Hope in Expectations

Faith Church September 27, 2009 Romans 8:18-25

 

Introduction:

  • TEACHERS: The main point of this study is to see how & why the Wonderful Counselor gave ‘homework’ to various individuals to help them bring glory to God by solving their problems!
  • Many people want the benefits of Christianity, but they don’t want the responsibility – they don’t want to DO anything to change – they want God just to “zap” them, and instantly change them or solve their problem(s) – there is NO HOPE in that kind of thinking
  • The hope is that the “God of all comfort” will help us OR as one person put it, “He will bless us in the doing of the deed” –He will do His part, but we have to DO ours (which is OBEY!!)

-  We’re into our 6th week of our series: Finding Hope in the Wonderful Counselor

- since we all are in need of hope at various times in our lives (every day), the issue is:  Where are you going to go to get it?

- what better place than from the Wonderful Counselor –Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God the Son He is greater than we could begin to comprehend.

[REVIEW] Q: Who can give me the definition of hope?

  • Hope = the anxious anticipation of good – (biblical perspective) vs. the world’s definition more as ‘an uncertainty of the outcome’

Q: And that definition is base on what passage?  [Romans 8:18-25; esp. v. 24-25]

  • Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

>  we have HOPE because of Who God is, what He can do, and what He promised to do

Q: What have we studied so far that lays a firm foundation for our hope? 

#1: Find Hope in the Questions He Asked (He gathered the facts and told the truth)

#2: Find Hope in Defining Problems (the way He did)

#3: Find Hope in the Relationships HeBuilt (He loved, served, and died for people!)

#4: Find Hope in Giving Hope (but you have to have hope before you can give hope!

#5: Find Hope in the Instruction He Gave (the truth He proclaimed – what He wanted certain people, in certain situations, to KNOW

>  Jesus gave instruction publically, privately, and one-on-one to individuals!

- please OPEN your Bible to John 13 – we will read 13:12-20 and 13:31-35

- the context of the Last Supper – right before the crucifixion

POINT: This was a critical time – what was about to take place was the very reason Jesus came – AND He told them throughout His public ministry that this was going to happen

[READ John 13:12-20 [summarize 21-30: betrayal by Judas] and 13:31-35]

- the 1st step in Finding Hope in the Expectations He Gave is to …

I.  Consider the Rationale Behind Jesus’ Expectations

- in other words: What is it that drove the Wonderful Counselor to make clear statements regarding what He expected of them?

- this is different from last week’s study on Finding Hope in the Instruction He Gave

> that is more centered on the TEACHING … the truth that was given – the knowledge His followers needed in order to accomplish God’s will for their life

- this study is more on the issue of DOING something about the problem that will make a difference in the person’s life and most importantly, bring glory to God!

A. God is a god of action!

Q:  What are some examples of God demonstrating that He is a God of action?

[various answers] – here are a few to consider:

1) Creation - Gen. 2

- He created the entire heavens/earth with the word of His mouth in 6 literal 24 hr. days!

- at the end of Genesis 1 – v. 31 Moses wrote:

  • Genesis 1:31God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.

- Moses went on to write:

  • Genesis 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.2 By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.

- then you know what happened in Gen. 3 (Adam willfully sinned after DOING what God clearly told him NOT TO DO – the price of rebellion was probably higher than Adam thought)

- the effects of the curse of sin followed in Gen. 4 (Cain murdering his brother)

- then things kept getting worse – to the point of Gen. 6:5:

  • Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Q: What did God DO about it?

Answer: World-wide flood

2)  Flood – 40 days, 40 nights of rain – fountains of the deep broke forth!

- God DID something about the problem because of His holiness – it demanded that He act on the sinful choices of man

- we could talk a/b many others, but another MAJOR demonstration of God’s actions is…

3)  The Exodus from Egypt – (included the 10 plagues, crossing Red Sea, provision in the wilderness, crossing the Jordon, walls of Jericho, etc!)

- not only is God Himself a god of action, but …

B.  Jesus is the perfect model of action!

- the whole plan of redemption demonstrates that Jesus was willing to DO something about the effects of the curse of sin!

- in fact, you go back to Genesis 3 – where God promised that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent who deceived Eve:

  • Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel."

> the ‘seed’ is referring to the Son of Man, Jesus – the Wonderful Counselor

> because of Adam’s sin – Jesus had to DO something – take action at His Father’s will

- and Jesus made it clear to the disciples what His priority was (not food, but the mission!)

  • John 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

- part of that work was healing the sick, raising the dead, preaching the kingdom . . . etc.

- along with WASHING the disciples feet . … and the crucifixion (our text: John 13!)

- and even after He was ‘finished’ on the cross, and rose from the dead, He ascended BACK to heaven to intercede for us (He’s still ACTIVE!)

