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1 Cor. 13:4-13

I want to direct your attention back to vs. 13.

The apostle Paul says, “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest is love.

 We all know how important “faith” is.

And we all know how important “love” is.

 But now, what about “hope?” Of the three, “hope” is probably the least talked about and yet, the Bible indicates that it has an essential part of, not only our Christian walk, but also our salvation.

First of all we need to understand what “hope” is.

This word “hope” here literally means “a confident expectation.” It is a certainty!

Listen, we “all fall short of the glory of God”; there are none perfect…but if we are “walking in the light as He Himself is in the light”; if we are living a faithful life in service to Christ, our “hope” is not based on how perfectly we walk; it is based on how “perfectly” Christ walked.

And look at what the apostle Paul says in Titus 1:1-2. He says,  Paul, a bond-servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago,

Now, It may be that some need to repent, and they may need to be more obedient, but for those who are daily “keeping the faith and fighting the good fight”, don’t say, “I hope God will save me.”

Now, let me show you how important, how essential your “hope in Christ” is. Look with me at 1 Thess. 1 starting in vs. 2. The apostle Paul says:

  We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the presence of our God and Father, 4 knowing, brethren beloved by God, His choice of you;

Look at this Paul says, “Even as faith produces work; even as love produces labor; in the same way hope produces steadfastness; endurance; perseverance; or patience.

In the last 2 years, as God’s people, we have been through a lot.

And then individually some of you have experienced and are continuing to experience serious health issues; and some of you have lost family members and friends that are close to you.

Look at this found in 1 John 3:3. John says: And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He (our Lord) is pure.

What is it that motivates us from giving in to those temptations?

Look at Romans 8:24-25:  For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

In vs. 24 the Greek actually says, “For by hope we were saved.”

And then Paul goes on to says in vs. 25 that we haven’t realized what we “hope” for, but with “perseverance we eagerly wait for it.”

I guess that is what puzzles me today. For some here this morning, I don’t know why you have not come to Christ. But it seems to me if you understand the “hope” that He offers, you would not delay. But if you refuse, well there is no hope.

Look at 1 Thess 4:13: But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve, as do the rest who have no hope.

While those who have not fallen asleep in Christ …well there is  no hope; there is no confidence in the assurances of God, and we are left to hopelessly grieve.

And then another verse that we are all so familiar with, Heb. 11:1: The writer says, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

 So what happens if our faith grows weak? Well, our hope will grow weak.

For the sake of “hope” we should strive daily to keep our “faith” strong; strong by reading and studying our Bibles; by being in the worship assemblies; and by attending Bible classes.

In fact, let’s read Heb. 6:9-12. In the context of this passage some new converts to Christ were being tempted to leave Christianity and go back to Judaism.

But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way. 10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. 11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hope in a heavenly home; hope in salvation; hope in eternal life…motivates us to persevere; motivates us to be pure; motivated us to be saved; gives us comfort in times of sorrow; and motivates us to keep our faith strong.