The Helpfulness of Hope
Romans 5:1-5 (KJV)
Legality v. 1-2
Finality: v. 3-5
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
A bus driver and a minister were standing in line to get into heaven. The bus driver approached the gate and St. Peter said, “Welcome, I understand you were a bus driver. Since I’m in charge of housing, I believe I have found the perfect place for you. See that mansion over the hilltop? It’s yours.
The minister heard all this and began to stand a little taller. He said to himself, “If a bus driver got a place like that, just think what I’ll get.”
The minister approached the gate and St. Peter said, “Welcome, I understand you were a minister. See that shack in the valley?”
St. Peter had hardly gotten the words out of his mouth when the shocked minister said, “I was a minister, I preached the gospel, I helped teach people about God. Why does that bus driver get a mansion, and I get a shack?”
Sadly St. Peter responded, “Well, it seems when you preached, people slept. When the bus driver drove, people prayed.”
- Hope is always offered
- Hope is always available
- Hope is always attainable
- However hope is often not seen until trying times
- Today we will see the only HOPE that is truly helpful
The apostle’s message in chapter 5 is essentially, “Now that you have peace with God, you’ve only just begun to live … and it only gets better from here.” CS
- Therefore being justified by faith,
- The term therefore connects Paul’s present argument with what he has already said, especially in chapters 3 and 4.
- In those chapters the apostle established that, as believers, we have been justified by faith.
- Justified to render righteous or such he ought to be. To show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered. To declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be.
- To legally vindicate or to acquit
- Christ paid our sin debt on the cross
- His blood covered the fine
- We have peace with God
- The peace that Paul is speaking about here is not subjective but objective.
- It is not a feeling but a fact.
- You know that you are in the right standing because of what’s taken place
“Have you ever been at odds with someone that you cared about, father, mother, children, friend, husband, wife, brother sister? And then one day the relationship is mended. And then you have peace. No more worrying, no more what if’s. You know all is well
- Through our Lord Jesus Christ:
- By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,
- Paul calls the experience of receiving God’s grace through faith and the resulting peace an “introduction.”
- The Greek word is prosagōgē, which is variously rendered “access” or “introduction,” but these fail to capture the cultural word picture it contains.
- Prosagōgē describes the process of being ushered into the court of a king and then being announced, which thereupon implies the right or opportunity to address the ruler.
- Because we are in the right standing with God by faith through justification
- Our debt being paid by Christ on the cross
- We can come boldly to the Lord
- On the basis of our faith in Him, Jesus Christ brings believers into this grace in which we stand. Histēmi (stand) here carries the idea of permanence, of standing firm and immovable.
- Although faith is necessary for salvation, it is God’s grace, not the believer’s faith, that has the power to save and to keep saved.
- And rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
- The word rejoice not the best translation of the word from the Greek
- Exult or Rejoice is probably the best English word to render the Greek term used by Paul, which literally means “to boast.”
- We typically think of boasting as a negative behavior, but one respected lexicon defines the Greek use of the verb as “to express an unusually high degree of confidence in someone or something being exceptionally noteworthy.
- Hope in the biblical sense does not have the element of wishful thinking that we give it in English.
- A child might say, “I hope I get a red bicycle for Christmas,” and he might be surprised to find it next to the tree. Or he might not.
- The word used by Paul is a noun meaning “an assured expectation.”
- Glory refers to the state of things as God desires them. Good triumphs over evil, justice prevails, sin has no place, and everything exists in harmony with His holy character.
- So when you put that all together here is what you get
We boast in our assured expectations that God will prevail & everything will be fine!
The September 11, 2002 issues of TIME magazine has a touching article about 31-year old Genelle Guzman. Genelle was the last of just four people caught in the debris of the Twin Towers to be found alive.
After the planes hit the World Trade Center, Genelle was descending a stair case from the 64th floor of the North Tower. Steel beams weakened to their breaking point. Solid concrete was pulverized. But somehow her body found an air pocket.
