Sunday, May 8, 2016

How To Be Right With God (Part 14)

SERMON               GM16-083

SERIES:              Renewal Through Romans: The Gospel Defined, Explained, and Applied

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM (May 8, 2016)

SUBTITLE:        How to Be Right with God (Part 14)

SCRIPTURE:     Romans 5:3-5

SUBJECT:          Justification produces benefits for believers        

SUMMARY:       Since the believer has been declared and is treated by God as righteous, Paul now provides some of the obvious consequences or benefits of having been justified by faith. The consequences resulting from justification have been made possible by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and by placing faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. These benefits or consequences serve as an anchor giving us security and confidence that the believer is safely secure in Christ.

SCHEME:           To provide confidence that justification safely secures the believer from condemnation


3A     The Implication of Righteousness (4:23-5:21)

          1B     …it is procurable by all men who believe (4:23-25)
          2B     …it is productive for all men who believe (5:1-5)

                   1C     Peace with God (1)                 

                   2C     Province of Grace (2)

                             1D     Accessibility provided by grace (2a)
                             2D     Dependability projected by grace (2b)
                             3D     Joviality promised by grace (2c) 

Please open your Bibles to Romans 5:3-5

 [The Title of Today’s Message is]

How to Be Right with God – (Part 14)

Today’s Truth continues to be: 

Justification produces benefits for believers

Our gracious Father, help us as we hear your holy Word read and taught to truly understand; and with our understanding, that we might believe and believing, we might be in all things faithful and obedient.

So Father we ask you, through your Holy Spirit to open our hearts and our minds for the sake, the honor, and the glory of your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, so that as the Scriptures are read and your Word explained, we may hear with joy what you say to us today. 

We ask you Father to show us all that Christ is and what He has done for us by His atoning work on the cross of Calvary.

Father, will you enable me to clearly communicate the word of God to your people, I ask you for power and unction to preach your word. Amen.

Our text for today is Romans 5:3-5 

Someone asked C.S. Lewis, "Why do the righteous suffer?" "Why not?" he replied. "They're the only ones who can take it."

Listen to Martin Luther, “If we consider the greatness and the glory of the life we shall have when we have risen from the dead, it would not be difficult at all for us to bear the concerns of this world. If I believe the Word, I shall on the Last Day, after the sentence has been pronounced, not only gladly have suffered ordinary temptations, insults, and imprisonment, but I shall also say: "O, that I did not throw myself under the feet of all the godless for the sake of the great glory which I now see revealed and which has come to me through the merit of Christ!" (Martin Luther.) 

This morning I want to continue to speak to you about the consequences or the benefits that are a result of justification by faith. If you are a genuine believer God means for you to have full and absolute assurance that you will one day be glorified.

Trials, troubles, and tribulation are the life and lot of genuine believers. We cannot escape them in this life. A major part of your faith includes the fact that even if you die you will one day reach heaven and be glorified. Your transformation, your day by day conformation into the image of Christ will terminate in a glorified status. You will one day be a part of the kingdom of God and you will live forever in a new heaven and new earth in a new and glorified body.

This is an iron clad hope for each believer. 

God tries and tests, He refines and restores. What do you have or maybe, a better question might be, what do you need when the storms and trials that are raging in your life seem to be about to destroy you?

There are formidable enemies that strike at genuine believers causing them to fear and to experience hardship. You will experience trials, trouble, and tribulation throughout your life. There are times and events that occur and will occur your life which desire to shatter their confidence. There are those times when a believer is tempted to think that they cannot be a Christian. At times many believers have doubted that God would really want to save them

Trials and tribulations can be extremely difficult and painful. They can be overwhelming to the point where the flickering light of hope appears to be on the brink of being snuffed out. So, what do you do? Where do go? What help is available to you?

My purpose today is prove that your justification has tremendous benefits that when realized gives to each genuine believer great confidence which serves as an anchor for your faith particularly when the storms of life blow on our lives. Blow they will!

Paul speaks about the magnificent benefits that are the results or consequences, the benefits of being justified by faith by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in Romans 5:1-5. So, join me as we continue to answer the question, How to be right with God?

We are in a series that is currently examining The Provision of Righteousness. We have looked at the Introduction of Righteousness, we have looked at the Illustration of Righteousness. Today we are continuing to look at or to examine the Implication of Righteousness as we consider Romans 5:3-5.

