"THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS" Eagerly Awaiting Our Hope (5:5) INTRODUCTION 1. A few questions to stimulate your thinking... a. What is your hope as a Christian? b. How strong is that hope? c. Can you say that you are eagerly awaiting your hope? 2. Much of the joy of being a Christian is related to our hope... a. How real that hope is to us b. How eager we are to one day realize that hope c. How it enables us to serve the Lord with joy and patience 3. In Ga 5:5, Paul writes concerning his hope... a. What he was waiting for b. How he was eagerly waiting for it (Grk., apekdechomai, to await eagerly) [From his words in this verse and elsewhere we can glean truths that can make a great difference in our attitude and service as Christians. Consider first...] I. WHAT WE ARE TO EAGERLY WAIT FOR A. THE HOPE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS... 1. The hope of justification a. Paul had been writing about justification - Ga 5:4 b. Justification and righteousness come from the same Greek word (dikaiosune) c. Thus Paul is talking about the hope of being made right, not guilty of sin 2. They had no other hope of justification than by faith in the Redeemer - Barnes a. This was Paul's hope expressed to the Philippians - Php 3:9 b. A hope that sustained him in his last days, his darkest hours - 2Ti 4:8 -- We are to have a strong desire plus expectation (the meaning of hope) regarding our standing before the Lord guiltless of sin B. THE SAVIOR FROM HEAVEN... 1. The Corinthians were eagerly waiting for the revelation of Jesus - 1Co 1:7 2. Paul also was eagerly waiting for Jesus from heaven - Php 3:20 3. For those who so eagerly await Him, Jesus will bring salvation - He 9:28 -- We are to eagerly await the coming of the Lord, for He will bring the righteousness (justification) we hope for! C. THE REDEMPTION OF OUR BODY... 1. Paul also wrote of eagerly awaiting the redemption of our bodies - Ro 8:23 2. This pertains to the hope of the resurrection - Ac 23:6; 24:15 3. In which our mortal bodies will be raised and put on immortality - 1Co 15:42-44,48-54 4. Made possible by the coming and power of our Lord Jesus Christ! - Php 3:20-21 -- We are to eagerly await that glorious transformation in which our bodies as well as our souls will be redeemed by the Lord! [Such are the things we are to hope for and await eagerly: Our justification from sin, our Savior from heaven, our resurrection from the dead! Now let's consider...] II. HOW WE CAN EAGERLY WAIT FOR IT A. BY FAITH... 1. This is our part a. We are to have faith - cf. ESV ("For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait...") b. Faith in Christ and His sacrifice, faith in His coming 2. A faith that is Bible-based a. A strong conviction in things unseen; in particular, Jesus - He 11:1; Jn 3:36 b. Which comes through the Word of God - Ro 10:17; Jn 20:30-31 c. Which gives us hope, like a light shining in darkness
- Ro 15:4; 2Pe 1:19 -- The eagerness with which we wait is proportional to the degree of faith we have B. THROUGH THE SPIRIT... 1. This is God's part a. "...strengthened by the Spirit we wait for the fulfillment of the hope which righteousness by faith instead of the law insures to us." - B.W. Johnson b. Paul wrote of God helping us to abound in hope via His Spirit - Ro 15:13 2. We receive the Spirit's aid as we: a. Walk in the Spirit - Ga 5:16 b. Set our minds on the things of the Spirit (i.e., the Word) - Ro 8:5-6; Ep 6:17 c. Ask God for strength by His Spirit (via prayer) - Ep 3:16,21 -- The eagerness with which we wait is proportional to the strength we receive from the Spirit CONCLUSION 1. What is your hope (desire plus expectation) as a Christian? It should include... a. The hope of righteousness (justification) b. The Savior's revelation from heaven c. The glorious resurrection from the dead 2. How strong is your hope? It all depends... a. Are you growing in faith (through the Word)? b. Are you being strengthened by the Spirit (through prayer)? If so, then we will eagerly await that for which we both desire and expect to see...!