GRACE TRUTH MINISTRIES
We are a ministry declaring God's Grace in Truth.





DR. HAWKER'S DEFINITION OF HOPE

by ROBERT HAWKER

In the strict and proper sense of the word, this is Christ; for He, and He only, as the prophet as described Him, "is the Hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof." (Jer. 14:8) And, indeed, this view must be uniformly preserved and kept up, because without an eye to Christ, there can be no such thing as hope, for all our whole nature is in its universal circumstances," without God and without hope in the world." (Eph. 2:12) And it is very blessed to turn over the Scriptures of God, and behold the Lord Jesus Christ set forth under this endearing character, in a great variety of figures and representations throughout the Bible. Jesus was the grand hope of the Old Testament believers before His incarnation. They all, like Abraham, "saw His day afar off," rejoiced, and were glad; (John 8:56) and, like him, amongst all the discouraging circumstances they had to encounter, "against hope, they believed in hope." (Rom. 4:18) Hence, though the longing expectation of the Church, as Solomon expressed it, was like "hope deferred, which maketh the heart sick;" (Prov. 13:12) yet, as Jeremiah was commissioned to tell the Church, there was still "hope in the end, saith the Lord, that the children of Christ should come to their border." Christ, therefore, being held up to the Church's views as the hope of His redeemed, is set forth under various similitudes corresponding to this character. His people are called "prisoners of hope." (Zech. 9:12) And the apostle Paul, under the same figure, calls himself the Lord's prisoner, and saith, it is for "the hope of Israel I am bound with a chain." (Acts 28:20) And elsewhere he describes it under the strong metaphor of "an anchor to the soul, both sure and stedfast." (Heb. 6:19) In short, Christ the only hope of eternal life, to which we "are begotten, by His resurrection from the dead." (1 Pet. 1:3) In Him our flesh is said to "rest in hope," (Ps. 16:9; Acts 2:26) when returning to the dust; and all our high expectations of life and immortality are expressed, in "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ." (Titus 2:13) As Christ then is the only true hope the Scriptures speak of, it is very evident that every other hope, not founded on Christ, is and must be deceitful. The world is full of hope, and the life of carnal and ungodly men is made up of it. But what saith the Scriptures of all such? "The hope of the hypocrite," (Job 27:8) saith Job, "shall be cut off, and his trust shall be as a spider's web." (Job 8:13,14) So that the hope of the faithful, which is Christ Himself, affords the only well grounded confidence for the life that now is, and that which is to come. And "this hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost." (Rom. 5:5) It is founded in Christ, and is, indeed, Christ formed in the heart, "the hope of glory." (Col. 1:27)




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