(1Ki 8:15; 1Chr 29:10, 11,
Ps 41:13; 72:18,19; 2Cor 1:3; Ep 1:3,17; Ep 3:20)
[word study] from eulogeo = to bless <> eú = good,
logos = word. English = eulogize, eulogy = commendatory
formal statement or set oration; high praise; to extol) means to be well
spoken of or inherently worthy of praise. Eulogetos is an adjective ending in –tos which
gives the meaning
“inherently worthy to be praised”. All the uses of eulogetos refer to God
as the One "well spoken of". Eulogetos, used of God
indicates praise and adoration on the part of the creature, in
recognition of the power and prerogatives of the Creator, and the
privileges enjoyed at His hands. In Psalm 103:1, 2 when
David says “Bless (LXX
= the related verb form eulogeo) the Lord O
my soul” he is praising God, speaking well of God.
There are 8 uses of eulogetos
in the NT - Mark 14:61 (here it used as a title - "the blessed One"); Lk
1:68; Ro 1:25-note;
Ro 9:5-note; 2Co 1:3; 11:31; Ep 1:3-note; 1Pe 1:3-note.
And, truly, this is a blessing,
beyond all comparison or imagination, that we have been begotten again
by the Divine Esther unto a “living” hope, for that is a better
rendering than “lively.” Our first birth brought us into sin and
sorrow, but our second birth brings us into purity and joy. We were
born to die; now are we born never to die, “begotten again” unto a
life that shall remain in us for evermore, a life which shall even
penetrate these mortal bodies, and make them immortal, “by the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
How full of grace every sentence
is. He blesses God because God has so freely blest us; and he abounds
in thanksgiving because he sees that abundant mercy, by which
believers have been begotten again — born again — made, therefore,
children after a new sort, and so made heirs of an inheritance very
different from that upon which we enter by nature “an inheritance
incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” Brethren and
sisters, if you have, indeed, been born by divine grace, to what
estates are you born — to what high dignities and saved privileges!
Rejoice and bless the Lord. But, perhaps, the dark fear crossed your
mind that, perhaps, after all, you may perish and miss the
inheritance. Now, notice the double consolation of a double keeping.
The inheritance is kept. It is reserved in heaven for you, and you are
kept, too. It is kept for you, and you are kept for it, “For you, who
are kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation.” (1
Peter 1- Commentary)
THE GOD AND
FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WHO ACCORDING TO HIS GREAT MERCY: o theos kai pater tou kuriou hemon
Iesou Christou o kata to polu autou eleos:
34:6; Ps 86:5,15; Jonah 4:2; Ro5:15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 29, 21; Ep1:7;
2:4,7, 8 9, 10; 1Ti1:14; Titus 3:4, 5, 6)
(Kata) has the
primary meaning of “down” and gives the idea of domination, thus this
new birth was but “impelled by His abundant mercy.” There is
another nuance inherent in "kata" which is not out of but
according to. For example, if I am a
billionaire and I give you ten dollars, I have given you out of my
riches; but if I give you a million dollars, I have given to you according to my riches. The first is a portion
(like Mr. Rockefeller who used to give his caddy a dime) the second is a
proportion. And notice that it is not just His "mercy" but His
"great mercy", where the Greek Word for "great" (polus) means great in
extent and magnitude. In fact, given that God is infinite, all His
attributes are infinite, so that "great" in context speaks of
"infinite" supply of mercy.
How many sins does His infinite
mercy cover? What sin is too great that it is not covered by His
infinite mercy? Do not let the accuser of your soul deceive you that
there is not sufficient mercy to cover that sin you committed!
Mercy does not (should not) motivate us to continuing in sin
knowing it is covered by the blood of Christ (cp Ro 6:1-2), but
instead His great mercy should motivate us to love Him more, to
obey Him more fully (depending more fully on His Spirit's enabling
power) (Jn 14:15), even overwhelmed by the thought the unfathomable
greatness of His mercy that would forgive even one sin which
would have been enough to bring about our eternal death! Let us praise
our God and Father for His great mercy. Amen
Mercy (1656) (eleos
is the outward manifestation of pity. Mercy refers to the outward
manifestation of pity and assumes need on the part of those who
receive it and sufficient resources to meet the need on the part of
those who show it. (See related discussion of mercy in the commentary
notes on "Blessed are the merciful"
the lesson notes on the study from the
Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are the Merciful:
Matthew 5:7) (Other
The Mercy of God
by A. W. Pink, notes on
God's Attribute of Mercy)
The idea is to
show kindness or concern for someone in serious need or to give help
to the wretched, to relieve the miserable. Here the essential thought
is that mercy gives attention to those in misery.
writes that eleos is...
God’s “kindness and goodwill toward
the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them”
(Vincent). Grace meets man’s need in respect to his guilt and lost
condition; mercy, with reference to his suffering as a result of that
sin. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament:
For the English reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
Vincent adds that eleos...
emphasizes the misery with which
grace deals; hence, peculiarly the sense of human wretchedness coupled
with the impulse to relieve it, which issues in gracious ministry.
Bengel remarks, “Grace takes away the fault, mercy the misery.”
The pre-Christian definitions of
the word eleos include the element of grief experienced on
account of the unworthy suffering of another. So Aristotle. The Latin
misericordia (miser “wretched,” cor “the heart”) carries
the same idea. So Cicero defines it, the sorrow arising from the
wretchedness of another suffering wrongfully. Strictly speaking, the
word as applied to God, cannot include either of these elements, since
grief cannot be ascribed to Him, and suffering is the legitimate
result of sin. The sentiment in God assumes the character of pitying
love. Mercy is kindness and good-will toward the miserable and
afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them. (Vincent, M. R. Word
Studies in the New Testament)
In summary, mercy refers to
the outward manifestation of pity
and assumes a need on the
part of the recipient (fallen mankind) and the resources adequate to meet that need on the
part of the donor (God Himself).
US TO BE BORN AGAIN: anagennesas (AAPMSN) hemas:
(1Pe 1:23; 2:2; Jn
1:13; 3:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8; Jas 1:18; 1Jn 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1,4,18)
What a vast mass of meaning is
packed away in these words! Men’s books, even when they are good, are
like gold-leaf; a little precious metal is very thinly hammered out so
as to cover a wide surface, but almost every word in the Bible seems
to contain a whole mine of heavenly wealth.
Note, beloved, what Peter says
concerning your new birth; you are begotten by the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ. At your first birth, you were born in sin; but
now you have been born again, through grace, by the almighty power of
God. Notice, also, unto what you are born, — unto a hope that is full
of life, a lively hope, a hope of immortality a hope whose root is in
the grave of Christ, the empty grave from which he has risen, and
which is the assurance that because he has risen, you also shall rise.
See, further, to what you have been born: “to an inheritance
incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.” See, also,
how that inheritance is entailed upon you, for it is “reserved in
heaven for you;” and see, too, how you are kept for it, for you “are
kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be
revealed in the last time.” (1
Peter 1- Commentary)
Caused...to be born again
(anagennao from aná = renewal, again or from above +
gennáo = beget) means to be physically born again (but not
used this way in the NT), to beget again, to father anew, to bring to
birth again, to regenerate, cause to be
Anagennao is used only 2 times in the NT, here and in...
1Pe 1:23 (note)
for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable
but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.
NT anagennao means to cause to be changed as a form of spiritual rebirth (aorist tense
here points to a past completed act). The Enhanced Strong's has an
interesting definition noting that the metaphorical or figurative
to have one’s mind changed so that he lives a new life and one
conformed to the will of God.
In secular Greek literature anagennao is used in a botanical sense, as
when the trees, plants, and flowers come to life in the spring.
Note that the
speaks of regeneration as a definite historical act accomplished once
for all. God "caused" it! Hallelujah!
pictures the heart of man as dry, shriveled, and dead in sin until God
implants the principles of the new life. When this happens, we sprout
into life, leaf out, and grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. It is intriguing to note (and no accident of
course) that at the time of Peter's letter, the idea of a new
beginning through a new birth by virtue of infusion of divine life was
a widespread idea in the ancient world, being well known not only in
Judaism but also present in the "Mystery" religions. Furthermore, a
proselyte to Judaism was regarded as a "new born baby". Note that to
describe someone as a "born-again Christian" is redundant
as there is no such thing as a "non-born-again Christian". An
unregenerate (non-born-again) Christian is a contradiction in terms.
By the power of God we have been give new life, making us partakers of His divine nature (2Pe
1:4-note) and thus
children of God (Jn 1:12,
Ro 8:21-note) & so now we are
eagerly for our
redemption of our
body (Ro 8:23-note)
Cole makes a good point writing that...
We live in a culture which has
taken some biblical words and used them in a way that redefines and
cheapens them so that they no longer mean what the Bible means. But
then they seep back into the vocabulary of Christians with their
devalued meaning. Take the term “born again.” The media uses it
to describe anyone who makes a comeback or gets a fresh start in life.
