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Pastoral Epistles  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Number one quality of Leadership - Above Reproach

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HOPE (NT). Even if the noun “hope” (Gk elpı́s) is not found at all in the Gospels and the verb “to hope” (Gk elpı́zein) is found only five times in the Gospels—with the OT sense of “to trust” (Matt 12:21; John 5:45) or with a purely secular and nonreligious sense (Luke 6:34; 23:8; 24:21)—the idea of hope as confidence in God “whose goodness and mercy are to be relied on and whose promises cannot fail” (Barr 1950: 72) is everywhere presupposed in the NT (see also TDNT 2:517–35 and LTK 5: 416–24).

In the Synoptic Gospels the notion of hope is conveyed through the sense of “expectation” (Gk prosdechomai) generated by Jesus’ preaching of conversion in the face of the imminent arrival of the kingdom of God. Paul’s theology, which is oriented around the twin poles of Christ’s resurrection as the in-breaking of the kingdom and Jesus’ parousia as its fulfillment, manifests the most fully elaborated theology of hope (1 Thessalonians, Romans, 1–2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Philemon). This line is continued with various additional nuances in Hebrews, in the Deutero-Paulines (Colossians, Ephesians, 2 Thessalonians), and in the Pastoral and Catholic Epistles. While a great deal has been made of the Johannine emphasis on “realized eschatology,” there can be little doubt that John also speaks of the glory of the heavenly world as the goal of the believer’s hope (John 13:33, 36). Finally, although Revelation also lacks the vocabulary of hope, the notion is manifestly conveyed by the call to “patient endurance,” which undergirds the theology of the whole work

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