Author: Ron Graham
A Well-Founded Hope
—Solid foundation stones
The following is an old sermon outline of mine, in the form of a scripture chain. It dates back to 1979. It is a sermon meant to encourage people in their hope of Heaven, and to see that their hope is built on solid foundation stones that are not only solid but simple.
Firstly, here's a reading to focus our minds on these foundation stones.
¶“15Since you heard the word of truth, I also have heard that among you there is faith in the Lord Jesus, and love toward all the people made holy. 16So I continually mention you in my prayers, giving thanks for you.” (Ephesians 1:15-16).
¶“17I pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory. May he give you the spirit of wisdom. May he give you revelation in his knowledge. 18May he enlighten the eyes of your minds so that you see the hope of his calling. May you perceive the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the people made holy. 19May you understand the surpassing greatness of his power towards us whose faith is wrought by his mighty power.” (Ephesians 1:17-19).
There are many passages like that in the scriptures. The outline below may encourage you to visit them. I have arranged them according to six solid things on which our hope is based...
1 The Promise of God
- "...the hope of eternal life which God who cannot lie promised before the ages of time..." (Titus 1:2)
- "...God, determining to show the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath..." (Hebrews 6:9-20)
2 The Earnest of the Spirit
- "...sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance..." (Ephesians 1:11-14)
- "...Christ in you, the hope of glory..." (Colossians 1:27)
- "...if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his... [God] will give life...through his Spirit who dwells in you..." (Romans 8:9-39)
- "...hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us" (Romans 5:5,1-11)
3 The Lord’s Track Record
- "...when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly..." (Romans 5:6,1-11)
- "...Christ died for our sins... was buried... he rose again the third day... and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep..." (1Corinthians 15:3-4,20)
4 Faith in Christ
- "...faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen..." (Hebrews 11:1)
- "...I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have entrusted to him until that day..." (2Timothy 1:12)
- "...God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life..." (John 3:16)
- "...My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me, and I give them eternal life..." (John 10:27-29)
- "...looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:1-2)
5 Obedience to Christ
- "...through his abundant mercy [God] has begotten us again to a living hope... rest your hope fully on the grace [of God]... as obedient children..." (1Peter 1:3,13-14, 1Peter 3-25)
- "...if we walk in the light as he is in the light... he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins..." (1John 1:7,9)
- "...this is the love of God that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome..." (1John 5:3)
- "...we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations..." (Romans 1:5, Romans 16:26)
6 True Knowledge
- "I know that my Redeemer lives, and he shall stand at last on the earth... whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold..." (Job 19:27)