The Christian Hope
John D. Telgren
Over the last few days I have been re-discovering what the Bible says about the Christian hope. The word elpis can be translated "hope" or "expectation".
I Peter 1:3 says that we have been born again to a "living" hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ours is a living hope! We don"t hope the way the world does. Romans 15:13 says that we have a super abundance of hope!!
Hope, properly understood, is not just wishful thinking. Hope is the confident expectation of God"s promise.
- Titus 2:13 - "we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ".
- 2 Thessalonians 2:16 says that God has given us "eternal comfort and good hope by grace". We don"t have to go through life worried about being the God. We have been given eternal comfort and "good" hope.
- Thessalonians 5:8 refers to our hope as a helmet in the Armor of God.
- Hebrews 6:19 says that our hope is an "anchor of the soul", "sure and steadfast" which "enters the veil".
Hope is often paired with faith in the New Testament. Notice the following:
Faith and hope are nearly synonymous at times. Our hope should not be wishy-washy and neither should our faith.
- Hebrews 11:1 says "faith is the substance of things hoped for". Hope gives substance to our faith! If hope is wishy-washy, then our faith will be. If faith is wishy-washy, then our hope will be. They are related intimately.
- Galatians 5:5 says "For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness".
- I Peter 1:21 says that through Jesus we "are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God"
Hope, properly understood, is a sister of joy in the Christian life.
- Romans 12:12 says we are to be "rejoicing in hope". How in the world can you have any kind of joy if you don"t know if you are saved or not?
- Romans 5:5 says "hope does not disappoint". If you truly understand this, then you truly can rejoice.
Hope is not "doubting". James 1 describes the man who doubts as unstable, double-minded, tossed about by waves. Christian impotence stems from a lack of faith and hope.
Understanding Christian hope does not breed indifference. The grace that has given us "good hope" also instructs us to "deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age…" according to Titus 2:11.
This is why we are given the exhortation to "realize the full assurance of hope until the end" (Hebrews 6:11).
I John 5:13 says "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life" There are two extremes: once saved always saved, which we reject as unbiblical. Just as unbiblical is the other extreme: once saved barely/maybe saved. Lay hold of your confident hope today!