So far we have studied the second implication of having been made righteous and that was the fact that it is productive for all men who believe by examining the peace that God has made with sinners through Jesus Christ. God had been hostile toward the sinner but now peace has been made by the blood of His Son.

We also saw that justification by faith is productive for all men who believe by examining the access that was granted to us by the realm or state of grace. We were led to or towards God and justification by grace.

This week we are continuing our studies on the implication of righteousness –we will continue to study on the fact that it is productive for all men who believe because of the hope of glory promised to all those who believe and are justified by faith.

Our text, Romans 5:3-5 divides itself into two statements. The first statement, which is found in the first part of verse 3-5 is a statement that ensures the genuine believer that we have the basis and privilege of rejoicing in our tribulations and the latter part of verse two is a statement that provides the basis or grounds for such hope for the genuine believer.      

[And so we now continue to examine the second implication of justification which is that…]

2B     …it is productive for all men who believe (Vss. 1-5)

           we have seen two specific benefits produced by justification by faith.

1C     Peace with God“…we have peace with God…”

First of all - Because cause of justification by faith the sinner now has peace with God. It looked at a number of passages that made it clear that the sinner is at warfare with God, under the wrath of God and that hostilities exist between God and the sinner.

2C     Access by grace“…through also we have had access by faith into this grace in which we stand and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God…”

Second, because of justification by faith the sinner has been granted access to God through grace. Grace leads the sinner to God and enables the sinner to move in and about the presence of God. This access, this ability to move through God’s presence gives great joy to the believer.

Our theme today continues to be - Justification produces benefits for the believer

It is produces the types or kinds of benefits that enable genuine believers to live in the face of the world today.

Today we will examine the promise of the hope of ultimate maturity of genuine believers. More specifically this hope of full maturity is also called or known as the glorification of the believer. The believer has confidence that the will one day be glorified in the presence of God.

Interrogatory Sentence:  Therefore, I think it is important that we ask ourselves by what means or by what method is this total and absolute maturity, our ultimate glorification made a reality?

Transitional Statement:  The passage of scripture before us reveals at least three (3) elements of our ultimate maturation resulting in a glorified state, the means of displaying maturity, the method of developing maturity, and the manner of determining maturity.

[we continue then with the third benefit that justification produces which is a …]

                   3C     Process of Growth (3-5)

First of all, verses 3-5 seem to suggest a continuation of verses 1 & 2. Remember, verses 1 and 2 summarize that justification is by faith and faith alone. We call this sola fide.

Paul has explained three (3) fantastic and mind-blowing truths about the grounds of justification by faith:

·        We have peace with God

·        We have access into this grace in which we permanently stand

·        We have great joy in the hope of future glorification

We are justified instantly by God’s declaration when we trust in or exercise faith in the atoning work of Jesus Christ. Our justification is immediate and permanent. There is no process involved.

Our standing before God is perfect, but our ultimate goal of maturation and glorification is progressive. There is a process utilized by God in and through His perfect wisdom.

Remember there are those people who scorn the glory of God (1:21-23) and there are all people who fall short of God’s glory (3:23).

Now we see that believers have a promised share in the glory of God. We can never forget that this glory that we will share in if a free gift of God’s grace:

·        Romans 8:17 – “And if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer together, so that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed in us.” (Ro 8:17-18, EMTV)

This glory is future, but it is guaranteed to come to fruition!

(So, let’s look at the first element in regards to our ultimate glorification. I call this…)

                             1D     The Means of displaying our maturity (3a)
So, the leadoff batter is “How is maturity displayed in the believer?

ou monon de, alla kai kaucwmeqa en tais qliyesin,
                                      “And not only that, but we also rejoice in tribulations…”

Let me interrupt here just for a minute, did you catch Paul’s wording? “And not only that…” There is something more he says, there is something more wonderful that what I have just said. It is like those commercials that explain all you get when you buy and the announcer shouts out, “But wait, there is more!”

The believers’ level, or point of maturity is displayed by how he/she responds to trials, tribulation, or troubles.

Paul takes a slight turn at this verse. He turns from rejoicing in the believer’s hope of glory to believers rejoicing in tribulation.
Paul is probably using this paragraph to head off any criticism or critique of what he has been teaching so far. So he introduces them to the reality of suffering.

