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OUR BLESSED HOPE*By Gregg Bing

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Re: OUR BLESSED HOPE*By Gregg Bing

Post  Admin on Wed 15 Sep 2010, 8:13 am

OUR BLESSED HOPE*
By Gregg Bing

*PART 2 OF 2

*Our Hope Fulfills
A PURPOSE*

*/ who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His
glorious body / *

*Before we can be with the Lord, we must be like the Lord. We cannot
enter into His holy presence in these lowly bodies, or more literally,
these bodies of humiliation. Our bodies, which we have through natural
birth, are received from Adam, thus we receive the same nature that he
had a sin nature. If we are to be with the Lord, these bodies must be
transformed; they must be thoroughly changed. This is the change that
Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 15, commonly referred to as the
resurrection chapter. *

*/Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall
all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must
put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So
when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has
put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is
written: Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your
sting? O Hades, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin,
and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives
us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15:51-57)/*

*Note the use of the word must in verse 53. The Greek word used here is
dei, a verb which speaks of that which is a necessity. In order for our
blessed hope to be fully realized, it is necessary that our old bodies
be changed. Our current bodies, which are sown in corruption, mortality,
dishonor, and weakness, will be raised in incorruption, immortality,
glory, and power (1 Cor. 15:42-45). They will be conformed to His
(Christs) glorious body, or more literally, to the body of His glory. So
that when Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with
Him in glory. For, as we have borne the image of the man of dust (Adam),
we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man (the Lord Jesus Christ)
(1 Cor. 15:49). *

*As we consider the nature of our present bodies, we realize that we
would not want to live forever in these bodies. This is why Paul refers
to them as tents or temporary dwelling places (2 Cor. 5:1). God has
prepared new bodies for us, not a temporary dwelling place, but a
building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens
(2 Cor. 5:1,5). What a glorious purpose God has for us, to be conformed
to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). *

*Our Hope Rests in
A POWER*

*/ according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all
things to Himself / *

*Gods purpose for us, to be conformed to the image of His Son, does not
depend upon us, anymore than our salvation depended on us. Our hope
rests upon our Lord Jesus Christ, who is able, even to subdue all things
to Himself. When Christ was raised from the dead He was also seated at
His Fathers right hand in the heavenly places, far above all
principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is
named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come (Eph.
1:20-21). God put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head
over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him
who fills all in all (Eph. 1:22-23). *

*When Christ returns to this earth, as described in Matthew 24, He will
subdue all things to Himself: all enemies, all kingdoms, all nations,
and all people. He will rule and reign over the whole earth with a rod
of iron. What is even more important is that He has power to subdue all
things to Himself in the spiritual realm as well. On the cross, He
subdued sin, by taking it all upon Himself and paying its full penalty
(1 Pet. 2:24). He subdued Satan, the one who had the power of death,
rendering Him powerless (Heb. 2:14). By His resurrection, He subdued
death, securing victory and eternal life (1 Cor. 15:54-57). This One who
is able, who has the power to subdue all things to Himself, is the One
whose working will transform our bodies of humiliation and conform them
to the body of His glory. When this, our blessed hope, is realized, the
last enemy, death, will be destroyed (literally: rendered powerless) (1
Cor. 15:26). *

*While Christs return to this earth is a wonderful event and the very
real hope of the nation of Israel, it is not our blessed hope. It is not
what we, as members of the Church, the body of Christ, are to look
forward to, with eager expectation. It is not what is promised to us. We
miss such a blessing when we try to take Israels hope for our own and
ignore the wonderful hope that we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is
so important that we walk worthy of the calling which we have in Christ
Jesus (Eph. 4:1), and understanding our unique hope is a key element in
our walk for the Lord (Eph. 4:3-6). *

*/"For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all
men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we
should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God
and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might
redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own
special people, zealous for good works." (Titus 2:11-14)/*
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OUR BLESSED HOPE*By Gregg Bing

