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October 17, 2012

1 TIMOTHY 1:1 COMMENTARY – “CHRIST JESUS OUR HOPE”- Paul begins his epistle reminding Timothy that HOPE (elpis – Gk word study) is not just a wonderful Biblical principle, but is a Biblical Person named “Wonderful” (Isa 9:6). Our Biblical Hope is not an ABSTRACT CONCEPT, but an ALIVE CHRIST (1Ti 1:1-note). “Christ (is) in (us) the HOPE (the unshakeable assurance) of (our future) glory (“The spring of our actions, the central thought which moves every other thought”-Spurgeon)” (Col 1:27-note). David affirms “My HOPE is in YOU.” (Ps 39:7-note) The Psalmist asks “Why are you in despair, O my soul?” answering that his soul should “HOPE in God for I shall again praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” (Ps 43:5-note) Jeremiah agrees writing “The LORD is my portion (my inheritance),’ says my soul, “Therefore I have HOPE in Him.” (Lam 3:24-note) Indeed “hope springs eternal in the human breast” but only for those safe in Him, in “Christ Jesus our Hope,” for life with Him is an endless HOPE, but without Him a HOPELESS end. Spurgeon affirms that “Christ is our HOPE. We have not a shadow of a HOPE apart from Him. I remember seeing on a CROSS the words “Spes unica,” (which means) “THE UNIQUE, THE ONLY HOPE” of man & that is true of the CROSS of Christ & of CHRIST Who suffered on it, He (Alone) is our HOPE.” The HOPE Christ gives us is not a lost world’s “HOPE SO” but a saved saint’s “HOPE SURE,“ because it is founded on the finished work and final word of Christ Jesus (“It is finished” Jn 19:30-note).
 Jesus alluded to our HOPE when He declared to His disciples that “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself that where I am there you may be also.” (Jn 14:3-note) This “HOPE (which Christ) set before us…(is) an anchor of (our) SOUL (which is like a ship tossed to & fro by the trials of this present life and yet is stabilized by the anchor of “good hope by grace” 2Th 2:16-note), a HOPE (a sure promise that we will live FOREVER in the presence of, in perfect union with “Christ Jesus our Hope” Who is) both sure (non-tottering) & steadfast (will not break down under stress or strain), a (Hope) which enters within the veil (into the Holy of Holies in Heaven!), where Jesus (our Great High Priest) has entered as a forerunner (One Who makes sure the way is perfectly prepared) for us.” (Heb 6:17, 18, 19-20-notes). This present HOPE of future “grace to be brought to (us) at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:13-note) enables us to be mentally & spiritually well-balanced & self-controlled, guarding our mind like “a helmet, the HOPE of salvation (which provides assurance & security that deflects the enemy’s deceitful darts aimed at our mind & seeking to cause us despair [hopelessness], discouragement & doubt).” (1Th 5:8-note, cp Ep 6:17-note, Isa 59:17) Indeed, “the nearer to heaven in HOPES, the farther from earth in desires” (Gurnall), for “when HOPE animates us there is a vigor in the whole body.” (Calvin) Jesus prayed for us to be set apart (sanctified) by truth, explaining that the Word of God was the truth we needed (Jn 17:17-note) to counter the lies of the world, the flesh and the devil. In a world growing increasingly anti-Christian, we all need to have our minds renewed by the truth of the “BLESSED HOPE which is the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus” (Titus 2:13-note), daily reminding our hearts that this present world is neither our home nor our hope but that “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness” and that “We dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ Name”, “Christ Jesus our HOPE” (1Ti 1:1), our only Hope, our “Holy Hope”!
Father, by Your sweet Spirit enable us to daily, continually, keep our EYES FIXED ON JESUS (Heb 12:2-note), so that we might set our hearts on Him, our HOPE, continually looking forward with expectancy and delight to our sure glorious future with Him, even asking that “the God of HOPE fill (each of us) with all joy and peace in believing, so that (we) may abound in HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Ro 15:13-note) Amen.
 The powerful song A MIGHTY FORTRESS has a great reminder…

 A Mighty Fortress is our God
 A Sacred Refuge is Your Name (God of Hope)
 Your Kingdom is unshakeable
 With You FOREVER we will reign (Our Hope)
 We will keep our eyes on You (Jesus our Hope)
 We will keep our eyes on You
 So we can set our hearts on You
 Lord, we will set our hearts on You (Jesus)!

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