We’re on a journey through the Hebrew words from the Old Testament that we translate into English as “hope.” So far we’ve talked about hope as expectation. Part two is focused on yâchal hope.
This past Sunday night I took our church through a study of the Hebrew words that we translate as “hope.” Hope is in short supply in our world, even in our churches. There is a lot to learn from how the writers of Scripture understood the concept of hope. I’ll share a different thought in each post this week.
While reading materials, blog posts and Tweets today, I ran across a familiar word several times. When we talk about the message we have of God’s love, Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, and the Spirit’s work in our lives, we tend to use the term “gospel.” But are we really doing justice to the term as we use it today? Or are we throwing the Gospel out into the world where it collides with unrealistic expectations and preconceived notions?
Before the holidays I started a discussion on the implications and uses of Romans 8:1. The first post reminded us that there is hope in Christ that when we sin, we are not condemned again and lose our salvation. Rather, having been made new in Christ and striving to live a life of holiness, we can be confident that we are in the hands of God and His grace extends to us when we fail, for we shall certainly do so until the day He returns or we are taken to be with Him.
I am reading my second title of the new year, and it has spurred me on to finish this thought started so long ago. The book is “The Pursuit of Holiness” by Jerry Bridges, and you will see a review of the book here when I finish reading it. For now, though, let us continue our thoughts on Romans 8:1.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…
(Romans 8:1, NIV)
Most Christan adults have read or heard this verse, written by Paul to the church in Rome. It is a verse that is quickly set to memory, and so finds itself quoted often.
I think, though, that this statement is often misused. Is it true? Indeed…and its truth is powerful and essential to our lives. The trouble comes when we misunderstand what is said, resulting in terrible misapplication.
We started some thoughts on whether it is good for us to long to physically see Christ while we live on this earth. For whatever reason, many have come to believe that they must see Him. Some believe that it will be a sort of seal of approval on their conversion. Others believe that you cannot truly profess to be a Christian until you have seen Him.
There are few in the New Testament who saw Christ following His ascension into the clouds. We talked about two of them in the previous post. Let’s look at one more, and then see if we can tell why they were allowed to see Jesus.