Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bible Word Study: Earnest/Hope

Romans 8:18-20
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

That word, ‘earnest’ has to do with an eager, confident expectation.  It’s really like our word ‘eagerness.’  It has a hope associated with it.  Not the kind of hope we have that our team will win the game.  That’s not a real hope.  Hope in the bible is a confident expectation, and that’s what earnest means.  It’s associated with a hope that is confident. Paul knows that for sure.  Why?  Look at what God told him:

19For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

God will one day manifest to heaven and earth his sons:  the body of Christ in the heavens; the nation of Israel in the earth.  That’s going to happen and you can bank on it.

There is another confident expectation that you and I have and that’s to be glorified – given a new body.

2 Corinthians 5:5-6
Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:

Do you see how when Paul talks about this ‘earnest’, it has to do with a confident expectation of something that is going to happen? It’s not a hope like, “Maybe the Bears will win.”  It’s like Pete Rose as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds betting against his team; and the reason he was confident they would lose is because he would put in his worst line-up.  He never bet for the Reds, he always bets against them because he was the one determining the line-up.  They lost games; he won money; he was confident.

But even more than that, we have confidence in God’s word.

Ephesians 1:13-14
13In whom [in Christ] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

The moment each of us trusted Christ, God sealed us into Christ.  We call that baptism; he put us into Christ.  It’s done; sealed.  That sealing was done with the Holy Spirit.

14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

When you buy a home, there is something called earnest money.  Earnest money says to the realtor and the sellers that you are serious about buying that home.  You are in essence telling them: You can [confidently] take that home off the market while I work on getting the rest of the money, because this money is a non-refundable deposit.

God wants us to know so assuredly that he is going to put us in the heavens and that we’re saved, that the moment we trust Christ he gives us the earnest of the Spirit; he seals us with the Spirit of God. 

It’s an assurance; that’s what ‘earnest’ means.  You can trust it.

1 Thessalonians 1:5 a
For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance;

Hopefully this helps!

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