The Hope of Jesus Through His Church
- In your journal write down all the things you have that are hopeful
- Consider three categories for hopeful things and organize what you have written into Short Term hopes, hopes for This Year, and Long-Term hopes that go beyond this year
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
Romans 6:6-7 (KJV)
Destroyed Strong's 2673-katargeo
Greek Strong’s Number: 2673
Greek Word: καταργέω
Cross Reference: TDNT – 1:452,76
Part of Speech: v
English Words used in KJV:
do away 3
miscellaneous translations 11
[Total Count: 27]
from <G2596> (kata) and <G691> (argeo); to be (render) entirely idle (useless), literal or figurative :- abolish, cease, cumber, deliver, destroy, do away, become (make) of no (none, without) effect, fail, loose, bring (come) to nought, put away (down), vanish away, make void.
James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “2673”.
Who do you see in need of hope, or do you?
Destroyed. Done away with. Void. Become or make of no effect. Fail. Bring to naught. Put Away. Vanish Away. To be or render entirely idle or useless.
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross has done all those things to our sins, and not just the ones in our past, but our future as well. For the addict does a sudden expression of faith in Jesus, a heart-felt belief in the Son of God suddenly remove the physical dependence upon the material to which they are addicted? It has happened, but in most cases, no it does not, so why bother? Why bother…
Hope is a powerful force. Hope is the thing that the Gospel of Christ is all about. Hope is what sin destroys, and it is what faith in Jesus brings back.
Hope is the creation of a new relationship with the One who can redeem, Jesus Christ. Hope is the tool by which new relationships with brothers and sisters who are also in Jesus Christ can be created. Hope is the thing that can provide the strength to get up and take that first step away from the addiction…and the next…and the next.
Most people are not addicted to drugs. Most. Most people are not addicted to alcohol. Most but it is more acceptable, so more. Most people are not addicted to…something came to mind. Just now something came to mind so finish that sentence with the thing that came to mind and then contemplate why it came to mind.
Each of us either needs it or has it. Those that have it in small amounts can always benefit from more. Those who have it in abundance need to share it like handing out candy at the 4th of July parade, freely to whoever holds out their hand…whoever.
For those who have no hope anything that looks like hope is something that gets ripped into like a hungry man opens a packet containing what he hopes is in there, food. If we are to be the light of the world, to shine on a better path we need to be ready to see people who have no hope hungrily grasping at what we offer. We need to be prepared to minister to their bodily needs not just their spiritual needs. Because if we cannot feed them, slake their thirst, take them in, cloth, heal, and fellowship with those people we are not being the hands and feet of Jesus in a world that desperately needs Him.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
Matthew 25:34-40 (KJV)
Faith in Christ does not erase those sins from us, they blot them out from God’s eyes so that we are restored into right standing with Him inside His ways. This opens the path before us to walk in His ways, along His path to reach His goals for His people. Faith in Jesus makes us all His people. If we are to be His people following His ways, we should discard our old ways as flawed and bad because they were. We should acknowledge His ways as true and good because they are. In so doing we put off the old person and take on the new person. We walk in newness of life. We walk within the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ within the church all of which is there specifically to help us with the things we struggle with. That is the essence of hope in this world from a Christian perspective. That is the essence of being the hands and feet. That is being dead to sin and freed from it so that we serve it no longer.
The Twelve-Steppers say that the first step in getting better is admitting that there is something to get better from. For those reading these words who believe they were written for “other people” because “I don’t have any sins” or scoff at the idea that any of this might be for them, I cannot help them. God has not moved their heart so that it is in my purview to be of any assistance to those people. That is for someone else.
But for those who are or have been moved by these words, hope is for you because Jesus died to destroy your sins. God sees them no more. Newness of life is something that is a path before you if you wish to take the first step. To do that, those Christians in your immediate circle are there to be the hands and feet of Jesus for you. That local church is there to help with the things no one understands. The people of God are there to help you walk a new path away from those things that destroy life and into things that give life.
God knows the heart, the truth behind every person, but people only know words. For those people in the church to be the hands and feet, they have to know they are needed, and where. Tell them. Reach out to someone. Be willing to listen because they know a better way or know someone who does because Jesus Christ already helped them, and he can help you too.
- If something is weighing your life down, contemplate who you know who is already walking in Christ and consider approaching them with that which burdens you.
- If something is not weighing your life down consider whom God may have already put in your path who needs the hope you can offer through assistance and if no one is there now, consider what steps might be taken to be ready to help someone when God does put them into your path.