One Man’s Journey Toward Hope In God

SERMON NOTES-Pastor Milton Vincent
Easter Sunday, April 8, 2012-Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church
1 Peter 1:20-21 and other selected Scriptures

Christianity does not say that God will fulfill all your hopes and dreams, but to lay your hopes and dreams at the foot of the cross. One of the important purposes of the resurrection of Jesus is to wean our hope away from the things of the world and produce and shape our hope in God.

Peter’s journey to this beautiful place of hope was an ugly journey.

SIX OBSERVATIONS ABOUT PETER’S JOURNEY TOWARD A RESURRECTION SHAPED HOPE IN GOD

1. At one point, Peter did not have much hope that Christ should befriend a sinner like him.
-See Luke Ch. 5
-After toiling all night and not catching any fish, Jesus instructs Peter to try again. A huge load of fish are caught.
-Luke 5:8-9 is Peter’s response to the miracle and his response to Jesus’ kindness to him.
-Peter realizes that he is a sinner. He falls down at Jesus’ knees and says: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (1 Peter 5:8)
-Peter views his sin as disqualifying him from Jesus.

The good news is that our sins do not disqualify us from Jesus, but qualify us. Jesus didn’t come into the world to save people who would point out their own self-righteousness, but Jesus came into the world to save sinners.

2. At one point, Peter’s hope for himself did not depend on a Savior who died and rose again.
-See Matthew Ch 16
-Peter goes from declaring “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” to rebuking Jesus when He tells His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem to suffer, be killed and be raised.
-Peter tries to impose his own will on Jesus and make Jesus fit into his own religious idea (that of Jesus overthrowing the Romans, not coming to die for his sins.)
-Peter, here, speaks for all those who think they do not need a Savior to die for them.

3. At one point, Peter had great hope in his own righteousness.
-See Mark 14:27ff
-Peter doesn’t like that Jesus sees his failure and disagrees with Jesus when He says that all the disciples will fall away.
-Peter separates himself from the other disciples and says, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.”
-Peter compares himself more favorably with the others (pridefully) and thinks himself stronger and better than the others.
-Jesus’ response to Peter was that Peter would fail worse than all the rest (v. 30-31).
-We also do this when we say the Bible is wrong about our sin.

4. The events surrounding Christ’s death shattered Peter’s hope in himself.
-See Mark 14:66ff
-Peter does fail. He denies Jesus.
-Peter pronounces a curse on himself, I’ll be damned if I know “that man” (or, some commentators say he utters a curse against Jesus).
-He won’t even call Jesus by name, he says, “that man.”
-Peter remembers Jesus’ words to him, that he would deny him, and Peter is devastated by his sin.
-Imagine Peter’s despair! Jesus was his best friend, a loyal and faithful friend. He has spent much time with Jesus, Jesus had healed his mother-in-law, He had witnessed Jesus ministry and had put his hope in Jesus for deliverance from the oppressive Romans.

When Peter heard that Jesus had died, he was broken and his hope was shattered. He must have been wracked by sorrow and guilt.

-We do this too. We put our hope in ourselves and then we sin in ways where we can’t believe what we have done.

5. After His resurrection, Christ sought out and ministered to Peter.
-Mark 16:27ff
-The angel at the tomb delivers a message from Jesus and mentions Peter by name, “But go, tell his disciples and Peter…”
-Jesus made a private appearance to Peter. (1 Cor. 15:5; Luke 24:34)
-In this private encounter, whatever Jesus said to Peter must’ve been powerful.
-Later, in John 21, Peter and some of the others are out fishing. When Peter realizes that it is the Lord instructing them where to cast the net, he cannot even wait for the boat to reach the shore but jumps into the water and swims to Jesus.
-Something has happened to Peter’s heart. He moves toward Jesus as fast as he can.
-See 1 Peter 2:24; 1:18. Peter now understood the real reason of the cross.

6. Peter testifies of a rebirth of vibrant hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
-See 1 Peter 1:3
-Peter is a different man because of Jesus.
-Peter has a living, vibrant hope because of the resurrection of Christ.
-Peter’s old hopes died at the cross, his hope in himself, his own righteousness.
-But, on the other side of the cross is real and living hope.

He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.  1 Peter 1:20-21

Whether you recognize it or not, you are created by God and bear His image. God created us to live inside of His love and gave us His law to show us how to live. And yet, the Bible tells us, we have rebelled against God and said that we would find our significance and righteousness in ourselves. By doing so, we awaken God’s wrath and judgment. And yet, even so, God moves toward us by sending His Son to die for our sins. God says to receive forgiveness through His Son as a gift. You can be forgiven and learn to live and love and have the real and right kind of hope live inside of you.

Put your hope in Jesus.

About Terrie van Baarsel


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