Rejoicing In Hope

Rejoicing In Hope

Rejoicing in Hope

29-11-2020

Romans Commentary

Pr Edi Giudetti

12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Romans 12:12

 Paul writes to the gentile Church that was founded by him in Rome. He left this Church to faithful men to continue on in the work, and he writes to them simply one of the most profound and sweeping books of the Bible. The Book of Romans

It is profound respecting its logic and depth of teaching, Paul moves from one incredible doctrine to another with an ease that has been studied and considered for centuries. It is consistent, logical, doctrinal and applicable and is without parallel in the Bible.

It is ‘Sweeping’ because it goes into incredible depth on all the most fundamental doctrines found in the Bible, from the time it was written to this very present day this book remains contemporary, it remains for our present day. 

We see all the foundation doctrines of the Bible in its pages;

  • The Reality of God understood through creation (Apologetics)
  • The purpose and person of Christ (Christology)
  • The nature of man (Anthropology)
  • The nature of God, his power and sovereignty (Theology)
  • The first few chapters lays the foundation proposing the source of knowledge (Epistemology) 
  • The nature of salvation, the fallen state of man and how to be saved (Soteriology)
  • The nature of the Church is seen in this chapter (Ecclesiology)
  • And even the end goal for us to be conformed to the image of his Son (Eschatology)

This is the nature and depth of this incredible book that would take the average person only about 1.5hrs to read (9900 words).

Now, from chapter 12 Paul teaches about the nature of the Church, that is, the assembly of believers that have been saved from the penalty of their sin through the sacrifice of Christ.

This is a group of people that are found all over the world over the last two thousand years, who simply believed the good news that Jesus died for their sins and rose again that they might know they are raised in newness of life.

Paul here writes of how the Christian is to now live, knowing all the has been done for him.

Paul writes of;

  • the dedication of the life of the Christian in verse 1;
  • the transformation of the life of the Christian in verse 2
  • the consideration of the Christian life in verse 3
  • the distinctive purpose of the individual Christian in verses 4 to 8
  • The outward affections of the Christian in verse 9 to 11
  • And now we come to the inward state of the Christian in 12

12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

We are going to consider a series within a series over the next few weeks titled simply Rejoicing in Hope.

I am going to expound this one verse into three sermons, each of which will find their respective titles in the verse.

The first that heads our series is the first few words, Rejoicing In Hope;

In this I aim to show;

  1. What it is to Rejoice in Hope
  2. Why it is that we rejoice in hope
  3. How it is that we rejoice in hope
  4. And when it is that we rejoice in hope

What it is to Rejoice in Hope

12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Paul brings these few words (Rejoicing in hope) out of a passage in which he is teaching Christians how they are to live in this newfound life of theirs. On the surface it seems an ordinary consideration and runs the risk that its value and importance gets lost in the list;

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; 11 Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; 13 Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

We want to consider, What it Is To “REJOICE IN HOPE”.

FIRSTLY; What is HOPE?

Our Church is titled “Hope Baptist Church”, its title was not chosen out of random. We believe that the word of God is the true source that informs us of the hope that we are looking for, and it is Romans 15:4 that underpins the title of this Church;

Simply; “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

Having Hope sounds wonderful, but ‘hope’ itself needs both a definition and an object.

What is “Hope”? and;

Hope in what?

Romans 8:24-25

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

First of all we see that hope is an expectation of that which is not yet seen. for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

YET: there is a certain expectation of receiving it, it is a waiting for that which is not yet received or seen; 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Notice, it’s a waiting with certainty, it’s not a ‘hope so’ hope that people use today.

Turn to Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Notice that Hope is based on something substantial, something that is real but not yet apparent, not manifested, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Paul goes on to explain in verse 3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

This is a fascination scientific conclusion that is given, Paul admits to that which may have been common knowledge in the world at the time, and that is that everything that is seen in the world were not made of things which do appear, in other words, it is evidential that all that is seen has within it building blocks that are not seen.

The scientific realisation of the Atom goes back to well before the time of Paul, in fact it goes all the way back in written form to Democritus in the 5th century BC and it simply means “indivisible”. In other words, all of that which we see can be divided into smaller and smaller parts until it reaches the Atom.

But no person had ever seen the Atom or known its parts conclusively until the 20th Century. It was Earnest Rutherford who gave us the Nuclear Model of the Atom in 1911 and then Erwin Schrodinger who clarified the Quantum nature of the Atom a decade later.

The point is that hope is synonymous with the certainty of a reality that is not yet apparent, it is “the evidence of things not seen”. Again, it is NOT a “Hope-So” hope, it is not based on a probability that may or may not eventuate

The Biblical HOPE is one based on certainty, it is the looking forward to that which WILL be apparent, seen and experienced in time.

Turn to Romans 5:1 as we close off this definition

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 tribulationsalso: knowing that tribulation worketh patienceAnd patience, experience; and experience, hope: (There is a building up of the expectation of hope through tribulation, patience and experience) 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.