A baseball team that has been in the cellar and suddenly starts
winning is called “the born again” Dodgers. Chrysler under Lee
Iacocca was a “born again” corporation. And so it’s not
surprising when over 50 percent of Americans say that they’re “born
again Christians.” They mean that they had some sort of religious
or emotional experience that resulted in a fresh start in life. It may
have involved praying to Jesus or “inviting Him into their hearts.”
But in most cases, they have no idea what the Bible means by being
born again. (Sermon)
What’s Missing? READ: 1Pe
1:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - Christ . . . has begotten us again to a living
hope. —1 Peter 1:3
Tennis star Boris Becker was at the
very top of the tennis world—yet he was on the brink of suicide. He
said, “I had won Wimbledon twice before, once as the youngest player.
I was rich. I had all the material possessions I needed. . . . It’s
the old song of movie stars and pop stars who commit suicide. They
have everything, and yet they are so unhappy. I had no inner peace. I
was a puppet on a string.”
Becker is not the only one to feel that sense of emptiness. The echoes
of a hollow life pervade our culture. One doesn’t have to read many
contemporary biographies to find the same frustration and
disappointment. Jack Higgens, author of such successful novels as The
Eagle Has Landed, was asked what he would like to have known as a boy.
His answer: “That when you get to the top, there’s nothing there.”
What’s missing? When a person has so much and is still bitterly
dissatisfied—even suicidal—what’s not there? A relationship with God.
The Creator made us with a need for meaning and purpose and hope that
only He can satisfy. He meets this need when we enter into a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ. Trusting Jesus as Savior is the only
way for anyone, successful or not, to find what’s missing.— David C.
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
We search for peace, although aware
That worldly roads lead to despair;
But if by faith to Christ we turn,
God’s grace and truth we’ll soon discern.
Only God can fill
the emptiness of the human heart.
TO A LIVING HOPE: eis elpida zosan
(PAPFSA): (Ro 5:4,5; 8:24; 12:12; 15:13; 1Cor 13:13; Col
1:23,27; 1Th 1:3; Titus 2:13; Heb 3:6; 6:18,19; 1Jn 3:3)
(Note: For more detailed discussion of the vital & not frequently
taught truth of hope click Blessed
Peter has been called “the apostle of hope”
(the noun is used 3x
& the verb 2x
live, breathe, be among the living (not lifeless, not dead), to enjoy
real life, to have true life and worthy of the Name, active, blessed,
endless in the kingdom of God, having vital power in itself and
exerting the same upon the soul, in full vigor, fresh, strong,
efficient, active, powerful, efficacious. Now go back and "insert"
some of these definitions of "living"
into the phrase living hope. (e.g., a "breathing hope", an
"active hope", etc). This should help you begin to
understand some of the encouraging thoughts Peter means to convey.
140x in 124v in NAS - Matt. 4:4; 9:18; 16:16; 22:32; 26:63;
27:63; Mk. 5:23; 12:27; 16:11; Lk. 2:36; 4:4; 10:28; 15:13, 32; 20:38;
24:5, 23; Jn. 4:10f, 50f, 53; 5:25; 6:51, 57f; 7:38; 11:25f; 14:19;
Acts 1:3; 7:38; 9:41; 10:42; 14:15; 17:28; 20:12; 22:22; 25:19, 24;
26:5; 28:4; Rom. 1:17; 6:2, 10f, 13; 7:1ff, 9; 8:12f; 9:26; 10:5;
12:1; 14:7ff, 11; 1 Co. 7:39; 9:14; 15:45; 2 Co. 1:8; 3:3; 4:11; 5:15;
6:9, 16; 13:4; Gal. 2:14, 19f; 3:11f; 5:25; Phil. 1:21f; Col. 2:20;
3:7; 1 Thess. 1:9; 3:8; 4:15, 17; 5:10; 1 Tim. 3:15; 4:10; 5:6; 2 Tim.
3:12; 4:1; Tit. 2:12; Heb. 2:15; 3:12; 4:12; 7:8, 25; 9:14, 17; 10:20,
31, 38; 12:9, 22; Jas. 4:15; 1Pet. 1:3, 23; 2:4, 5, 24; 4:5, 6;
1Jn. 4:9; Rev. 1:18; 2:8; 3:1; 4:9f; 7:2; 10:6; 13:14; 15:7; 19:20;
20:4f and is rendered in the NAS as alive(15), get a living(1),
life(6), live(53), lived(3), lives(19), living(44).
Life is a
quality or characteristic of the hope believers now possess in Christ.
"Living" is in the
present tense which indicates an
abiding quality. A living hope is never extinguished by untoward
circumstances, even in the same way as living waters never cease to flow fresh from a perennial
is our living hope—the expectation of being taken home to
heaven to be with Christ and to be like Him forever.
F. B. Meyer
calls the living hope
the link between our present and future.
Time destroys most hopes; they
fade and then die. But the passing of time only makes a Christian’s
living hope that much more imminent and glorious.
A living hope
then is not static and dead but is active and vigorous in expressing
itself in the hearts, minds and lives of Christians, if we keep our
minds set on the things above.
A third blessing strictly connected
with this new life, is a Lively Hope.
“He hath begotten us again unto a
Could a man live without hope? Men
manage to survive the worst condition of distress when they are
encouraged by a hope, but is not suicide the natural result of the
death of hope? Yes, we must have a hope, and the Christian is not left
without one. He has “a lively hope,” that is to say, first, he has a
hope within him, real, true, and operative. Some men’s hopes of heaven
are not living hopes,” for they never stir them to action. They live
as if they were going to hell, and yet they coolly talk about hoping
that all will be well with them at last! A Christian’s hope purifies
him, excites him to diligence, makes him seek after that which he
expects to obtain. A student at the University hoping to gain a prize
uses his best endeavors, burns the midnight oil, strains all his
faculties that he may reach the mark which will ensure his passing the
examiners. Even thus the Christian with a lively hope devotes himself
to obtaining the blessings which God has promised in his word. The
Lord hath begotten us to a “lively hope,” that is to say, to a
vigorous, active, operating hope.
It is a “lively hope” in
another sense, namely, that it cheers and enlivens. The swimmer who is
ready to sink, if he sees a boat nearing him, plucks up courage and
swims with all his strength, because now he expects that his swimming
will be of effectual service to him. The Christian amid the waves and
billows of adversity retains his hope, a glorious hope of future
bliss, and therefore he strikes out like a man towards the heavenly
shore. Our hope buoys up the soul, keeps the head above water,
inspires confidence, and sustains courage.
It is also called a “living
hope,” because it is imperishable. Other hopes fade like
withering flowers. The hopes of the rich, the boasts of the proud, all
these will die out as a candle when it flickers in the socket. The
hope of the greatest monarch has been crushed before our eyes; he set
up the standard of victory too soon, and has seen it trailed in the
mire. There is no unwaning hope beneath the changeful moon: the only
imperishable hope is that which climbs above the stars, and fixes
itself upon the throne of God and the person of Jesus Christ.
The hope which God has given
to his truly quickened people is a lively hope, however, mainly
because it deals with life. Brethren, it may be Christ will come while
yet we live, and then we shall not die but shall be fitted for heaven
by a change. However, it is probable that we may have to depart out of
this world unto the Father by the usual course of nature, and in
expecting to do so let us not look at death as a gloomy matter, as
though it could at all jeopardise our welfare or ultimately injure us.
No, my brethren, we have a living hope, a lively hope. Charles
Borromeo, the famous bishop of Milan, ordered a painter who was about
to draw a skeleton with a scythe over a sepulcher, to substitute for
it the golden key of Paradise. Truly this is a most fitting emblem for
a believer’s tomb, for what is death but the key of heaven to the
Christian. We notice frequently over cemetery gates, as an emblematic
device, a torch turned over ready to be quenched. Ah, my brethren, it
is not so, the torch of our life burns the better, and blazes the
brighter for the change of death. The breaking of the pitcher which
now surrounds the lamp and conceals the glory, will permit our inner
life to reveal its lofty nature, and ere long even the pitcher shall
be so remodelled as to become an aid to that light; its present
breaking is but preparatory to its future refashioning. It is a
blessed thought that the part of us which must most sadly feel the
mortal stroke is secured beyond all fear from permanent destruction.
