“Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;”
(1 Timothy 1:1)
When we hear or use the term hope, we normally think of a desire for an outcome that remains uncertain. We hope we get the job we applied for. We hope we did well on an exam. We hope the medical test results come back showing that nothing serious is wrong with us. This use of the term is common in modern English, but the term translated hope in the New Testament carries a very different idea. In the New Testament, the Christian’s hope is an eager anticipation of, and certain expectation for, the things God has promised to those who love and trust Him. The Bible assures us that this hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5) because he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). It is important to understand that, as with our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30), our hope is not some abstract thing but an actual, personal, some One. As today’s text tells us, that One is the Son of God. As the living Word of God made flesh (John 1:1-2, 14; Revelation 19:13), all of God’s promises to us are in Him “Yes and Amen!” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Our Lord is not only the Divine Messenger sent from God, He is the focal point of the message itself. He is the embodiment of the Gospel, the good news that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). He is not only the Messenger and the Message, He is the way to redemption, the forgiveness of sins and the future glorification of the believer. “I am the way,” said Jesus, “the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Amazingly, our Lord is not only the path to eternal blessedness, He Himself is the goal also! To be like Jesus is the blessed hope of every believer. The beloved disciple declared with full assurance: “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” (1 John 3:2). Even now as we behold the glory of God, which is Christ Jesus our Lord (Hebrews 1:1-3), we are being transformed into the same image (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). Today, as we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2), let us also remember that “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved,” wrote Paul, “let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1). May these things be so, for God’s glory, and for the edification and sanctification of Christ’s redeemed body and bride.