“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling…” ~ Ephesians 1:17-18a
What is the hope of His calling? What is the Christian’s hope?
We may have to adjust our present understanding of the word hope. Typically, today, we think of hope as having to do with uncertainty: e.g., “Well I hope so.” OR “I’m not sure, but I do hope so.”
However, Peter tells us that God has begotten us to a living hope:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” ~ 1 Peter 1:3
The resurrection of Jesus from the dead causes our hope to come alive. God by His mercy has “birthed” us into a living hope. Our hope is living and is based on the resurrection of the Lord Jesus from the dead.
The first aspect of our hope is that it’s a living hope.
The second aspect of our hope is that it is sure:
“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;” ~ Hebrews 6:17-19
It is like an anchor sure and steadfast. What makes our hope sure? Our hope is sure because it is based on the Word of God, v.17. Specifically, (1) God spoke, and (2) God swore (made an oath). So, by these two immutable, unchangeable, irrevocable things—because God can’t lie—we know for sure. There is no doubt, no uncertainty, no reservation; it is a sure hope.
There is another reason why our hope is sure: Because our hope IS Jesus:
“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;” ~ 1 Timothy 1:1
“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” ~ Colossians 1:27
Christ in you is the hope of Glory. Because Jesus Christ comes to live in our hearts by The Holy Spirit we know that we know.
The Holy Spirit is like the engagement ring, the promise that He will marry us (i.e., The Church “the bride of Christ”):
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” ~ Ephesians 1:13-14
I pray the picture is becoming clear: Our hope is based on some pretty unshakeable things
- The resurrection of Jesus from the dead
- God said it
- God swore – He made an oath.
- The Holy Spirit was given to us to prove that He would do what He said.
Look again at Heb.6:17-19: “that… we might have strong consolation”. How sure is our hope? It could not be more sure. It is more sure that the sunrise, than the Earth, than time itself, than death, than taxes. It is very, very sure.
How long will our hope last?
Hope will last only for the time that we are here on Earth. 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us that three things abide now Faith, Hope and Love. The greatest is love because love goes on into Eternity. Faith will give way to sight, and hope will give way to confirmation. Look at Romans 8:20-25
“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” ~ Romans 8:20-25
Once we arrive in heaven we won’t have to hope any more. Our hope will be fulfilled.
I want to look at a verse that appears to contradict the thought that our hope only lasts for the time we are on the Earth:
“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:19
The verse seems to be saying that if our hope is only for this life we are miserable. However, to understand what the verse is saying we must look at it in context: 1 Corinthians 15:12-20.
What this verse is really saying is that our hope is for the resurrection. That if we have no hope of being resurrected then we are the most to be pitied. So it is not the hope itself that goes on after death but the resurrection life and the reality of the world to come.
The truth is that although the hope itself won’t go on into eternity, during the present time it reaches out into eternity and holds on to eternal things. Therefore, when I get saved, my soul gets anchored in Heaven, Hebrews 6:19-20.
So, when satan tries to wash me away with doubt, or fear, or sickness or death or whatever, my anchor, which is connected behind the Veil in the presence of God where Jesus is, holds me firm.
What are some of the things that we hope for?
- We hope for the resurrection (as discussed earlier), 1 Corinthians 15:12-20.
- We hope for the rapture. If we die before Jesus returns then we will be resurrected when He comes, if not then we will be caught up to meet Him in the air. 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
- We hope for son-ship: We hope to be sons and daughters of the God of the universe, Romans 8:14, Galatians 4:5-6, 1 John 3:1-2.
- We hope to be confirmed as The Bride. As the Bride of Christ we will be “married” to Him and, as mentioned earlier, the proof of this is the engagement ring, which we got at conversion the Holy Spirit, John 3:29, Revelation 19:7 ; 21:9 ; 22:17, Ephesians 5:25, 32.
- We hope to become like Christ. God has predetermined that we will become like Jesus. Romans 8:28, Ephesians 4:13-15.
- We hope to be joint heirs with Jesus. Jesus is heir of everything (Hebrews 1:2) and we are to be joint-heirs with him. 1 Peter 1:3-4, Romans 8:17, Galatians 3:29.
So I trust that you will understand that the Christian hope is a living, sure person. And that hope is the thing which reaches out into eternity and anchors our soul there even as here we endure the storms of life.