- Published: 30 August 2010
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Before we can tell what the hope is, we will have to settle the question of His calling, what it is and where it is. Then, whatever that may be and wherever it may be, will tell us what the hope of our calling is. For those that are in Christ are identified with Him very closely. In fact, this is their baptism. So now for the context.
Our question comes from Eph. 1:18. Beginning with verse 20 we read of Christ being raised from the dead, set at the right hand of God in heavenly places, far above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that is named, both in this age and the age to come. All things are put under His feet, and He is Head over all to the church. This church is His body, His fullness.
Please note that there is nothing here about Christ being a high priest in the heavens, that He will take the throne of His father, David, or that He will be King of kings and Lord of lords. He was all of that in the dispensation of the promise and those that were in Him in that dispensation would have a hope in keeping a place on the earth or land which was promised to Abraham, they would look for a great millennial kingdom here on earth, and if they were overcomers, they would look for a ruling position under the great King. They would also look for His coming and the so-called rapture as a part of their hope.
But there is no such context in Eph. 1, and so then these things of another dispensation cannot possibly be a part of His calling , and that being the case, these things cannot be a part of our hope.
Our hope then is definitely linked with His session in the heavenly places - made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with Him - this in connection with principalities and powers in the heavenly places .
When we are exhorted to walk worthy of our calling, it is with these things in view. Have we made our calling and election sure?
Furthermore, the hope of His calling is in connection with a promise made in Him before age times concerning eternal life. This had nothing to do with the promise made to Abraham. It was not mentioned anywhere in connection with the dispensation of promise. The reason; it had to do with all creation , not just the earth. It included the heavenly places . So it was not revealed till Eph. 3:6, 2 Tim. 1;1, and Titus 1:2. It has to do with the church, not the kingdom. There is a difference.
We do not see Him as yet meeting His hope in its entirety, for He is still sharing His Father's throne. But some day He will be manifested in glory, but not without the church which is His body and of which He is the Head. So again our hope is intimately linked with His hope. So we cannot know what is the hope of our calling till we have first learned what is the hope of His calling. Why all the confusion about this? Confusion is ignorance.
Paul is praying that ye may know what is the hope of His calling. Naturally our question will be, What is the hope of His calling?
We are prepared by the will of the Father (1:4), the work of the Son (1:7), and the witness of the Spirit (1:13). These form a basis for the prayer. At the beginning of the prayer, Paul asks that the recipients be readied by 3 gifts; the spirit of wisdom, revelation, and enlightened eyes.
The 3 main parts of the prayer are that we may know; What is the hope of His calling, what the riches of the glory of His inheritance, and what the greatness of His power.
These all give us a setting for our subject, What is the hope of His calling?
There was a time when Gentile believers attending the Synagogue had no hope (2:12). What hope there was belonged to Israel. After Acts 10 the Gentiles could by faith thru grace share in the hope of Israel. But actually the Gentile believer of that time was without hope.
Even in Acts 28 Paul was in bonds for the hope of Israel, even after he had been preaching to Gentiles for many years. And that was Paul's hope.
So there was a time or season when Gentiles were without hope. But now in 2:13 marks the change, and the Gentile believers have had a hope ever since.
But this is God's hope in our text. So what was it? We find calling and hope linked together in 4:4. There must be a close relationship. Colossians 1:27, Christ among you (Gentiles) the hope of glory, shows that ultimately Christ is the hope. And where our hope is marks the place where our calling is. We are called to be in heavenly places where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. We also note in 2 Timothy 1:9 that our calling is a holy calling and is connected with a purpose that goes back before age times.
Our choice was also made before age times, before the overthrow (1:4).
Israel had a calling and a hope. But they were connected with a land and a people here on the earth awaiting the coming King of glory. That was when salvation was of the Jews.
But now, after Acts 28:28 salvation is of the Gentiles, and there is a new hope and calling. So we dare not confuse the two. We can preach Christ today without any reference to Israel or Israel's covenants. We can preach Christ today without any reference to the earth and the kingdom that is coming.
This hope of His calling was a part of the secret or mystery that was hid in God from ages and generations. But it is NOW made manifest to the saints. These saints are members of one body. And this secret, the dispensation of the mystery completed the Word of God. It is the last word.
Our hope? When Christ who is our life is made manifest, then shall we also be made manifest with Him in glory. His calling and our calling have placed us far above all principality and power.
The hope of His calling has such a high spiritual level that there is little historical detail as to how, when, and where it will be completed.