Saturday, 29 August 2009

Hope of righteousness and blessed hope

3 more aspects of Christian hope to meditate on, as we continue reading from the New Testament:

a) Our hope is to be finally declared ‘not guilty’ in the presence of God:
“But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” (Gal 5:5-6).

Although we have already been justified, we have yet to stand before God and receive His proclamation of this truth. Although we have already been justified, our sanctification is an ongoing process worked out through the Spirit. Although we have already been justified, our future glorification has yet to take place, when we will be clothed in robes of righteousness.

b) Our blessed hope is the appearing of Christ Jesus:

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘no’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (Tit 2:11-14)
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Pe 1:13).
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” (1 John 3:2-3)

Not only will Christ Jesus appear in glory, we will also be transformed when he appears, what an awesome thought! I think the gospel is pretty much summed up in this verse from Hebrews: “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” (Heb 9:27-28). Let us continue to watch, wait and pray for our Lord’s appearing, and let us not be deceived as the time draws near.

c) Our faith and knowledge rest on our hope:
“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God’s elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – a faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, and at his appointed season he brought his word to light through the preaching entrusted to me by the command of God our Saviour” (Tit 1:1-3). If our faith and knowledge rest on the hope of eternal life, then we must endeavour not to neglect this hope. The more we build up our hope of eternal life, then the more our faith and knowledge will also be built up.

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