A statement that is often made but is incorrect is, "I hope so." For what is usually meant is that one would like to have something happen. The word "hope," however, means, as Webster's dictionary shows, "To desire with expectation." Still more, Webster adds, "Trust, reliance."
That is what we must understand when we read what is written in I Peter 1:13 . There he wrote, "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ."
Here Peter has in mind hoping for the revelation of Christ. In His grace - that is, as a free gift - God promises us that Christ will come back to this earth in order to bring us into the glory of His Kingdom with all its blessedness. Our hope is the absolute and certain expectancy that we will enjoy all that blessedness.
But note also that Peter tells us to be sober in order to hope. To be sober means not being drunken by the teaching of Satan that by sinning we can be like God ( Gen. 3:1-5 ). He got Adam and Eve to sin by means of that lie, and is constantly deceiving men by that lie today.
The perfect hope is expecting the wonderful change which Christ is going to realize in us, bringing our bodies out of the grave, and uniting us with body and soul in covenant fellowship with God. The perfect hope gives our souls comfort. It is so necessary in the days that lie ahead when the Antichrist is here. Unbelievers are striving for that, namely, to be as gods in this present world, by man's inventions and fleshly procedures.
But hope for the coming of Christ, and you will enjoy the blessedness of the kingdom wherein we will live with God in heavenly blessedness. The perfect hope will bring the blessedness of a perfect kingdom.
Read: I Peter 1 .
Quote for Reflection:
It is well, therefore, that we never forget the proper place of the law in Reformed preaching. I always must serve only as a rule for a life of thankfulness to God for the great salvation which He has sovereignly wrought in Christ Jesus, and equally sovereignly bestowed upon His people. The effect of the preaching of the law may never be that the people of God attempt to add to the righteousness which they have in Christ, and that they begin to imagine that their own good works have anything to do with their salvation, except as a fruit of thankfulness wrought by the grace of God in their hearts. The righteousness of Christ is perfect. No one can ever add to it. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and ye shall be saved. Such is the truth. No preaching of the law can or ever may detract from that truth. ...The fruit of such preaching is rather, in the first place, a deepening of the knowledge of sin and a more earnest appreciation by faith of the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord, in Whom we have reconciliation and the forgiveness of sin and perfect righteousness. ...Secondly, the proper preaching of the law has through the grace of God a sanctifying influence upon the Christian.
~ Herman Hoeksema
- Date: 25-September