Day Three - Pure Self Bible Study
Hope is the belief or expectation of the future attainment of a desired object or outcome. It's often associated with trust, whether in God or something else.7
The word hope generally occurs as many times in the Old Testament as the New Testament.7 But it’s not found in the Book of Revelation in any translation of the Bible. This seems fitting as hope is a future-focused concept, a desire for an outcome or result, a faith in things not seen but are eagerly expected to happen (Hebrews 11:1). The Book of Revelation provides us a picture of our hope realized.
Hope is often found in human terms or personal concerns in the New Testament. For example, Felix hoped that Paul would offer him a bribe (Acts 24:26), while Paul and John hoped to see those to whom they wrote letters (e.g. II John 2:9 and Philemon 22). In fact, Paul speaks of his personal hope nineteen times in the New Testament.9
But the hope we should be concerned with is our own hope. Specifically, what is it that we hope for? What should we be hoping for? And when we figure out “the what” - then we should figure out “the why” because we need to be sure of our hope.
If our hope is misplaced then we’ll be the loser when it fails. Sadly, a false hope can destroy our present lives. Even more sad is that with a fake or false hope, we won’t even know that we’re wrong until it’s too late.
"Hope is related to and and grows from a faith in God. While faith takes God at his word, believing that he will do as he has promised, hope is the anticipation of the fulfillment of God’s promises (Romans 4:18–21; Hebrews 6:11–18).
- originates with God - Romans 15:13
- is based on his calling - Ephesians 1:18 and 4:4
- is facilitated by Scripture - Romans 15:4
Hope’s opposite is expressed in terms of:
- unbelief - Hebrews 3:6–12
- grief or despair - 1 Thessalonians 4:13
- shame or disappointment - Romans 5:5 and Philippians 1:20" 10
Question: What are the objects of hope from the following Scriptures?
- Acts 23:6 and Rom 8:20–24 - the resurrection of the dead
- Titus 1:2 and 3:7 - eternal life
- Titus 2:13 and 1 John 3:2–3 - the return of Jesus Christ
Also, how are they all tied together to the concept of a future hope for all Christians?
All three of these concepts are tied together. The resurrection of the dead will happen for all who have died - both the believers and unbelievers (Acts 17:30-31 and Revelation 20:11-15). It will occur when Christ returns; and then the Christ followers will enjoy the bliss of an eternal life with God (I Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Know one knows when this will happen (Matthew 23:44). But this is essentially the Christian's hope in the future. Our expectation and desire is that:
- Christ will return
- we will then be resurrected
- we will live eternally with God in heaven.
Of course we know that those who are alive at his return won't need to be resurrected (I Thessalonians 4:13-18). But both the Christians who'll be resurrected and those who're alive at his return will be changed. They'll both have new bodies.
Essentially all our hope is centered in the Lord Jesus Christ. He will return. Then ALL people who have ever lived:
- will see him
- will bow before him
- will be resurrected
- will be judged
To find this in the Bible, see Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:28-29; Acts 24:15; Philippians 2:10; and Revelation 1:7, 20:12,15.
The promise of his return is our only hope. Thank God that he always keeps his promises.
Day Four - Pure Self Bible Study
Here's the BIG PICTURE regarding you and God. Whether you know it or not, God has a plan for your life. In fact, he has a plan for all people. There are two paths in life, with God and without God. It's up to each of us to choose our path.
The interesting thing is that either way, both paths lead you to God for his evaluation of your life (Revelation 20:12,15). Knowing you're on the path to him - that is deliberately choosing him - makes all the difference now in this life - and at the end of your chosen path.
In the beginning, God created man in his own image (Genesis 1:27) as his greatest creation. Obviously, nothing else was he created was more valuable to him. When we're resurrected we'll be restored to our pure selves that God intended us to be. We'll be pure because we'll finally be free from sin as he intended us to be. Your pure self is your true self.
God cannot let anything impure into heaven (Revelation 21:27), but he makes a way for sinful people to be pure and free from sin so they can live forever with him in heaven.
If you take nothing away from this Pure Self Bible Study - take this truth and meditate on it - God can make you pure. He has done this so you can live forever with him.
In the beginning of time God created everything and declared it was very good (Genesis 1:31). His greatest creation is mankind because he made Adam and Eve in his own image (Genesis 1:27). God commanded Adam and Eve to multiply (Genesis 1:28).
Therefore, any subsequent people are the result of God's creation. God created men and women pure - that is without sin. But they sinned and since then, every person born is not pure because of sin (see Romans 5:12-21).
Unlike us, Adam and Eve were born pure but Satan tricked them into thinking they were not who God said they were. They were convinced to sin. They believed a lie, they adopted an ungodly and different answer to the question we began this Bible study with - "Who am I?" 11
They sinned and were no longer the pure people God created them to be. You could say they lost their pure selves when they sinned. God wanted them pure, but after their sin they couldn't live with God anymore in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:23-24). God cannot live with sin (Revelation 21:27).
