Monday, November 16, 2009

Grace Fellowship: Hoping for Heaven

Colossians 1:5a

There are many passages in the NT which speak with subtle differences about hope, but they all refer to the same thing generally, our future eternal life in Heaven. For instance, in 1 Timothy, Jesus is referred to as Christ Jesus our hope. Peter speaks of how God has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). Titus chapter 2 reminds us of how we wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

But here in Colossians when we read of hope, Paul is not speaking of Jesus as our hope, or our hope for the day of His return, or the hope of resurrection AS SUCH. Certainly, these things are various aspects of the hope we have as believers. All these things (the resurrection, the return of Christ, and the person of Christ) are part of the salvation we enjoy and will enjoy.

Full Sermon Notes
[For sermon audio click here]


Words: Isaac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid, 1719.
Music: Ux­bridge, Low­ell Ma­son, 1830 (MI­DI, score).

The heav’ns declare Thy glory, Lord,
In every star Thy wisdom shines
But when our eyes behold Thy Word,
We read Thy Name in fairer lines.

The rolling sun, the changing light,
And nights and days, Thy power confess
But the blest volume Thou hast writ
Reveals Thy justice and Thy grace.

Sun, moon, and stars convey Thy praise
Round the whole earth, and never stand:
So when Thy truth begun its race,
It touched and glanced on every land.

Nor shall Thy spreading Gospel rest
Till through the world Thy truth has run,
Till Christ has all the nations blest
That see the light or feel the sun.

Great Sun of Righteousness, arise,
Bless the dark world with heav’nly light;
Thy Gospel makes the simple wise,
Thy laws are pure, Thy judgments right.

Thy noblest wonders here we view
In souls renewed and sins forgiv’n;
Lord, cleanse my sins, my soul renew,
And make Thy Word my guide to Heaven.

Grace Gems: The test of amusements

(J. R. Miller)

"Lovers of pleasure--rather than lovers of God" 2 Timothy 3:4

Is the love of pleasure growing upon you, gaining the power and the ascendency over you? Is it dulling the keenness of your zest for spiritual pleasures? Is it making Bible-study, prayer, communion with Christ, meditation upon holy themes--less sweet enjoyments than before? Is it making your hunger for righteousness, for God--less intense? Is it interfering with the comfort and blessing you used to find in worship services, or in Christian work?

If so, there is only one thing to do--hasten to return to God, cut off the pleasure which is imperiling the soul, and find in Christ the joy which the world cannot give, and which ever enhances the life. We must test all our pleasures and amusements by this rule--Are they helping us to grow into Christ-likeness and spiritual beauty?

Grace Gems