HOPE OF SALVATION = A SURE HOPE - A BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

The word rendered 'hope' in the original greek is not the same as in English by definition. In the Greek it signifies a sure hope not an indefinite possibility.

Let’s see what the word sure means in accordance with the normative rules of language.

[http://dictionary.reference.com/]:

sure (sh r, shūr) adj. sur·er, sur·est

Impossible to doubt or dispute; certain.

Not hesitating or wavering; firm: sure convictions.

Confident, as of something awaited or expected: sure of ultimate victory.

Bound to come about or happen; inevitable: sure defeat.

Having one's course directed; destined or bound: sure to succeed.

Certain not to miss or err; steady: a sure hand on the throttle.

Worthy of being trusted or depended on; reliable.

Free from or marked by freedom from doubt: sure of her friends. Synonym: Certainty

Excerpt: "... ensure, assure; clinch, make sure; determine, decide, set at..."

And let’s see what the word hope means in accordance with normative rules of language:

[http://www.dictionary.com/]:

A wish or desire accompanied by confident expectation of its fulfillment.

Notice that when you combine the two words into the phrase ‘sure hope’ you have a certain expectation of fulfillment. There is complete assurance no matter what of the fulfullment, the outcome. Notice: assurance is synonymous for the word sure.

Certain expectation does not allow for possibility of failure or conditions such as an individual’s faithful or unfaithful lifestyle and certain acts such as water baptism, going to Mass, etc. Sure is certain, an assured expectation - no doubts, absolutely reliable.

And look why: it rests in the reliability of God and His promise to save the individual at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone as sealed by the Holy Spirit Himself:

[Eph 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "And you were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

[Notice that God the Holy Spirit seals the believer and becomes a deposit Who guarantees the redemption of those who are God’s possession - the very ones that the Holy Spirit marks into Christ and indwells and seals at the point when an individual believes]:

(v. 14) Who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession--to the praise of his glory."

Let’s look at Scripture now to see about the use of the Greek word "Elpida" which God the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of Scripture to pen and which is rendered in English "hope":

[Titus 2:13]:

"While we wait for the blessed hope [Elpida, Str. # 1680] --the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ"

Shall we not conclude that the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ is assured, i.e., it is a sure thing, a certainty? Of course, knowing Who God is. If so then since it is described in God’s Word as an "Elpida" = "hope" then "Elpida" means a certain expectation, an event which is assured = a certain expectation.

The same word appears in Scripture to describe the believer’s salvation:

[1 Thes 5:8-9]:

(v. 8) "But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope [="Elpida"] of salvation as a helmet."

[Notice that those addressed, i.e., believers, (1:1, 5:1), have a sure hope, i.e. a certain expectation of their salvation - no matter what. They are indeed assured of eternal life. And the next verse confirms this]:

(v. 9) For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."

[Note that salvation is dependent upon God alone. If God appointed one not to suffer wrath but to receive salvation as this verse stipulates then one can be assured that God being Who He is will deliver. So one will indeed not ever suffer wrath and assuredly has received salvation - forever.

Compare Jn 3:16 which indicates that at the moment of believing in the Son being given for you, the believer IMMEDIATELY enters a state of never perishing, (aorist tense = completed action in the past) and into present possession of eternal life (present tense) forever because eternal life is everlasting:

[Jn 3:16]:

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Note that even a constant state of believing in Christ is not required because "whoever believes" is a nominative participle = lit. ‘whoever is the believing one’ = 'whoever' is defined as a believing one the moment one begins believing. A continuous state of believing is thus not required in order for one to be declared a believer at which time one receives the gift, (Eph 2:8-9), of eternal life forever before one faithful action is done.