- however, before He ascended, He assured the disciples that someone else would come and pick up where He left off

> and help them accomplish the mission and DO what He told them to do

- that Person was the Holy Spirit and …

C.  The Holy Spirit is active!

- The Wonderful Counselor said:

  • John 15:26 "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me.”

- and remember, the Spirit was part of the Creation process (Gen. 1)

- shortly, we’ll see how the Holy Spirit is a key resource to our HOPE in the Expectations the Wonderful Counselor gives us!

Point:  Since we are made in the image and likeness of God, we need to be ACTIVE … doing and accomplishing what will bring glory to God!

- and if that is not enough to motivate you to DO whatever God commands us, then let’s be honest and admit one other ‘truth’ behind the rationale of DOING what God expects

D.  Responses reveals the heart (character)

- if you are told to do something and you don’t – that reveals the real you!

Example: Rich Young Ruler – Matthew 19 [READ v. 16 – 22]

  • Key verses:  Matthew 19:21Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.

- this was NOT about this young man doing good works to get him to heaven

> that would contradict the rest of the Scripture and salvation being by grace & not works

-  this was about his ‘repentance’ and his attitude toward things that pass away with time!

* Apply this to counseling situations:  One of the evidences that people are hurting bad enough and want to change (or they are really excited about growing in the discipleship process) is this:

>  Their response to the homework assignments [i.e. expectations given to them to DO something about their problem(s) ]

>  Do they get the homework done? How well did they do what was expected?

>  Or do they just want to ‘talk’ about problems but DO nothing about them?

- as the old saying goes: The PROOF is in the PUDDING!

- our response to God’s expectations reveal our true character (our inner man)

- Here’s where the hope starts rising to the surface:

II.  What Resources Do We Have that Can Help Us DO What Jesus Expects?

- God, being the kind of god He is, does not leave us to ourselves

- if He did, we’d be in big trouble – but He’s provided some resources for us to accomplish the very things He commands us to DO:

A.  The Power of God’s Word

- nearly 30 times in the NT Gospels, Jesus refers to ‘it is written’ – referring to the O.T.

- when you really think about WHO is doing the talking and what He has revealed to us about His word – HOPE IN ON THE WAY!!

- think about a couple of passages about the Word of God that gives us HOPE:

- about 700 years before the Wonder Counselor was born, God told Isaiah:

  •  Isaiah 55:6 Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call upon Him while He is near.7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD.
  • //  9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.10 "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
  • // 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

- then the author of Hebrews was inspired to write:

  • Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Input: Other passages about the Word of God that give you hope? [various answers]

- if we’ll turn to the inspired, inerrant, sufficient Word of God – we can DO what He tells us do

SPECIAL: We not only have the written word of God, but we have the example of the LIVING WORD!

  • John 1:14And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory
  • John 13:15"For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.

- in addition to God’s Word, we have as a RESOURCE. . . :

B. The Power of God’s grace– John 1:14,16-17

grace = God giving to us what we do not deserve

- it was said even of Jesus at an early age;

  • Luke 2:40 The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

- John made it clear that ‘grace’ was rooted in the nature and character of Christ:

  • John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

 

  • John 1:16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

- and that grace is available to us – especially as we choose to do what He said: “Follow Me”

- we walk where He walked (though we probably will not face crucifixion)

- and His grace is sufficient:

  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness."

Point:  You can’t say, “I can’t do _________ because God won’t help me!”

- and remember our study on promise: He won’t give you more than you can handle!

- PLUS: We could add how God gives WISDOM, shows MERCY, and if we walk in the Spirit, we can/will produce the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23)

- and speaking of the Spirit – we have another resource:

C.  The Person of the Holy Spirit

- the Holy Spirit is the “Comforter” sent by the Father at the Son’s request!

- He is here to us accomplish the mission and DO what He told them to do

- this is something Jesus referred to frequently:

  • John 14:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

- also in John 16, Jesus said:

  • John 16:7-14 "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

- we have the Holy Spirit, we have the grace of God, we have the POWERFUL Word of God … what else do we need to help us DO what God tells us to do?

- Jesus gave us another resource:

D. The role of the local church

- remember what Jesus said to Peter

  • Matthew 16:18"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.”

- Jesus referred primarily to the UNIVERSAL church (ALL members of the Body of Christ)

- but as the disciples spread the Gospel, LOCAL churches were founded and began to grow as part of the UNIVERSAL

> that’s what the Epistles are all about: the church at Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae, Thessalonica, etc.

Input: How can the local church help us to grow and do what the Wonderful Counselor tells us to do?

