The Unity Worthy of Our Calling – 3
“THE ONE HOPE THAT BELONGS TO YOUR CALL”
1. “We’re all headed to the same place” is a demand for unity.
2. “As there is also one hope held out in God’s call to you...” (NEB)
a. We are called by the gospel. (2 Thes. 2:14)
b. When we obey it, we become the called. (Rom. 1:6)
c. We are then to live up to our calling. (Eph. 4:1)
3. What is the one hope? Why is it a powerful aspect of our calling? How do we go about living “in a manner of equal value with” it?
1. The gospel enters the world of no hope
a. Eph. 2:12 – “...having no hope and without God in the world.”
b. A comment on the thought that starts here: “No passage in the New Testament could be more relevant to the closing decades of the twentieth century than this magnificent statement of the one hope for our race. The world that we know and inhabit is fallen, divided, suspicious, and full of the possibility and threat of self-destruction.” (Ralph P. Martin, Ephesians, 32)
c. It was not that they had no interest in hope, or that they did not desire for it. It is that they were looking for hope in all the wrong places – in gods they could manipulate.
i. Ephesus as the chief city of Asia
ii. Artemis of the Ephesians
(1) The “Ephesian Grammata”
(2) The signs of the Zodiac and the practice of astrology
iii. Spiritual powers and magic
d. “No hope” means there was nothing to expect and no basis for expecting it.
i. Acts 27:20 – “...all hope of our being saved was at last abandoned.”
ii. Hope is the “desire of some good with expectation of obtaining it.”
2. The church hopes in Christ
a. Eph. 2:5 – The church is the dead who have been made alive together with Christ.
i. “We who were the first to hope in Christ” (Eph. 1:12)
ii. “The hope to which he has called you...when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand” (Eph. 1:18, 20)
iii. “The helmet of [the hope of] salvation” (Eph. 6:17; 1 Thes. 5:8)
b. Rom. 8:24 – The church has a way of life that is characterized by hoping.
i. Hope tends toward increasing purity of character. (1 Jn. 3:3)
ii. Hope tends toward patient endurance in service. (1 Thes. 1:3)
iii. Hope tends toward remarkable stability in trouble. (Heb. 6:18-19; Rom. 5:5)
3. The hope that belongs to our call. If Christ is the reason for our expectation of good, what is the good that we expect?
a. We have the hope of heaven, eternal life.
i. Col. 1:5
ii. Heb. 6:19-20
iii. Tit. 1:2; 2:13; 3:7
b. We have the hope of the redemption of the body in the resurrection.
i. Acts 23:6
ii. Rom. 8:23-24
iii. Phil. 3:20-21
c. We have the hope of the providence of God in this life.
i. Matt. 28:20
ii. Heb. 13:5-6
iii. 2 Tim. 4:17
1. We need not live “as others do who have no hope” (1 Thes. 4:13).
2. “If hope has no power to weld into a single unit, it is not hope.”
3. Heb. 10:23-24 – Hope is what brings us together.