We know that this very body, though it moulders into dust, shall live
again; these weeping eyes shall have all tears wiped from them; these
hands which grasp to-day the sword of a conflict shall wave the palm
branch of triumph. My brethren, it were not just that one body should
fight and another body should be crowned, that one body should labor
and another body have the reward. The same identical body shall rise
from the dead at the Lord’s coming, marvellously changed, strangely
developed as the seed develops into the full-blown flower, but still
the same, in very deed the selfsame; this very body shall be
resplendent with glory, even the same which now beareth sickness and
pain. This is our lively hope, that death hath no dominion over any
part of our manhood. There is awhile a separation between the soul and
the body, it is but for awhile; there is for the flesh a temporary
slumbering in the tomb, it is but a slumber, and the waking shall be
in the likeness of Christ. As for the soul, it shall be for ever with
the Lord, waiting for the latter day and the coming of Christ, when
the body itself shall be raised from corruption into the likeness of
the glory of him who is the first begotten from the dead. Thus, then,
I have brought you up from the abundant mercy to the new life, and
onward, to the lively hope. (1
Peter 1:3-5: A String of Pearls)
IS A LIVING HOPE
(elpis) in Scripture is not the world's definition of "I
hope so", with a few rare exceptions (e.g., Acts 27:20) Hope is defined as a desire for some future good with
the expectation of obtaining it. Hope is always an expectation
of something good as well as descriptive of something for which we
must wait. Hope is the opposite of despair.
See Preceptaustin Related Posts:
Christ Jesus Our Hope
Are You Looking for the Blessed
The Blessed Hope: Part 1
The Blessed Hope: Part 2
said "Hope is for the soul what breathing is for the living
organism." Indeed, a study of
concentration camp survivors found that those prisoners who were able
to hold onto their sense of hope (‘things are going to get better’ or
‘we’re going to get out of here one day’) were much more likely to
survive. Hope then is not optional but for these prisoners proved to
be a matter of life and death.
Biblical hope is not "finger crossing", but
is alive and certain because of the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Life
without Christ is a hopeless end whereas life in Christ is an endless
hope. Biblical hope is confident expectancy. Someone has put it
this way "Hope is faith in the future tense." John Blanchard
rightly says that "'Hope' is biblical shorthand for
unconditional certainty." The Puritan writer Thomas Brooks says
that "Hope can (allow us to) see heaven through the thickest
F F Bruce
gives this description of Christian hope...
We are refugees from the sinking
ship of this present world order, so soon to disappear; our hope is
fixed in the eternal order, where the promises of God are made good to
His people in perpetuity.
Hope as the world typically defines it is a desire for some
future occurrence of which one is not assured of attaining. The ancient world did not generally regard hope as a virtue,
but merely as a temporary illusion. Historians tell us that a great
cloud of hopelessness covered the ancient world.
Philosophies were empty; traditions were disappearing; religions were
powerless to help men face either life or death. People longed to
pierce the veil and get some message of hope from the other side, but
there is none outside of Christ.
the Christian hope is not based on
mere wishful thinking, but on a certain outcome of blessing that is
grounded in the finished redemptive work of Jesus Christ. The
believer’s explicit hope in God’s finished work of salvation through
Christ constitutes the dominant usage of elpis (e.g., Ro 5: 5; 1Co.
9:10; 2Co 3:12; Eph 1:18; Php 1:20; Col. 1:23, 27; 1Th. 5: 8; Heb. 3:
6; 1Pe. 3:15; 1Jn 3: 3). Related to this theme is the Christian hope
of resurrection from the dead (Acts 23: 6), and also hope in the
promises of God for salvation (cf. Acts 26: 6, 7; Ro 4:18; 8:20).
Other uses of the term indicate the hope of sharing God’s glory (cf.
Ro 5: 2); hope as a Christian virtue (cf. Ro 5: 4; 1Co. 13:13). See
also 2Co. 1: 7; 1Th. 2:19; Gal. 5: 5. The tragedy of the unbeliever
who has no hope is cited in Eph. 2:12; 1Th. 4:13. (Expository
Dictionary of Bible Words Word Studies for Key English Bible Words
Based on the Hebrew And Greek Stephen D. Renn)
Hope is directed toward the
future. Once we have received what we have hoped for, hope ceases (Ro
8:24)....Christian hope is strengthened by the Scriptures (Ro
15:4), by the work of Jesus (1Pe 1:3, 21), and by God’s present gift
of the Spirit to believers (Ro 5:5).
Complete Expository Dictionary of Old & New Testament Words. Grand
Rapids, MI: Zondervan
In secular Greek elpis does
not correspond with our word hope, since it is a general word for the
anticipation of future events of all kinds, of good (hope) or evil
(fear)....Living hope as a fundamental religious attitude was unknown
in Greek culture. Admittedly Theognis said, “As long as you live by
honoring the gods, hold on to hope!” and Horace called fides
(faith, loyalty) the companion of spes (hope). But in the final
analysis men had to stand without hope before the hostile forces of
guilt and death. Sophocles’ chorus lamented, “The highest remains,
never to be brought to life.” Seneca called hope the definition of “an
uncertain good”. But deification and immortality promised by the
mystery religions were human pipe dreams.
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
Seneca, Rome's leading intellectual figure, tutor of the depraved
emperor Nero (who forced Seneca to commit suicide!) and contemporary of Paul
tragically defined hope as “an uncertain
good”, the antithesis of Biblical hope! What a difference the new
birth in Christ makes in one's perspective.
editor H. L. Mencken also inaccurately defined (biblical) hope as “a
pathological belief in the occurrence of the impossible.”
defines hope as a "desire accompanied by expectation of or
belief in fulfillment." In another definition in Webster's 10th
Edition we read that hope "implies little certainty but
suggests confidence or assurance in the possibility that what one
desires or longs for will happen."!!! The 1828 edition of Webster's
has this definition of hope...
(1) A desire of some good,
accompanied with at least a sight expectation of obtaining it,
or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire
in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good
desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always
gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be
accompanied with pain and anxiety. (2) Confidence in a future
event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a
hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a Scriptural sense. A
well founded scriptural hope, is, in our religion, the source of
ineffable happiness. (3) That which gives hope; he or that which
furnishes ground of expectation, or promises desired good. The hope of
Israel is the Messiah. The Lord will be the hope of his people, Joel
3. (4) An opinion or belief not amounting to certainty, but grounded
on substantial evidence. The Christian indulges a hope, that his sins
Comment: It is fascinating
that definition #2 is no longer present in the newer editions
of Webster's Dictionary. One wonders what Noah Webster would have to
say about this tendency to diminish the importance of the Bible in
defining English words! On the other hand definition #4 almost
seems to counter definition #2 and is the antithesis of Christian
hope. My goodness, if we don't have a certainty that our sins are
pardoned by the finished work of Christ on the Cross, then frankly we
are a people who are to be most pitied. Jesus became a perfect Man to
become a perfect Sacrificial Lamb and thereby a perfect Redeemer so
that He might give "His people the knowledge of salvation By the
forgiveness of their sins." (Luke 1:77, 24:45-47, Acts 10:45) The
Greek word for forgiveness is aphesis (verb = aphíemi from apo = from
+ hiemi = put in motion, send) describes an action causing separation
and was a secular and legal term meaning to repay or cancel a debt.
Through the shedding of His blood, Christ took our sins upon Himself
and carried them an infinite distance away with no return possible
(compare the fate of the scapegoat in Lev 16:21 on the annual Day of
Atonement). Thus even this fundamental meaning of forgiveness of
separating the sin from the sinner directly counters Webster's 1828
definition #4. Beloved in Christ, the hope that our sins
have been pardoned
is a certainty, a firm foundation for our souls!
Richards writes that...
The Bible seldom uses “hope”
in (a) doubt-filled way (As in Acts 24:26). Instead, hope focuses
attention on God and fills us with eager expectation.
No one who learns to hope in a
biblical way will ever be overcome by disappointment but will be
filled with patience, encouragement, and enthusiasm...
The NT also shows us that there
is a vital need for us to have hope. NT hope has not only an
objective content but also a subjective impact. When we fix
our eyes on the future that God has in store for us, we taste the
wonders of his transforming power. (1Jn 3:3). We are told that “faith
and love (Col 1:4)…spring from the hope that is stored up for [us] in
heaven” (Col 1:5) and that faith rests “on the hope of eternal life,
which God, who does not lie, promised” (Titus 1:2). The NT also
associates hope with character. In the NT, character
development is linked with patient endurance: doing the right thing
despite delay in reaching goals or receiving rewards. So it is
particularly significant when we are told that “endurance [is]
inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1Th 1:3; cf. Ro 5:4–5).
What is more, hope brings
us a deep sense of joy (Ro 12:12). With hope we can
maintain an optimistic outlook even when things go wrong (1Pe 3:15;
cf. 1Pe 3:13-17). Our life will still have its stress and its personal
tragedies. But the believer whose hope is in the Lord and who has a
grasp of God’s plan will not be overcome.