  – include teaching, accountability, fellowship, pray – ALL the “ONE ANOTHER” ministries – serve one another, admonish, forgive, etc – cf. John 13:34-35

  • John 13:34"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

 

III.  The RESPONSE to Jesus’ Expectation

- John 13 records how …

A.  Jesus gave 2 ‘homework’ assignments:

#1: To wash one another’s feet (be a servant)

- that was part of the Jewish culture – and frankly, THEY should have been washing HIS feet, and they knew that

#2: To love one another . . . “even as I have love you”

- remember the 2nd greatest commandment: To love your neighbor as yourself

- if you don’t love people, you won’t serve them in a way that pleases God

- you’re not likely to wash dirty feet of people you HATE!

B.  We have to make a choice:

- Maybe you’ve heard us use the phrase: There are just two choices on the shelf – pleasing God or pleasing self

- in short, there are 2 OTHER choices on the self:

Obedience – choosing to DO what God expects us to do

- Jesus modeled obedience – He did whatever the Father wanted Him to do

- so He’s not asking us to do something that He has not already done (John 13:16)

- but we can choose:

Disobedience – rejecting what God expects you to do!

Q: What would cause a person to openly reject God’s word and disobey?

- pride, stubbornness, revenge, viewing things through the TEMPORAL grid vs. ETERNAL

- I guess you could add one more option:

  • Mediocrity (half-hearted obedience – which is really disobedience from God’s perspective) – God hates that!
  • Revelation 3:16'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.

- now here’s the bottom line of what we are studying: What are …

IV.  The RESULTS of Obedience to Jesus’ Expectations

Answer: John 13:17 = blessings!

- Jesus told them what would happen if they would DO these things – not just ‘know’ them

- many people KNOW the Word, but still don’t DO it

  • John 13:17 "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

If you know [in the Greek language this is a 1st class ‘if’ – could be translated ‘since you know’ = assumed as true

If you do = [3rd class condition] = assumed as possible, “if you keep on doing.”

“Both conditions with the one conclusion coming in between, “you are happy (blessed)” – just knowing does not bring happiness nor just occasional doing.[1]

Point: You have to KNOW AND you have to DO to experience God’s blessing (happiness)

 

Conclusion:

Q: Are you willing to DO whatever God asks you do?

Q: What needs to CHANGE in order for you to obedient to Him?

Q: Do you tend to want the benefits of Christianity (or a good marriage/family) without taking on the responsibility of Christianity (which is OBEDIENCE to your Master!)

 

 


 

Finding Hope in the Wonderful Counselor

Finding Hope in the Expectations He Gives

 

Introduction:

 

  • Hope = the anxious anticipation of good

 

  • Romans 8:24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

 

I.  Consider the ______________ Behind Jesus’ Expectations

 

A. God is a god of ____________!

Q:  What are some examples of God demonstrating that He is a God of action?

 

 

 

 

 

B.  Jesus is the ____________ __________ of action!

 

 

C.  The ___________ ____________ is active!

 

 

D.  Responses ____________ the __________ (character)

 

Example: Rich Young Ruler – Matthew 19

 

II.  What ______________ Do We Have that Can Help Us DO What Jesus Expects?

 

A.  The Power of God’s ___________

 

Input: Other passages about the Word of God that give you hope?

 

B. The Power of God’s _____________– John 1:14,16-17

 

 

C.  The Person of the __________ _____________

 

 

 

 

D.  The role of the ____________ ____________

 

Input:  How can the local church help us to grow and do what the Wonderful Counselor tells us to do?

 

 

III.  The __________________ to Jesus’ Expectation

 

A.  Jesus gave 2 ‘_______________’ assignments:

 

#1: To wash one another’s feet (be a _____________)

 

#2: To _________ one another . . . “even as I have love you”

 

B.  We have to make a ___________:

 

__________________ – choosing to DO what God expects us to do

 

__________________ – rejecting what God expects you to do!

 

Q: What would cause a person to openly reject God’s word and disobey?

 

IV.  The RESULTS of Obedience to Jesus’ Expectations

Answer: John 13:17 = ______________!

  • John 13:17"If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”

If you know = ______________ as true

 

If you do = assumed as _______________

 

“Both conditions with the one conclusion coming in between, “you are happy (blessed)” – just knowing does not bring happiness nor just occasional doing.”  A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures

 

Conclusion:

Q: Are you willing to ____ whatever God asks you do?

Q: What needs to ____________ in order for you to obedient to Him?

Q: Do you tend to want the _____________ of Christianity (or a good marriage/family) without taking on the ______________ of Christianity (which is OBEDIENCE to your Master!)

 



[1]
Robertson, A.T.: Word Pictures in the New Testament. Oak Harbor : Logos Research Systems, 1997, S. Jn 13:17

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