"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO TIMOTHY" Jesus Christ, Our Hope (1:1)INTRODUCTION 1. In reference to Jesus Christ, Paul uses a title which is very unique in the NT... a. He calls Jesus "our hope" - 1Ti 1:1 b. Nowhere else is Jesus so described, other than in Col 1:27 2. Yet it came to be a precious title used by some in the early church... a. "Be of good cheer in God the Father and in Jesus Christ our common hope" - Ignatius, To The Ephesians 21:2 b. "Let us therefore persevere in our hope and the earnest of our righteousness, who is Jesus Christ." - Epistle of Polycarp 8 3. The word 'hope' (Gr., elpis)... a. Means "a confident desire and expectation" b. Is closely aligned with the word 'faith' - cf. He 11:1 [In what way is Jesus 'our hope', our basis for 'confident expectation'? Jesus is 'our hope'...] I. FOR FORGIVENESS OF SINS A. MAN HAS A PROBLEM WITH SIN... 1. All have sinned - Ro 3:23; cf. 1Jn 1:8,10 2. The consequences are grave - Ro 6:23 3. People deal with this guilt of sin differently a. Some try to ignore it b. Others seek to compensate for it by doing good works c. Many look to different 'saviors' or teachers (the Law, Buddha, Mohammed, Mary) B. JESUS IS OUR ONLY 'HOPE'... 1. He is the "Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" - Jn 1:29 2. In Him we have "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" - Ep 1:7 3. Christians place their hope in Jesus' blood as the atonement for their sins a. By believing and being baptized into Christ
- Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ro 6:3-6 b. By continuing to repent, confess, and pray - Ac 8:22; 1Jn 1:7,9 [Is Jesus your 'hope' for salvation from the guilt of sin? Unless you believe in Him, you will die in your sins (Jn 8:24). Jesus is also our 'hope'...] II. FOR RECONCILIATION WITH GOD A. MAN HAS A LONGING FOR FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD... 1. It is something put in man by His Creator - Ac 17:26-28 2. Many seek to fulfill this longing with the wrong things a. Trying to satisfy it with material things b. But such things only leave an emptiness - Ec 5:10 3. Many seek to fulfill this longing in the wrong way a. On their own b. Through some man or man-made religion B. JESUS IS OUR ONLY 'HOPE'... 1. He is the only 'way' to the Father - Jn 14:6 2. Only in Him can we really come to know God - Jn 14:7-9; cf. Jn 1:18 3. In Him we are reconciled to God - 2Co 5:18-20 [Is Jesus your 'hope' for fellowship with God? Without Jesus, you cannot have a close relationship with God (1Jn 2:23; 4:15). Jesus is also our 'hope'...] III. FOR POWER IN HOLY LIVING A. PEOPLE HAVE LONG REALIZED THE NEED TO LIVE GOOD LIVES... 1. Yet the ancient world admitted their inability to do so a. "We hate our vices and love them at the same time." - Seneca b. "We have not stood bravely enough by our good resolutions; despite our will and resistance we have lost our innocence. Nor is it only that we have acted amiss; we shall do so to the end." - Seneca 2. Even the apostles described the difficulty of living godly lives a. Paul described what it was like under the Law - Ro 7:21-24 b. He reminded Christians of the conflict between the flesh and the Spirit - Ga 5:16-17 c. Peter wrote of the warfare between fleshly lusts and the soul - 1Pe 2:11 B. JESUS IS OUR ONLY 'HOPE'... 1. In Christ we are freed from the law of sin and death - Ro 8:2 2. In Christ we have strength to do that which is good, and turn away from evil a. Because of the Spirit of God - cf. Ro 8:11-13 b. The means by which God strengthens the inner man - Ep 3:16, 20 [Is Jesus your 'hope' for power in holiness? In Jesus there is strength to do God's will (Php 4:13). Jesus is also our 'hope...] IV. FOR PROVISION IN DAILY LIVING A. PEOPLE OFTEN WORRY ABOUT THE NECESSITIES OF LIVE... 1. They worry about their food and clothing 2. They desire basic contentment, with true joy and peace 3. Jesus acknowledged this concern was common among men - Mt 6: 31-32 B. JESUS IS OUR ONLY 'HOPE'... 1. His Father knows our needs - Mt 6:32 2. Jesus provides the secret to God's care - Mt 6:33; Mk 10:28-30 3. He also is the source to true joy and peace - cf. Php 4:4,6-7 4. In Him there is contentment, knowing that God will supply our needs - cf. Php 4:11-12,19 [Is Jesus your 'hope' for God's providential care in your life? If you trust in your own riches, you cannot please God (Lk 16:13). Finally, Jesus is our 'hope'...] V. FOR VICTORY OVER DEATH A. THE FEAR OF DEATH IS COMMON TO MANKIND... 1. People try to avoid it, delay it 2. Some try to ignore, even refusing to speak of the dead B. JESUS IS OUR ONLY 'HOPE'... 1. He came to deliver us from the fear of death - He 2:14-15 2. This He did by His own resurrection, and continues to do through the promise of His coming again - cf. 1Th 4:13-18 CONCLUSION 1. Jesus is many things to those who love Him; let's make sure that He is 'our hope'! 2. Have you made Jesus your 'hope'? If not, then you are still... a. In your sins b. Alienated from God c. Unable to live a truly righteous life d. Going through life without God's providential care e. Unprepared for death, not ready for the Judgment to follow Why not let Jesus become your 'hope' today...?