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency
Computer Version - New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words)
Oh, what a blessed hope this is, —
that, though we fall asleep, we shall surely wake again; and when we
awaken, it will be in the likeness of the great Head of the family,
and we ourselves shall be heirs of an inheritance in which there will
be no sin and no corruption. That inheritance is kept for us, and we
are kept for it; so the double keeping
it doubly sure. Happy are the people to whom these verses apply. (1
Peter 1- Commentary)
Vincent writes that hope
in classical Greek, has the general signification of expectancy,
relating to evil as well as to good. Thus Plato speaks of living in
evil hope (“Republic,” i., 330); i.e., in the apprehension of evil;
and Thucydides, of the hope of evils to come; i.e., the expectation or
apprehension. In the New Testament the word always relates to a
future good. (Vincent, M. R. Word Studies in the New Testament Vol. 1)
The book of Hebrews defines hope as that which gives "full
assurance" (He 6:11-note).
Thus we can have strong confidence that God is going to do good to us in
future. The opposite of hope is despair,
(hopelessness; a hopeless state; a destitution of hope or expectation) which is all that
those without Christ as Savior can know, for Paul defines hope
as "Christ Jesus, Who is our Hope" (1Ti 1:1).
Thus genuine Biblical hope is not a concept but a Person,
looking forward to something with a reason for confidence
that it will inevitably be fulfilled (cf Titus 2:13-note!!!).
In this same chapter Peter used this aspect of the truth of hope
the saints who were suffering for their faith...
= on the basis of the
salvation and the "living hope" they now possessed) gird
your minds for action, keep sober in spirit,
fix your hope
- verb form of elpis - in the
= Do it now! It is our responsibility but it is ONLY possible in
submission to and dependence upon the Spirit! cf Php 2:12-note,
see especially Php 2:13-note) completely on the grace
to be brought to you at the revelation (apokalupsis) of Jesus Christ." (1Pe
Comment: Observe that Peter
links hope with the
Second Coming of Jesus
Christ, Who will put an end to all suffering for those who are in Him
by grace through faith!
Hallelujah, what a Savior, what a hope!
in depth study of Biblical hope: chart summarizing the definition
of hope, the source of hope, the stabilizing effect of hope and sanctifying effect of hope.
THE NT USES
53x in 48v in the NAS (The top four books - Romans 13x
-25%, Acts 8x - 15%; Heb 5x - 9%, 1Th 4x - 8%) It is interesting
that elpis does not appear in the Gospels. And yet the concept/truth
expressed in the word elpis does appear because as Paul says it is
"Christ Jesus our Hope." (1Ti 1:1 literal translation - there
is no verb in the Greek). In short, in the NT, Hope is not just an
ideal but is a Person, Jesus Christ, our Peace, our Life, our All in
Acts 2:26 'THEREFORE MY HEART WAS
GLAD AND MY TONGUE EXULTED; MOREOVER MY FLESH ALSO WILL LIVE IN
Comment: This is a quote
from Psalm 16:9, specifically from the Septuagint (Greek) version in
which the Hebrew word for security (Hebrew = betach = Safety,
security, carelessness, place of refuge; feeling of trust, assurance,
without care, confidence, hope, secure) is translated with the Greek
Acts 16:19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit
was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market
place before the authorities,
Comment: This is one of the
Biblical uses of elpis in which hope is used in a manner that most of
the world today uses hope - "I hope so!".
Acts 23:6 But perceiving that one group were Sadducees and the other
Pharisees, Paul began crying out in the Council, "Brethren, I am a
Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and
resurrection of the dead!"
Comment: Observe the
juxtaposition of hope and resurrection. Paul as a
Pharisee (albeit a born again liberated, not legalistic Pharisee)
believed the dead would be raised to life and saw this hope
(certainty) realized in and founded upon the truth of the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead. NET Bible notes that "With an objective
genitive construction, the resurrection of the dead would be the
‘object’ of the hope."
Acts 24:15 (Paul on trial before Festus declares) having a hope
in God, which these men cherish themselves, that there shall certainly
be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
Comment: Again observe the
association of hope with the certainty of a future
resurrection. Paul's hope is in God, in His faithfulness to
keep all of His promises, in this case His promise to raise the dead.
Acts 26:6 (Paul's defense before King Agrippa) "And now I am standing
trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers;
7 the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain,
as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O
King, I am being accused by Jews. (For context read Acts 26:6)
Comment: The hope of the
promise is the hope of Messiah (His first and second comings, His
kingdom) (Ge 3:15, 12:3, 22:18 26:4, 49:10, Dt 18:15 cf Acts 1:6,
3:22-24, Acts 13:32,33) and the good news associated with His
appearing that righteousness is available to all who believe
The hope of the 12 tribes in Acts
26:7 refers to Israel's hope of national deliverance, a deliverance
that Paul explains will occur when the Deliverer Himself returns to
Zion (Ro 11:26-note)
and sets up His Millennial Kingdom at the end of
Daniel's Seventieth Week of 7
Years (commonly referred to as the "Tribulation").
Bible Knowledge Commentary:
Because Yahweh is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, people must be
resurrected in order to receive the promise God made to them. Likewise
the promises made to the Jews demand they be resurrected in the coming
J. F., Zuck, R. B., et al: The Bible Knowledge Commentary. 1985.
William MacDonald comments that:
The flow of Paul’s argument here seems to be as follows: In the OT
God made various covenants with the leaders of Israel, such as
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, and Solomon. The principal covenant had
to do with the promise of the Messiah, His coming to deliver the
nation of Israel and to reign over the earth. The patriarchs of the
OT died without seeing the fulfillment of this promise. Does this
mean that God would not carry out the terms of the covenants? He would
most assuredly do so! But how could He do it when the fathers were
already dead? The answer is, “By raising them from the dead.” Thus, in
a very direct way, the apostle links the promises made to the OT
saints with the resurrection of the dead.
W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or
Acts 27:20 Since neither sun nor
stars appeared for many days, and no small storm was assailing us,
from then on all hope of our being saved was gradually
Comment: This is another
Biblical uses of elpis in which hope is used in a manner that
expresses the idea "I hope so!".
Acts 28:20 "For this reason,
therefore, I requested to see you and to speak with you, for I am
wearing this chain for the sake of the hope of Israel."
Romans 4:18 In hope against hope he believed, so that he might become
a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken, "SO
SHALL YOUR DESCENDANTS BE."
Romans 5:2 through Whom (Ro 5:1) also we have obtained our
introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult
(boast) in hope of the glory of God (future glory - His
glorious return, our glorification in Him forever). 5:4 and
perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;
5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God
has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was
given to us.
Comment: The hope provides
the ground of our exultation. One day we will see Him in all His
glory. Until that day we live motivated by this sure, certain hope of
seeing His glory. And so even in suffering produced by tribulations we
can rejoice and praise God.
How does "proven character" bring
about hope? Isn't the answer that when your faith has been tried in
affliction, and persevered, and thus proven genuine and authentic you
know you are real and not a fake Christian and that gives you hope
that you really are a child of God and will inherit his glory. In
other words, one of the great obstacles to a full and strong hope in
the glory of God is the fear that we are hypocrites - that our faith
is not real and that we just inherited it from our parents and have
been motivated by things that are not honoring to God. One of the
purposes of afflictions in our lives is to give us victory over those
fears and make us full of hope and confidence as the children of God.
Simon Kistemaker wrote that
"Hope teaches endurance and an eager anticipation of that which will
Romans 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly,
but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
Comment: Where was the hope?
Even before the ground was cursed ("subjected to futility") (Ge 3:17),
God in His great mercy and grace gave the promise of redemption
through a Redeemer through the Seed of a woman (Ge 3:15 = the Messiah)
and this great truth provided the firm foundation for hope,
which became the basis for the creation’s eager anticipation that Paul
is describing (Ro 8:19)
Romans 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope
that is seen is not hope; for who hopes (elpizo)
for what he already sees?
Comment: The best is yet to
come! The believer does not get frustrated as he sees and experiences
suffering and pain in this world. He knows (his hope = a certainty)
that the temporary suffering will one day give way to eternal glory.
Since the believer's hope is based on God's promise, the completion of
his salvation is more certain by far than anything he sees with his
J. Gresham Machen adds that
"The Christian hope is the hope of a time when even the possibility of
our sinning will be over. It is not the hope then of a return to the
condition of Adam before the Fall but the hope of an entrance into a
far higher condition."
Romans 12:12 rejoicing in hope,
persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer,
Comment: What is this hope
in which causes us to be continually rejoicing? Hope of future
salvation - The coming of our Savior, the redemption of our bodies,
and our eternal glory - These truths energize present joy.
Calvin said that Paul warns us against remaining content with
earthly joys and counseled us to “raise our minds to heaven, that we
may enjoy full and solid joy.” The reality of that (future) hope
brings (present) joy. This hope of salvation is the most
effective way of producing patience under present sufferings, for if
we feel “that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the
glory that will be revealed in us” (Ro 8:18), it will be less
difficult to bear them patiently.
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for
our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of
the Scriptures we might have hope.
Thomas Manton wrote: What an
excellent ground of hope and confidence we have when we reflect upon
these three things in prayer—the Father's love, the Son's merit and
the Spirit's power!