Beloved, rejoicing in hope is the Joyful Looking forward to that which we will one day certainly receive, no matter what trials we endure.

It is this HOPE that gives us patience in troubling times

It is this HOPE that is the culmination of our experience

It is this HOPE that is made evident to us as the Love of God is experienced in us by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

What is it to Rejoice in Hope?

It is to have JOY in the daily expectation of the inheritance we have received, but not yet seen.

We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Why it is that we rejoice in hope

Because He Is Governor of All (1 Cor 8:6, Eph 3:9, Phil 3:8) 

This world is increasingly being filled with uncertainties.

It is true that no person in the world can describe with any accurate degree of precision what will occur tomorrow, but don’t let that deceive you into thinking that uncertainty is NOT increasing.

Yes, it’s true that no person can know with certainty what will happen tomorrow, BUT we have long lived our livers on the daily basis expecting a large degree of certainty. 

  • We set our alarms fully expecting to wake up in the morning
  • We get dressed fully expecting to go to work in the morning, or take the kids to school, or do the gardening or clean the house etc.
  • We make plans for the holidays fully expecting, not only to go on holiday, but also to enjoy our time away and return safely.
  • We start businesses, having considered how things work on a regular basis, knowing both the supply and demand side of a product or service, and consider both a stable market price and profit of the good or service we intend to sell.
  • We like to think our laws also should be stable, this stability and logical consistency in our laws make life both tolerable and potentially profitable and enjoyable.

In fact, consistency is not only how we are used to living our lives day to day, but it’s when something occurs out of the norm that troubles us the most. Generally speaking, anything that disrupts the certainty of our days is exactly that, disruptive.

It is therefore hope that people live in each and every day expecting, with both past experience as well as positive expectation (particularly in western countries), that tomorrow shall be as this day only more prosperous.

BUT it’s when uncertainty replaces certainty that hope most often gives way to despair.

Solomon wrote; 18 Yea, I hated all my labour which I had taken under the sun: because I should leave it unto the man that shall be after me. 19 And who knoweth whether he shall be a wise man or a fool? yet shall he have rule over all my labour wherein I have laboured, and wherein I have shewed myself wise under the sun. This is also vanity. 20 Therefore I went about to cause my heart to despair of all the labour which I took under the sun. (Eccles 2:18-20)

This year has been a year of despair for many people

Businesses have been lost permanently, lives have been turned upside down, people have been displaced and left stranded. Anxieties have filled the hearts of multitudes. 

The only industries that seem to have profited are those selling pharmaceuticals and alcohol. 

The sales of Antidepressants have gone through the roof.

A market research site states “The global antidepressants market is expected to grow from $14.3 billion in 2019 to about $28.6 billion in 2020 as mental health issues are expected to surge due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic making an impact on the global economy.”[1]

WHY? 

Certainty about tomorrow has been disrupted

  • Setting our alarms no longer has the same expectation of work tomorrow as it had yesterday.
  • The kids might be home from school for a while, or sent home.
  • Holiday bookings might either be cancelled or difficult to return from, and there is less confidence that a trip overseas will be as enjoyable as it was a year ago.
  • Businesses are having trouble being sold, let alone started.
  • Our laws are being changed with a moment’s notice, and God help you if you are the last to find out that shopping will be curtailed from tomorrow.

So Why Is It That We Rejoice In Hope?

We Rejoice In Hope, BECAUSE of the Certainty of our inheritance with Christ, and the joy of the knowledge of eternal glory in heaven. 

This is NOT a “hope-so” hope, this is an absolute certainty to those who know that they know they are saved through their faith in Christ.

They know it biblically;

They know it experientially

They know it evidently.

They know it because it was secured by the one who died to make peace between God and Man

They know it because it was told to them by the one who cannot lie.

We Rejoice IN Hope, because it is the ONE certainty that can never be altered no matter all that occurs in the world.

This is why Paul wrote of his tragedy and hope saying; 

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. (2 Cor 4:8-12)

Paul had HOPE of eternal life, hope of his inheritance in heaven and joy in his sufferings, to tell the world they too can have peace with God.

We Rejoice in Hope because of the Certainty of that inheritance.

So;

  1. What it is to Rejoice in Hope?

It is to have JOY in the daily expectation of the inheritance we have received, but not yet seen.

  • Why it is that we rejoice in hope?

It is because of the Certainty of the inheritance.

How it is that we rejoice in hope?

Because His Joy Was to Make Peace Between God and Man (Heb 12:1-3)

I don’t really know how long ago it was. 

According to the Hebrew Calendar, 2020 equates to the year 5781 from creation.

Perhaps the fall of man occurred in the first year, perhaps not, I don’t know. But what I do know is that from the very time of the fall of man and his loss of paradise, the messiah, the redeemer, the Christ was promised to come and to save man from his sin.

  • He was to come to atone for the sins of mankind, in himself.
  • He was to come to restore the broken relationship between man and God that occurred from the beginning. 
  • To make peace between God and man.

