April 23, 2014- 8:18pm
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What a HOPE we have in Jesus Christ!!!

One of the biggest differences between the unbeliever and the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is HOPE. The unbeliever only has hope in what he himself can produce. He is bound by his own abilities, his own personality, and his circumstances. He has no hope beyond what he can provide for himself and his family through the resources available to him in the work-a-day world.

Contrast that with the believer’s hope! Our hope is not limited to our own ability, but extends to the power and strength of a supernatural God. It is not only in the resources of our Sovereign Lord as He deals with us in this life, but also in what He has promised us in the world to come. The Bible says that even if our hope is in Christ, if it does not extend beyond this short life on earth, then we are of all men most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:19)

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is 1 John 3:2-3. Here we quote it from a version thought by many to be closer to the intention of the original writers than any other — the American Standard Version: “Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is. And every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”

The Apostle John is stating that when we have the hope of the return of Jesus “set” in our hearts, we will make the decisions and do the kinds of things that will keep us in the closest relationship possible to our Lord. To have the hope of the return of the Lord “set” on us, we must keep it fresh in our thoughts. We must study often the Scriptures that reveal that Jesus is coming back to receive unto Himself those that believe in Him. (John 14:1-3, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, etc.) We must cultivate an attitude that reminds us every day that today might be the day that Jesus returns.

When we do that, it will make a marked difference in our lives. Every true believer has a desire for a growing relationship with his Lord. We all want to be as close to the Lord as we possibly can, and to draw closer and closer each day that we live. That’s exactly what John is referring to when he says that with that hope set on us, we will purify ourselves, even as he is pure. The word “purify” in 1 John 3 refers to a ceremonial cleansing — a moral, or spiritual purity. The whole of Scripture tells us that we cannot spiritually purify ourselves, especially to the extent that Jesus is pure. So what John is saying is that having the hope of the return of the Lord set on us will cause us to make the kinds of decisions and do the kinds of things that will enable us to receive the holiness and purity that Jesus offers us in place of our own sin and failure. What a HOPE we have in Jesus Christ!!

Dean St. Cyr

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