The Christians’ Hope.

The word “Hope” in the Bible comes from the Greek word – “Elpis,” which is a NOUN.    A noun according to the dictionary, is a naming word for something which exists.    The most usual way we use the word hope today is a verb, an action word, I hope I win the lotto this week.   I hope to see you again soon.   I hope you have a safe trip.  I hope I will get a raise this year.

The Christians’ Hope is often confused with desire; or with belief, which are verbs, but when the desire or belief do not yield the expected result, they turn to despair.     The Christians’ Hope is a noun, it is concrete and it is eternal.

The Christians’ Hope is made up of a concrete anticipation, which brings pleasure; it is an expectation which is born of faith.   It is the certain knowledge of coming good.

Bible Illustrator Commentary. The nature of Christian hope.     There is no word more beautiful than “hope.” It is alight with the radiance of a future fulfilment.”

The Christians’ Hope is built on the “earnest” or “pledge,” that is part of the purchase money or property, given in advance as a security for the balance which is still to come. The earnest, or the deposit, on our Christian inheritance.

Ephesians 1:14  “The Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee that He will give us the inheritance He promised, and that He has purchased us to be His own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify Him.”

Lotto Ticket.  Here is the hope the world has … they pay their money and buy the ticket.   There is NO guarantee, and no pledge they will win anything, let alone win the main prize.     They want to win, they hope to win, and a few people even believe that they will win, but there is no guarantee.   When they don’t win they feel disappointed, and so the cycle of hoping (or wishing) begins again.

HERE’S the difference.   Colossians 1:5  “because what you hope for is kept safe for you in heaven.  (Concrete, fixed, eternal, and guaranteed.)  You first heard about this hope when you believed the true message, which is the good news.”

The Christians’ Hope is called “THE BLESSED HOPE”

Titus 2:13   “looking for the blessed hopeand — the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

So what is our blessed hope?  The answer lies in reading verses 13 & 14 together.     Titus 2:13&14  “Looking for the blessed hope and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,  Who gave himself for us, that he might REDEEM us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”

Our blessed Hope is the REDEMPTION” of our mortal bodies.     To redeem, is to purchase back from somebody else, – something which was either stolen from you and then on sold to its present owner, or – to buy back something which you pawned at the pawn broker, with the option to purchase it back at a greater price later on when you can afford to.

God created and owned mankind until Adam and Eve pawned themselves off to Satan and to sin.   Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, Redeemed, or, – purchased us back from Satan, by paying the terrible price of His own life, and the shedding of His own blood to cover all of our sins, as seen in verse 14 above.

That is the True Christians’ “Blessed Hope.”    The price has already been paid, and Jesus has already given us the pledge, in the indwelling Holy Spirit, and that when He comes again, He will take us with Him.

1Corinthians 15:52-53   says “It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown.  For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever.  And we who are living will also be transformed.   For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must first be transformed into immortal bodies.”    They were immortal until the day Adam and Eve sinned, and part of our redemption requires that we be restored again to immortality.   This is our Redemption, and this is Our Blessed Hope.

But Paul is looking for more than just the Blessed Hope in verse 13.    So, what comes next? — “AND – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.”   This is found in 1Thessalonians 4:17   Then, (After we have been changed) “then together with those who were dead in Christ, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  Then we will be with the Lord forever.”    These verses in 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thess 4 when taken together, i.e. our transformation, followed immediately by our being caught up to meet Jesus in the air, constitute our full Redemption.   They constitute our Blessed Hope.

The Christians’ hope, will never make us ASHAMED.

Romans 5:5   “And hope does not make us ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us.”

Thayer Definition:   Shame in the Greek  =  kataischunō   It means -:
1) to dishonour, disgrace.     2) to put to shame, make ashamed.
2a) to be ashamed, blush with shame.     2b) one is said to be put to shame who suffers a repulse, or who has been deceived by hope.
The True Christian will never feel ashamed of Jesus, because of what He has done for us, because of the price He was prepared to pay for us, and because of the HOPE he has given us.    Our gratitude and our reciprocal love should bring us to our knees in thanksgiving and worship.     Neither will Jesus ever be ashamed of the True Christian.     Matthew 10:32 “If you stand before others and are willing to say you believe in me, then I will tell my Father in heaven that you belong to me.”   Nobody can or will ever put the True Christian to shame over our Blessed Hope.

Our Hope is a WONDERFUL Hope.

2Thessalonians 2:16  “We pray that the Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father will comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.    God loved us and gave us through his grace a wonderful hope and comfort that has no end.”    A description of what is entailed in this hope is found in …  1Corinthians 2:9&10    But as the Scriptures say, “No one has ever seen, no one has ever heard, no one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” v:10  But God has shown us these things through the Spirit. The Spirit knows all things. The Spirit even knows the deep secrets of God.”     We find the explanation of this verse in  Romans 8:16&17  “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.    v17  And if we are children, then we are heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; so that if we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified together.”    Revelation 5:10  “And You (Jesus) made us kings and priests to our God, and we will reign over the earth.   This is all part of our Wonderful Hope.      To me, just to be in Jesus presence will be wonderful, unimaginable and glorious.

Our Hope is a LIVING Hope.

1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”      Had Jesus not been resurrected from the dead, then we would have had no hope, and as Paul said, “We would be of all men most miserable.”    BUT our hope is a living hope because it is no longer I that live, but Christ who lives in me.    Jesus Christ is our living hope and He lives in us.    Colossians_3:4   “Yes, Christ is now your life, and when he comes again, you will share in his glory.”

It is a PURIFYING Hope.

1 John 3:3   “He (Jesus) is pure, and everyone who has this hope in him will keep themselves pure like Christ.”      If we want to maintain our hope unblemished and untarnished, we will keep ourselves pure.” Because it is written, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” in 1 Peter 1:16.     The True Christian will run away from sin and temptation, and will try to keep himself “Holy and Pure” for the Lord Jesus, remembering that one day, we are going to be a part of His Bride.    We should be trying not to dishonour Him during our journey through this world, as we pursue the world to come.

It is a REJOICING Hope.

Romans 12:12  Rejoice in hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”    When things are going wrong, we are still able to rejoice because of the confident hope we have in Jesus.   The sure knowledge of what lies ahead will keep us rejoicing, even in difficult circumstances.     Joy is different to happiness. Happiness stems from happenings, but joy and rejoicing comes from the confident hope which we have in Jesus.   As Matthew Henry says    “Those who hope for the glory of God hereafter have enough to rejoice in now.   It is our duty to rejoice in that hope.”

It is a CONTINUING Hope.

Corinthians 13:13  “So, these three things continue: faith, hope, and love.   And the greatest of these is love.”    Hope is acknowledged to be one of the three principal graces of a Christian.    Why is that?    It is because God cannot lie when he says something, so this hope becomes an anchor for us.  It is strong and sure and keeps us safe.  It continues to hold us, even in the storms of life, and it will continue to do so until our last breath, because it is founded on God Himself.   It cannot change, it cannot wither or die, because it is kept safe for us in Heaven.

Romans 15:13  “I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in him.    Then you will have more and more hope, and it will flow out of you by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

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