Why would he need to do so? Well, the Jewish objectors would question Paul’s affirmation of believer’s actually enjoying “the peace with God.” After all, even though they are believers they still face:

·        Illness
·        Difficult circumstances
·        Hardships
·        Persecution

So Paul takes an offensive posture. He makes three (3) things crystal clear:

·        Justification does not prevent suffering – it will come

·        Suffering does not eradicate blessings, particularly the blessings of peace with God and access into the grace that provides justification

·        Suffering is the grounds for rejoicing.

Sufferings are the means of developing confidence of being in a redeemed status. Paul actually uses the Greek word that is translated, tribulation or afflictions.

This is where we develop and maintain the confidence that enables genuine believers to rejoice even in the midst of trials, trouble, or tribulation!

Paul tells his readers that “we rejoice” in afflictions. Afflictions is the general word to speak of the troubles that come upon believers in this life time.

Make no mistake, be careful, we do not rejoice in the trouble or trial itself. Why would believers rejoice or be rejoicing in the middle of their troubles?

The answer is clear and I will develop it in a moment, but listen, we rejoice because we know that these troubles we face will produce certain and important things in our lives.

Let’s look for a moment at this word tribulation a little more closely.

Tribulation is “a pressing, a pressing together, it is pressure, oppression, affliction, distress, or straits, like dire straits.”  It is the word that was used in Paul’s day and Jesus’ day for squeezing out oil from olives or squeezing out the juice from the grapes.

Now our word is preceded by the article which serves to mark out these tribulations as things naturally expected in a genuine believer’s life.

·        2 Timothy 2:12 – “…and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”

·        Matthew 5:10-12 – “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you whenever they revile you, and they persecute you, and they say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake, rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

·        2 Corinthians 4:17 – “For our momentary light affliction is working out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

·        John 15:20 – “Remember the word which I aid to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you…”

·        1 Peter 4:19 – “…let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful creator.”

Trials, troubles, or tribulations were previously means of judgment on a sinner and the means to bring a sinner to the realization of his need for salvation. Now they are the evidence of God’s love in a genuine believer because God uses them to develop our spiritual growth. Again, tribulations are the grounds for rejoicing.

They are the grounds for at least three (3) reasons:

·        They become a badge of honor as the believer is deemed worthy to suffer for Christ

·        They serve God’s purposes (which we often do not know what they are)

·        They produce spiritual growth

So, to rejoice does not mean we rejoice in the persecuting action itself, or in a particular sickness or illness itself, but we rejoice because of what they are intended to do or to perform in our lives. There is absolutely no reason to despair as a genuine believer.

James Denney makes this clear for us by his comment:

“…this does not simply mean ‘when we are in tribulations,’ but also because we are,’ the tribulations being the ground of the rejoicing.” (Cited in Kenneth Wuest’s Romans in the New Testament)
All we need to do is to believe, memorize, and to practice the truth in Romans 8:18:

“For I (insert your name right here) consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed in us.”

Paul’s point – we need to fully grasp this and truly understand it is that Paul did not rejoice because of his tribulations but because of the effect that they were to have on him. The lesson for us is that tribulations have a positive effect on us and we rejoice because of this positive effect on us.

The reason that we rejoice in tribulations rather than being angry, or sad, or broken down, is that God uses trials and tribulations to develop our character. We rejoice because they produce a present and a future blessing.

[So, then if we are to rejoice in tribulations and since they display our developing or growing spiritual maturity, we need to ask ourselves then what is…]

                             2D     The Means of Developing our Spiritual Growth (3b-5a)

Next up in the batting order is “How is maturity developed in the believer?”   

eidotes oti h qliyis upomonhn katergazetai...
“…knowing that tribulation produces endurance…”

upomonhn - carries the idea of endurance or the ability to continue working in the face of strong opposition or great obstacles. It implies the ability to trust God under the most severe trials or tribulations. It means to hold up!

·        Endurance speaks of the spiritual fortitude that bears up under trials and makes a believer stronger by the suffering.         

·        Endurance suggests the “stick-to-it-tiveness” that is required by God if God’s word is to produce fruit in us

“But that which fell on the good ground, these are such who when they heard the word, with a noble and good heart, hold on to it and bear fruit with endurance.” (Luke 8:15, EMTV)

This is the means by which believers are toughened up in order to withstand the storms of life.        

