Hope

The Marrow of Theology In The Marrow of Theology, William Ames (d. 1633) has an outstanding biblical treatment of Christian hope.  Here are a few excerpts.  (Note: the promises Ames speaks of are the promises of the covenant of grace.)

“Hope is a virtue which leads us to expect things which God has promised us (Rom. 8:25).”

“Hope looks toward God in these ways.  FIRST, as the object which it expects, for the principal object of hope is God himself and those acts by which he is joined to us (1 Pet. 1:21).  All those things which lead to God like steps and means are less principal objects (1 Pet. 1:13).  Thus God himself is called the Hope of Israel (Jer. 14:8), and the God of hope (Rom. 15:13).  This is not so much because he is the author and giver of hope as because it is he for whom we hope.  SECOND, hope looks to God as the author and giver of all the good it expects (Ps. 37:5-6).  As it turns toward God for the attainment of good, so it looks toward obtaining it by his own grace (Jer. 17:7).”

“Like faith, hope in God looks to the grace of God and Christ as the only sources of good to be bestowed (1 Pet. 1:13, Col. 1:27).  [God] always promises the greatest good which shall not come about without his help, but by virtue of his promise they will not only probably but surely come to pass.”

“Since faith apprehends the promise and hope expects what is promised, the difference between faith and hope is the difference between what is present and what is to come.”

“The natural fruit of hope is joy and delight in God (Heb. 3:6, 1 Pet. 1:3, 6).”

“Hope is strengthened and increased by all evidences which assure us that the good hoped for belongs to us (Rom. 5:4).”

William Ames, The Marrow of Theology, II.VI.

rev shane lems
covenant presbyterian church (OPC)
hammond WI

Advertisements