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Abide in  Key Word Studies on Bible Doctrines

Biblical teachings for personal Bible study, daily devotions and sermon preparation with abiding principles and practical applications. Here is a dictionary of the rich terms used in the Christian vocabulary.

 

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Hope

Christian hope has to do with the unseen, the future, and is the assurance, confidence and sure expectation of the thing promised. It is a mindset instilled by God into the hearts of believers by the Word of God, whereby we "patiently, actively, and with assurance anticipate the future promised benefits."

People who were "without hope and without God" (Eph. 2:12) have been given a glorious hope which is "Christ in you" (Col. 1:27).

"The glorious riches" believers in Jesus Christ have is the indwelling by Christ "the hope of glory."

The foundation upon which our hope is based is the person and work of Jesus Christ.

Hope for the Christian is like an anchor of the soul (Heb. 6:19). We are encouraged to put on "a helmet, the hope of salvation" (1 Thess. 5:8). A person whose hope of salvation is fixed on Jesus Christ has the present assurance of eternal life and can even now glory in tribulation (Rom. 5:3).

As Christians we are "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13). Our hope is not in this life; we are looking for "our blessed hope" the glorious appearing of Christ. 

Because we are "in Christ" (2 Cor. 5:17; Eph. 1:4), and Christ is in us (Rom. 8:10; 2 Cor. 13:5) we look forward to the day when we will share His glory (Col. 3:4; Rom.5:2; 8:18, 30; Gal.5:5; 1 Peter 5:10).

The object of our hope is "the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." He has already appeared to us when He became flesh (Isa. 9:6; Jn.1:14, 18). He is Immanuel, "God with us" (Isa. 7:14; 8:8, 10; Jn. 14:9-11). The apostle Paul said great is the mystery, God manifest in the flesh (1 Tim. 3:16; Phil.2:7).

Jesus Christ has appeared to us in our hearts and He is being "formed" in us (Galatians 4:19). The apostle Paul saw himself as a spiritual mother "in labor until Christ is formed in you." The word "formed" means "to give outward expression of one's inward character." Paul is referring to the inward and real, the necessity of change in character and conduct. The Holy Spirit is the agent who acts upon the believer to fashion and form us from the inside out in the likeness of Christ (Gal.5:22-23; Rom.8:28-30).

The object of our hope is Jesus Christ (1 Tim.1:1). He appears in us by the operation of His grace and transforms us into His own image. Thomas Watson said, "In the incarnation, Christ made Himself like us. By sanctification, He makes us like Him--holy as He is holy . . ."

The greatest mystery of the ages is the "mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). The secret is that Christ is in you. Christ is enthroned in the believer. This is the transforming power that brings holiness into our lives.

A. T. Robertson explains, "It is the personal experience and presence of Christ in the individual life of all believers that Paul has in mind; the indwelling Christ in the heart as in Ephesians 3:17. He constitutes also the hope of glory for He is the Shekinah of God. Christ is our hope now (1 Tim.1:1) and the consummation will come (Rom.8:18)."

The Jewish Messiah took up residence in non-Jewish persons. And if that were not enough the apostle goes on to remind Gentile readers that the goal of his ministry is to "present every man complete in Christ" (Col. 1:28).

When our ministry has reached its end, we will present you finished, complete, perfect in Christ. This is the reason God called pastors labor unto weariness over you to the point of weariness and exhaustion (Col. 1:29). We want to present you full grown, mature in Christ Jesus.

The hope of our salvation is that Christ living in you will cause you to be all that God fully intended you to be from the moment you were born spiritually (Rom. 8:28-30; 1 Cor. 15:49; Phil. 3:21; Col. 3:10).

Do you ever get excited thinking about what the finished product will be like? (1 Jn.3:2) God's original intention in creating and recreating us is that we will be like Christ. At the coming of Christ we will finally attain to that glorious likeness of Him. This is "our blessed hope." One day we will be like Jesus!

The wealth of the glory is Jesus Christ.

A person who is dead in trespasses and sins is without hope. However, a person spiritually regenerated and quickened by the Holy Spirit is born again to a lively hope. The object of our hope is eternal life. We are justified by the grace of God and made an "heir according to the hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:7).

The ground of our hope is the living Christ. Our hope receives its virtue and vigor from the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

J. C. Ryle writes eloquently: "The man who has a good  hope founds all his expectations of pardon and salvation on the mediation and redeeming work of Jesus the Son of God. He knows his own sinfulness; he feels that he is guilty, wicked, and lost by nature: but he sees forgiveness and peace with God offered freely to him through faith in Christ. He accepts the offer: he casts himself with all his sins on Jesus and rests on Him. Jesus and His atonement on the cross, Jesus and His righteousness, Jesus and His finished work, Jesus and His all-prevailing intercession, Jesus and Jesus only is the foundation of the confidence of his soul." 

Key Scriptures

Romans 8:24; Colossians 1:27; Titus 3:7; 2:13; Hebrews 11:1; 1 Peter 1:3; 1 Timothy 4:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Abiding Principles and Practical Applications

1. When a person possesses hope in Christ he is not ashamed in whatever circumstances to testify of his living hope. He is not ashamed to appear before God, or before men, and will not be ashamed at the coming of Christ (Romans 5:5; Psalm 119:116).

2.  When the Christian seeks those things above, his affection and desires are weaned off this world and set on the things of heaven.

3.  Hope in the coming of Jesus Christ carries the believer through difficult times on this earth so that he can glory in the tribulation (Romans 5:3-5; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18).

4.  Hope of being with Jesus Christ forever and enjoying eternal life supports us in the shadow of death (Proverbs 14:32; 1 Corinthians 15:50-58).

5.  Hope in the coming of Christ purifies the believer (1 John 3:3). Everyone who has the hope of the appearing of Jesus Christ in him and desire to be like Him "purifies himself even as He is pure." The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:6-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21).

For Further Study

Colossians 1:27 Christ in You the Hope of Glory
Hope for Desperate People
From Despair to Hope
Our Resurrection Hope
Isaiah 11:6-16 Our Blessed Hope
1 Thessalonians 4:8-13 What Happens After You Die?
Philippians 3:20-21  A Body like Christ's
Isaiah 25:8; 26:19 When God wipes Away the Tears
Redemption of Our Bodies 

Message by Wil Pounds and all content on this page (c) 2005 by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent. Scripture quotations from the New American Standard Bible (c) 1973, and 1995 Update by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. 

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