The Hope in Christ's Resurrection
Heb 6:11-12 says, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Paul tells the Hebrew Christians to excel still more. He previously commended their work and love toward God and the saints (v. 10). But now he calls them to overcome temptations to sluggishness in the Christian life. How can they persevere in diligence to live faithfully? By realizing the full assurance of hope until the end.
So, how do you gain this full assurance of hope? There are two main foundations of hope for the believer. First, the integrity of God, and second, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
1. First, believe in the integrity of God to live in hope. God does not lie. It is impossible for God to lie. That is why we love the Bible. Every word is inspired by God and absolutely true forever. So Paul said to the Hebrews:
“For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.” And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise.For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as confirmation is an end of every dispute. In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 6:13-20).”
What is the foundation of the full assurance of hope? It is that God has promised, and that God has given His covenant oath to keep His promise. These are the two unchangeable things which give assurance to take hold of, to grasp and never let go, of the hope set before us. God’s Word is the anchor of the soul. When you become a Christian, you do not trust in the strength of your faithfulness to have hope, you trust in the integrity of God to be faithful. And the odd thing is this: when you trust in God’s faithfulness, your faith and assurance of hope grows stronger. But there is even more assurance of hope.
2. Second, as if God’s promised Word were not enough to give us hope, He has given us the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Like a boat carries an anchor for a ship into the inner harbor to anchor it, Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to anchor our soul. This sure and certain hope anchors our soul to live with a sure and certain hope while on earth. Therefore, by believing in Him and His resurrected work, we take hold of this hope each day.
Paul told the Ephesians that the same power by which God the Father raised Jesus from the dead is the same power by which He works faith in the believer’s heart in Ephesians 1:19-23:
“And what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”
This second foundation of hope is the fact that after the crucifixion of Christ in atonement for sin, God raised Him from the dead as He promised and showed the supernatural power He has to cause all things to work together for good for the believer in Him. And not only that, but He seated our resurrected and ascended Christ at the Father’s right hand to rule over all things in heaven and on earth for the good of His church, His people, His body.
It is our daily faith in this truth that gives us the full assurance of hope: that the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead is just as sufficient to bring us to our final inheritance. Therefore, with a sure and certain hope in God, not ourselves, we live diligently to the end.
If these things do not give you hope while living in this world, nothing will. The hopes of this earthly life are doomed to be infected with sin and failure in some way. But the hope that is placed by faith in Jesus Christ knows that the riches of God’s grace and eternal life are as sure and certain as our Lord’s resurrection from the dead and are not worthy to be compared to the disappointments and sufferings of this life.
Believing this each day brings a sure and certain hope for the future and peace of mind on earth, no matter the circumstances. This brings assurance that God is for you and not against you any more. This brings perseverance to be faithful to Him no matter what is happening in your life. For if Jesus Christ rose from the dead, which He did, God is able to bring to your heart a sure and certain hope in Him that will carry you through this life faithfully into the next, where hope becomes sight.
Rom 15:13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”