By Oscar M. Baker
Before we can tell what the hope is, we will have to settle the question of His calling, what it is and where it is. Then, whatever that may be and wherever it may be, will tell us what the hope of our calling is. For those that are in Christ are identified with Him very closely. In fact, this is their baptism. So now for the context.
Our question comes from Eph. 1:18. Beginning with verse 20 we read of Christ being raised from the dead, set at the right hand of God in heavenly places, far above all principality, power, might, dominion, and every name that is named, both in this age and the age to come. All things are put under His feet, and He is Head over all to the church. This church is His body, His fulness.
Please note that there is nothing here about Christ being a high priest in the heavens, that He will take the throne of His father, David, or that He will be King of kings and Lord of lords. He was all of that in the dispensation of the promise and those that were in Him in that dispensation would have a hope in keeping a place on the earth or land which was promised to Abraham, they would look for a great millennial kingdom here on earth, and if they were overcomers, they would look for a ruling position under the great King. They would also look for His coming and the so-called rapture as a part of their hope.
But there is no such context in Eph. 1, and so then these things of another dispensation cannot possibly be a part of His calling, and that being the case, these things cannot be a part of our hope. Our hope then is definitely linked with His session in the heavenly places - made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with Him - this in connection with principalities and powers in the heavenly places.
When we are exhorted to walk worthy of our calling, it is with these things in view. Have we made our calling and election sure? Furthermore, the hope of His calling is in connection with a promise made in Him before age times concerning eternal life. This had nothing to do with the promise made to Abraham. It was not mentioned anywhere in connection with the dispensation of promise. The reason; it had to do with all creation, not just the earth. It included the heavenly places. So it was not revealed till Eph. 3:6, 2 Tim. 1:1, and Titus 1:2. It has to do with the church, not the kingdom. There is a difference.
We do not see Him as yet meeting His hope in its entirety, for He is still sharing His Father's throne. But some day He will be manifested in glory, but not without the church which is His body and of which He is the Head. So again our hope is intimately linked with His hope. So we cannot know what is the hope of our calling till we have first learned what is the hope of His calling. Why all the confusion about this? Confusion is ignorance.