He who has this hope in him, purifies himself just as He is pure.
1 John 3:3
It is essential to understand what biblical writers mean by the word “hope.” When we say, ‘I hope so” we usually mean, “I have no certainty about what will transpire, but I hope against hope that it will be like such and such.” For us today, hope is a hope-so hope.
The biblical meaning of the word is very different. The element of uncertainty has been removed from it—when you read the word “hope” think “expectation,” or ‘anticipation.” It is applies to something that is certain, but is a “hope” because it just hasn’t happened yet. The blessed hope isn’t the blessed “hope-so.” It’s the happy expectation—the joyous anticipation OF Christ’s coming in glory as the “great God and Savior.” What makes it a hope is not that it is uncertain, but that it is still in the future.
So, John says, when you are sure of what it means to be God’s child, you will want to purify yourself. What did he teach? Two things:
- It doesn’t yet appear what we will be like someday,
- But when He appears, we know that we will be like Him.
What an expectation! To be like our Lord some day—even though now we don’t have an appreciation of what that will be like, we know that it will be glorious. What is uncertain isn’t the fact but it’s meaning—what will it be to bt like Him? To have a body like His—to have a life like His—wonderful! We shall see Him as He is, and will be like Him! Too much to fathom-but not too much to contemplate.
While we can’t picture it adequately, we can begin to think about it. And as we do, the very thought ought to transform our lives” “I am God’s child. I will be like Christ. He is pure—I will be pure. Why wait till then to begin living the life of purity?”
To become more like Christ is to become purer every day, removing the defiling elements that keep us from being entirely what we should be. Refined by the thought so that the more we contemplate that likeness, the more we will want to remove every impurity.