© 1999 James A. Fowler

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I. Representative Biblical references to "hope"

    Matt. 12:21 - "In His name the Gentiles will hope"
    Rom. 5:2 - "grace...exult in hope of the glory of God"
    Rom. 5:5 - "hope does not disappoint, because love of God poured out within our hearts through         the Holy Spirit given to us"
    Rom. 15:13 - "may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace...that you may abound in hope         by the power of the Holy Spirit"
    I Cor. 15:19 - "if we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are to be pitied"
    II Cor. 3:12 - "having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech"
    Gal. 5:5 - "we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness"
    Eph. 1:18 - "you may know what is the hope of His calling"
    Col. 1:23 - "continue in the faith...not moved away from the hope of the gospel"
    Col. 1:27 - "Christ in you, the hope of glory"
    I Tim. 1:1 - "Christ Jesus who is our hope"
    I Tim. 4:10 -"we have fixed our hope on the living God who is the Savior of all men"
    Titus 1:2 - "the hope of eternal life"
    Titus 2:13 - "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of Christ"
    Heb. 7:19 - "there is a bringing in of a better hope"
    I Pet. 1:3 - "born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ"
    I Pet. 1:13 - "fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus         Christ"
    I Pet. 3:15 - "ready to make a defense ..for the hope that is in you"
    I Jn. 3:3 - "every one who has this hope on Him purifies himself"

II. Defining Christian hope

    A. Christian hope is NOT just:
         1. wishful thinking, dreaming
         2. presumption, "acting as if..."
         3. yearning, longing for
         4. calculated wager, "betting on it"
         5. positive thinking
         6. anticipation, "waiting game"
         7. believing a promise
         8. abeyance of fulfillment
         9. psychological phenomenon
    B. Christian hope is:
         1. confident expectation
             a. Greek verb elpizo - "to expect"
             b. Greek noun elpis - "expectation"
         2. ontologically and personally based
             a. Not hope in some "thing", event, blessing, promise, but in SomeOne!
             b. Person of Jesus Christ - I Tim. 1:1
             c. "Finished work" of Jesus Christ - Jn. 19:30
             d. Living Lord Jesus - I Tim. 4:10
             e. Spiritual reality of Christ
             f. Already and not yet

III. Short history of hope in mankind.

    A. Adam expected God to make full provision for him.
    B. After fall in sin
         1. No hope - Eph. 2:12; I Thess. 4:13
    C. Promise of salvation - Gen. 3:15
    D. Jewish hope
         1. Messianic deliverance
         2. Anticipatory hope
         3. Abeyance of fulfillment
         4. Futuristic
    E. Christian hope in Jesus Christ
         1. Better hope - Heb. 7:19
         2. Actualizing hope

IV. Behavioral Expression of Christian hope - individually

    A. Expectation of Christ's life being lived out in our behavior - Col. 1:27
         1. Grace - Rom. 5:2; I Pet. 1:13
         2. Holy Spirit - Rom. 5:5; 15:13
         3. Fruit of Spirit - Gal. 5:22,23
    B. Present expectation
         1. Not just futuristic anticipation of going to heaven
         2. Much of evangelical theology: Past is forgiven; Future is assured; Present is the "pits"
         3. Christians are to presently expect the life of Christ to function in their behavior.

V. Social implications of Christian hope - interactively

    A. NOT social, cultural, political, ecclesiastical
         1. pessimism, despair, defeatism, depression, survivalism, escapism, isolationism, retreat, gloom              and doom
             a. "all is going to hell in a hand-basket"
             b. "why polish brass on sinking ship"
             c. "doesn't matter who is elected President"
         2. false-hope of reconstructionism, activism, utopian society
    B. Church of Jesus Christ
         1. Loving community
         2. Godly interpersonal relationships
         3. Holy nation - I Pet. 2:9
    C. In society
         1. Impact on world - I Pet. 3:15
         2. Victors, overcomers - Rom. 8:39



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