Jesus Finished Work 

What is the Hope of the Gospel?
by John Fazio

I want to talk about hope and specifically about the hope that God has given in Christ. What is it and why is it important? Why don’t we hear more preaching in pulpits about the hope of the gospel? Paul said, we are saved by hope. That sounds important to Paul and it does to me as well.

Hope is about desire. Whether it’s in a positive or negative sense, it is always about desire.

If I say, I hope to get the new iPhone, it’s because I have a desire to have it. Once I have it, I wouldn’t describe it as hope anymore. The day after I get the new iPhone, I no longer hope to get it.

Paul said it this way in Romans 8, that hope that is seen is no longer hope, why would you hope for what you already see (something that has already manifested, in context). I want to speak about this entire passage in Romans 8 but for right now, let me just say that Paul’s statement about hope is true in any context of hope, just like it is in our iPhone example.

In order to understand how and why Paul says we are saved by hope, we must see that the hope we see in the scriptures cannot be understood in terms of worldly hope.

HELPS Greek definitions says: Hope: 1680 elpís (from elpō, "to anticipate, welcome") – properly, expectation of what is sure (certain);

The worlds hope has no certainty at all.

Paul calls God, “the God of hope” in Romans 15:13. There are quite a few, what I call “the God of…” quotes in scripture and when I think about what they mean; I see that God is the true source of and the only one who can give (serve) you those things as a certainty.

For instance, another one of “the God of’s” is “He is the God of peace.” And when Jesus said, “my peace I give to you, not as the world gives…”, He’s telling them there is a difference between what the world supplies and what God gives and serves you with. Like peace, the worlds hope gives no certainty. The hope that God gives is the expectation of what is certain (sure).

Faith is the Word that God has spoken in Christ and Jesus was the author and finisher of faith.

Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1 is saying that the faith that Jesus authored and finished, in His death, burial and resurrection; in Him, the Word made flesh, is the substance, of the things hoped for; the evidence (the certainty) of things not (yet) seen.

Do you see its speaking about how the Word (the faith) that God spoken in Jesus has brought forth hope; which is a certainty that can dwell in your heart even before a thing is seen?

And that hope is the fruit of the word that God has spoken in Christ that brings certainty to the thing you have always desired (life).

Without this understanding, you will not see the hope that the scripture speaks about in the context. So, with that in mind lets look at some of these verses and passages.

Proverbs 13:12: Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

I wanted to start with this one because many have used this verse to say if anyone preaches about something that is in the future or has yet to manifest, they are preaching hope deferred.

The thing that was making man’s heart sick was sin and death. The desire in the heart of man was for life. And as we’ve stated, the hope that God gives is the certainty of the thing we desire. In the case of scripture, it is speaking about man’s desire for life.

The hope that the world gives is uncertain. The hope of one laboring and toiling to give themselves life, is uncertain and it makes the heart sick.

The tree of life is speaking about the hope that God gives, in Christ. The sure hope of life and immortality we see in Christ as our inheritance.

The bottom-line for the worlds hope is that it is “always” hope deferred, because of its uncertainty; and it actually contains the certainty of death.

So, what is this verse in Proverbs saying?

Hope that is uncertain makes the heart sick:

Hope that the world gives is uncertain and makes the heart sick:

The only hope of a man who feels orphaned in the earth to labor by the sweat of his own brow is uncertain and makes the heart sick:

BUT

The hope that God gives is a certainty and it is a tree of life.

when you see the thing (the life) your heart has always desired is a certainty (in Christ), it is a tree of life.

Proverbs 13:12: Hope that is uncertain makes the heart sick: but when the thing your heart has always desired becomes a certainty, it is a tree of life (It is the hope that only God can give [serve you with]).

The Word that God spoken in Christ contains the hope, the certainty of the life your heart has always longed for.

Now let’s look at Romans 8:18-25

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Rather than explain this verse by verse I want to point out a few things that are important to hope and what the hope is.

So, in verse 18, I want you to see that the glory “shall”, future tense, be revealed.

In Verse 19, the earnest expectation is the hope, of all creation, because (verse 20 says) the creature was made subject to vanity (vanity: to labor without benefit), and they have this same hope as the one who made them subject to it.

How did all creation become subject to vanity?

