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Hope of resurrection

15 August 2014


Your answers

"Hope of resurrection"? I thought it was a certainty? 

A well-known prayer gives thanks that we have "a true faith and a sure hope". Hope of resurrection never conflicts with or undermines its certainty in the realm of faith, because faith and hope are interrelated.

Christian hope, as opposed to a this-worldly optimism, is based neither on wishful thinking nor on clever speculation, but firmly on the resurrection of Christ. St Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15, expounds this at length, and specifically defines hope in relation to the tremendous fact that Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died (1 Corithians 15.19-20).Similarly, St Peter rejoiced that Christians were given new birth into a living hope, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1.3).

This resurrection faith, consistently proclaimed in the New Testament, both informs and inspires the hope that looks forward "to the grace that Jesus Christ will bring when he is revealed" (1 Peter 1.13). With faith in the indwelling presence of the risen Christ in the power of the Spirit - "Christ in you, the hope of glory" - believers have a pledged "guarantee" (Greek: arrabon) or an advanced foretaste of what God has prepared, in that "what is mortal may be swallowed up by life" (2 Corinthians 5.4-5).

Hope of resurrection ultimately depends on faith in the promises of God. It has been said that, for a Christian, hope is never a trembling, hesitant hope that perhaps the promises of God may be true: it is, on the contrary, always a confident expectation that they cannot be anything else than true. As a statement of faith, that underscores the certainty of the hope of resurrection.

(Canon) Terry Palmer,  Magor Monmouthshire


Your questions

Gun carriages are designed for the deployment of heavy artillery and other weapons of mass destruction. Is it as incongruous as it would seem for such vehicles to convey deceased members of the royal family and other notabilities to their funerals in cathedrals and other churches?

J. M.


Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG. questions@churchtimes.co.uk


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