THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

Program Air Date - 8-31-03

LESSON TITLE: THE SEVEN ONES OF UNITY: "THE ONE HOPE"

WELCOME

Let me welcome each of you to our program on this beautiful Lord's Day morning. I hope all of you are well and that you are prospering greatly, in your physical lives according to what you are giving to God spiritually. It is wonderful to be a part of God's family and to have opportunities such as this to come before Him and learn more about what He wants of us, as well as praising His name through song. As we begin our homage to God this morning, won't you bow with me in prayer?

(Prayer)

Many in this life question if there is a God or if there is really anything after this life at all. Others doubt the fact that Jesus ever even existed or that He came to this earth and died for our sins. However, history and revelation confirms for us that we do have a God and Savior who did all these things for us. This morning, let's begin our song of praise by singing a hymn that reminds us of these very facts. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together the song, "Our God, He Is Alive!"

(SONG # 1)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

Who do you call when you have a problem. Maybe you call your father or mother or another family member. Some may talk to their boss or coworker. Others may call their preacher or those who they consider to be able to guide them properly in spiritual things. However, this morning I would like to suggest someone else we can call on in time of need. Someone who is always there and who will never let us down. Someone who can be counted on and who will do what He said. Someone who's phone is never off or who's battery will not run out - obviously that special someone is God!

In Psalm 55:16, King David made the following statement, "As for me, I will call upon God, And the LORD shall save me." Notice here that David said he would call upon the Lord in time of need. I might ask, who better could we call on even today? However, consider what the verse goes on to say. Not only can we call on God when we need Him or when we need His help or assistance, we must also call on Him unto salvation!

This great servant of God realized that salvation was only in and could only be found in the true God of all. Further notice here that he didn't say God might save him or only that He could save Him - David said, "The Lord will save me!" Consider the confidence we can have in God when we are His true and faithful followers. He is there in every aspect of our live, He assist with all of our wants and needs, and ultimately He "WILL" save us if we remain committed to His Word.

Are you calling on the Lord in every way you are required? Do you have the confidence that God will save you when you call on Him if you do your part! May we all learn to trust more in our God and His promises. This morning we are happy to have a guest speaker with us. We are happy to have brother Jim Poland to lead us in our lesson thoughts of the day. Brother Jim is the minister for the Bona Church of Christ, in Bona, Missouri. We appreciate him and his willingness to be with us today.

As far as our lesson, we will again be considering a topic from our series on the, "Seven One's of Unity." Our specific lesson of the day is entitled, "The One Hope." So please stay with us and after our next song together we will return with this study from God's Word. Now let's return to our singing. The name of the next hymn, "When All Of God's Singers Get Home."

(SONG # 2)

LESSON Speaker: Jim Poland

Thank you for tuning in. We've been studying from the book of Ephesians chapter 4, the seven ones that are listed there. "There is one body and one spirit just as we are called and one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all, through all and in you all."

This morning, I want us to look at the one hope of your calling. In Ephesians chapter 4, through one God the Father comes one Lord Jesus Christ revealed to us by the one Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible to be written with the apostles and prophets of the New Testament. From that we get the calling for the one hope for all blessings are from Christ and the revelation of Christ in Ephesians chapter 3 comes in a written form as we may read it and understand it as revealed by the Spirit.

"Hope" defined as a word in the original language of the Greek by one Lexicon is "expectation of good." Another says, "favorable and confident expectations." Webster's definition of our English word is "feeling that what is wanted will happen, the desire accompanied by anticipation and expectation." So boiling it down to simplicity, it's desire plus expectation. We may desire someone to bring us a great deal of money to our home, but when you look at the chances of that happening, we realize the expectations are not that great and hope begins to fade. But the hope we are talking about comes from God and it's firm because then it comes from one source and the one source of the one hope is God. "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing," Romans 15:13. Hope in God is what we need.

In the 1960's a singer sang a song about the insignificance of many things in life and kept asking the question "Is that all there is?" Mankind needs hope to survive and to come through the pressures of the world. Many years ago, a submarine was rammed by another ship and it went down suddenly off the coast of Massachusetts. There was no hope of rescuing anyone, but they sent a diver down anyway and as he put his helmet up beside the boat and was listening for any sounds, and he heard them tapping in Morse code, "Is there any hope?" To which he had to return, "Hope in God alone."

Without God there is no hope. But there is God and we can abide in Him and we can abide in His hope. Ephesians chapter 2 tells us that there was a time when the Ephesians as Gentiles had no hope without God. "Once they were afar off, but they've been brought near."

We know from 2 John 9 that we can abide in the doctrine of Christ and have both God and Christ. We must abide in, practice, learn, apply, and obey the Will of God in order to have the expectation of the hope of God. Jesus put it this way. "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that does the Will of my Father who is in heaven."

The object of our hope, of this one hope is eternal life like Jesus. The object of our hope also gives us reason to expect salvation in Christ. 1 Thessalonians chapter 5:8, "But let us who are of the day be sober putting on the breastplate of faith and love and as a helmet the hope of salvation." It is the hope of eternal life. Titus the preacher received from Paul the Holy Spirit this admonition in chapter 1. "In hope of eternal life which God who cannot lie promised before time began that has in due time manifests His Word through preaching which was committed to me according to the command met of God our Savior." He goes on to say in Titus 3 and 7, "Having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life." It's hope beyond this life. It is the hope of being like Jesus and seeing Him as He is.

