The Letter to the Romans
COLLEEN MOORE TINKER
16. Of Peace, Suffering, and Hope
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV)
Access into grace
1. Paul has just explained in detail that we are justified by faith alone, just as Abraham was justified before God. Now, he says, since we have been justified, "we have peace with God." What is this "peace with God," and why is it only possible through the Lord Jesus? (see v. 10; Isaiah 9:6; 52:6; 53:5; Micah 5:4-5; Luke 2:14; John 14:27; Ephesians 2:14-16; Colossians 1:21-22)
2. The grace of peace with God, which we have through Christ Jesus, gives us access to God. Why is this access so remarkable, and how did it come about? (see Isaiah 59:2; Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:18; 2:17-18; 3:10-11; Matthew 27:51; Hebrews 10:19-22)
3. In verses 1-5 Paul has moved from faith (v.1) to hope (v. 4-5) to love (v. 5). Why are these three things hallmarks of believers, and how are they related to each other? (see 1 Corinthians 13:13; Galatians 5;5-6; Colossians 1:3-6; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 5:8; Hebrews 6:10-12; 1 Peter 1:3-8; 21-23)
4. In addition to life's unpredictable traumas, to what other sort of suffering is Paul also referring in v. 3? (see Matthew 5:11-12; John 15:21)
5. Why is perseverance such an important part of living as a follower of Jesus? (see Hebrews 10:36; 12:1-3; James 1:3-4, 12)
6. What is the hope that does not disappoint us? (see Philippians 1:20; Hebrews 3:6; 6:11, 18-19; 7:18-19; 11:1; 1John 3:2-3)
7. When God pours his love into our hearts, of what do we become certain? (see v.8; John 3:16; Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 2:3-5; 1 John 4:9-12)
8. In the history of God and humanity, what is unique about God pouring his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit? (see Acts 2:1-4, 32-33; 10:44-46; John 14:15-21; Ephesians 1:13; Titus 3:4-7)
9. Explain the connections between suffering, perseverance, character, hope, and the love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
10. In what issue or difficulty is God calling you to persevere while you are looking for ways to make it "go away"?
11. In what area(s) of your life is God asking you to submit to him instead of hanging onto your own power or control so you don't have to suffer or "lose face"?
12. Ask God to make your heart willing to feel the real emotions of the
pain and fear and anger in your life. Ask God to give you his courage to
submit to acting on the truth he reveals to you. Ask him to heal your heart
with his love and to give you perseverance in the trauma and the drudgery
of your life. Praise him for his love which he has poured into your heart
by the Holy Spirit. Thank him for the hope you have both now and in the
future because of your access by faith into the presence of your Father.
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CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted December 17, 2003.