Her right leg was pinned under heavy concrete pillars. Her head was caught between stacks of wreckage. But somehow she was still alive.
For twenty-seven hours Guzman lay trapped and seriously injured.
In recent months before the attacks Genelle had started attending the church called Brooklyn Tabernacle, and wanted to get her life turned around. So while she was stuck in the rubble, she started to pray. She’d trail off into sleep – wake up and pray some more.
Shortly after noon on Wednesday the 12th, she heard voices. So she screamed as loud as she could, “I’m here! HEY, I’M RIGHT HERE!” A rescue worker responded, “Do you see the light?” She did not. She took a piece of concrete and banged it against a broken stairway overhead—probably the same structure that had saved her life. The searchers find the noise.
Genelle wedged her hand through a crack in the wall, and felt someone grab it. She heard a voice say, “I’ve got you,” and Genelle Guzman said, “OH GOD, THANK YOU.”
It took 20 long minutes, and then she was saved.
- There are millions of people that are buried alive and don’t know it
- Some are happy, successful morally good
- Some are living a life of sin, lust and self-satisfaction
- Others are weighted down by their burdens
- Being crushed by the weight of their sin & situation
- They might be looking for answers
- They could be attending a church
- Yet they are still under the rubble
- They are looking for HOPE in a hopeless world
- All of these people need Christ
- They need the HOPE which we proclaim to have
Tuesday my day started with being contacted by a church member whose 4 year old grandson had hospice called in. My day ended with another church member son’s death.
- They’re not worried about things that others are
- What do you worry about (what good does it)
- What upsets you
- What is the last thing that upset you at church
- Was it earthly or spiritual
- They are in need of HOPE
- A hope we claim to have yet live like it doesn’t exists
- And some of you don’t help
- Everything is negative
- From your facebook to in person
- I have a question and I’m not being ugly it truly concerns me
- Where is your hope?
- What is your hope in?
- And not only so,
- I love that
- It’s saying, There’s MORE
- But we glory in tribulations also:
- Unfortunately, life this side of heaven will include suffering. This is true for everyone; perhaps more so for the believer
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
- Unfortunately this is not what’s being preached by many today
- They claim that God wants only good things for you
- Which is true of your soul
- They claim if you have enough faith you’ll never see sickness or poverty
- Yet they fail to tell their followers this
- If you follow Jesus you will be hated and could lose your life
- That doesn’t draw a big crowd!
- Our own nation is growing more hostile toward us
- May act surprised
- Yet Paul tells us something strange
- Glory in tribulations
- The word glory in verse 2 was doxah refers to the state of things as God desires them
- The word glory here is kow·khahom·ahee which means to boast
- The word for “tribulation” in Greek is thlipsis. The literal meaning is “pressure,” which of course is used figuratively to describe “distress, hostility, affliction, or oppression.”
- It has the underlying meaning of being under pressure and was used of squeezing olives in a press in order to extract the oil and of squeezing grapes to extract the juice.
- So we are to boast when under pressure & pressed on all sides
- We gain the ability to rejoice or boast under pressure through a carefully monitored training program directed by the Lord Himself.
- Paul describes this program as a chain reaction in which one phase leads to another, eventually giving us the ability to experience joy despite our circumstances.
When Paul wrote Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Or 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always
- He was not saying rejoice because of your situation
- He was saying rejoice because Jesus has given you the ability to endure
- And That Christ is with you every step of the way
- Knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
- Patience hypomonē, which means “remaining under” in the literal sense and “patiently enduring”
- Can I be honest?
- This is one of those verses that I could have lived without
- Or at least I once thought so
- What Paul is telling us is because of what Christ has done within us and we Rejoice in the Lord,
- We Glory in the Lord
- We have Hope in the Lord
- We can make it through anything life throws at us
- Regardless of the pressure
- Regardless of the pain
- We can make through
- Because of Him
No one is suggesting we volunteer for pain or ignore the opportunity to eliminate it. But sometimes there is no solution, no remedy, no relief. Sometimes we cannot avoid or escape the pressure. When that happens, we deliberately choose to “remain under” and to do so with graceful and calm dignity.
