Transforms Us — Sermon #1: Perfect Freedom

Sermon preached on November 19, 2006.

Teaching is based on Romans 6:1-7; 11-18.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

Intro: If salvation is sheerly by grace, why would you change the way you live?

We’ll be looking at 3 principles to profound life change

I) recognize the shape of your spiritual slavery

Anger: If someone blocks you getting a good thing, you get angry; but if something blocks you getting an ultimate good thing, you get epi-angry

–if you’re having trouble forgiving somebody, at the root of it is a spiritual master

Fear: If someone good in your life is threatened, you’re worried; but if something ultimate in your life is threatened, you’re paralyzed

Sadness: If you lose something good, you grieve; if you lose something that’s ultimate, you want to throw yourself off a bridge, because there’s no meaning in life

Martin Luther: you don’t do anything else wrong in your life if you don’t first break the first commandment; idols motivate all wrong that we do

II) realize the scope of your cosmic unity with Jesus

United with Christ’s past

Died with Christ? Seated at the right hand of God in Christ? What does that mean?

  • Ex: A rich man gets rich himself, but when he gets married, all that wealth becomes the wife’s, too—how come? Legal union; grace.

Christ has accomplished so much in his life, and the text says that everything Jesus Christ has done is now legally attached to you. God sees you as free from condemnation from the guilt of your sins as if you had died yourself

Risen with Christ?

You are connected to Christ’s future.

  • Palingenesia: complete cosmic renewal, and the power of that future, where all sadness will be purged and everything will dance

CS Lewis: Imagine yourself as a house… God comes in to fix it; at first you understand what he’s doing… You thought he was making a decent little cottage, but He’s making a palace, in which He intends to live.

III) Live daily out of your new identity

Get rid of your low goals; get rid of your your goals

Anticipate that you will not be able to anticipate the magnitude of the changes that when they come you’ll be so thankful for, but they’ll be way beyond anything you could ever ask or think; there’s no way you’re smart enough to recognize what it is that you need.

v. 6: We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin will be done away with… Who you once were is gone. You have a new identity.

v. 11: Though the identity is the secret, it’s not right away. You’ve got to treat yourself like you’re a new identity. You’ve got to remind yourself. If you’re not changing, you don’t lack the resources if you’re a Christian—they just need to be deployed. If you ever fail to change, you’re not remembering who you really are, you’re not conscious of who you are.

(This is where my notes on this sermon end, although it does not seem at all like this is where Keller would have ended. The sermon in its entirety can be found at Redeemer’s sermon store.)

Tim Keller Sermon Notes — Series: The Life of David — Sermon #15: David Prepares His People

Sermon preached on September 20, 2009, in the Ethical Culture Society Location, at the 9:00 AM service.

Teaching is based on 1 Chronicles 29:1-20.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

Introduction: There is lots of material on David: 2 biographies (1 written by Samuel, 1 written by the Chronicler), making him one of the most written-about ancient figures of all time.

Outline:

1. The Problem

2. The Presence

3. The Practice

4. The Promise

I. The Problem

  1. Under David, Israel had never flourished so much; he’s dying now; he brings out their fears right away: Solomon is young and inexperienced.
  2. No one has ever sought God on their own; there’s always someone who acts as a bridge.
    1. David is addressing this: What happens when that bridge person dies? Moves away?
    2. Robert McCheyne gets at this in his sermon, “What Have I to do with Idols?”
      1. Warning: Don’t put your minister above God!

II. The Presence

  1. David is saying, “I want you to stop getting God through me, and instead I want you to bring God’s presence into your midst.”
  2. Ch. 28: David doesn’t want to build a monument to himself, but a resting place for the ark of the covenant.
    1. The ark is a major theme in David’s life
    2. Someone touched it, and they died
    3. It was taken into battle at Jericho, and the walls fell
    4. Philistine battle during Eli’s time: Israelites lost the ark; it plagued Philistine villages;
  3. The point is that God is not a God you can put in a box; He’s not a God you can have at hand; He’s not a God you can conjure; He’s not a tame God.
    1. We try rubbing the lamp with good deeds and tithing and being an obedient son
  4. God doesn’t want to be put in a box and taken into battle.