Post  Admin on Tue 14 Sep 2010, 11:00 am

OUR BLESSED HOPE*
*PART 1 OF 2
By Gregg Bing
*
*Early this year, while driving down the highway, I noticed a billboard
with this message: Jesus is coming (Matthew 24). The statement is
certainly true; the Lord Jesus Christ will one day come back to this
earth to establish His kingdom, and He will rule and reign for a
thousand years. However, the message conveyed by this billboard seems to
indicate a misunderstanding of what we, as believers today, should be
looking forward to. The hope, or expectation, of an earthly kingdom
belongs to the people of Israel, just as God promised them in the Old
Testament Scriptures (Exo. 19:5-6, 2 Sam. 7:8-16, Ezek. 37, etc.). When
Christ returns, they will rule and reign with Him on the earth (Rev.
1:5-7, 20:4-6). *
*During this present dispensation of grace, God is no longer dealing
with Israel as a nation, but with the Church, the body of Christ. The
hope of believers today cannot be found in the Old Testament Scriptures,
or even in the teachings of Jesus, such as is found in Matthew 24. Our
hope is found only in the writings of the Apostle Paul, Gods spokesman
for this present age. In Titus 2:13, Paul refers to our hope as a
blessed hope ... the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior,
Jesus Christ. This appearing does not refer to His coming back to the
earth to establish His kingdom, but to His appearing in the air, to
catch His church up into glory (1 Thess. 4:17-18). Paul makes mention of
this blessed hope in writing to the saints at Philippi as he describes
what believers should be eagerly waiting for. *
*/For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait
for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly
body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the
working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
(Phil. 3:20-21)/*
*In these verses we find four important aspects of our blessed hope, a
hope that is distinct from that of Gods earthly people, Israel. *
*Our Hope is Laid Up in
A PLACE*
*/For our citizenship is in heaven / *
*To begin with, the place of our hope is heaven. We are not looking
forward to Christs return to earth to establish His kingdom and rule and
reign. This is Israels hope; a hope that will one day be realized just
as Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 24. The Apostle Paul plainly
declares our citizenship is in heaven. God the Father has blessed us
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph.
1:3). We have been identified with Christ in His death, His burial, His
resurrection, and even more, in His ascension, for God has raised us up
together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ
Jesus (Eph. 2:6). Our hope is not an earthly hope or an earthly kingdom,
as so many Christians seem to be focusing on today, but a hope which is
laid up for you in heaven (Col. 1:5). We are not to be waiting for Jesus
return to the earth, but for His return in the air to catch us up to be
with Him in heaven, our eternal home. *
*Our Hope Looks to
A PERSON*
*/... from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus
Christ./ *
*Sometimes we tend to focus too much on the place of our hope, and
forget that our hope is actually a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. The
word hope means our expectation, that which we confidently wait for. We
are to eagerly wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Our
confidence is in Him because of who He is, our great God and Savior
(Tit. 2:13), and because of what He has done for us, who gave Himself
for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for
Himself His own special people, zealous for good works (Tit. 2:14). *
*Currently the Lord Jesus Christ is seated in the heavenlies (Col.
3:1-2). As far as His relationship to Israel is concerned, He is waiting
for His kingdom, the time when all things will be subjected to Him (Heb.
2:5-9) and all His enemies will be made His footstool (Heb. 10:12-13).
This wait, this delay, is the result of Israels rejection of Him (John
1:11). When Christ came and was presented to Israel as their King, they
crucified Him, declaring, we will not have this Man to reign over us
(Luke 9:14). Following His ascension, they also rejected the ministry of
the Holy Spirit during the Acts period, in a sense crucifying the Son of
God all over again (Heb. 6:6). As a result of all this, the nation of
Israel was temporarily blinded, and their kingdom hope and promises were
postponed. *
*Today, God is calling out a new body of believers, the Church, the body
of Christ, in which there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile
(Col. 3:11). As Paul writes of this body, He emphasizes that we have a
new relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is not particularly our
King, though He is King of kings and Lord of lords; He is our Head, the
Head over all things to the church, which is His body (Eph. 1:22-23).
What a wonderful relationship we have with Him; a vital relationship,
for we, as His body, are dependent on Him for our every need (Eph.
4:15-16). The blessed hope of the Church of this age is that when Christ
who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory
(Col. 3:3-4), and thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:17). *
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