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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek

 "Insights" from the New Testament Greek

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida

"WE ARE SAVED BY HOPE", Romans 8:24

Being saved by hope? Our modern understanding of the word "hope" is a wishy washy "I sure hope so", a desire that may or may not be realized.

But "hope" in the New Testament is the Greek word "elpis", meaning a strong and confident expectation. We continually read over this little word without realizing the power of it’s meaning.

In our verse, Romans 8:24, "saved" is in the Greek present tense, which means that we are presently being "saved" by "hope". "Saved" is the Greek word "sodzo" meaning to be "delivered", "preserved", "protected", "healed", or kept safe". "Saved" and "salvation" in the New Testament refer to the whole realm of benefits that we experience, past, present, and future, because we are born again children of God.

An illustration of this Biblical "hope" would be the anticipation and excitement that our children have as they await Christmas morning. Paul even says in our passage, Romans 8:24 & 25 "For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it]". God in His wisdom has not revealed too much about our glorious future with Christ, in resurrection bodies, ruling and reigning over the universes with him, but he has revealed just enough to give us this "hope" which is one of the benefits of our "salvation"..

A better illustration is the expectation, anticipation and excitement of a bride to be, as she eagerly awaits her wedding day. What excitement, what preparation, what expectation! A bride wants to know all about her future husband, and the anticipation she has is a good description of our word "elpis", or Biblical "hope".

We are engaged to Christ! We who are saved are going to be married to the richest, most handsome, most intelligent, and most loving, caring, and understanding man in the universe! In 2 Cor. 11:2, Paul says we are "espoused", or "engaged" to Christ. In 2 Cor. 1:22, the Holy Spirit is our "earnest" or "down payment", or "wedding dowery". In John 14:2, Jesus told his disciples that his Father’s estate has many "dwelling places", or we would say "condos", and that when he ascended to heaven, he was going to prepare a place for them. In Rev Chapter 21, we see the bride of Christ in the New Jerusalem, a glorious cube shaped city, 1,500 miles high, deep, and wide, with "condos" for "the bride, the Lamb’s wife".

Now, this gives us a picture of the rich meaning of our Biblical word "elpis", or "hope"! 1 Tim 1:1 says that Jesus Christ IS our hope! With this kind of strong and confident expectation, we can endure whatever life brings our way, knowing that God is in control and we are engaged to Jesus. This kind of "hope" makes our future with Christ more real to us and helps us let go of worldly things that tend to hold back our spiritual growth. Watch for this little word "hope", as you read your Bible.

Bob Jones