1. We learn from these verses that God's grace teaches us how to live. a. Negatively, we are to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. b. Positively, we are to live soberly, righteously, and godly. 2. As we endeavor to live in this present world as God's grace teaches, we are to look for "that blessed hope" ["the glorious appearing" of our Savior]. 3. According to vs.14, the Lord blessed us when He gave Himself for us. 4. Although the Lord has blessed us abundantly, the best is yet to come when He makes His glorious appearing. 5. On the basis of this information, "let us look for that blessed hope." 6. While we wait for our blessed hope to become a reality, let us keep in mind 2 important principles revealed in Proverbs 13:12. a. First, "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick" [when something we have looked forward to is postponed, it causes us to become despondent]. b. Second, "when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life" [when we finally experience something we have been looking forward to, it is a special blessing -- vs.19a].
I. THESE PRINCIPLES ARE ILLUSTRATED MANY TIMES IN THE BIBLE
A. Abraham and Sara were familiar with these principles. 1. (Genesis 12:1-5) Abraham was 75 years old when God said that he would be the father of a great nation. 2. (Genesis 15:2-3) Later, Abraham questioned God about his situation. 3. (Genesis 17-18) When Abraham was 99 years old, he and Sara were told that they would have a son (Genesis 17:1-2, 19; 18:9-10). 4. (Genesis 21:5) Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old. 5. (Genesis 21:6-8) Isaac's birth was a happy occasion. B. Jacob was familiar with these principles. 1. From Genesis 29:25 we see how Jacob felt after Leah was given to him when he had worked 7 years for Rachel. 2. (Genesis 29:27-28) Jacob had to work 7 additional years for Rachel. C. The Israelites were familiar with these principles. 1. From Psalm 137:1 we see how they felt during the captivity. 2. From Psalm 126:1-3 we see how they felt when the captivity was over. D. Jesus referred to the birth of a child to illustrate these principles (John 16:21).
II. LET US APPLY THESE PRINCIPLES TO THE LORD'S RETURN
A. The Lord's return will be glorious (Matthew 25:31). B. When He returns, we will be given a glorious body (Philippians 3:20-21). C. According to Romans 8:22-23, we sometimes groan while we wait for the Lord to return ["Hope deferred maketh the heart sick"] D. We learn from Romans 8:18, 21 that the Lord's people will receive a special blessing when He returns ["when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life"].
1. When Christ returns, those who are in Him will be blessed with eternal life. 2. The Bible shows in Romans 6:3-4 how a person gets into Christ. 3. Have you complied with these verses by being baptized into the Lord? 4. Let us live as God's grace teaches so we can look for that blessed hope.