We believe the Bible.  We proclaim the Gospel.
We love one another.  We exalt Jesus Christ. 

8400 W Beloit Rd., West Allis, WI 53227

A Living Hope

Hope, who does not want it? Who can possibly live without it? Why do we need it? Hope seems like it would be a slippery thing to hang onto as a hand grasps oil. Could we get a grip on it that we could own it? Hope, used as a noun or a verb, can be used as an action word as something that might happen, or can be used for something centered around something that might happen. Our Bibles use the word in a way that believers can count on because the promises of God, the One who cannot lie. (Titus 1:2) I would like to talk a little about the word HOPE today, and Lord willing, the word JOY next week.

    Hope is mentioned some 48 times in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul mentions hope some 31 times in his epistles. In the English dictionary we can find a definition like a desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment. But as believers in Christ Jesus, we can confidently say that it is a FULL assurance and confident expectation that good things WILL happen. So how can we be sure of that? And if we can find something assuring us of a great, real, something we can really count on, assuredly could there be anything we could be more grateful for than that God has so loved us as to give us the hope of eternal life. Promises like John 3:16 surely come to mind, to remind us of that great hope in Christ we have.

    In 1Peter1:3, the Apostle Peter states that because of His great mercy He has caused us to be born again to a living HOPE through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. God is the One responsible for giving us this hope. He is the God of hope, (Rom.15:3) it is a blessed hope, (Titus 2:13), and Christ Jesus who is our hope (1Tim.1:1), and through regeneration, has caused us to be guaranteed of a living hope. Once we were in the world without God and without hope. (Eph.2:12). But we have a living hope now. In the past we were dead in our transgressions and the uncircumcision of our flesh, but He made us alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions. (Col.2:13) He has defeated death for us by raising Him from the dead, and as Romans 6:3,5 remind us, "If we have been baptized into Christ Jesus we have been baptized into His death, and if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be united with Him in the likeness of His resurrection." The Apostle Paul staggers us with this statement, "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." (Rom.15:13)

    Our hope is sure, it is a confident certainty, it is indisputably, undoubtably, undeniably a characteristic that all believer’s share. Why? Because He is faithful and just, faithful to the covenant He has established, just, so as not to condemn us since Jesus Himself is the propitiation for our sins. (1John2:2) And because of His sustaining grace, that meets us at our point of need and equips us with courage, wisdom, and strength. Sustaining grace does not promise the absence of struggles, but it does promise the presence of God. A rock solid, massive, out cropping that we can surely hold onto and never fear of letting go, because He holds us by His righteous right hand (Isa.41:10) our wonderful God of hope. So, we can all say with the great prophet Jeremiah, "The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I have hope."(Lam.3:24) Remember Christ in you, the HOPE of glory. (Col.1:27)


Elder Randy Slak