“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope . . .” (1 Timothy 1:1).
IN OUR WORLD TODAY, HOPE OFTEN SEEMS IN SHORT SUPPLY. Despite the prodigious efforts of humanism and secularism to convince us that things are getting better, we all know that there is great cause for concern. For every specific problem that our science and philosophy seem to improve, there are always unintended consequences that, in the greater scheme of things, make matters worse. We can only be optimistic if we ignore many of the obvious facts.
The gospel of Christ is nothing if not a message of hope. But the hope it offers is different from what most people are looking for. Ironically, it tells us that things are going to get better by telling us that things are not going to get better (at least in this world). By remedying the cause of the problem — our sin — the gospel offers a hope that is unaffected by the worsening condition of the world.
God our Savior. Any honest look at our plight tells us that we were lost. “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy” (Titus 3:4,5).
Christ Jesus our hope. Look closely at how God has saved us. Paul says that it was “by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5–7). These are powerful phrases. They reflect the truth that is on every page of the New Testament: it is in Jesus Christ that God is providing protection from the condemnation that we have brought upon ourselves.
If Christ is our hope, however, we ought to invest our hope in Him, not only in our words but in the way we live — and we ought not to hedge our bets by putting some of our hope in worldly sources of confidence (just to be on the safe side). It is, in fact, only when we give up on the hope that we can correct our problems that Jesus Christ is able to save us. But oh, what a Savior! He is waiting to bless us more abundantly than we can imagine.
“All we want in Christ, we shall find in Christ. If we want little, we shall find little. If we want much, we shall find much; but if, in utter helplessness, we cast our all on Christ, he will be to us the whole treasury of God” (Henry Benjamin Whipple).