There was no hope for the natural man. When Adam fell, he plummeted mankind into sin and hopelessness. When he sinned, it was not merely an act, but instead a decision that would affect everyone in every aspect of their lives. When Adam took hold of sin, sin took hold of mankind and ravished it. There was no way to stop it and he could not be reformed. The only hope for man was for him to be made a new creature.
When a person trust Christ as Savior, God makes him a new creature or a new creation. This work of mercy does not change the physical creation of man, but instead man’s spiritual state. Man’s rebirth would give him a hope – a lively hope – one that would dwell within him every day.
Life can be crushing. In your life, how many tears of sorrow have you shed? How many times have you held the hand of a loved one is their heart burst with anguish and sorrow? Your past has not been great and your future will most likely contain just as much sorrow. But since the new birth, there is a hope that lives and dwells within you. That lively hope will enable you to look to your merciful God who will provide comfort, strength and direction. How did you get this lively hope? It came because of the mercy of God.
To illustrate this, imagine you are one of the crew on the ship. While on deck, you feel the tremble as an explosion occurs below deck. The event created a gaping hole in the side of the ship. Water comes rushing in taking lives of men as it advances through the ship.
The blast of alarms sound around you and everyone begins to abandon ship. You fall into the water and begin swimming for your life. Terror fills the air and your heart is pounding as you try your best to continue to swim. You eventually fear that you cannot go on and you just want to give up and get this whole terrifying experience over. And then, a floatation device springs up out of the water.
Quickly you make your way towards the object and grasp it with all of your might. Immediately your heart moves from fear to hope as you cling to the device and exclaimed, “I’m saved!”
In the distance, you hear people struggling and screaming. As you float in safety, others less fortunate succumb and become one more floating casually.
This illustration depicts your life and mine. Lost in sin, we were without hope and regardless of how much struggling to overcome the result ended in failure. And then, the Savior came. Since the moment that we clung to him, we have been saved. Oh, we may still be floating in the sea of the world, but one day, the Savior will lift us out and deliver us from the presence of all that is around us.
We have a hope and our hope is in Christ. It is not a dead hope, but a lively one. We can live each day and face the fear of all that is around us. We can do this because we know that we will be delivered. This is our lively hope.