·        Endurance is the means to strengthen the believer to bear up under. It is also the persistent or continued application of this strength. IOW, it is on-going and not for a one time trial or single experience.

Alva McClain in his commentary has some pretty harsh words, they are somewhat hard to hear and hard to accept. He says…

“Here is the principle by which you can discover the difference between a true child of God and one who is just a professed child of God. It is by the effect that tribulation has on him. In the life of a true child of God, tribulation brings him close to God, makes him steadfast, and makes him patient. There is another sort person. Troubles come into the life and instead of bringing him close God, tribulation makes him hard. If tribulation comes into your life and it does not make you more tender, if it does not make you love Him more, then it would be wise to examine your life in order to discover what the trouble is. In justified people, tribulation works steadfastness and patience.” [1]
What further proof could there be of our genuine conversion or salvation than how we respond to trials, troubles, or tribulations?
John 16:33 says, “…in the world you have tribulation; but have courage, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, EMTV)

The true believer actually praises God and is thankful for the tribulation that slams against them. The joy or the rejoicing is based upon the knowledge that tribulation works out or produces endurance.

These trials or tribulations are a means to bring us to maturity. WE cannot be mature if we are not steadfast, if we do not endure under the tribulation. To be matured we must stay under the pressure.

·        Naturally we want to escape the pressure

·        So we rejoice because the endurance leads to maturity

·        Tribulation turns us from trusting in ourselves to trusting God

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance…let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4, EMTV)

Rejoicing is the true spirit of the Christian life. Genuine believers are to carry, acknowledge, and benefit from the joy of knowing what trials or tribulations are engineered or designed to do.

Trials come from God! They are opportunities for the demonstration of God’s power and grace in the life of a genuine believer.

Listen, I know, all kinds of things come upon you and press against you, need, trouble, sickness, deadly illnesses, sorrow, loss of job, smeared reputation, loneliness, even persecution. All that pressure produces endurance.
There is no more important test of our profession of the Christian faith than the way we react to the trials, troubles, and tribulations that we experience in this world.

The only way to determine that the seed that actually lived was by its fruit of endurance.

·        It endured the soil it was planted in

·        It endured the broiling sun that beat down on it

·        It endured the weeds, thistles, and thorns that tried to choke it

·        It produced fruit

Listen to how William Barclay illustrates endurance in his commentary:

“When Beethoven was threatened with deafness, that most terrible of troubles for a musician, he said: “I will take life by the throat.” That is upomonh - endurance. When someone remarked to a person of steadfastness, the reply was, “Sorrow fairly colors life, doesn’t it? And I propose to choose the color” That is upomonh - endurance. Endurance is the spirit which meets things breast forward and overcomes them.” [2]

Well, we are looking at the Means of how our spiritual growth is developed in verses (3b-5a). Our spiritual growth is developed by the endurance produced in our lives through tribulation. So we continue to ask the question “How is maturity developed in the believer?”

[We see that spiritual growth is developed when endurance develops or is demonstrated…]  


                              h de upomonh dokimhn h
                              “…and endurance approval…”

Now I know that your KJV reads “character.” Out of fourteen (14) translations that I consulted, only seven (7) translated dokimhn as “character.” It has been translated as “character, approvedness or approval, experience, or as proof.” 

Kenneth Wuest teaches that dokimhn means either, the process of trial, or the proving by a trial.

[For example 2 Corinthians 8:2 says:]

“…how that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their generosity.”

Wuest also says that dokimhn speaks of “approvedness.” It is a result by trial, a tried integrity. It is a state of mind that has stood the test of the trial.

I think we are more familiar with the verb form - dokimazw. This means “to put to the test for the purpose of approving and finding that the subject tested meets the required specifications in order to put the approval on something or someone.

This gives us the idea then of something or someone has stood up on testing or trial and has shown its proof of what it is or claims to be by standing or passing the test. 

Wuest states that some scholars want to translate this word as either “proof” or “experience.” He says that is really incorrect. The idea is that of approvedness. The idea says that the party or person passed the test and now bears an approvedness that they did not previously possess. I agree. This is why I translated the word as approvedness.

