Jesus Is Our Hope
Christmas 2007 Sermon Series: Advent Wreath Theme
Place: Seaman Baptist Church
Date: December 2, 2007
Text: Various Scriptures
Jesus Is Our Hope
A. Purpose and background of the Advent Wreath
a. Boniface in the 12th century—response to worshipping pagan sun god
b. Wreath is a circle—no beginning, no end. Symbol of God who is eternal with no beginning or end
c. Wreath is made of evergreens—symbol of Christ who is ever alive—He was born, he died, but he rose again so that we may have life eternal and never die
d. Holly berries are red—symbol of Christ’s blood that was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins for all who ask
e. Four candles representing the four weeks of Christmas. Each one will be lit watching the light grow stronger as we anticipate Christmas day and light the white candle in the center.
B. Series topics of the month: Hope, Love, Joy, Peace
C. What are you hoping for this Christmas?
a. Children wish for the toys
b. Adults wishing for their toys and dreams to come true
c. We hope for:
i. Soldiers to come home soon and safe
ii. Relationships to be restored
iii. Financial stablility
iv. Educational dreams
Thesis: Christmas reminds us that our hope is in Jesus.
Read Text: Isaiah 9:1-7; Malachi 4:4-6; Matt. 1:17-24
Hope for a redeemer came during the intertestamental period
- Hope for Joseph was deliverance from legalistic religion
- Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it
b. We now live by grace, Eph. 2:8-9,
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- The Christian life is about relationship, not religion
- Mary’s hope for social justice
- Jesus’ entrance into the world broke the social boundaries between men and women, racial equality i. Jesus and the woman at the well
ii. Jesus and Mary Magdalene
iii. Women at the tomb
iv. Simon of Cyrene who carried the cross
- Shepherd’s hope for equality
- The angels appear to the working class first
- Look at the collection of Jesus’ disciples—fishermen, terrorist, financial embezzler, IRS tax man
i. Jesus said to love one another and get along
- Wisemen’s hope for that which they did not know—a forgiver and deliverer
- Cross cultural missions, Lottie Moon and the CP
i. Why give to overseas missions when there is such a great need here?—Act 1:8
He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 
- Mission experience in Thailand
- Missionaries who need support today—Gayniers, Dioxiong of China
A. We also hope to see Christ again, it is our “blessed hope” Titus 2:11-14
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 
a. He will not come again as a lamb, but a lion, not as a servant, but a King to claim his own to himself
b. Are you one of His? Have you asked Jesus to be your forgiver and leader of your life?
B.Our hope is not in vain for Christ to deliver us from what pulls us down Lam. 3: 19-26:
19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
26 it is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
c. He is able to keep us safe in his arms and is faithful to honor all his promises to us
 The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Eph 2:8-10
 The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Ac 1:7-8
 The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Tit 2:11-14
 The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. La 3:19-26