Not in a universal way, but in a personal way. All who wanted to make peace with God would and could, all who did not want to make peace with God, would not and therefore could not.

You only need to share the Gospel a few times to see that not everyone wants to make peace with God.

You only need to share the Gospel a few times to also see lives transformed.

Nevertheless, there could never have been even an opportunity to be at peace with God without the messiah, without the redeemer, without the Christ.

The earliest recorded book of history is the book of Job and even in that book, which is found near the center of your bibles, is this verse written;

how should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? (Job 9:2-4)

In Job 25:4 its written “How then can man be justified with God? Or how can he be clean that is born of a woman?”.

About a thousand years later the Psalmist wrote “enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.” (Ps 143:2)

About 600 years later it was the secular greek philosopher, Aristotle, the student of Plato, who wrote, “I know it is for God to forgive sins, but I do not see how!”

And HOW is our question! 

How Is It that We rejoice in Hope?

How is it that man has come to have the free opportunity to be justified before a holy God and inherit everlasting life?

Well, I think just by the above quotes we can see that mankind DOES NOT have that ability in himself.

The Bible says we are sinners by nature. We are not Sinners because we sin, we ARE sinners and therefore we sin. 

The fall is an inherited nature.

The Bible says we are born into sin;

The Law is given to reveal in us our sin nature;

Turn to Romans 7:6 “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet”

Romans 3:20 “….by the law is the knowledge of sin”

The bible says therefore that Man, drinks in iniquity like water

Man cannot but sin, “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen 6:5)

for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth” (Gen 8:21)

And all the good we think we do, is as filthy rags in the sight of God;

Isaiah wrote; 

But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isa 64:6)

We think we do good because we come to church, if this is what you rely on for good favour in the sight of God, know that all he sees is filthy rags.

  • You are honest in your dealings….filthy rags
  • You give to the poor…filthy rags
  • You gave up a bad habit….filthy rags

All the effort you think to make in the hope that God will be pleased with it, is like offering a sea shell for a billion dollar debt….or offering a billy cart for a Rolls Royce. It’s like doing a day’s work and expecting a lifetime of wages.

In fact, none of these examples even comes close to how pathetic a state mankind is in without a Saviour.

I don’t really know how long ago it was, but Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is identified as far back as Genesis chapter 3; the same chapter that introduces Satan the deceiver and the consequent fall of man, also introduces the solution for man.

Addressing himself to the origin of Evil, God says to Satan;

14 …, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

This is one of approximately 300 allusions and prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the coming of a Saviour who would bruise, or destroy, Satan and offer redemption to mankind.

How is it that we rejoice in HOPE?

Turn to Isaiah 53

Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 

10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

700 years before his birth, this was written of him.

A man would come into the world who would be rejected by many. He would suffer and he would die, but not for himself, no, he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

We are healed!!!

We would have NO certainty of hope if that hope hinged on our ability to be good enough, or to stay good.

We have hope because he came to seek and to save that which is lost, we have the certainty of hope because we believe “with his stripes we are healed

And that 10 … it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

The security of our hope is not in the circumstances of this world, Jesus said that he has overcome the world.

The security of our hope is not in us, Jesus said we cannot make a hair on our head either white or black, or even add any height to our stature.

The security of our hope, and how we can rejoice in hope, is by believing Jesus Christ Saved me.

SO;

  1. What it is to Rejoice in Hope?

It is to have JOY in the daily expectation of the inheritance we have received, but not yet seen.

  • Why it is that we rejoice in hope?

It is because of the Certainty of the inheritance.

  • How Is it that we rejoice in Hope?

By believing Jesus Christ saved me.

 

And when it is that we rejoice in hope?

Because now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 

Turn to Romans 13:11-12

11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed!

Paul here is speaking of the nearness of seeing that for which we hope for.

Every day that goes by is another day closer to the realisation of that hope we all look forward to.

Beloved, it’s not death that we are looking for, but it will be either death or the rapture that will see us realise the hope that we rejoice in this very day.

The rapture of the Church is immanent, it could happen at any time and we are all called to be both waiting and watching.

Turn to Romans 8:23

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. 24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

1 Corinthians 1:7 says that we are to be “waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”

But the bible also says we should be “watching”

We are to be waiting AND watching;

Turn to Titus 2:13

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Jesus told his disciples;

Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: 36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch(Mrk 13:35-37)

Therefore, as there is no doubt the time is getting shorter and shorter, and that our salvation is certainly nearer now than when we first believed, 

When is it that we rejoice in HOPE?

We rejoice now.

We rejoice now and with an urgency to tell others as we see the day approaching;

We live as if the hope of our Lord’s coming for us is any moment.

We live with urgency and we live with purpose and we redeem the time for the days themselves are ……Evil.

Today is the day of salvation, those who do not yet know the hope I am speaking of, I pray earnestly that today will be the day you begin to Rejoice In Hope.

.


[1] https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/04/21/2019282/0/en/Global-Antidepressants-Market-2020-to-2030-COVID-19-Implications-and-Growth.html

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