As we continue our study in the Spirit’s seven-item plan for unity among believers we begin with:
#2: One Spirit. This “one Spirit” is the Holy Spirit, a distinct member of the Godhead (John 14:16-18, 26). God is one, but that essence embraces a three-fold personality, that is, essence consisting of three distinct personalities or beings. Paul spoke of this fact on Mars Hill when he declared, “Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and device of man” (Acts 17:29 ASV). He further contemplated the fact of the Godhead when, in his complimentary close of his epistle to the Corinthians he wrote, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all” (II Cor. 13:14 ASV). Jesus also mentioned that fact of the Godhead when He charged His apostles to go into all the world “and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19-20 ASV). The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, exercised a very prominent role both in the creation of the universe, and in the development of the scheme of redemption for mortal man. Study carefully these Scriptures: Genesis 1:2; John 14:26; John 15:13; I Corinthians 2:9-13; and II Peter 1:20-21. The “one body” animated by the “one Spirit” cannot be divided.
#3: One Hope. “Hope” is defined as “desire, with the expectation of receiving, or, at least, the belief that it is obtainable.” “Hope” pertains to the future, of things yet to come (Rom. 8:24-25; I John 3:1-3). We may have regrets or we may rejoice in the past; but we cannot truly “hope” in the past. “Hope” invariably deals in the area of possibility; one cannot “hope” for that which is impossible. Despite his wish to remain alive, and to stay mentally and physically active for 500 years, no man can “hope” to do so for that is beyond the reasonable expectation of mankind. Remember Paul spoke of some things of which there was “no hope” (Eph. 2:12). Outside of Christ there can be “no hope” (Eph. 1:3). “Hope” in Romans 8:24-25 is put in opposition to sight. One does not yet possess that for which he has “hope.”
This “one hope” is the hope of eternal life. There simply is no other lesser thing that may be correctly designated as the “one hope” of the Christian. The Christian’s hope has always rested upon the return of Christ and the blessings of a future life (Rom. 8:24-25; I Cor. 15:19; Titus 2:13; Heb. 6:18-19; I Pet. 1:13; I John 3:1-3). The Christian’s hope is based upon the word of God (Rom. 15:4). Bible hope is based upon faith (Heb. 11:1). Bible hope is based upon the precious promises of God in His word (Heb. 11:1; John 3:16; John 14:1-4; II Tim. 4:6-8; I John 2:15-17; Rev. 22:14). This hope can be found nowhere else! The Christian’s hope is reasonable (I Pet. 3:15). Christians live constantly “in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2). Paul speaks of “the hope which is laid up for you in heaven” (Col. 1:5) and encouraged those same brethren to “continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven” (Col. 1:23). Part of the Christian soldier’s armour is “the hope of salvation” (I Thess. 5:8) The Gospel of Christ is a Gospel of hope. It gives peace and strength! (Phil. 4:7). It has power to lift us up when we are discouraged! The word “hope” is found 87 times in the New Testament under which we live.
Turn to Romans 15:13. Read this beautiful verse with me: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Do YOU have this marvelous and precious “one hope?”
Paul M. Wilmoth