Hope in Romans 5:1–11

By | April 21, 2024

In Romans 5:1–11, Paul refers to hope three times (Romans 5:2, 4, 5) and speaks to the content of our hope as well (Romans 5:9–10). The following briefly examines these mentions of hope for our encouragement today.

Hope in the Glory of God

First, Paul sates, “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2). The object of our hope here is “the glory of God,” something that we anticipate and expect. What of God’s glory can we expect to experience in the future? In short, this is our glorification, when we are one day perfectly “conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29). We will “be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:17). This is “the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18), “the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21), the climax of our salvation blessings (Romans 8:30).

Hope Produced by Suffering

Second, Paul mentions hope in a list of benefits that suffering produces. “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame” (Romans 5:3–5). Our hope is not yet realized, and it would seem that our suffering might squelch this hope. However, as we endure through suffering, we see that God’s transformation in us is real. Moreover, as we endure suffering time and again, we develop a proven character that in turn produces a steadfast hope (cf. James 1:2–4; 1 Peter 1:6–9).

Hope That Does Not Put Us to Shame

Third, this “hope does not put us to shame” (Romans 5:5). It will not disappoint us in the great day when Christ returns and calls us to Himself. It is not a vain hope that will fail to come to be. The cause of such certainty is “God’s love” to us through Christ which “has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). As we believe and persevere, the Spirit communicates the love of God to us through Christ, assuring us that our hope will be fulfilled one day.

Hope of Being Saved

Last, in Romans 5:9–10, Paul does not use the word hope but specifies its content. Because we believe that Christ died for our justificationwhile we were yet sinners—“much more,” Paul says, “shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God” and also “be saved by His life” (Romans 5:9–10). If God has turned us from enemies into friends thanks to our faith in the blood of Christ, then we can hope all the more as His friends that He will save us from the wrath to come, thanks to the ongoing life and ministry of Christ.

As you believe in Christ, so also you have hope—a hope in future glorification, a hope that brings you through present suffering, a hope that will never put you to shame, a hope that you will be saved. May God strengthen our faith in Him and thus our hope today.

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