Hope Is Not Optimism

“Hope” and “optimism” are not the same thing. The optimist looks at the world and feels good about the way it’s going. Things are looking up! Everything is going to be all right! But hope, at least as conceived within the Jewish and then the early Christian world, was quite different. Hope could be, and often was, a dogged and deliberate choice when the world seemed dark. It depended not on a feeling about the way things were or the way they were moving, but on faith, faith in the One God.

Body, Not Limb

Because faith in Christ was not a private quest but an experiment in living together, Paul passionately opposed the individualism promoted by the “spirituals,” urging them instead to focus on the unity and integrity of the whole ekklesia.

Good Works

There are several Greek words for “good,” but the word used in “good deeds” is kallos. More than just “good,” this word means “beautiful” or “winsome.” Our deeds are meant be so attractive that others are naturally drawn to the God we serve.