It is true that it can refer to a tested character or a validation or proof of one’s character. Paul does not seem to talking about the character which wasn’t there and is now there because of tribulations, but this is more in line with an approvedness of existing character which wasn’t there prior to the test. Each successfully passed test provides approvedness.

It is the HS that brings about this approvedness by enabling the genuine believer to successfully endure the fiery tests or tribulations in order that this approval or approvedness rests upon them.

Our word was used in relationship to the testing of precious metals like silver or gold. Fire purged impurities out of silver and gold and confirmed the existing silver and gold by approving it to be silver or gold. The fire did not make it silver or gold.

The tribulations that God sends into your lives purges out the undesirable impurities that exist in your lives. But the trials, troubles, and tribulations do not make you a believer. They only prove that you are a believer if you endure. They put an approvedness on you as you endure and/or remain under the trial. The tribulations give us a sense of divine approval or approvedness. So enduring tribulations prove that you are indeed a genuine child of God.

I think this quote by Alan Johnson of Andrew Murray hits the nail on the head. Listen carefully: 

First, he brought me here, it is by His Will I am in this strait place; in that fact I will rejoice. Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child. Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow. Last, in His good time He can bring me out again-how and when He knows. [3]

And so, our spiritual growth is developed by enduring trials, by remaining under them rather than to attempt to escape them. Also our spiritual growth is developed by the approvedness that God stamps on us as we endure and remain in our tribulations until we have learned what he wants to teach us and brings us out.

[We also see that spiritual growth is developed when the approvedness of God results in increased or strengthened…]


                              h dokimh elpida.
                              “…and approvedness hope.”

The approvedness of God produces and increases our hope of our future glorification and life with God. Listen to this quote by James Denney in Kenneth Wuest’s Greek translation of Romans:

“The experience of what God can do, or rather of what He does, for the justified amid the tribulations of this life, animates into new vigor the hope with which the life of faith begins.” [4]

Douglas Moo makes this point crystal clear for us when he says: 

“The Christian who responds to sufferings with the proper attitude will find that their hope of future glorification will have been strengthened. Tribulation, rather than threatening or weakening our hope, increases the certainty of our hope. Hope is like a muscle, it must be used or exercised to be strong.” [5]

He then points us back to 4:18-19.

So, this tribulation produces an approvedness by God. This approvedness proves to genuine believers that their hope of future glorification with God is real and that it is not an allusion. The approvedness gives great confirmation to our hope.

But we can’t get this confirmation, this approvedness if we don’t stay or remain under or in the tribulation. We cannot look to escape it or run from it. God will only bring it back, or another type of tribulation to produce the endurance that spawns the approvedness of God which strengthens or increases our hope for the future.

Let me stop for a minute and add a couple of thoughts before we move to the final verse in our passage.

·        First - When a trial or tribulation hits, the first thing you need to do of course, and it should go without saying is pray.

o   Pray for grace to properly endure the term of  the trial or tribulation

o   Pray for grace & wisdom to conduct yourself in a Christ like manner while enduring the pain and torment of the tribulation

o   Pray for wisdom to discern what God desires to teach, demonstrate, prove, rebuke, correct, or instruct you 

·        Second - Don’t run from, try to escape, circumvent, fix, or have fixed the trial or tribulation. Endurance or patience means staying put, staying still. Thank God and ask for grace, strength and wisdom.

·        Third – Pray for relief or a solution without the complete and genuine attitude of, “If it is your will, let this cup pass.” How long? How many times? Well, Paul prayed three (3) times for God to remove the “thorn” from his side. God made it clear to Paul that His grace was sufficient to take care of Paul with the thorn and that he was not going to remove it. I don’t know if three (3) is the right number. That is between your conscience and God. I think it is OK to ask God to remove the trial, but it is better if you don’t. Or it is better if you ask a couple of times and then trust God and draw on His more than sufficient grace.

Now, as we continue to look at the means of the believer’s maturity, we come to ask the final question,

                              3D     The Means of Determining our Spiritual Growth (5)

                                        H de elpis ou kataiscunei...
                                        “And hope does not put to shame…”

Verse five (5) makes it clear that hope is the main idea of vss. 1-11. Hope serves as a very large thought in this section. But the truth that Paul wants to get across to his readers is that the hope of future glorification bringing shame to his readers because it failed to take place will never happen. This is because of the amazing grace of God!

