For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God…(1 Peter 3:18)
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ope, purpose, meaning: the reality of these words is in short supply these days. Almost everywhere we look, we see despair and hopelessness. We can’t pick up a newspaper or turn on the news without being reminded of the endless misery and doom that constantly surround us. Sometimes it’s found in the ghastly images or war; other times in the constant reminder of the financial and economic crisis the world finds itself in. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It seems as if there is no escape from the dark and depressing circumstances many people find themselves in.

Last night, during Bible study at Grace Church Southall on Kingston Road, we were reminded of the utter misery some people find themselves in. One particular man; drunk and stinking of alcohol came into the chapel. Barely able to walk in a straight line or even string a sentence together, he uttered a few words about his miserable childhood and the misery in which he now lives. He has spent most of his life drunk and alone. This is just one story.

Is there hope for people like this? Is there hope for Southall? Is there hope in the midst of constant gloom and depression. The answer is yes. Southall has hope because there is a great God who is worshiped in Southall. He is the God of hope, light, love, mercy, compassion, forgiveness and truth. He is the God who changes lives and gives a second chance. He is the God who loves the lost and sinners.

What is this message of hope for Southall?

The message of hope for Southall is found in God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible says “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God… (1 Peter 3:18). Let me share with you a few points that this passage of Holy Scripture teaches:

1) For Christ…

Christ is alive, living and able to change your life. How? Because Christ is no ordinary man: He is God in human flesh; He is the perfect, sinless Saviour who never sinned once in His entire life; He is the only person to have lived on this earth that was completely pure and completely perfect. Christ is not like other men who make promises that they cannot keep. He is able and willing to turn your life around. This is the Christ who came into the world to save you from the power of sin and the penalty of sin.

Southall’s hope is not going to be found in dead and powerless religion. It won’t be found in the temporary help of new government initiatives. It will be found in Christ.

2) Christ also suffered…

The perfect, sinless God-man, Christ also suffered. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners and in His mission to save sinners, He suffered. His sufferings were not deserved because He had done wrong. But the great hope for us today is that because He suffered, He is able to sympathize with His people when they too suffer.

The God of the universe and the creator of all things demonstrated His love for us, in that whilst we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Are you suffering today? Are you living in misery? Does all hope seem to have been lost. Despair not; there is a Christ who also suffered. Southall has hope today because there is a great Saviour who also suffered.

3) Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous…

Christ suffered for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous. In order for you to see hope and light, you must see your condition before God and recognize your need for forgiveness. God’s Word says that you are a sinner. You are unrighteous and have broken God’s Law just like all other humans in this world. You deserve to die and pay the penalty of your sins.

But the message of hope, the good news, the Gospel is that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” (1 Timothy 1:15). “…God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8).

You are not abandoned and you are not without hope. The righteous came to save the unrighteous. The perfect came to die for the imperfect. The sinless one loves the sinner.

4) that he might bring us to God…

Christ came into this dark world full of misery, gloom and despair and died for you. He did this so that He might bring us to God and that our lives would be changed. Through a new relationship with God and His people, the meaning and purpose of your life will become clearer.

What must you do now!

  1. You must turn to Christ.
  2. You must turn to Christ.
  3. You must turn to Christ.

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