Romans 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and
peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the
power of the Holy Spirit.
Comment: God is the Source
of hope which is distributed if you will by the Holy Spirit.
Is it any wonder that when we
willfully sin against God and grieve and quench the Spirit, that our
Christian hope often flags to the point that we even question the
certainty of our salvation! Oh, how vitally important that we quickly
confess and repent our sins against His holiness!
(Cf, Pr 28:13, 1Jn 1:9, Ps 32:3-4)
1 Corinthians 9:10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for
our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope,
and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.
1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these
three; but the greatest of these is love.
Comment: The triad of
"faith, hope and love" is common in the NT - 1Th 5:8; Gal 5:5, 6; 1Cor
13:13; Eph 4:2–5; Col 1:4, 5; Heb 10:22–24; 1Pet 1:21-22. Richard
Sibbes links faith and hope noting that "The nature of hope is to
expect that which faith believes."
2 Corinthians 1:7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded,
knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are
sharers of our comfort.
Comment: The same wonderful
promise is repeated often in the New Testament epistles (Romans 8:18;
2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 4:13).
2 Corinthians 3:12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great
boldness in our speech,
Comment: For the gist of
Paul's hope read 2Cor 3:4-11. In brief, his hope is in the New
Covenant in which we are given the enabling power of the Holy Spirit.
We should all frequently meditate on the better New Covenant promises
(better than the Old Covenant) to allow this truth to renew our minds
and give us a Spirit endued boldness (cp Acts 4:31, see Acts 9:17 and
Acts 9:27-28, 14:3, 19:8). See Related Resources:
Covenant: New Covenant in the Old
Covenant: Why the New is Better;
Covenant: Abrahamic vs Old vs New.
2 Corinthians 10:15 not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other
men's labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we
will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you,
Comment: Here "hope" is used
in the sense of "hope so."
Galatians 5:5 For (term
- What is Paul is explaining? He has just addressed the futility and
the spiritual "dead end" of those who seek righteousness via their
works - see Gal 5:4) we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting (apekdechomai)
for the hope of righteousness.
Comment: While all believers
are justified (declared righteous) by grace through faith,
righteousness according to this verse is our hope (certainty), not our
full present reality.
John MacArthur: Paul here
mentions three characteristics of the godly life, the life that
continues to live by the grace through which salvation was received.
First of all, it is a life lived through the Spirit rather than
the flesh. Second, it is a life lived by faith rather than
works. And third, it is a life lived in patient waiting and
hope rather than in the anxious uncertainty of bondage to the law.
J. Galatians. Chicago: Moody Press
John Piper: The hope
and confidence of every Christian is that at the end of the world,
when he stands before the Judge of the universe, the verdict he will
hear is “righteous.” And the point of this verse is that the
only way to hear that verdict is to wait for it through the Spirit,
not the flesh, and by faith, not by works. That’s the main point of
Gal 3:1–5, indeed, of the whole book. So let’s listen carefully to Gal
3:1–5 and let the Lord teach us how to live through the Spirit by
faith rather than through the flesh by works. For as Paul says in
Romans 8:13, “Those who live according to the flesh will die.” (Can
You Begin by the Spirit and Be Completed by the Flesh)
Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened,
so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are
the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Comment: We should pray to
be enabled to see and savor our present hope which is based on past
calling. Our sure hope for the future is based on the fact that God
has called us to salvation through election. Instead of grumbling
about "election", we need to pray that God would enlighten our hearts
to the wonder of the fact that we are recipients of so great a
Ephesians 2:12 remember that you were at that time separate from
Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the
covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the
Comment: Unregenerate men
put their faith in man not the God-Man and thus are hopeless. As Don
Basham put it the believer's "hope lies not in the man we put on the
moon, but in the man we put on the cross." Life separate from Christ
is a hopeless end, but life in oneness with Christ results in an
endless hope. John W White adds that "The world hopes for the
best, but Jesus Christ offers the best hope."
Hope Springs Eternal - Devotional
Feodor Dostoevski wrote:
"Totally without hope one cannot live." To live without hope is to
cease to live. Hell is hopelessness. It is no accident that above the
entrance to Dante's hell is the inscription: "Leave behind all hope,
you who enter here."
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were
called in one hope of your calling;
John MacArthur: Believers
are also unified in the one hope of their calling. Our calling to
salvation is ultimately a calling to Christlike eternal perfection and
glory. In Christ we have different gifts, different ministries,
different places of service, but only one … calling, the calling to
“be holy and blameless before Him” (Eph. 1:4) and “to become
conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29), which will occur
when we see the glorified Christ (1 John 3:2). It is the Spirit who
has placed us in the one Body and who guarantees our future glory.
J: Ephesians. Chicago: Moody Press
Philippians 1:20 according to my earnest expectation and hope,
that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all
boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body,
whether by life or by death.
Colossians 1:5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven
(cf 1Pe 1:4), of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the
John MacArthur has an excellent
note: One result of our hope is a willingness to sacrifice
the present on the altar of the future. That runs contrary to human
nature. Young children, for example, have a difficult time waiting for
something they want. My father warned me repeatedly while I was
growing up not to sacrifice the future on the altar of the immediate.
The world wants what it wants now. The Christian has a different
perspective. He is willing to forsake the present glory, comfort, and
satisfaction of this present world for the future glory that is his in
Christ. In contrast to the “buy now—pay later” attitude prevalent in
the world, the Christian is willing to pay now and receive it later.
What makes Christians willing to make such sacrifices? Hope,
based on faith (cf 2Cor 5:7, Col 2:6) that the future holds something
far better than the present.
J. Colossians. Chicago: Moody Press
Colossians 1:23 if indeed you
continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved
away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was
proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was
made a minister.
Comment: Notice that Paul
teaches that a genuine believer will continue in the faith and
that the hope of the Gospel anchors us. He is not implying a
believer can lose their salvation or that we need to do certain things
to keep it. Believers are enabled to "keep" their salvation (cf Jude
1:21) because they are "kept by God!" (Jude 1:1) So fight that sense
of hopelessness that can so easily discourage any of us -- fight it by
taking up the Word of Truth, the truth of hope of the Gospel, the
absolute certainty that we will one day be glorified and forever like
Christ (1Jn 3:2)! Biblical hope is a great antidote for the sense of
hopelessness that permeates our fallen world.
Piper adds: And there is no
sweeter message of hope in all the world than to hear God
announce that when you get up in the morning miserable and depressed
with a sense of guilt and estrangement before a holy God, you can go
to bed that very night—this very night—with a quiet and peaceful heart
knowing that every sin you have ever committed and ever will commit is
forgiven and you are reconciled to the Almighty by the death of his
Son. That’s the free offer of the Gospel! (Why
Colossians 1:27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of
the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you,
the hope of glory.
Comment: Christ is in us in
the form of His Spirit (Ro 8:9) Who indwells us and serves as a seal
and a down payment (cf Eph 1:13-14, 4:30) which guarantees our hope or
certainty of future glory.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and
labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus
Christ in the presence of our God and Father,
What does hope secure for us as
believers in this passage?
Is not our Christian hope our firm
foundation for perseverance or remaining stedfast in a world
system that seeks to sweep us off our feet spiritually speaking? Note
again the Source of hope is not a concept nor an idea but the Person
of Christ! Thus the more we know Him and the power of His
resurrection, the greater will be our hope, our confidence, our
certainty. As the NET Bible Note succinctly summarizes, Paul's
"staccato-like" phrases describe "the work produced by faith, labor
motivated by love, and endurance that stems from hope in
John Bunyan wrote that: Hope
has a thick skin and will endure many a blow; it will put on patience
as a vestment, it will wade through a sea of blood, it will endure all
things if it be of the right kind, for the joy that is set before it.
Hence patience is called “patience of hope,” because it is hope that
makes the soul exercise patience and long-suffering under the cross,
until the time comes to enjoy the crown.
Illustration of Power of Hope:
In 1965, naval aviator James B. Stockdale became one of the first
American pilots to be shot down during the Vietnam War. As a prisoner
of the Vietcong, he spent seven years as a P.O.W., during which he was
frequently tortured in an attempt to break him and get him to denounce
the U.S. involvement in the war. He was chained for days at a time
with his hands above his head so that he could not even swat the
mosquitoes. Today, he still cannot bend his left knee and walks with a
severe limp from having his leg broken by his captors and never reset.
One of the worst things done to him was that he was held in isolation
away from the other American P.O.W.s and allowed to see only his
guards and interrogators. How could anyone survive seven years of such
treatment? As he looks back on that time, Stockdale says that it was
his hope that kept him alive. Hope of one day going home, that each
day could be the day of his release. Without hope, he knew that he
would die in hopelessness, as others had done. Such is the power of
hope that it can keep one alive when nothing else can. (Illustrations
for Biblical Preaching: Over 1500 sermon illustrations)
1 Thessalonians 2:19 For (term
- What is Paul is explaining? He is referring to the saints at
Thessalonica in whose lives he played a vital role - 1Th 2:13, 17-18)
who is our hope or joy or crown of exultation? Is it not even
you, in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming?
