Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On the Faith, Hope, Love and Joy

Paul explains that our peace is grounded in our justification. Our justification is a result of faith in Jesus. Moreover, we are extremely joyful in the hope of the glory of God. I am guessing that means sanctification in that the next verse then discusses the relationship between: tribulations and perseverance, perseverance and proven character, proven character and hope. More specifically, this hope is grounded in grace (similar to our faith) in that, the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (notice the passive verbs).

The text simply strikes me as amazing for four reasons:
1) Faith in Christ is the cornerstone. Everything is grounded in faith and is by grace.

2) Sanctification, tribulation and love are related. Sanctification (tribulation) is the result of the very love of God.

3) Worship and joy is not absent from these key doctrines. Let it be said that the word exult is mentioned twice: once in relation to the hope of sanctification and the next time in relation to tribulation. It seems then reasonable to draw a connection between: sanctification and joy, and also tribulation and joy. Moreover, by extension it also seems reasonable to draw a connection between justification and joy and also the love of God and joy. In my opinion, this only makes sense to draw a connection between God's sovereignty and joy -but that's another blog entry.

4) And finally, where justification comes through Christ, sanctification, it seems, comes through the Holy Spirit. I am no Dr. Earle Ellis, but this seems like a quasi-Trinitarian text (assuming that God the Father is the source).
"1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith in this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
- Romans 5:1-5

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