So today, all of us are born tainted with sin. That's not what God designed for us when he created mankind. So when you were born, like everybody else, you inherited a sinful body (Romans 5:12). As Christians we call this the "Old Self" or "Old Man" because it's the past self or what we used to be (See Romans 5:6, Ephesians 4:22, and Colossians 3:9).
As Christians, we are to crucify our old selves. Yes, we're to kill our old selves on the cross metaphorically speaking (Romans 6:6). When that happens we're changed, and we embrace our new selves.
If you're a Christian, then you were born again as Jesus explained to Nicodemus. So Christians, like all people, are first born (old self). But when they become followers of Jesus Christ, they are born again (new self). They're born of the spirit (See John 3:3-7).
This is why as Christians we're exhorted "to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness" (Ephesians 4:24). We're to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4) as we put on our new selves (Colossians 3:10). We have a great symbol of this newness of life in baptism.
When Christians become followers of Christ they're baptized. Baptism is a symbolic and public display that we're followers of Christ. It doesn't save us from eternal damnation, it's a symbol of our belief that we'll be resurrected to be with God when Christ returns.
We're baptized to symbolically and publicly identify with the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just as Christ died, we die to our old selves. Just as Christ was buried, we'll be buried when we die. And just as Christ was resurrected, we'll also be resurrected when he returns. 😀
In the meantime, we're fighting our old selves in our daily fight with our sin. Self-control is our means to sanctification or becoming more like Christ. But we can't win this fight by ourselves. Thankfully, sin's been defeated for us in the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ if we're Christians.
Not only that death has been defeated for us. As Christians we have our great hope for eternal life that will start when we'll be resurrected. Then we'll leave the old self behind and the new self will become the pure self God intended us to be from the beginning.
Our great hope as Christians isn't realized fully in this life because our hope lies beyond our "New Self" that we talk about in this Pure Self Bible Study. Therefore, our hope for a resurrected new body and our eternal life with God is something we should really understand. We need to understand our eternal life is really very important to God.
God wants a relationship with you. God wants you to live with him forever. What a great, magnificent, and unmatched love God has for us that we should live forever as his children. Jesus demonstrated his love for us when he died for our sins. And God will demonstrate his love for you again.
If you're resurrected to live for eternity, then you've been chosen by God to live with him forever. Think about that. But this new era of life is much different than the life we live today. We will have pure bodies or rather we'll be our pure selves as God created us to be. Most importantly, there will be no sin and death has been defeated.
The new bodies of Christians raised by God in his resurrection will be magnificent according to I Corinthians chapter 15:42-54. Our entirely new and resurrected bodies will "not merely be incorruptible, but decay's reversal. They'll be a solidity of progressive, purposive flourishing in fullness of life." 12
Because God wins, we'll win also. Our new resurrected bodies will be pure. They'll also be glorious in the sense that they'll be bodies that "find complete fulfillment in God's design and purpose to bring him glory." 13
Let's pause our Pure Self Bible Study here to offer this perspective by Elmer Martens:
"The Scriptures portray God's activity in the world in many ways. Indeed, it is impossible to state comprehensively all that the biblical writers claim God is doing. Nonetheless, it is clear that one of the Bible's chief claims is that God is shaping a people for himself." 14
Question 1: How has God shaped you uniquely for himself? How can you use your uniquely-shaped self bring him glory and bless other people?
One Man's Answer: I can use the spiritual gifts God gave me to serve others so that God is glorified and others are blessed by them.
Question 2: Does your understanding of what God has prepared for you motivate you in your present life? Why and how so?
One Man's Answer: I can often be dissatisfied with this life I live now if I lose site of the hope of glory. However, if I remind myself from the Scriptures that God has prepared something far better for me in the future than what I'm enduring or living through now, then I will will be motived.
Day Five - Pure Self Bible Study
As we come to the end of this Pure Self Bible Study, let's consider what the Apostle Paul tells us in the Book of Titus about the two appearings of Jesus Christ.
He explains in that in the past the "the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation for all people . . . and that we wait for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ".15
As we look to the future, we've got a great hope. We look forward to a new life in heaven with God. However, our concept of living in heaven with God for eternity is often based on a vague idea of eternal happiness.
Perhaps we're content to imagine ourselves somewhere in space amongst the clouds with the angels and our loved ones smiling and singing to God. But without a biblical understanding we miss key components of the Christian's future with God.
Let's review the Scriptures which provide us details regarding the future eternal life of Christians.
Question 1: Regarding the place where we'll live for eternity, what do we learn from the following Scriptures?