III. The Practice

  1. If the presence isn’t controllable, what can we do?
  2. We can’t control him, but we can invite him
  3. If you try to control God, he departs
  4. If you come with conditions, he departs
    1. If you say, “I’ll be happy to pray if you can get me a good job, etc.”
    2. The If is your real God; He is only your commodity, your money.
  5. If you have conditions, you’re treating Him mechanically, not personally.
    1. Love Him Himself, not as an object
    2. I want to marry you. Why? Because when I think about your trust  fund I get excited.
      1. You would leave if someone did that to you, and He will too.
  6. Say: I don’t care if my life goes the way I want it to.
  7. The only way Solomon will hav ethe presence is wholehearted devotion, complete consecration
  8. William Borden: He took a trip around the world, and wrote “No reserves” in the back of his Bible; then, after Yale, he wrote, “No retreat”; finally, before his death, he wrote, “No regrets.” Borden of Yale
    1. He had no idea his life would impact anyone. He just did his job, no conditions–and that’s why glory fell on him.
  9. Kierkegaard: Purity of heart is to will one thing.
    1. The problem is, no one can give God that!
    2. Ezekiel 8 and 9 describes the presence leaving the temple forever

IV. The Promise

  1. “You will have a son,” God told David, “and his kingdom will last forever.
    1. This wasn’t Solomon; it was Christ.
    2. David wanted to build the temple; Jesus said, “I am the temple.”
  2. Jesus is the only man who ever gave God wholehearted devotion, unconditional consecration
  3. Jesus earned the presence of God, yet He got the absence!
    1. Jesus’ blood was spread on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant
    2. Jesus was the ultimate David, who didn’t just give us this temple at the cost of his money, but at the cost of his life

Application:

  1. If you want to give yourself unconditionally, look at your money
    1. It’s possible to give money while withholding yourself, but it’s not possible to give yourself while withholding money.
  2. Creativity: Revivals have 2 things: extraordinary prayer and communicating the gospel
    1. You can’t get into Narnia the same way twice; God doesn’t want us to think that Narnia is the wardrobe
  3. The possibilities of experiencing God’s glory are immense; if you’re not aiming for that, you’re settling for two little
    1. Repent
  4. Take your hands off your life; give yourself unconditionally

(Notice: the notes below may be partially mine–I can’t tell from my notes)

  1. God, even if you don’t have a calling for my life, even if you never tell me what to do, I love you. The one thing I’ve wanted more than You is a clear calling–forget that. Forget it. I won’t conjure you.
  2. Kill me, if that’s what You want. Renew my heart to “be faithful unto death.” And if you won’t, fine–I’m bound to You. There’s no turning back.

Tim Keller Sermon Notes – Series: The Gospel, Hope, and the World – Sermon #1: Hope for the World

Sermon preached on September 27, 2009. (Notes taken at Ethical Culture Society, 9AM service, Manhattan.)

Teaching is based on Ephesians 1.

Please note that these sermon notes are provided only to encourage, and that any or all parts of the notes may contain errors or omissions, due entirely to the note-taker. Full audio of the sermon may be found at the Redeemer Sermon Store.

Hope for the World

Introductory Comments:

Every several years we do a covenant renewal–renewing our vision to renew the city with the  gospel. You can make too much or too little of anniversaries: in Joshua, God says when you cross the Jordan, pick up 12 stones and pile them in remembrance. Part of the problem with the human heart is it forgets God’s miracles. That’s why the Word shows disciplines of remembrance. Even if you weren’t here 20 years ago [when Redeemer started], you need to remember that you’re sitting in a miracle right now. This isn’t just about our past–it’s got everything to do with our future.

Some ways to participate in this covenant renewal:

  • Come: This series of sermons will focus on Redeemer’s calling
  • Discuss: Join a Beta group.
  • Daily prayers: Sign up at renew.redeemer.com
  • Thank God: for any way that Redeemer has changed your life; this is His miracle.