This phrase reminds us of some OT passages that teach that those who put their hope in God will never experience the shame of being let down by God. (Ps 22:5; 25:3, 20; 119:116; Isaiah 28:16) 

These OT passages and this phrase here in our text assures God’s people will be vindicated for placing their hope in God. Believers will not be shamed because of their confidence or their hope.

Genuine believers do not have to fear that the coming judgment will put them to any shame in the sense that what they have placed their hope would not hold up or be sufficient.

Mind you there are people who have no hope (Eph. 2:12)
There are people who are holding on to a deceptive hope (Acts 16:9)

But our hope does not deceive us. Our hope will be fulfilled or realized! What we are hoping for will be obtained, resulting in great joy and not disappointment or shame!

Why? Why is this? Why will our hope not put us to shame!

oti h agaph tou qeou ekkecutail en tais kardias, hmwn
dia Pneumatos Agiou tou doqentos hmin

“…because he love of God has been poured out in our hearts
By the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

What does Paul mean here? What is conveying to his readers?

First of all, this clause is what we call “causal.” The HS is the reason that believers will be spared from God’s wrath at the judgment. The HS lives inside of each believer.

Believer’s experience Gods’ love in their hearts by the HS’s working or ministry. Love is a gift from God! The HS communicates God’s love to the genuine believer,

Our confidence or certainty in the hope that we hang on to especially during terrible trials and tribulation is based on the internal certainty that God loves us. God conveys His love to our “senses” It is this internal sensation inside of us that God really and truly loves us gives us the assurance that our hope will never disappoint us or put us to shame.

The verb, “poured out” signifies an abundant or extravagant effusion – God’s love is shed abundantly in our hearts

Two things here that sustain us in trials and tribulations:

·        God has poured out and filled out hearts with His love

·        God’s love resides, lives, and fills our insides

It is the HS that conveys God’s over-abundant and extravagant love for us to our senses.

And so, justification by faith produces benefits for genuine believers. These benefits serve as anchors giving genuine believers security and confidence that they are safely secure in Christ.

There are several implications of the righteousness that God has provided believers through Jesus Christ. First thing implied is that this righteousness is available for all men who believe, Jews and Gentiles. The second thing implied is that this righteousness is productive in the lives of those who believe. Righteousness provides;

·        Peace with God
·        Province (the state or realm) of Grace
·        Process for growth

The genuine believer’s growth is displayed or seen or is visible in the manner in which they respond to trials and tribulations. Genuine believers respond by rejoicing because of what the trials will produce in their lives.

The genuine believer’s growth is developed by remaining faithful, steadfast, and enduring the trial rather than running from it or trying to escape it. And it is developed by the approvedness of God on the endurance of the believer because the approvedness of God re-enforces the hope that genuine believers cling to.

The genuine believer’s growth is determined by the love of God extravagantly poured out in the hearts of believers by the HS which remind us that God truly does love us.      

 [What do you say we wrap this up?]


The director of a medical clinic told of a terminally ill young man who came in for his usual treatment. A new doctor who was on duty said to him casually and cruelly, “You know, don’t you, that you won’t live out the year?”
As the young man left, he stopped by the director’s desk and wept. “That man took away my hope,” he blurted out.
“I guess he did,” replied the director. “Maybe it’s time to find a new one.”
Commenting on this incident, Lewis Smedes wrote, “Is there a hope when hope is taken away? Is there hope when the situation is hopeless? That question leads us to Christian hope, for in the Bible, hope is no longer a passion for the possible. It becomes a passion for the promise.”
Our Daily Bread, December 19, 1996

Let’s pray! J

[1] Alva J. McClain, The Gospel of God’s Grace, (Winona Lake: BMH, 1973,) p. 127-128
[2] William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, (Philadelphia: Westminster Books, 1975), p. 73-74
[3] Alan F. Johnson, Romans, (Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1974), p.97
[4] Kenneth Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955), p. 79
[5] Douglas Moos, The Epistle to the Romans, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), p. 303-304


nashvillecats2 said...

Sorry I'm late with a comment, had an early night and your post was not on line .
As always it was uplifting to read, I shall think over what you have written whilst having my morning break today.
Thanks for a wonderful post which is always a pleasure to read.

shortybear said...

great post

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