Saturday, September 08, 2007

More on Hope (& Love)

This post is a continuation of my thinking on the subject which I started HERE.

In that earlier post, I had been meditating on Romans 5:5 and asking myself the following question :

What is it about having the love of God poured out in my heart by the Holy Spirit which somehow guarantees that my hope will "not disappoint" ?

In considering this question, I made the observation of the violent reaction exhibited by Muslims at any threat or criticism of their faith.

I deduced that this severe reaction could have at its root a disappointement of hope as the believer's faith is held up to the possibility of being shown to be false as it comes under threat, criticism or held up to ridicule (sarcasm).

But for the Christian the promise of Romans 5:5 is that the Christian hope does not disappoint.

Now we look more closely at Paul's train of thought in Romans. Paul introduces FAITH in Romans 3. The nature, quality or essence of that faith is revealed in Romans 4 by the example of Abraham and climaxes with the words of 4:18 (click to read) where HOPE is introduced for the first time in Romans. It's a faith with an overwhelming strong hope element (as it seems was also exhibited by Mother Teresa).

We then read only a few verses later in 5:5 (click to read) of LOVE.

This is also the first time love is introduced in the letter of Romans to reappear again alongside 'hope' when we reach chapter 8. In order to understand Paul's argument as to why the hope of the Christian is a hope that does not disappoint we have to understand how Paul defines 'love' as he introduces it here in 5:5 in connection with hope.

Thankfully, Paul does come to the rescue and defines 'love' three verses later as follows :

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Understand the implication of this love in your Christian life and your hope will never disappoint. Understand the implication of this love and you will understand what Christians have which Muslims (and all who do not have saving faith in Jesus Christ) sorely lack.

More later, perhaps.

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