Ephesians 1 is about hope. We will look at

  1. Why hope is so crucial
  2. What Christian hope is
  3. How Christian hope can shape your life

I. Why hope is so crucial

  • Hope in Christ is how you start. In v. 18, Paul prays that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you.
  • Essentially, Paul is saying, “I want you to have your inner being so smitten that it would be like you stared at the sun.” He is praying that the Holy Spirit will help them know their hope.

Problem: The English word “hope” is too weak for biblical hope.

  • We say, “I’m not sure, but I hope so.” Hope, in English, means uncertainty; it’s the opposite of the biblical word!
  • Hebrews 11:1 “Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
  • Biblical hope is a life-changing certainty about what’s going to happen.
  • Take two people, Persons A and B. Put them both in a room creating widgets for 10 hours a day for a year. Tell Person A that he’ll receive $10,000 at the end of the year, and tell B that she’ll get $1 billion. Person A says, “This sucks!” Person B says, “No, this isn’t so bad!
    • We are irreducibly hope-based creatures.
  • Christian hope has to do with the ultimate future state, not the immediate. Many think living a good life now will give them peace and prosperity in this life. No! There’s only one person who lived a good life, and he was rejected! Oh, well, he’s different–why? He says He’s not different!
  • Jonathan Edwards: Your bad will turn out for good–look at Christ. Your good things won’t ever be taken from you. And your best is yet to come.
  • Christian hope is effective because it’s not about prosperity in this life.
  • People who don’t understand hope are always freaking out when things go wrong.
    • Sumerset Long (?) Of Human Bondage

II. What is Christian Hope?

1. Personal: “the riches of his glorious hope in the saints (those set apart for Christ)

  • You are God’s  rich and glorious inheritance
    • Imagine a couple who owns the most valuable piece of art in the world.. The Lord of the universe considers YOU His treasure; when He looks at YOU, He feels rich.
      • If God in the past went into infinite debt to purchase you, what is He going to do when you meet Him face to face?
      • “This is what we are in for! Nothing less.” C. S. Lewis, pulsating, writes, “Everything you’ve ever longed for will be present in your heart at the moment of the first embrace.”

2. Material (wait, there’s more!)

  • the Spirit is a down-payment of our future redemption
    • in Romans 8, Paul explains that the whole created world will be freed from the bondage of decay.
      • This glory will not only envelope our bodies, it will envelope the cosmos
      • Nature in its greatest glory right now–the Grand Canyon, the Isuzu Falls–is a shadow of its future self.
      • If trees will be able to sing (Keller rubs his hands together), what will you be able to do?

III. How does this hope affect you?

1. Personally: Centuries ago, anyone who ever heard about self-esteem mentioned this passage.

    • During my undergraduate work, I was depressed, and my counselor told me that, whenever I felt depressed, to imagine the crowd’s applause after my greatest trumpet solo.
      • But what is that to this!? That trumpet solo might happen. You might write a best-seller, you might get that promotion, but this will happen! This is certainty! That depends on fickle crowds! That is a dew-drop of affirmation, whereas this is a worldwide flood!
  • Unless how He regards you infuses you, you’ll go through life scraping for awards and credentials because you don’t know who you are.

2. Materially

  • Conservatives don’t mind this idea of personal worth, but they get squeamish with social justice.
  • Liberals don’t mind this idea of personal worth, but they get squeamish with the “Jesus-only”.
    • If we have this hope, we’re going to call liberals to believe (despite their squeamishness), but we’re going to make this a good place to live whether they believe or not (despite the squeamishness of conservatives).

So, How?

vs. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

You believe the gospel.

Eph 2:12 says, “Remember when you were without hope?”

  • John 1: When Jesus came into the world, He came to His own, but they excluded him
  • He turned to God in Gethsemane, opened the door of prayer, and no one was there.

Hughes: Hope deferred makes the heart sick.

  • Yes, it hurts when you don’t get into the school you want, or the job you yearned for, but imagine losing ultimate, complete, utter, final hope.

When you see Christ losing all hope so that you can have hope–that is when you begin to have this biblical hope shaping your life.