Acts 26 … Consider the Hope of His Promise

Originally posted: 2/06/2020

“And now I am standing trial for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers; the promise to which our twelve tribes hope to attain, as they earnestly serve God night and day. And for this hope, O King, I am being accused by Jews. Why is it considered incredible among you people if God does raise the dead?” (26:6-8).

In His supernatural appearing to Paul on the road to Damascus, the risen Savior, Jesus, soundly states His intended outcome for all who would place their faith in the Hope of His Promise.

 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me,” (26:18).

The Hope of His Promise was an invitation to walk into the miraculous and receive His Light, Freedom, Forgiveness and Inheritance.

And Paul was standing trial exactly for this Hope; for this Promise made by God; the Promise earnestly and eagerly anticipated by his forefathers. So why would they find this so incredible, so unacceptable? It’s what they had been waiting for!

Paul understood the absurdity of their accusations; his Jewish ancestors had experienced, or at the very least heard of the myriad of miraculous works of Yahweh throughout their nation’s history, beginning with His call to Abraham to go forth in faith and to walk into the miraculous.

“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
(Genesis 12:1).

Consider the Hope of His Promise

From the very outset, His intentions were clear. Hope for the future was to be in Him alone.

  • And as if to magnify His message that He alone is able and faithful, that He alone is to be our only Hope to fulfill His Promise, He began with one man.
    • “And I will make you a great nation,
      And I will bless you,
      And make your name great;
      And so you shall be a blessing;
      And I will bless those who bless you,
      And the one who curses you I will curse.
      And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed,”
      (Genesis 12:2-3).
  • And then the man and woman, both as good as dead, would by faith in Him alone, conceive the Hope of His Promise.
    • By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore there was born even of one man, and him as good as dead at that, as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore, (Hebrews 11:11-12).
  • Eventually a weakened people, held hopelessly in bondage, would be delivered from slavery and led out by His love to take hold of the Hope of His Promise.
    • “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt,” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).
  • And He would continue to send His Word through the mouths of His prophets, over hundreds of years, always inviting the stiff-necked and rebellious to turn back to the Hope of His Promise.
    • “But I have spoken to you again and again; yet you have not listened to Me. 15 Also I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them again and again, saying: ‘Turn now every man from his evil way and amend your deeds, and do not go after other gods to worship them. Then you will dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your forefathers…” (Jeremiah 35:14-15).
  • And then to a young virgin girl, the Messiah was born, and the Word became flesh to dwell among men, that we might behold the Hope of His Promise.
    • And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth… 16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace, (John 1:14, 16).
  • And the sinless Messiah then went to a death He did not deserve, to pay the penalty of our sins we could never pay, that we might be brought to the Hope of His Promise.
    • For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God… (1 Peter 3:18).
  • And by His resurrection, He conquered sin and death, verifying the Hope of His Promise to all who believe.
    • Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time, (1 Peter 1:3-5).
  • Until ultimately, the Hope of His Promise is wholly realized when He comes for all those who belong to Him by faith.
    • For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord, (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

How do we respond to the Hope of His Promise?

This Greek word, translated as hope in our English language, goes beyond a wishful feeling that maybe, just maybe, perhaps, we may acquire our longing.

From Louw Nida Greek Lexicon: “25.59 ἐλπίς: to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial…”
From Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: “1680. ἐλπίς elpís: Hope, desire of some good with expectation of obtaining it…”

 Biblical Hope initiates a confident expectation and faith because we know the One Who Promised is faithful.

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; (Hebrews 10:23).

And because He had proven Himself faithful, throughout history, we can be confident He will fulfill His intended outcome…

“to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me,” (26:16-18).

  • Self-examination time:
    • Am I walking in His Light?
    • Am I living in His Freedom
    • Have I truly received His Forgiveness so that I extend that to others as well?
    • Does my life reflect my coming Inheritance, sanctified by faith?

And as we hold on to the Hope of His Promise, He will strengthen us to become as Paul, a witness of all we have seen and heard.

 “But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you,” (26:16).

  • Let us be His witness, obedient to the Hope of His Promise.
    • So, King Agrippa, I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision,  20 but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to repentance, (26:19).
  • Let us be His witness, confident to share the truth of the Hope of His Promise.
    • But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth. 26 For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner,” (26:25-26).
  • Oh that He might use us as His witness, to persuade others to believe the Hope of His Promise.
    • King Agrippa, do you believe the Prophets? I know that you do.” you do.”  28  Agrippa replied to Paul, “In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.” 29 And Paul said, “I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains,” (26:27-29).

The day is coming when the Hope of His Promise will be realized and no longer offered to the lost. We must be about His work, encouraging one another for the time is short.

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near, (Hebrews 10:23-25).

Let’s Grow Together!

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