â€œBeing 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.â€ (Romans 3:24-25)
â€œAccording 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 youâ€ (1 Peter 1:3-4).
A â€œhopeâ€ in Scripture is much more than a â€œwishâ€ for the future. It is absolute certainty, since it is based on absolute facts of the past. The Christianâ€™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 â€œkept by the power of Godâ€ (v. 5). Thus our â€œinheritanceâ€ is â€œreserved in heaven.â€
The first verse of the beautiful old hymn â€œThe Solid Rockâ€ speaks of this hope and the foundation upon which it is built.
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesusâ€™ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesusâ€™ name.
We do not base our hope on â€œworks of righteousness which we have done, but . . . his mercy . . . regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spiritâ€ (Titus 3:5). Nor do we â€œtrust in uncertain riches, but in the living Godâ€ (1 Timothy 6:17). Because of our sin, we have â€œthe sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the deadâ€ (2 Corinthians 1:9).
Our confidence, our â€œhopeâ€ is well-founded only when we wholly lean on Jesusâ€™ name, for we are all sinners but now are â€œwashed, . . . sanctified, . . . [and] justified in the name of the Lord Jesusâ€ (1 Corinthians 6:11). JDM