1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed,
brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as
do the rest who have no hope.
Comment: Unbelievers have no
hope of a future resurrection to eternal life. Dr. Victor Frankl, an
Austrian psychiatrist, observed that a prisoner did not continue to
live very long after hope was lost. But even the slightest ray of
hope—the rumor of better food; a whisper about an escape—helped some
of the camp inmates to continue living even under systematic horror
(Man's Search for Meaning).
1 Thessalonians 5:8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober,
having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the
hope of salvation.
Comment: Scriptures such as
this one repeatedly link our character ("day people") with our
conduct. What we are should always determine how we act. In short we
are "day people" and should act accordingly. In other words, while
believers will always be "day people," because of our fallen flesh
nature inherited from Adam, we can still fall into the trap of doing
deeds done by night (unregenerate) people (at least for a period of
time). How can one be sober (spiritually alert) in a world that makes
us "drunk" with assorted "intoxicating" temptations and pleasures that
appeal to our old flesh nature? Putting on our spiritual armor is key.
The helmet is a picture of our hope (our absolute
assurance that God will do good to us in the future - future tense
salvation - glorification) which protects our mind from fiery missiles
of doubt about our salvation. Focusing on the certainty of our future
glory, serves to protect us from temptation in the present!
2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God
our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good
hope by grace,
Comment: Good hope is a gift
of God's grace. Beloved, that should take the "pressure" off! Our
future is guaranteed not by our efforts but by God's grace, His
totally undeserved favor. (Cf grace in Ro 11:6, 2Ti 1:9, 1Cor 15:10,
John Piper: Why are you
downcast, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope
in God. For he is a God of matchless grace. He elects by grace.
He calls by grace. He sanctifies by grace. He sustains
faith by grace. And he will glorify you by grace. You
cannot earn it or deserve it or merit it. It is free. Believe it. Rest
in it. Delight in it. And it is yours. (Why
1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the
commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, Who is (in
italics because not in original Greek) our hope,
Comment: Hope is not a
vague, abstract concept but ultimately finds its essence in a Person,
Christ Jesus. As J C Ryle said "From Christ's death flow all
Titus 1:2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot
lie, promised long ages ago,
Comment: Paul is NOT saying
eternal life is a "I hope I go to heaven when I die"
type mindset I hear so
often when I share the Gospel. What Paul IS saying is that
every genuine believer can have an absolute assurance that when
they take their last breath, they will instantly be
in the presence of their Lord forever (2Cor 5:8-note).
That's the sound (healthy) doctrinal truth about
looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of
our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,
Comment: Our hope is that
Christ is coming back! Remember that God considers the truth of the
Second Coming as a most important doctrine, for it is alluded to
(directly or indirectly) in about one of every 20 NT verses! What you
are looking for will (should) determine what you are living for!
Ray Stedman: One of the
great reasons the church is so confused in this day, one of the
reasons the church says so little of true significance to the world,
is that it has neglected and abandoned, by and large, the hope of the
coming of the Lord. There are very few sermons preached on it. There
is very little said about it. There is no time given to a
consideration of what this hope means and why it is set forth so
frequently and so clearly in the Scriptures. Great sections of the
Scriptures that deal with the hope of our Lord's return are simply
ignored by Christians. (Defense
Against Defeat, Part 3 Ephesians 6:17)
Titus 3:7 so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs
according to the hope of eternal life.
Hebrews 3:6 but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house-- whose
house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our
hope firm until the end.
Comment: Holding fast one's
hope does not save, but is evidence that one is truly saved.
Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that each one of you show the same
diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the
Comment: Here we see a
"mini" definition of hope = full assurance (until the end).
Hebrews 6:18 so that by two unchangeable things in which it is
impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong
encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us.
Comment: In context, hope is
like an anchor of our souls (see Heb 6:19-20) in the midst of the
tumult and dangers of this present world. No matter what tribulation
or trial or temptation that assaults our mind, we can cling to the
absolute assurance that God will do good to us in the future.
“Hope is like an anchor. Our hope
in Christ stabilizes us in the storms of life, but unlike an anchor,
it does not hold us back.”
June Hunt has an interesting
note on the use the anchor to symbolize hope: For centuries, anchors
have been a symbol of hope. This emblem was especially significant to
the early persecuted church. Many etchings of anchors were discovered
in the catacombs of Rome, where Christians held their meetings in
hiding. Threatened with death because of their faith, these committed
Christians used the anchor as a disguised cross and as a marker to
guide the way to their secret meetings. Located beneath the ancient
city, 600 miles of these tomb-like burial chambers served as a place
of refuge during perilous times of persecution. Thus, the anchor—found
even on some tombstones today—has become the symbol of guaranteed hope
for the eternal security of true Christians. (Biblical Counseling Keys
on Hope: The Anchor of Your Soul)
Hebrews 7:19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand
there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw
near to God.
Comment: Better hope refers
to the better priesthood of Christ, through Whom we have perfect and
continual access to the Throne of the Father!
Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope
without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;
John MacArthur: Holding on
is the human side of eternal security. The Reformers called it “the
perseverance of the saints.” It is not something we do to keep
ourselves saved, but it is evidence, on the human side, that we are
John: Hebrews. Moody Press
1 Peter 1:3 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
Comment: Peter states that
the foundation of our absolute assurance is based on the resurrection.
So because He lives, so does our hope! Indeed, a living hope should motivate a
so that we are waiting anxiously for
Christ's return at any time, this event providing great incentive to "discipline
(one's self) for the purpose of godliness" (1Ti 4:7-note:)
knowing that godliness "is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the
present life and also for the life to come." (1Ti 4:8-note)
1 Peter 1:21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from
the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in
Comment: Peter uses hope
here to refer to the grace to be revealed to us in the future, grace
that assures us of our glorification.
but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make
a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope
that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
Comment: The unregenerate
are without hope (Eph 2:12, 1Thes 4:13), and need to here about the
hope we have a hope made possible by the Gospel of grace.
MacArthur adds: Hope is
synonymous with the Christian faith because the motive for believers’
embracing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is their anticipation of
escaping hell and entering eternal glory (cf. Acts 26:6; Eph. 1:18;
4:4; Col. 1:23; Heb. 10:23). Thus hope becomes the focal point of any
rational explanation believers should be able to provide regarding
(MacArthur, J. 1 Peter. Chicago:
Moody Press or
1 John 3:3 And everyone who has this hope (1Jn 3:2) fixed on
Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
Comment: In this context,
our hope is the certainty that we will one day in the future be like
Christ (1Jn 3:2)! This great sure hope should serve as a strong
motivation to live a life of holiness (not by "trying harder" but by
jettisoning self reliance and in its place surrendering to the
Spirit's enabling power to live holy as God is holy!) As John
Calvin says "When hope animates us there is a vigor in the
whole body." William Gurnall adds that "The nearer to heaven in
hopes, the farther from earth in desires."
Revelation - Observe that
there are no uses of elpis in John's great book! Why? I think
because in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, in His glorious, victorious
return, the hope of every believer throughout the ages is
finally and fully realized. As Paul says in Romans 8:24 "hope that is
seen is not hope." Our
age long hope is finally consummated becomes a reality in the
Revelation (unveiling, revealing) of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!
Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus!
used in 80 verses in the non-apocryphal Septuagint: Deut 24:15; Jdg
18:7, 10, 27; 2Chr 35:26; Job 2:9; 4:6; 5:16; 6:8; 7:6; 8:13; 11:18,
20; 14:7; 17:15; 19:10; 27:8; 30:15; Ps 4:8; 14:6; 16:9; 22:9; 40:4;
60:8; 61:2; 62:7; 65:5; 71:5; 73:28; 78:7, 53; 91:9; 94:22; 108:9;
142:5; 146:5; Pr 1:33; 10:28; 11:7, 23; 13:12; 14:26; 22:19; 23:18;
24:14; 26:12; 29:20; Eccl 9:4; Isa 24:16; 28:4f, 10, 13, 15, 17ff;
30:32; 31:2; 32:9f; 47:10; Jer 2:37; 17:5, 7; 48:13; Lam 3:18; Ezek
28:26; 29:16; 34:27f; 37:11; Hos 2:18; Mic 2:8; Zeph 2:15
Jeremiah pleaded with God on the
basis of His Name, "Hope of Israel" (God's Names all reveal some
aspect or attribute of His character), declaring
Hope of Israel, its Savior in time of distress. Why art Thou like
a stranger in the land Or like a traveler who has pitched his tent for
the night?" (Jer 14:8)
Again Jeremiah says
O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who
forsake Thee will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will
be written down, because they have forsaken the fountain of living
water, even the LORD." (Jer 17:13)
The psalmist declares
Thou art my hope; O Lord GOD, Thou
art my confidence from my youth." (Ps 71:5-note)
Paul uses makes an allusion to this OT name
("Hope of Israel") speaking to
the Jews explaining that
I requested to see you and to speak with
you, for I am wearing this chain for the sake of the hope of
Israel." (Acts 28:20)
Although the Old
Testament spoke of the Hope of
Israel and predicted His coming to save His people as well as
Gentiles, there was only one mention that the Messiah of hope would actually
live within the redeemed (See Ezek 36:26, 27). Paul explained that in
the New Covenant, "God willed to make known what is the riches of
the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you,
the hope of glory." (Col 1:27-note) The unsaved are born into the world but have "no
hope and (are) without God in the world" (Ep 2:12-note,
1Th 4:13-note) and if they die without
Christ, he will be hopeless forever. The Italian poet, Dante, in his
Divine Comedy, put this inscription over the world of the dead: “Abandon
all hope, you who enter here!” In other words, life without Christ
is a hopeless end whereas life in Christ is an endless hope.
