Ephesians 4:4 – “One Hope”

“No hope” is one of the saddest things a person can hear. When one is sick, and the doctor says, “We have done all we can do; there is no hope,” or, “There is no hope for a cure,” that is devastating, heartbreaking news! Ultimately, all of life might feel and seem utterly hopeless, seeing the world around us filled with sin, suffering, and sorrow. Furthermore, faced daily with the reality of the biblical truth, “It is appointed for men to die” (Hebrews 9:27), one might be inclined to despair. But, we need not despair, for Jesus came into this world to give hope to all—the hope of eternal life!

What is hope? The Greek word translated “hope” (elpis) appears 54 times in the New Testament. In most modern-day usage, “hope” carries merely the idea of desire, but often does not carry any realistic expectation (as in, “I hope my father-in-law buys me a brand-new car for my birthday”). Biblically, however, the word means desire and expectation, along with eager anticipation. Biblical hope always involves that which is good and desirable and always centers around that which is both realistic and expected. Biblical hope is based on the faithfulness of the God of heaven, Who cannot lie: “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began” (Titus 1:2).

What is the one hope of Ephesians 4:4? The Christian’s hope is not money or material possessions, for God has never promised such, and the Holy Spirit tells us through Paul, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7). The Christian’s hope is not to live forever here on this earth, for it will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10-14). According to 1 Timothy 1:1, Jesus is the Christian’s hope, and as such, He gives “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) to the Christian in His promise that He one day will return to raise the dead (Acts 24:14,15) and take the faithful home to heaven (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). The Christian’s hope is a “living hope” (1 Peter 1:3-4)! In short, the one hope is eternal life in heaven for God’s faithful (Titus 1:2).

If the Bible is true (and centuries of investigation and failed attempts to discredit it have shown that it is), then the hope offered to mankind through God’s word is both certain and available for all who would come to God through His Son. This hope is “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast” (Hebrews 6:19). As Christians, we must be diligent to “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” (Hebrews 3:6). Come what may in this life, the faithful child of God can rejoice in the living, sure hope of eternal life (Romans 12:12)!

— Chad Dollahite