Wednesday, April 2, 2014
“There is One Hope”
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It’s Wednesday, April 2, 2014, I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all (Eph. 4:4-6).
Today we return to the great pillars of unity. Third in this list of seven “ones” is the one hope to which you were called.
Hope is expectation plus trust and confidence. The Christian’s hope is deeper than something like, “I hope it doesn’t rain today.” Hope – specifically, the hope of eternal life – is that which has been made available to us through the grace and mercy of God. Those in Christ have been “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Pet. 1:3, ESV).
Unlike the previous statement that I gave – “I hope it doesn’t rain today” – the hope that is found in Jesus is something that we can control. Here’s what I mean by that: whether that hope is yours is directly dependent upon whether you obey the commands of God set forth in His Word. This makes sense. We hope for heaven eternal (Col. 1:5), and Jesus says that only those who do the will of the Father will go to heaven (Mat. 7:21).
The Christian’s hope is glorious. Paul calls it “the hope of glory” in Colossians 1:27. Stop and think about heaven for a second. Heaven is a real place, you know, and because you are a New Testament Christian, you’re going there!
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure (1 John 3:1-3).
Hope gives us a reason to live. Yes, there’s pain, persecution, crisis, fear, and a host of other unpleasant things about life, but our hope is the reason why we remain faithful. One day, we’ll be with the Lord forever! One day, we shall see Him as He is! That’s why Paul says, “I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep [that is, those who have passed away in death, RH], lest you sorrow as others who have no hope” (1 Thes. 4:13). We have hope in Christ (1 Cor. 15:12-19), and that fact comforts us regarding our brethren who have already passed from this life and regarding our own selves as we travel through life with struggles and strife.
One last glance at Ephesians 4:4 reveals a very interesting and encouraging truth. Paul says that you were “called in one hope of your calling [emp. mine, RH].” The gospel message calls the lost to come to Jesus (2 Thes. 2:14). The pages of the New Testament reveal our loving Savior saying, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mat. 11:28-30).
Let’s wrap it up: James Watkins is a great gospel preacher who is known for saying, “There is a heaven to gain, and a hell to shun.” That’s true! Nothing is worth losing your soul. Think about the hope that you have in Christ, and consider that this hope is available only to those who are in Him! That’s why Paul says there is but one hope, just like there is one body and one Spirit.
Memory Verse: Turning now to our memory verse, let’s look once again at the seventh chapter of Ezra, verse ten. I’ll say it the first time, then ask you to say it with me.
Ezra 7:10: For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.
Great job! Committing the Word of God to memory is no trite thing. Let’s place God’s Word into our hearts that we might not sin against Him.
Sometime today: Read 1 Peter 3:18-22, and pay special attention to what is said there about Noah. Now here’s a Bible character who’s been getting a lot of attention lately! We’ll talk about Noah tomorrow.
Before I go… I want to tell you about an upcoming debate. This Friday, April 4, Dr. Bart Ehrman will debate Kyle Butt, of Apologetics Press, on this topic: “The Pain and Suffering in the World Indicate that the Christian God Does Not Exist.” Kyle, a New Testament Christian and an apologist, will be denying this proposition. The Light Network will be covering this event from backstage. For more information about our coverage, visit thelightnetwork.tv/debate.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. Archives of this program and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
I need your questions for the future of Q & A Saturday. Do you have a Bible question or thought? Send them to me for this week’s edition of Q & A Saturday! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your question by phone via my Google voicemail number, which is 903-265-4448.
Richard wrote me yesterday and asked about some missing episode transcripts of The New You. It was great to hear from you, Richard, and I’m glad you brought this up! Transcripts of (most of) the episodes of this program are available online at thelightnetwork.tv or at my personal website, roberthatfield.net
I’ll meet you tomorrow for another edition of The New You.
Today, hold on to the hope you have in Jesus! That hope binds us together as God’s people. We’re working toward one goal, and that’s heaven! Stay strong, hang in there, obey God, and we’ll see each other on the other side.