- And patience, experience;
- “Perseverance [brings about] proven character.”
- Patience cultivates experience dokimē, or “tested worth.”
Dokimē derives its meaning from the verb “to watch” and pictures a metallurgist placing a sample of gold or silver under intense heat to observe how it responds. It came to be used of soldiers and athletes, whose mettle was proven by their endurance in combat or competition.
- The old saying “That will test your metal”
- Once you have endured, persevered, experienced something once
- You grow stronger
- Also you now have the experience to help others
- Who would you come closer to listening to
- Someone that has never gone through what you’re going through
- Or someone with firsthand experience
How many of you have at least 2 kids? Remember when your first one was born you worried about everything, locks on cabinets, everything had to be clean and safe. Every little noise they made at night you woke up, every cough you were off to the doctor. Then you had your second, drop their pacifier in dirt you blow it off, they could be coughing up a lung and your like suck it up you’ll be ok.
- You learned from experience they would survive
- And experience, hope:
- Now it is simple
- Why would experience bring hope?
- If I endured once
- I can endure again
- The first bareback horse I got on was a pony
- Though me off pretty quick
- Second one didn’t do much better
- My 3rd one broke some ribs
- My fourth one I rode, not well but still made the whistle
- The longer I rode, the better I got the better I got the more confident I became
- Why because from past experience I knew I could do it
- And hope maketh not ashamed;
- Coming full circle, as it were, Paul says that godly hope produces godly hope. Our “hope of the glory of God” (v. 2) is increased and strengthened by our heavenly Father through the process of tribulation, perseverance, and proven character, the end product of which is hope that does not disappoint or maketh not ashamed
- Disappoint of make who Ashamed
- Us & the Lord
- Listen I have failed at this
- I was embarrassed
- I was disappointed
- Because I knew my Lord would not fail me
- But I wasn’t willing to endure for HIM
- The more a believer pursues holiness, the more he is persecuted and troubled and the greater will be his hope as he is sustained through it all by God’s powerful grace.
- Because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
- The Love of God has filled our hearts
- It is through this love that we possess what it takes to make through this life
- Nowhere does it say it is easy
- Nowhere does it say it goes our way
- What it does say is this
“There is hope in this world for those that are willing to receive it”
Max Lucado wrote, “I have everything I need for joy!” Robert Reed said.
His hands are twisted and his feet are useless. He can’t bathe himself. He can’t feed himself. He can’t brush his teeth, comb his hair, or put on his underwear. Strips of Velcro hold his shirts together. His speech drags like a worn out audiocassette.
Robert has cerebral palsy.
The disease keeps him from driving a car, riding a bike, and going for a walk. But it didn’t keep him from graduating from high school or attending Abilene Christian University, from which he graduate with a degree in Latin. Having cerebral palsy didn’t keep him from teaching at St. Louis Junior College or from venturing overseas on five mission trips.
And Robert’s disease didn’t prevent him from becoming a missionary in Portugal.
He moved to Lisbon, alone, in 1972. There he rented a hotel room and began studying Portuguese. He found a restaurant owner who would feed him after the rush hour and a tutor who would instruct him in the language.
Then he stationed himself daily in a park, where he distributed brochures about Christ. Within six years he led seventy people to the Lord, one of whom became his wife, Rosa.
I heard Robert speak recently. I watched other men carry him in his wheelchair onto the platform. I watched them lay a Bible in his lap. I watched his stiff fingers force open the pages. And I watched people in the audience wipe away tears of admiration from their faces. Robert could have asked for sympathy or pity, but he did just the opposite. He held his bent hand up in the air and boasted, “I have everything I need for joy.”
His shirts are held together by Velcro, but his life is held together by joy.
- That joy comes from the hope we have in Christ
- And you can finally have that joy
- It is here today
- Being offered for free
- Don’t leave Hoping you make it to heaven
- Leave knowing you will because you have His promised HOPE