A sermon by Ps. Zulvy Leon on August 6, 2017
Hope is proactive – Romans 5:5-11
Our hope is neither passive nor reactive but rather proactive. For example, fire fighters and medical response team is a reactive group because they only spring into action if needed. Police department is also reactive especially when a crime has occurred. But, policemen also patrol for the reason to prevent crime. For this reason, police department is also considered a proactive agent. Proactive means acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes.
Our hope was not given as a band-aid. God gave hope to us in advance so that when we need it, we have it. Romans 8:24-25. Hope is not different than faith and the hope that God has given to us enables us to anticipate of what’s coming to us.
We can never out give God because He has already given first. Before we even know what to expect, He has given it to us. The nature of the hope that we receive from Christ is proactive. Hope is not a force or feeling but hope is a person (Col 1:27) – Christ in us is the hope of glory.
Because we have a proactive hope, we’re also given a proactive mandate. Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 28:18-20. The gates of Hades is the subject of our attack; we need to move proactively and offensively to fulfill the mandate. We cannot stand still and dormant. The hope and authority that has been given to us is so powerful. Whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Do not live with fear. Live with the right, powerful identity that has been given to you.
Words of someone who is going to die are very important. The same goes with the last words of Jesus just before His ascension to heaven. He has given His mandate to His church – you and I – to go and bring salvation to other people in Jesus’ name. The hope, power, and authority that has been given to us has a purpose and therefore our hope is proactive.
We need to realize that there are still people who are looking for hope. Be a hope to someone. What has been given to you should not stop at you; it should flow through you and reach other people. Corinthians 3:1-18. Our lives need to show God’s love. Many people don’t have access to the Word of God but they have access to your lives. We are open letters from Christ. We received Jesus into our hearts and we have been qualified by our God. But, not only He has qualified us, He has enabled us to minister boldly to bring others to Jesus. Be bold, be consistent, and be faithful so people can see you as the dependable sign for direction that will lead them to God.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
For us who have received the grace of God:
- Do not regard anyone from worldly point of view. Instead, adopt God’s point of view. While someone’s situation is far from perfect, there is still hope for their lives.
- Receive the ministry and the message of reconciliation. We can’t give what we don’t have, so first, be reconciled with God then receive His ministry to reconcile others with Christ.
- Become His ambassador.
Display these virtues of Christlikeness:
- Courage (God doesn’t give you a spirit of fear)
- Gentleness (be gentle, be patient, do not be grumpy)
- Truth (full of integrity)
- Grace (you may be right but you don’t have to force your position upon someone else)
Be empowered by hope (Luke 10:1-17). Whenever someone tells me that I think religion is for someone weak but perhaps that person doesn’t realize that he’s weak. We are week creatures so we need God. God gave us the ‘crutch’ so that we can be healed and become stronger. The hope that is in us makes us bold (2 Cor 3:12).
Ecclesia – The Church
Hope should empower the church (ecclesia). We have been CALLED OUT of the darkness and INTO His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). Furthermore, in Luke 10:1-17, God SENT His disciples away. An Ecclesia church is a complete cycle: called out of sin and darkness, go into His light, and receive God’s commission to be sent away and preach the Good News to others. Why do we need to go out? Because the hope in us is big and proactive. God called us into a consecrated heart, where we are only to give our hearts to Him, but not an isolated life! See Matthew 5:13-16.
God called us because we have received the hope. This hope is proactive. Now we need to go out and share this hope to others. The true ministry occurs outside of church. Through the Holy Spirit, we have been given the purpose and power to share the Gospel in Jerusalem, Samaria, and to the ends of earth. God’s purpose is sovereign which means whether or not you act, His purpose will happen. If you disregard His calling, He will use other people or other means to fulfill His will. In Acts 8:1-8, the disciples who have received the Holy Spirit refused to go out of Jerusalem until torture came through Saul and the believers were expelled to many different regions where then the Gospel was spread.
While we are still able, serve the Lord. Don’t miss God’s calling. Our hope is proactive and He called us to become hope for somebody. Be empowered by hope and give hope to the world.