The New Zealander has a word for
hope which signifies “the swimming-thought”; because when all other
thoughts are drowned, hope still swims.
G K Chesterton said that
means hoping when things are hopeless or it is no virtue at all...As
long as matters are really hopeful, hope is mere flattery or
platitude. It is only when everything is hopeless that hope begins to
be a strength.
Make us thy
We would not linger on the lower slope,
Fill us afresh with hope,
O God of hope.
Swindoll writes that...
HOPE IS A wonderful gift from God,
a source of strength and courage in the face of life’s harshest
When we are trapped in a tunnel of
misery, hope points to the light at the end.
When we are overworked and
exhausted, hope gives us fresh energy.
When we are discouraged, hope lifts
When we are tempted to quit, hope
keeps us going.
When we lose our way and confusion
blurs the destination, hope dulls the edge of panic.
When we struggle with a crippling
disease or a lingering illness, hope helps us persevere beyond the
When we fear the worst, hope brings
reminders that God is still in control.
When we must endure the
consequences of bad decisions, hope fuels our recovery.
When we find ourselves unemployed,
hope tells us we still have a future.
When we are forced to sit back and
wait, hope gives us the patience to trust.
When we feel rejected and
abandoned, hope reminds us we’re not alone . . . we’ll make it.
When we say our final farewell to
someone we love, hope in the life beyond gets us through our grief.
Put simply, when life hurts and dreams fade, nothing helps like hope.
Again Charles R. Swindoll)
FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE
Hope is an essential and
fundamental element of Christian life, so essential indeed, that, like
faith and love, Peter refers to it in this verse to designate the
essence of Christianity
Hope is one
component of the great triad of Christian virtues, along with faith
and love. “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the
greatest of these is love”
(1Cor 13:13; Gal 5:5, 6; see 1Th 1:3-note,
Ep 1:15, 16, 17, 18-
Ep 4:2, 3-note,Eph
Col 1:4, 5-note;
He 10:22, 23, 24-note;
inseparably linked. We
believe and so we hope.
John Piper explains that a living
hope is grounded on the
Word" (1Pe 1:23-note) and was made possible by the "living
Son" Who rose
the dead (1Pe 1:3). The opposite of a "living hope" would be a "dead hope,"
like Ja 2:17-note,
namely "dead faith." "Faith without works is dead" (Ja 2:26-note),
James says. That is, faith is barren, fruitless, unproductive (Ja
So our FAITH is in essence a "living faith" thus by analogy "living
hope" would be fertile, fruitful, productive hope. Living hope is hope
that has power and produces changes in our present life because we
know what our future destiny is. We can thus live as aliens and
strangers and be distressed now for a little while with various
trials...Why? because we have a Living Hope, one which knows for
certainty that this world is not our home and our flesh is like grass
which will soon wither. This is what "living' means in He 4:12
(note) where it says, "The word of God is living and
active…" So Christian hope
is a strong confidence in God which has power to produce changes in
how we live. This hope enables us to keep our minds under (His)
control and “hope to the end” (1Pe 1:13-note) when Jesus shall return. We must not be ashamed
of our hope but be ready to explain and defend it (1Pe 3:15-note). Like Sarah, Christian wives can hope in God
where “trusted” should be translated “hoped”). Since suffering
brings glory, and because Jesus is coming again, we can indeed be
hopeful! This confident hope gives us the encouragement and enablement
we need for daily living. It does not put us in a rocking chair where
we complacently await the return of Jesus Christ. Instead, it puts us
in the marketplace, on the battlefield, where we keep on going when
the burdens are heavy and the battles are hard. Hope is not a
sedative; it is a shot of adrenaline, a spiritual blood transfusion.
Like an anchor, our hope
in Christ stabilizes us in the storms of life (He 6:18, 19-note);
but unlike an anchor, our hope moves us forward, it does not hold us
down. Everything begins with salvation, our personal relationship to
God through Jesus Christ. If we know Christ as Saviour, then we have
hope! If we have hope, then we can be obedient to Jesus Christ & can
walk in holiness. We can then submit to those around us in society,
the home, and the church family. Salvation and submission are
preparation for suffering so keep your focus on our Living Hope...keep
focused on Christ & His Spirit will enable you to live out "the time
of your stay upon earth" as an OVERCOMER as God transforms your
suffering into glory (Ro 8:28-note;
Ro 8:29, 30-note) Our living hope includes the certainty of eternal life—the glorious
privilege of living forever with God...face to face with God forever!
No greater privilege could ever be given the creature by His Creator.
Thank You Lord. How does this living hope arise in our hearts? One part of the answer
is given here in 1Pe 1:3, another part is given in 1Pe 1:23-25. In 1Pe
says, "we are born anew to a living hope thru the resurrection of
Jesus Christ from the dead. That is, our hope arises from being born
anew and this new birth comes in some sense thru Jesus' resurrection.
There is a big gap between the resurrection of Jesus and my new birth
2000 years later. 1Pe 1:23, 24, 25 help fill the gap. That word is the good news
which was preached to you." Connecting the historical resurrection of
Jesus and my life 2000 years later is the Word of God, namely the
gospel. The gospel is the message, preached in the power of the Holy
Spirit, 1Co 15:3, 4-note. Peter is fond of “living” (present active participle of zao as in
1Pe 1:23; 2:4, 5, 24; 4:5, 6).A “living hope” is one that has life in it and therefore
can give life to us. Because it has life, it grows and becomes greater
and more beautiful as time goes on. Time destroys most hopes; they
fade and then die. But the passing of time only makes a Christian’s hope that much more glorious. Our "living hope" is actively alive and
is therefore that energizing principle in the Christian that produces
hopefulness and optimism. All of the past hopes of man for a better
world have been dashed to pieces, simply because Jesus Christ and His
Word have not been taken into account. But the Christian hope is
operative and vital." (Read the complete message
The Power of Hope) (Bolding and reference links added)
In light of the truth about a believer's living hope, how sad it is to
read the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche's statement that hope
the worst of all evils, because it
prolongs the torments of man.
That may be
true of hope as the lost world defines it but for every soul
who believes in Jesus Christ there is born a “living hope” that grows more
wonderful every day. Dead hope fades away because
it has no roots, but a believer's “living hope” gets better and
brighter because it is
rooted in the living Christ and His Living Word. The sure hope of our
resurrection, glorification and eternal life with Christ should be a strong motivation for
- not a suggestion but a command --
as we discard self reliance and yield to dependence on the Spirit, He
enables us to continually
steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1Cor 15:58-note).
For some helpful illustrations on
various aspects of hope, click one of the links to the following
devotionals, all found in Our Daily Bread --
There Is Hope
The Brightest Hope
Hope Beyond Hope
What Keeps Us Going
The King Could
Too Much With Us
Finding New Hope
A City Of Smiles
Do You Have Hope?
Hope In The Sad Times
Prepare To Live
Reason To Hope
Seeing With Hope
A Living Hope
for other resources
on the Blessed Hope)
We have a living hope:
I. Which Embraces. . .
A. the assurance of an incorruptible inheritance (1Pe 1:4).
B. a redemption purchased with a price of imperishable value (1Pe
C. a life begotten of incorruptible seed (1Pe 1:23).
II. Which is Contrasted with . . .
A. heaviness of sprit, which is for a season (1Pe 1:6).
B. silver and gold, which perisheth (1Pe 1:18).
C. the glory of man, which falleth away (1Pe 1:24).
III. Which Demands of Those Begotten Again . . .
A. that they should greatly rejoice (1Pe 1:6).
B. that they should be sober (1Pe 1:13).
C. that they should love one another fervently (1Pe 1:22).
Threshed Wheat, Sword, p.31
RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD: di anastaseos Iesou Christou ek nekron:(1Peter
3:21; Ro 4:25; 5:10; 8:11; Ep 2:6; 1Th 4:13)
Through the resurrection of
Jesus Christ - The firm foundation of our sure hope is based on
the solid rock of our Redeemer's resurrection from the dead. All other
hope is sinking sand (cp 1Th 4:13-note).
