Risen Hope DEFINED...
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!” (1 Peter 1:3)
Christianity offers real hope through the gospel. The gospel is the good news of God’s love displayed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the only message that delivers true hope. Every other source of hope leaves us disappointed because it is based on our performance, imperfect people, or flawed ideas. Christian hope is based on a holy and loving God who sent his perfect son Jesus on a rescue mission to save people dead in their sins and raise them to new life in him. Jesus Christ is where Risen Hope begins!
All of us have turned our backs on God.
"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way..." (Isaiah 53:6).
We’ve tried to run our own lives, been selfish, and refused to love others. We have disobeyed the God who made us, loved us, and has provided everything for us. This is the essence of sin, and the Bible tells us that sin separates us from God, which is another way of saying, “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
On the cross, Jesus paid it all.
"Jesus said, 'It is finished,' and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit" (Luke 19:30).
Christ chose to step in and take the punishment we deserve. Jesus Christ's perfect life and willing death on the cross paid the just penalty for sin. On the cross, Jesus who knew no sin became our sin (2 Corinthians 5:21). As our perfect substitute, he died on the cross to pay for what we’ve done wrong in order to wash us clean of our guilt and shame and bring us back to God.
Rising from the dead, Christ defeated death.
"If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied" (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Jesus' death absorbed the punishment for our sin, but his resurrection defeated the power of sin and death. His empty tomb secured an indestructible hope and eternal future for those who turn from going their own way to following God. Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26) Eternity depends on how you answer that question!
Through faith, the gospel saves and transforms.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
The good news of the gospel both saves and transforms Christians to be more like Jesus. Those who repent of their sins and follow Christ are "born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (1 Peter 1:3). That new spiritual birth starts a lifelong transformation of becoming more like Jesus and of being in relationship with Him. We know God is finishing the work he has started in each believer, and he will get the glory (Philippians 1:9). The job of the church is to be a community of believers pointing each other back to the living hope, Jesus Christ.