Full Assurance of Hope

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 8
“We are saved in hope,” says the Apostle in Romans 8:2424For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? (Romans 8:24), thus connecting us with God’s glorious future. There is not the slightest uncertainty inferred in these words; just the opposite. We can anticipate the resurrection, when our poor bodies will share in the eternal redemption obtained by Christ, even as now we have that redemption made good in the soul. It may be well to notice that Scripture uses the word “salvation” in three ways:
1. As in Ephesians 2:88For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8): “By grace are ye saved through faith” — that is, complete deliverance from guilt and from the dominion or reign of sin.
2. “Work out your own salvation,” as in Philippians 2:1212Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12) — that is, work out your own deliverance, in the power of God's willing and doing (verse 13), from the numerous difficulties that beset the path of the saint. Work it out into practical result.
It is in this latter view of salvation that we are said to be “saved in hope”; it is not a peradventure, but “we are saved,” even as to the future. So certain is the truth of a present and future salvation that in this very chapter (Rom. 8) the Apostle says, “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by [on account of] His Spirit that dwelleth in you” (vs. 11). The hopes which God presents are all certainties, simply because He is the Promiser; man’s hopes are all uncertainties, because man is the promiser.
Diligence Unto the End
Those Hebrews who had disowned and broken with Judaism and embraced the Christian profession are looked at (in the epistle specially addressed to them) as on their way to heaven, but they are traversing the wilderness, battling with its difficulties, while sustained by priesthood and corrected and disciplined by the Word of God (see Heb. 4:12-1612For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. 14Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:12‑16)). The world is the place where the activities of faith are displayed. Thus it says, “We desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end” (Heb. 6:1111And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: (Hebrews 6:11)). Diligence is urged upon the saints in view of their blessed future, and this is to be maintained till “the end” of the pilgrim path. Rest and glory will be entered upon and enjoyed when He comes. His love we have now; His glory and inheritance we shall share at His coming.
Full Assurance
Do we have the full assurance of this “hope”? We may have “full assurance of hope” because the One who is coming is loved and known as the “purger of our sins.” One cannot suppose that the truth of the coming of the Lord will be welcome to persons who have not broken with the world. So many are attempting to do what Jesus says cannot be done: “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:2424No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24)). If I am not giving all diligence to add such as virtue and knowledge to my faith (2 Peter 1:5-10), I am “blind, and cannot see afar off,” and have “forgotten” that I “was purged from [my] old sins.” That is, my condition is practically judged by the glory before me and the grace which purged away my sins. These are the two grand tests of all spiritual condition — the cross and the glory.
The Refuge
How safe and calm one may be amidst the rough tossing of this world! One can ride over its angry billows, sustained through every storm by the anchor which has been cast “within the veil” and “hope” which has entered there. No storms or tempests ever sweep over that scene — the unclouded presence of God. And our hope — the sure and steadfast anchor of the soul — has entered there.
Have we fled for refuge to that hope set before us? Notice that this is not the fleeing of the sinner to Christ, but of the saint. It is he who has fled from his corrupt nature, from self, and from the world, who has “laid hold upon the hope set before him.” Are you seeking to better your condition in the world — to establish your name and family in the scene of the Saviour's dishonor? Do not His position and aspect towards the world determine yours? Accept, then, “His cross” as your portion here. All your blessings are spiritual and are in Christ in heavenly places (Eph. 1:33Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3)).
His Path, Promise and Oath
But as if it were not enough for God to come into the midst of our sorrows and trials and sustain our hearts with promises of rest and glory and blessing, He would establish our souls in divine certainty by His promise and oath. His unchangeable purpose to bless us with Christ has been confirmed by His oath.
Thus the ground of “full assurance of hope” is the word and oath of God. In other words, it is not the poor, tried, perplexed heart casting his eye within or around to discover if he has this assurance; rather, God has written it down plainly, so that faith may take it up and the man go on his way rejoicing.
Adapted from Words of Truth