Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 15

Christians' hope

Romans 15:13

Paul ends here the long speech or sermon that he began in Romans 1:16. In it, he has fully explained the gospel (Godís message about Christ), so Paul ends with a message of hope. In the end, the gospel is always a message of hope, to everyone who accepts it. It is Godís good news for the world (5:8; 6:23).

For Christians, the word Ďhopeí has special meaning. It is not something uncertain, like luck or chance (Hebrews 6:19). Rather, Ďhopeí means the fact, or certain knowledge, that God will do good things in the future. In fact, he is already doing these things, even when our circumstances seem to show the opposite (8:28).

That knowledge gives joy and inner peace to Godís people. Paul knew that joy even when he was in prison (Philippians 1:17-19 and 4:4). He also knew that inner peace, an attitude that caused him to be content even in the most difficult circumstances (Philippians 4:11-12). Romeís Christians would have very serious troubles a few years later. So, Paul prayed that they would know that same joy and peace. That joy and peace would come to them as they trusted God more. As they believed Godís promises, their troubles in this world would matter much less to them. Instead, their attention would be upon the wonderful things that God was doing in their lives (8:18).

Especially, they should not depend on their own strength, but on the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 12:8-10). They could not deal with their own troubles, but Godís Spirit was actively working in their lives (8:9-14). So, in every situation, the Holy Spirit would remind them of Godís wonderful plans for them (1 Corinthians 2:9-10). In every situation, they could be confident about Godís love for them (8:31-39). In every situation, their hope and trust in God could become stronger.

Next part: Paul's explanation of the purpose of his book (Romans 15:14-16)


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