- Isaiah 65:17
- 2 Peter 3:13
- Revelation 21:1
From these Scriptures we see that there will be a NEW heaven and a NEW earth. The point to take away here is that where Christians are to spend eternity with God is in fact a place. We'll live forever - not in the clouds - but on the new earth that God created for us. It will be a physical place where we'll live together in our new resurrected physical bodies with him.
Notice the following about the Garden of Eden and the New Earth from Scripture in the table below. What we see here is that God has always desired the same thing - to live with mankind for eternity.
He desires to live with men and women as he created them to be - their pure selves. Just as they were initially pure in the Garden of Eden, those who are born again will be perfectly pure and live with God in heaven. Just as God created them to be - as their pure selves - for eternity. This should be a key takeaway from this Pure Self Bible Study.
Notice that God Created, and Will Create, the Perfect Place for His Family
The Garden of Eden - Genesis 1-3
- God was with mankind (3:8)
- Everything was new (1:1 - 2:3)
- Tree of Life was there (2:9)
- No unclean were there (3:23)
- There was no curse (3:17)
- There was no pain (3:16-17)
- Eternal life was possible (2:17)
The New Earth - Revelation 21-22
- God will be with mankind (21:3)
- Everything will be new (21:5)
- Tree of Life will be there (22:2)
- No unclean will be there (21:27)
- There will be no curse (22:3)
- There will be no pain (21:4)
- Eternal life will be realized (21:4)
As one commentator notes: "The curse of physical and spiritual death set on the human race by Adam in the first garden is permanently removed by the Lamb in the last garden at the time of the new creation.
In primeval time humanity was expelled from the garden sanctuary, and its entrance was thereafter closed to sinful humanity. At the end time the redeemed will be ushered into that sanctuary again on the coattails of the Lamb’s work." 16
Obviously, sin is an intrusion into our lives and isn't what God wanted for us. So, he's made a way for things to return to the way he always intended them to be.
If God wants something or someone to be a certain way, then he will achieve that in his perfect timing. His ways and his timing are both perfect. Aren't you glad you can someday become your pure self - your perfect self - as our perfect God intended you to be?
Question 2: What steps can you take now to make your "New Self" as close as possible to your future "Pure Self"?
One Man's Answer:
One Scripture comes to mind, where Jesus says in Luke 9:23:
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." (ESV)
I notice it's a DAILY challenge so if I get that right, I pray all else will fall into place.
Question 3: Also, how can you share this aspect of God's plan for people to be their pure selves as he intended all along?
One Man's Answer:
Another Scripture comes to mind that I think we should share to demonstrate God's love for all people. It's perhaps the most famous quote from the Bible:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." We can explain this first and then explain the pure self that God will allow us to become in heaven with him for eternity.
We pray this Pure Self Bible Study has blessed you and glorified God.
Resources Used for This Pure Self Bible Study
1 Grudem, Wayne. 1999. Bible Doctrine. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. p. 326.
2 2016. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
3 Schreiner, Thomas, R. 2010. Magnifying God in Christ, A Summary of New Testament Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic. p. 29-36.
4 Fee, Gordon D. 2014. The First Epistle to the Corinthians, The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing. p. 859.
5 Gardner, Paul. 2018. I Corinthians, Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan. p. 704
6 Thiselton, Anthony C. 2000. The First Epistle to the Corinthians, The New International Greek Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing. p. 1259.
7 Fenlason, Aaron C. 2014. Hope. (Ed.) Douglas Mangum, Derek R. Brown, Rachel Klippenstein & Rebekah Hurst. Lexham Theological Wordbook (Lexham Bible Reference Series). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
8 We surveyed four popular translations: ESV 84 times in both the Old and New Testaments; CSB 92 times in the Old Testament and 87 times in the New Testament; NIV 99 times in the Old Testament and 92 times in the New Testament; and NKJV 78 times in the Old Testament and 76 times in the New Testament.
9 Acts 23:6, 24:15, 26:6&7, 28:20; Romans 15:24; I Corinthians 16:7; II Corinthians 1:7, 1:13, 5:11, 8:5, 10:15, 13:6; Philippians 1:20, 2:19, 2:23; I Thessalonians 2:19; I Timothy 3:14; Philemon 22.
11 Grudem, p. 212.
12 Thiselton, p. 1272.
13 Gardner, p. 710.
14 Martens, Elmer A. 2007. The People of God, in Central Themes in Biblical Theology. (Eds. Scott J. Hafemann and Paul R. House. Grand Rapids, MI: InterVarsity Press. p. 225.
15 Titus 2:11-13. 2016. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
16 Beale, G. K. 1999. The book of Revelation: a commentary on the Greek text (New International Greek Testament Commentary). Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, Cumbria: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press.
We pray this Pure Self Bible study lesson has blessed you.