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Return of the King - Advent 2016

December 23, 2016 – Exulting in Hope

“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” – Romans 5:1-2

Drawn into Hope

This passage is filled to the brim with awe-inspiring truths! In fact, it’s such a powerful verse, I want to encourage you to go back and read it again.

We’ve been justified by faith! We have peace with God! We now stand with God in his grace!

This is truly good news!

But too often, we acknowledge these truths without realizing them. We go to church week after week, pray every day, read the Bible when we remember – but do we really see the beauty and value of what’s been done for us? Are these things – faith, peace, and grace – things we believe in theory? Or are they realities that we’re walking in every day?

As we’ve noted over the past two days, God’s work through Christ was not meant to merely secure a life after death. The Gospel transforms us today.

Paul understood this. It’s the reason he ended this thought with the phrase, “and we exult in hope of the glory of God.” As we experience the faith, peace, and grace of God in our lives, we’ll naturally be drawn into his hope as well.

Exulting in Hope

Living by faith, trusting in his grace, and walking with him in peace continually remind us that there is an all-knowing God who cares enough to guide our steps. And this Kingdom-centered life draws our minds forward. It helps us see that God has a future for creation. It gives us hope!

Because we remember God’s work in the past – especially through the birth, life, and death of Jesus – and we see his work today in our own lives – and the life of the church – we are given hope that he will continue to work in the future. His past works point to his future work. And just as we’re sure of what he has already done, we become ever more confident of what he will do.

This is the reason Paul says that we can exult in hope of the glory of God. We have a God who is at work! He’s a God who has been at work from the beginning of creation. And he’s a God who will continue to work until the consummation of all things.

And this is why Advent and Christmas are such wonderful times in which to hope! They remind us that God broke into human history over two-thousand years ago – beginning the greatest work he would ever do.

Knowing this, we confidently hope for the day that he brings it all to its glorious conclusion.

May we never cease exulting in this hope!

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