(386) (anastasis from ana = up, again + histemi = to cause to stand) literally
means “to stand again" or "to cause to stand again" and most NT uses
refer to a physical body rising from the dead or coming back to life
after having once died.
The resurrection is
distinguished from belief in reincarnation, which usually involves a
series of rebirths from which the soul may seek release. Resurrection
has primary reference to the body. The resurrection is the central,
defining doctrine and claim of the gospel for as Paul wrote "if
Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith
also is vain." (1Cor 15:14)
Anastasis - 42x in 40v in
NAS - Matt. 22:23, 28, 30, 31; Mk. 12:18, 23; Lk. 2:34; 14:14;
20:27, 33, 35, 36; Jn. 5:29; 11:24, 25; Acts 1:22; 2:31; 4:2, 33;
17:18, 32; 23:6, 8; 24:15, 21; 26:23; Ro 1:4; 6:5; 1 Co. 15:12, 13,
21, 42; Phil. 3:10; 2Ti 2:18; Heb. 6:2; 11:35; 1Pe 1:3; 3:21; Rev.
and 4 times in the
(Ps. 66:1 reads in LXX "For the end, a Song of Psalm of
resurrection."; Lam. 3:63; Dan. 11:20; Zeph. 3:8) but none of these OT
uses refer to physical resurrection as used in this verse.
See more on resurrection in
Torrey's Topical Listing; or click on
the articles in the following Bible
dictionaries, all of which discuss resurrection (Easton;
Speaking to Martha on the occasion
of the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus in His fifth great "I Am"
I am the
resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he
dies. (Jn 11:25)
Martha had just declared her belief in the
resurrection (implying that she believed the OT Scriptures) stating
know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
What Jesus did was move Mary from an abstract belief
in the resurrection that will take place "at the last day" (cf.
Jn 5:28, 29) to a personal faith in
Him Who Alone can raise the dead. Beloved, remember that wherever
Jesus is, God’s resurrection power is available now (Ro 6:4-note;
Given these clear references to the
resurrection it is interesting that "the Sadducees...say that there
is no resurrection" (Mt 22:23),
the very subject on which they attempted to entrap Jesus. Jesus
rebuked them declaring that
the resurrection of the dead, have you not read that which was spoken
to you by God, saying, 'I AM THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, AND THE GOD OF ISAAC,
AND THE GOD OF JACOB'? He is not the God of the dead but of the
living." (Mt 22:31-32)
Jesus’ argument was taken from the Pentateuch (the Sadducees
recognized only the authority of Moses) where the Septuagint
translates “I AM” in (Ex 3:6)
with the present tense which speaks of continuous existence. After Abraham and Isaac and
Jacob were long dead, the Lord said in essence He was still their God
every bit as much as when they were on earth, the clear implication
being that they were alive, which in turn presupposes the patriarch's
resurrection from the grave. This subtle but effective argument
utterly silenced the Sadducees.
Jesus addressing one of the leaders
of the Pharisees (who believed in the resurrection)
who had invited Him to eat at his house on the Sabbath, declared that
there would be rewards at the resurrection, stating that "you will
be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you (those
to whom hospitality was shown); for you will be repaid at the
resurrection of the righteous.” (Lu 14:14)
Jesus addressing a multitude of
Jews seeking to kill Him stated that
an hour is coming, in which
all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and will come forth;
those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who
committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment." (Jn
5:28, 29) (See
The Two Resurrections -
"First" and "Second" - on a timeline)
Every person who has every lived will participate in one of these two
resurrections. Jesus was not teaching salvation by works but a
salvation that produced good works. He went on to make it clear that
salvation was based on
the work of God, that you believe
in Him Whom He has sent.” (Jn
The only work that God requires of people for
salvation is faith in His Son and was not a "physical" work but simply
placing one's trusted in the Messiah's finished work of salvation.
From other Scriptures this resurrection equates with the "first
resurrection" which precedes the "second" resurrection by 1000 years
(the Millennial reign of Christ = the Messianic Age).
John records "The rest of the dead did not come to life until the
thousand years were completed. This is the first resurrection. Blessed
and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over
these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God
and of Christ and will reign with Him first resurrection for a thousand years." (Re
here for more on the "first
In preparing to select a
replacement apostle for Judas, Peter emphasized that not only was it
necessary for him to have witnessed the Lord's entire earthly
ministry, from baptism to ascension, but the one selected
a witness with us of His resurrection. (Acts
Later Peter alludes to the prophesy of Messiah's
resurrection in the OT, declaring that David
looked ahead and
spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither
abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. (Acts 2:31 quoting
Ps 16:10 -Note)
Peter’s argument is that
Psalm 16 speaks of a resurrection and since David was not
resurrected, it cannot speak of him but instead prophesies Messiah's
resurrection from the dead. The truth of Messiah's resurrection formed
one the central message for the proclamation of the gospel, Luke
recording that the priests, captain of the temple guard and the
greatly disturbed because (Peter and John)
were teaching the people (in Jerusalem) and proclaiming in
Jesus the resurrection from the dead. (Acts 4:2)
Paul in defending himself before the Sanhedrin
perceived "that one group were Sadducees and the other Pharisees"
and so he "began crying out in the Council,
Brethren, I am a
Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am on trial for the hope and
resurrection of the dead! (Acts 23:6)
Thus Paul was asserting his belief in the resurrection
of Christ as the central truth of the gospel message, which he later
1Corinthians 15 explaining that
if Christ has not been raised, then
our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. (1Cor 15:14)...
But now Christ has been raised from the
dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. (1Cor 15:20)
Christ's resurrection is the first
of the harvest to eternal life and guarantees that all of the saints
who have died will be resurrected also.
In Romans Paul explains how a
believer's union with Christ's death, burial and resurrection result
in a new quality of life no longer dominated by the power of sin. Paul
explains that believers
have been buried with Him through baptism
into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the
the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life."
Peter was an
eyewitness of not only His glory (2Pe 1:16, 17, 18-note;
but also of
His resurrected body from the dead (1Cor 15:5 which seems to suggest a
private "audience", Lk 24:36-49 Jn 20:19,26, 21:7,14, Acts
Luke uses anastasis
figuratively recording that after Simeon blessed Jesus' parents, he
said "to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the
fall and rise (anastasis) of many in Israel, and
for a sign to be opposed". (Lk 2:34)
To those who reject Him, Jesus becomes a Stone of stumbling (1Pe 2:8-note)
and those who confess Him as Lord and Savior are "raised...up
with Him and seated...with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ
Jesus" (see note
The Greek word anastasis
is used only four times in the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Hebrew
OT, but none of these uses clearly describes the resurrection.
Nevertheless the resurrection is taught in the Old
Testament, for the writer of Hebrews tells us that
Abraham believed in the resurrection, writing that "He considered
that God is able to raise men even from the dead; from which he also
received him (Isaac in Ge 22:122)
back as a type." (He 11:19-note)
Isaiah records that
Your dead will live; their corpses
will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, for your
dew is as the dew of the dawn, and the earth will give birth to the
departed spirits. (Isaiah 26:19)
as for me, I know that my Redeemer
lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth. Even after
my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God. (Job 19:25,
In Daniel we read that
many of those who sleep in the dust
of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to
disgrace and everlasting contempt. (Da 12:2)
Thus Daniel gives us a preview of two distinct
resurrections which are explained in more detail in the New Testament
Philpot Devotional (June 21)...
The resurrection of Jesus Christ
was God's grand attestation to the truth of his divine mission and
Sonship, for by it he was "declared to be the Son of God with power."
It therefore set a divine stamp upon his sacrifice, blood shedding,
and death; showed God's acceptance of his offering; and that sin was
thus forever put away. Now, just think what would have been the
dreadful consequences if Christ had not been raised from the dead, or
if we had no infallible proofs (Acts 1:3) of his resurrection. There
would have been, there could have been no forgiveness of sin (1Co
15:17); and therefore, when the conscience became awakened to a sense
of guilt and condemnation, there could have been nothing before it but
black and gloomy despair. But Christ being raised from the dead and
having gone up on high to be the High Priest over the house of God,
and the Holy Spirit bearing witness of this both in the word and
through the word to the soul, a door of hope is opened even in the
very valley of Achor. The Holy Spirit, who would not have been given
had not Christ risen from the dead and gone to the Father, now comes
and testifies of him to the soul, takes of the things which are his,
reveals them to the heart, and raises up faith to look unto and
believe in him as the Son of God, and thus, according to the measure
of the revelation, it abounds in hope through the power of the Holy
Spirit (Ro 15:13-note).