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Looking For That Blessed Hope

16/05/2021

Looking for That Blessed Hope

Text.  Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

In our last study, on the New Heavens and a New Earth, we concluded with some practical applications, and we noted that when Christ returns we must be found IN HIM, clothed in his righteousness, for while we have no intrinsic goodness of our own, we are required, on that day, to be at peace with God, without spot and blameless.   We are far from that holy standard – the only Man who was at peace, was the Prince of Peace, who was sinless, without spot (1 Peter 1:18-20) and was blameless (1 Peter 2:21-23)   Yet we must remember that we are all undergoing a process of SANCTIFICATION. The Holy Spirit, working within us is preparing us for heaven, for the day when we will meet our Saviour, face to face, whether that should be when he comes, or when He calls.  Paul teaches Titus that the prospect of meeting the Lord, will be a real motivation for our  willing and grateful cooperation with the Spirit, as he does his sanctifying work, making us more like Jesus.  In this lesson, we want to look at Titus 2, and see what Paul says about our eagerness to meet Jesus on the day he returns.  When Jesus returns…

Looking for that Blessed Hope

1. We Will Be Found Living The Christian Life . V12  

God doesn’t want all of us to be ‘super-Christians.’ When Paul writes to Pastor Titus, the minister of the church at Crete, he wants the Christians in Crete to show that they are Christ’s, that they have met the risen Saviour and had their lives transformed, by just being good examples to others!   Look at his examples:-

  • Older men.  They are to be of good character, with a sound faith, loving and patient.  2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
  • Older women. They are to be good examples, to control their tongue, and remain sober, living for Christ in their homes, showing their faith in their own homes, teaching their children the things of God.   V3-5  
  • Young men. To develop a pattern of good works, be a good witness, a good example of what a Christian should be Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 
  • Pastors. Titus himself must live the life, being a good example, not just to society in general, but to the believers. V7-8Even the critics of the faith should find nothing at which to point the finger.
  • Employees. Be different from the ungodly!  Do what you’re told, don’t argue with the boss, but try to please him, don’t steal from him, and be loyal.    V9-10  Employees can be an ‘adornment’ of the gospel in their labour – make the gospel seem attractive to others.   

Paul is just describing ordinary people like us, living for Christ, being Christ-like, where God has placed them. We are to live for Christ, wherever we are and whoever we are.  Every class and status of men and women, are all the same in Christ, and we must all, always, be found living for him.  Matthew 5:16.  When Jesus returns…

2. We Will Be Expecting Him.  V11-14

Now ‘Living for Christ’ is God’s work within us, – the work of the Holy Spirit.  So now that Paul has described what the sanctified life looks like, he tells us WHY we should be living that way…

  • Because the Grace of God has already appeared.  V11-12  God is already at work in our lives. Speaking of the Hoy Spirit, Paul teaches the Ephesians and the Corinthians that his indwelling presence is ‘the earnest of our inheritance.’ 2 Corinthians 1:21-23  It is the Holy Holy Spirit who ‘brings us salvation’ – applies the saving work of Christ on the cross to our lives, who ‘appears’ to all men – the work of the Holy Spirit is to breaking our darkness, awaken us to our sinfulness and point us to the cross.  The Holy Spirit ‘teaches us’ and inclines us toward godly living.  The GRACE OF GOD has already appeared, to us and within us.  Think of that grace, the free, unearned, unmerited love of God, lavished upon us.  Our Godly lives are are a thankful response to that.  Romans 6:12-14  
  • Because the Grace of God will appear! There will be a GLORIOUS APPEARING! 13 Again let’s parse the verse a little to help us see the wonder of that hopeful day…   
    • Blessed.  This hope is a happy hope!  It’s an encouragement along the way. Romans 15:13  The expectation of that hope, right now, is a blessing to us!  The realisation of that hope, when Christ comes will be a blessing!  
    • Hope. The word ‘Hope’ needs some exation.  I hope that I’m going to inherit a million pounds.  To be honest, that hope is completely unfounded!  It isn’t going to happen.  But in the Bible, this hope is not in any way uncertain, it is SURE AND CERTAIN – AN ABSOLUTE TRUTH RESTING ALONE ON THE PROMISES OF GOD WHO CANNOT LIE. Titus 1:2. I Hebrews 6:19  
    • The Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.  The AV almost makes it seem that Paul is writing about two people who will come on that day, ‘ the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ’ But he is not.  He is speaking about Jesus, who will return on that day.  Remember that Jesus is God, the second person of the Trinity, Philippians 2:5-7 
  • Because sanctification flows from Calvary.  v14   1 John 3:3.  

So Paul describes the Christian life; being a good witness, living the life wherever the Lord has placed us, waiting patiently for the Lord to return, knowing with confidence that the Day of the Lord will surely come, and we will see Him face to face.  The joyful expectation of the Saviour’s return appearing in glory, effectively prepares us for our future life in glory with him.  

3. Put Aside All Man-Centred Ideas about Eternity.

One of the dangers – even when Christians are concerned, is to try to make heaven too much like earth.  Whatever we have here on this earth, heaven will be better.  Isaiah 64:4  and there will be a new earth, perfect, without sin, in which we will dwell for ever and ever, with the Lord.  In heaven we will be living in peace and harmony, as God intended in Eden, and we will know each other and we will have perfect fellowship and harmony…. But let’s not trivialise it, our delight in heaven will be in God, in his glory and in his wonderful works.  Our hearts will be full of his praise and we will be freed of sin – there’s no sin heaven!  Let us look forward to perfect fellowship with God and one anther in the New Perfect World.  

© Bob McEvoy May 2021

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