Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Believer’s Living Hope

He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Titus 3:5-7

In this week after Easter it is only appropriate that we focus on the hope we have in living because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  Living requires hope or it merely exists.  The person who lives without hope is literally walking in death.  God’s great love for us brought a new life filled with hope.

This week’s study will focus on a powerful passage from the book of I Peter.  This doxology is filled with theology which helps us understand the security we have and the hope that it brings.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  (1 Peter 1:3-5)

This is a rich, rich passage of Scripture. It is one of those passages that is so rich it would take an eternity to grasp all that is taught in it.  But probably the most wonderful things it teaches is the believer’s glorious hope.  What is the great hope of the believer?  It is eternal life; the glorious privilege of living forever with our loving God.  Just imagine living face to face with God forever!  No greater privilege could ever be given man.

Life is worth living with a living hope!

·      A living hope means that it is not a dead, lifeless hope.  It is not the kind of hope that we use to stir positive thinking for the moment but does nothing for us beyond the grave.  Despite all the earthly benefit we get from positive thinking and motivational hope, these have no meaning beyond this life and the grave.

·      A living hope means that it is not a probable hope or a wish.  It is not the kind of hope that may or may not come to pass.  The hope God gives is a living hope that is based in a living Lord.  A living hope is active and functioning.  It has a great purpose in every believer’s life.  It acts and works both within the heart of the believer and within heaven apart from the believer.

Eternal life means Eternal Hope!
Eternal life is a living hope because it is reality, not a desire or possibility.  It is an experience that really exists in another world, the spiritual world, which is more real than the world in which we live.  It has been accessed through the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Our hope for eternal life lives, acts, and works within us now, even while we are on earth.  It is not that we are going to receive eternal life; we have already received eternal life.  This is the glorious hope of the believer, the living hope of living forever with God face to face.  Walk in that hope and the peace of God will rule in your heart.

Scripture to Claim:

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  (Romans 5:1-2)

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