Monthly Archives: January 2015

We Are Saved By Hope

In Romans 8:24 we find, “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?” The fact is there is more to our salvation than what we have experienced and are experiencing.

Even though we do not see it all now, we have a forward confident expectation that it will be completely fulfilled in the future. Titus 3:7 says, “having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” In Hebrews 3:6 we find, “but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.”

In Hebrews 6:11-12, the writer calls for perseverance. He calls us to diligence. He calls us to steadfastness and to be on guard for signs of laziness and idleness. “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

Finally, as we can see in Titus 2:11-13, our hope is tied to the return and glorious appearing of our Lord. “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” With the hope we have we are called to endure.

Come back Monday for The Source of Hope.

The Foundation of Our Hope

In Bible study, the law of first mention is an important Bible study principle. In the way we are studying the word, the very first time hope is mentioned is Acts 23:6. “But when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee; concerning the hope and resurrection of the dead I am being judged!” At that time, Paul the Apostle affirmed our hope, our confident conviction, is based on the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Adding to this we should say that our hope is founded on God; the fact that God cannot lie. We read about this in Titus 1:2 & Hebrews 6:18. “Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:1-2). “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (Hebrews 6:17-18). Since God cannot lie, we know what He says in His Word is absolutely true. Therefore we “lay hold” of the hope that we have.

In Romans 4:16-18, we have a remarkable illustration of hope. Even though humanly and biologically speaking, there was every reason to believe that Abraham and Sarah could not have children, Abraham believed he would be the father of the nation of Israel because God promised him it would happen. Even though it did not seem possible when analyzed according to normal biological processes, Abraham believed. “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” Just as Abraham believed God because God cannot lie, we can also “lay hold upon” or “take hold of” hope in a very real and practical sense.

Tomorrow, we are Saved by Hope.

Hope or No Hope?

Possibly one of the best natural biblical pictures of hope is that found in 1 Corinthians 9:10. This verse speaks of the farmer and the reaper. “Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.”

We can relate to this because most, if not all, of us work in hope of a future paycheck. Maybe some of you are fortunate enough to get paid before you do the job. Most of us work in hope of a future reward.

To take this to the opposite extreme, let’s see our situation when we were lost and had no hope. In Ephesians 2:11-12 we see a five-fold description of our condition before we gave our lives to Christ. “That at that time (when we were lost) you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” In our lost condition we were …

  1. Without Christ
  2. Aliens from the commonwealth of Israel
  3. Strangers from the covenants of promise
  4. Without hope
  5. Without God in the world

A person without Christ and without hope has absolutely no expectation of anything good happening in the future. We know this is true because of where they are headed. Many if us can remember the dead-end we were on when we were lost. We had no hope.

The word for hope (elpis) is found 48 times in 15 different New Testament books. Over the next few days we will consider several of the ways “hope” is used in the New Testament. Walk today in the confidence that our hope is in Jesus. Tomorrow we will see The Foundation of Our Hope. Have a great day!

Hope: A Most Important Subject

In these days we are examining 1 Corinthians 13:13 and the three Christian virtues of faith, hope, and love. In 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, we find these three virtues in a different order. There Paul wrote, “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father.”

Over the past few days we looked at faith. Today, and for the next several days, we will look at hope. A good place to begin would be to answer the question — “Why is hope so important?” We know why faith and love are important, but why is hope so important? Let me give you three a reasons.

  1. Because it is in the Bible. For most of us that is reason enough. We need to know the truth about what the Bible says about this subject.
  2. Because of the state of affairs in our world today. It seems like evil is winning. It seems like things will continue to get worse and worse. We need hope to press on in the midst of these perilous times.
  3. Because one of the worst feelings is to be without hope.

Hope is a word that requires us to cause our minds to think biblically because of the way we naturally use the word hope. The way we use the word hope is to wish for something that may or may not happen.

  • A little boy hopes to get a bicycle for his birthday.
  • An employee hopes to get a year-end bonus.
  • A church member hopes the preacher will finish in time to get home before the roast is burnt.

None of those things are certain but they are hoped for. But when the Bible uses the word hope like we find in 1 Corinthians 13:13, it means

  • to anticipate; with eager anticipation
  • to anticipate or expect something that is pleasurable
  • the joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation
  • the anticipation includes a confidence that the thing will most certainly come to pass.

In this sense we are certain the item hoped for will come to fruition, we are confident it most certainly will happen. Why and how can we be so confident? Check back tomorrow and we will continue this most important discussion on hope. Have a great evening.


Faith is Properly Focused

Over the past few days we have been looking at the faith portion of faith, hope, and love found in 1 Corinthians 13:13. We have found …

  • Faith abides
  • Faith is a gift from God
  • Faith is the product of Bible saturation
  • Faith is based on facts, and today
  • Faith is properly focused.

The faith we are talking about is not faith in faith. Faith is properly focused when it is focused on God and the promises and the truths in His Word. In a favorite hymn of many years ago, the songwriter wrote

Have faith in God, He’s on His throne,
Have faith in God, He watches over His own;
He cannot fail, He must prevail,
Have faith in God, Have faith in God.

The first stanza of that hymn goes like this:

Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely.
He sees and knows all the way you have trod;
Never alone are the least of His children;
Have faith in God, have faith in God.

Allow me to ask you a couple questions.

  1. How is your faith? Many of us can relate to the statement of the disciples when they said, “Lord, increase our faith.”
  2. What are you trusting God for this year? Let me ask that in a little more detail.
    1. What are you trusting God for this year for yourself and your family? Increased Bible knowledge?  Boldness in witnessing? Stepping out of your comfort zone? Financial need? Would you be so bold as to write that down? No one needs to know what you are writing down, unless you want to tell someone, but what are you trusting God for this year?
    2. What are you trusting God for this year for where you attend church? Would you be so bold as to write that down?

This year will be filled with opportunities, challenges, and surprises. As we walk on into this year, let’s walk on with firm reliance and confidence in God. Let’s agree and believe that 2015 could be one of greatest years we have ever experienced. Tomorrow, we will begin to look at the hope portion of these three Christian virtues.