King's Business - 1914-06



7. Seventhly, hope (3 :3 ): “ Every one that hath this hope in him.” A h ! but the “ him” is Christ, not ourselves; the hope is centered on Christ. You never look within for hope. Just as the mariner does not throw the anchor into the hold of the vessel, but out­ side, so our hope is to be in Him ex­ perimentally, personally; it is to be to­ wards Him, centered on! Christ. Faith looks up, hope looks on; faith accepts, hope expects; faith is concerned with the promiser, hope with the things promised; faith is past and present, hope is always future. Faith is appro­ priation, hope is anticipation. That is the prospect of prospects—that blessed hope, whether as an exercise of the soul, or as the object of our expecta­ tion. Let us live in the reality o f this sevenfold prospect. The Christian life that is not somehow or other occupied' with the future is failing at a vital point, and losing a multitude of bless­ ings. III. Our Possibilities. I should want at least two hours on this, my last point, but I see I have only a little while. I mean by possi­ bilities our attitude to all those reali­ ties I have tried to bring before you this week. Here again allow me to give you seven. Some of them will only need to be mentioned. 1. The first is trust. Especially in chapter 5, though mentioned once or twice before, we have the teaching of the apostle, on belief. The apostle never in any of his writings uses the noun faith, but always the verb—to have faith, to believe, to trust. In 5 :1, we are begotten by faith; in 5 :4, there is the victory Of faith; in 5:9-12, the witness of faith. That is faith receiv­ ing, resting, recognizing. This is our attitude of trust. 2. Secondly, the attitude of bold­ ness. I want to dwell on this a little more. There is one Greek word ren­

dered in our Old Version, “ confi­ dence,” and “ boldness,” it is just the same word. It is used four times in this epistle. It is the Greek, word “ parresia,” and means freedom of speech. Twice it is found in reference to the future, and twice in reference to the present. In 2 :28: , “ And, now lit­ tle children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear we may have freedom of speech,” the absolute lack of re­ serve that marks every true friendship. I have sometimes wondered whether we might not paraphrase it thus: “ Now, little children, abide in Him; that when He shall appear we may tell Him everything.” , Then in 4:17: “ That we may have freedom of speech in the day of judg­ ment.” Those are the two concerning the future. And I want to speak to everybody now when I say that the Lord’s coming is not necessarily going to be a time of joy even to the believer. It is taught us clearly in the New Tes­ tament that there is going to be grief at the Second Advent. “ That we may have boldness, and not be ashamed be­ fore Him at His coming.” So that it is possible, somehow or other, for the believer to be ashamed in that day, be­ cause he has not been faithful to the grace given to him of Christ. But if we bear in mind the two references to confidence, or boldness, which refer to the present, we shall be able to meet Him. In 3:21 we read, “ Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then we have confidence, boldness,” toward God. Then, again in 5 :14: “ This is the boldness that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us.” Confidence with­ in and courage without are included in this word “ parresia.” “ O may no earth-born clouds arise To hide Thee from Thy servant’s eyes.” If there is any cloud now there will be a cloud then; if there is no cloud

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