Saturday, April 22, 2006

Faith, Hope, and Charity- Part 2

Hope
~~~~~~~
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison...
- 1 Peter 3:15-19

The word "hope" usually means "to wish or to long for something". But what is this Christian hope? And why is it such an important virtue?

Christian hope can be defined in many different ways: Hope is the longing for Christ's second coming. Hope is the longing for the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies. Christian hope is the yearning for the Lord's victory over his enemies.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ... - Titus 2: 11-13

Hope comes from our love of God, our love of His kingdom and laws. Because of this, unbelievers are without this hope.

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. - Thessalonians 4:13

This hope is talked about as an "assurance" and a "comfort", being without it must be devastating. Having no hope, results in depression and loneliness. Before we became Christians, we all had this depression; we were lost, without any source of hope and comfort. If Jesus had not died for us, no one would have this hope, and we'd all be lost in sin.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. - 1 John 3:1-3

This hope we are given is such a wonderful thing; we are commanded to spread the news of it. C.S. Lewis talked about this in his book, Mere Christianity:

It [having Christian hope] does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history, you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the slave trade all left their mark on earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven.

So, in closing, enjoy the wonderful hope God has given us and share it with others!

That at that time ye 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: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. - Ephesians 2: 12-13

8 Comments:

  • Excellent post MVB!
    Good use of scripture. I have thought many times, I'd have no reason to be here or to live, no hope, if my end was worm food.

    "For to me to live is christ..."
    Phili. 1:21


    I'm enjoying your series and looking forward to the rest.

    Zachary

    By Blogger Wholesome Works, at 12:45 AM  

  • Good job at explaining our Great Hope. God is so good!

    By Blogger Elizabeth Ellen Moore, at 1:53 PM  

  • Thanks for writing this, Zach! Great job. Its so true- as Christians, we have a beautiful hope in Christ!

    By Blogger Lindsey, at 5:14 PM  

  • Awesome post MVB!

    By Blogger Kaitlin, at 11:55 AM  

  • I really enjoyed this post...even the phrase "they have no hope" is so dark, like the reality. Hope is a wonderful thing.

    By Blogger the traveler, at 7:32 PM  

  • I wonder if you might be interested in my Bible Reading Notes, covering the whole of Scripture.
    You'll find them at
    www.christinallthescriptures.blogspot.com
    www.theologyofgcberkouwer.blogspot.com
    http://chascameron.spaces.live.com
    Best Wishes.

    By Blogger charlescameron, at 7:49 PM  

  • thank you

    By Anonymous fatmagülün suçu ne izle, at 6:09 PM  

  • Updating my earlier comment about Bible reading notes - The third of these blogs is no longer available. The other two can still be found here and here.

    By Blogger standrews, at 4:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home