1 John chapter 3, "We are children of God. It has not been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is and everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure."

It is also as an object the hope of the glory of God. Romans chapter 5 talks about being justified by faith and then we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have access with by faith into this grace in which we stand and rejoice and the hope of the glory of God.

Many things offer great glory, but it will all fade when we see the actual glory of God. Hope eternal.

There was a preacher who received a message from his doctor that he had a terminal disease and as he walked home from the doctor, he looked at the mountains that he loved and he looked at the river that he enjoyed and he looked at the trees in which he saw the very poetry of God, and that evening he looked at the stars and as he looked at them and as he said, "Mountains, I will live long after you are gone." He said to the river, "I will long after you have stopped flowing to the sea." He said to the stars, "I will be alive long after the Lord has taken you from your place." Hope is eternal. Hope looking forward to that which is beyond this life. Death is not the end. There are innumerable and incredible eternal rewards and glory.

This hope comes to us in the gospel. It is the hope of the gospel. Colossians chapter 1 verses 21-23, "And he wanted them to be blameless and improved before God in His sight and indeed if you continue in the faith grounded and steadfast and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven of which I Paul became a minister." That one hope.

There was therefore a one way to have the one hope and that is the one calling. It's a heavenly calling according to Hebrews chapter 3, verses 1-2. "Therefore holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of our confession Jesus Christ who was faithful to Him who appointed Him."

It is also then the calling by the gospel. 2 Thessalonians 2, "But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you brethren who loved by the Lord because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth to which He calls you be our gospel for obtaining the glory of the Lord Jesus."

The calling comes by the gospel that was preached by the apostles and prophets of the New Testament. There we find a hope that is singular. It is the calling to God's eternal glory.

1 Peter 5:10, "But may the God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus after you have suffered awhile perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you."

It is the calling unto fellowship of that one body, the church through the church of God in 1 Corinthians. He called them those that are called to be saints. "All whoever place call on the name of the Lord Jesus, both days and hours." 1 Corinthians 1:9 says, "God is faithful by whom you are called into the fellowship of His son, Jesus Christ, our Lord."

It is a calling to the faith.

Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." Substance, the realization that's from a word in the original language talking about the title deed, something that is firm as real estate and more.

These are things that we hope for and there is the evidence, the conviction and the confidence of those things that are not seen and all of this comes again through this gospel. "For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God," Romans 10:17.

So there's one way for this one hope and that is through the one calling, through the gospel. It is the hope of the resurrection based upon the resurrection of Christ.

Peter said, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled that does not fade away reserved in heaven for you."

In the great resurrection chapter of 1 Corinthians 15, it says, "Now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep." What He means by that in verse 23 is that each one in his own order, Christ the first, afterward those who are Christ's and His coming.

It is to this according to Romans chapter 8 that we are called. He says in verses 23-25, "Not only that but we also who have the first fruit of the Spirit even we ourselves grow within ourselves eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body for we are saved in this hope that hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one still hope for what he sees, but if we hope for what we do not see we eagerly wait for it with perseverance."

We are saved in this hope. But how are we saved in this hope that only comes from God through the gospel and is based upon the resurrection of Christ?

Peter in 1 Peter chapter 3, verse 21 puts it in a very concise statement when he says, "There is also an antitype which now saves us, baptism, not the removal of the filth of the flesh but the answer of a good conscience toward God through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." He puts it all together. Here's how we come in contact with the Lord. Here's how we come in contact with His blood and it's all based on the resurrection of Christ. For a better description of this, Romans chapter 6, "For do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death, therefore we are buried with Him through baptism into death that just as Christ is raised from the dead to the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life for we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we should also be in the likeness of His resurrection knowing this that the old man was crucified with Him and that the body of sin might be done away with that we should no longer be slaves of sin."

There are benefits through this hope here and now. The value of the one hope now leads us as we have already studied in 1 John chapter 2 to be pure in this life. "We are now children of God. It's not yet been revealed what we shall be but we know that when it is revealed, we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is and everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself just as He is pure."

It also strengthens us as we have read in 1 Thessalonians how "we are to put on a helmet of the hope of salvation."

Ephesians chapter 6 in verses 10 and 11, "Finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God as you might be able to stand against the whiles of the devil."

We know from Hebrews chapter 6 that this hope is an anchor for our soul when the life is trying to take it away from us. So through the one God, the Father, comes the one Lord, Jesus Christ, through the one Holy Spirit, one hope.

It was certainly great to have you with us today. Thanks be to God for this opportunity we have had to come before His throne this morning. Please remember you're invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30 as we join together in this service to God. But not let me ask if you have any questions or comments about today's lesson. Maybe you'd like a free transcript or a free cassette tape of the program, or possibly we could assist you with free Bible materials or free Bible correspondence courses. No matter what your need is, please contact us at the following address:

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Isn't it great to know that we have so many things to hope for as followers of God. Our creator has promised us those things in this life and even after this life that are well worth putting our trust and hope in through Jesus Christ. Where does your hope lie?

(Program closing)