1. At the present time we are studying a series of lessons designed to help us know the truth concerning the 7 subjects listed in Ephesians 4:4-6. 2. To know the truth on these subjects we must follow the Lord's instructions found in John 8:31-32. 3. We have covered 2 of these subjects -- the "one body" and the "one Spirit." 4. Today we are focusing our attention on the "one hope" mentioned in vs.4. 5. Let us begin by showing that . . .
I. THE LORD'S WORD IDENTIFIES THE "ONE HOPE"
A. In some passages the Bible refers to "hope" in a general sense. 1. In general, "hope" is the expectation of something good in the future. 2. Illustration: a. (1 Corinthians 9:10) "He that ploweth should plow in hope." b. When a farmer plows, he expects to reap a harvest in the future. B. Ephesians 4:4 is more specific -- it mentions the "one hope of your calling." 1. From Paul's request in Ephesians 1:18 we understand that we can know what this hope is. 2. A number of passages identify the "one hope" as eternal life in heaven that Christ will give to His faithful followers when He returns. a. Colossians 1:3-5 b. Titus 1:1-2; 2:13
II. THE LORD'S WORD IDENTIFIES THOSE WHO HAVE THE "ONE HOPE"
A. According to Ephesians 2:11-12, those who are outside of Christ have no hope [as illustrated by the jailer in Acts 16:25-27]. B. Thankfully, the Lord has made it possible for us to be born again so we can have the "one hope." 1. See Titus 3:3-7. 2. Notice the change that took place when the jailer was born again -- he gained the "one hope" that he did not have before (Acts 16:28-34). C. When we enter the "one body," we gain the "one hope."
III. THE LORD'S WORD IDENTIFIES RESPONSIBILITIES IN CONNECTION WITH THE "ONE HOPE"
A. (Romans 12:12) "Rejoicing in hope." B. (1 Peter 1:13) We are to prepare our minds so we can "hope to the end." C. (1 John 3:2-3) The "one hope" will lead us to be pure.
IV. THE LORD'S WORD IDENTIFIES CERTAIN BENEFITS IN CONNECTION WITH THE "ONE HOPE"
A. See Hebrews 6:17-19 1. The "one hope" is "an anchor of the soul." 2. It will prevent us from drifting away. B. See Romans 8:18-25 1. (vs.24) "We are saved by hope." 2. The "one hope" will help us to exercise patience while we wait for eternal life to become a reality.
1. In general, "hope" is the expectation of something good in the future. 2. The "one hope" is receiving eternal life in heaven when Christ returns. 3. A small glimpse of heaven is given in Revelation 21:1-4; 22:1-5. 4. See Revelation 22:14, 17.