“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins.” (Romans 3:24-25)
“According to his abundant mercy [God] hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3-4).
A “hope” in Scripture is much more than a “wish” for the future. It is absolute certainty, since it is based on absolute facts of the past. The Christian’s hope is based on the finished work of Christ on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. Those who are born again are “kept by the power of God” (v. 5). Thus our “inheritance” is “reserved in heaven.”
The first verse of the beautiful old hymn “The Solid Rock” speaks of this hope and the foundation upon which it is built.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
We do not base our hope on “works of righteousness which we have done, but . . . his mercy . . . regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5). Nor do we “trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God” (1 Timothy 6:17). Because of our sin, we have “the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9).
Our confidence, our “hope” is well-founded only when we wholly lean on Jesus’ name, for we are all sinners but now are “washed, . . . sanctified, . . . [and] justified in the name of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 6:11). JDM