Verse 20 is speaking about what we see described here in Genesis:

Genesis 3:17-19

17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

And verse 21 tells you that hope is to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Verse 23, says and “we” who have the same hope, have the firstfruits of the Spirit (the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of life whereby we cry Abba Father) groan waiting for the adoption, that is the redemption of our bodies.

Why is this is important? Because Paul says in Romans 15:13 that it is by the Holy Spirit that we abound in hope. Think about that. The Holy Spirit is busy in you, speaking a word to your heart that you abound in hope (in certainty).

For the Holy Spirit to speak to our hearts that we abound is hope should alone tell it’s importance.

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit that makes the redemption of our bodies a certainty, and that certainty when we see Him, we will be like Him, and we will run into his arms and not cower away in fear. (the Spirit where we have no more bondage again to fear; Rom 8:15).

1 John 3:2-3
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know (are certain!!) that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope (certainty) in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Romans 8, Verse 24: We are saved by hope. How? By the Word that God has spoken in Christ, that gives you the certainty (the hope) of the same life.

The certainty (The Hope) contains the power to deliver you from the corruption in the world through sin, daily (today), and the power for your flesh to rest (today) in the hope (certainty) of the same life and immortality you see in the resurrected Jesus, the Word made flesh.

Romans 8, Verse 25 speaks about how hope is a word that produces patience. Why? Because of certainty. You could never patiently wait for something that is uncertain. But verse 25 is saying that the hope is a word that God has spoken in Christ. a certainty whereby you wait patiently.

Paul also tells us this in Galatians 5:5: For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

He is saying: For we who have been born from the Word (Spirit) that God has spoken in Christ; can wait patiently knowing with all certainty (hope) that the life and immortality revealed in the resurrection of Jesus will also be revealed in us.

This passage in Romans 8 is telling you that you are the possessor of life because you have the Spirit of life, the Spirit of adoption and the certainty of that life that you possess right now, brings forth the fruit of patience where you rest, in the redemption of your body.

So, I want to close with this. Jesus was also saved by hope. The One, who is our testimony, was also saved by hope. Jesus testimony is the spirit of all prophecy.

In Psalm 16 and later in Acts 2 when Peter preaches it speaks about how Jesus flesh rested in hope. Let’s look at what His hope was.

Psalm 16
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

Jesus said His flesh rested in hope (in certainty) because God promised that He would not leave Him in the grave or allow Him to see corruption.

Remember that Paul said in Romans 8 that the hope of man and all creation is to be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Jesus had this promise from the father.

The word that God spoke about not leaving Jesus in the grave or allowing Him to see corruption was the hope (the certainty) that Jesus heart was persuaded of, that allowed His flesh to rest in that hope.

Jesus saw that the Father had given Him “His” own testimony in the volume of the book, that it was written about Him.

And the verse right before this in Psalm 16 says: I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

This reminds me of what Paul said about Abraham in Romans 4:18, when he said who against hope believed in hope.

Who against the word that his dying body and the deadness of Sarah's womb could bring to him, he considered that not! But looked to the hope (the certainty) of God who had promised, and to God who can call things that are not as though they were.

In the same way, Jesus did not consider the death that manifested in His body on the cross but (set before Him) the Word that the Father had spoken about His life (testified to Him about His life as the Son and not being left in the grave or seeing corruption). And that word was the hope that put His flesh to rest; to say, Abba into your hands do I trust My life.

I want to close by expounding on two verses.

Gal 2:20 could just as easily have said...

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but the Word of eternal life that was from the beginning and was made immortal flesh in the resurrection lives in me: and the life which I now live in my flesh rests in the hope (certainty) made flesh in Jesus; the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

And Paul’s statement that we are saved by hope can be best understood this way:

We are saved by the certainty (the hope) revealed the Word made flesh in Jesus, that we are (present tense) delivered from bondage of death and corruption in the world; having our hearts persuaded of this, our flesh goes to rest in (hope) the certainty that even should death manifest in our bodies we shall be raised immortal and dwell in a new heaven and new earth where there is no longer any remnant of sin and death.

The hope of the gospel is found in the certainty of the promise of eternal life that was from the beginning and that was made immortal flesh in the resurrection of Jesus; to give us that certainty of the promise of same life revealed in us.

This hope will remain until all sin and death is removed from the earth.

 

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