The Christian’s Hope

Sermon Notes of
Reverend Harvey Alford Matney
(1868 – 1951)
October 16, 1921 – Joy, Texas


True Christianity is not about a bunch of ceremonies and rules. It is a personal relationship with a loving Father. This is what separates Christianity from all the manmade religions of the world. In this sermon, my grandfather examines the hope of all true Christians: the desire to be like Christ. — Harrison Woodard

1 John 3:3 KJV

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The Christian’s Hope

A Christian is one the mainland of whose possessions lie in a future realm, beyond the river. Most men have a hope, but this is a peculiar one, with a special effect causing him to purify himself.

The believer’s hope: “Every one that hath this hope in him.”

It is the hope of being like Jesus, glorious conqueror over sin, death and hell. It is based on Divine love, (v.1) and arises out of our son-ship. (Called sons of God)

The assurance of this hope rests on our relation to Jesus. “When he shall appear.” It is distinctly a hope of his second coming.

The Operation Of This Hope

It does not puff up like the conceit of the Pharisees, but purifies us. It does not lead to loose living like the presumptions of Antinomianism, claiming the gospel frees from all obligations of morality.

The believer purifies himself from the grosser sins of life and the secret sins of temper, evil thoughts, desires, as well as actions. Placing before him Jesus as his model. “He purifieth himself, even as He is pure.” Hence he cultivates every grace of his Master.


The Test Of That Hope Surely Reveals

He purifieth himself by active, earnest, continual, personal prayer to God for aid. Then what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for hastening the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ?


An Illustration

I saw two violins tuned to accord a piece of paper was put on the string of one of them. All the strings of the other were sounded with no effect on the paper until the string tuned to the cord with the one which the paper was on was struck. There was a quivering of the paper on the violin some feet away at every touch of that string. The harmony of sound had its connection. The performer had touched a chord.

So it is with the great heartstring of love and tenderness in God. When his love or sympathy, or pity is touched, every soul-string in this lower world tuned to chord with His vibrates too.

That is only part of the beautiful lesson. Lay down in the instrument in hand and take the other and the same effect will be produced.

So when our hearts are torn by the sorrow of our surroundings, if they are tuned (in) accord with God’s great heart, the great sympathetic throbs vibrates through our souls until the soul’s sorrows are lost in His love for us and the pain is swept away by the intense sympathy he has for us.

“He that hath this hope in him purifieth himself even as he is pure.”

The piety He demands is essentially practical in its character, and enters into all detail of daily life.


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