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Christ Assembly │ The Daily Power of Justification │Perseverance, Proven Character, and Hope

The Daily Power of Justification

Part Four

Perseverance, Proven Character, and Hope

Romans 5:4

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     We have seen that tribulations brings about perseverance.  God uses tribulations in our lives to mature us, and conform us to the image of Jesus Christ, who walks in our lives so we will walk with Him.  Today we will see the other qualities that grow in our lives through the tribulation process. So, we will read the Word of God today to love Jesus more and glorify God in our lives.

and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;

Romans 5:4

       The Tribulation Process.  In Romans 5:4,  we see the continuation of the power of justification in our lives.  We have seen that through the power of justification, we have peace with God, and now we exult in tribulations, knowing they produce perseverance.  But perseverance is not the end result in itself, but part of the tribulation process.  The tribulation process starts with justification by faith through grace, and ends with a special hope, produced by the Holy Spirit poured out in our hearts.  Today, however, we will see the middle of this process: perseverance, proven character and hope.  Paul relates the three qualities that arise during the tribulation process, as we exult in our tribulations.  You will no longer have to fear tribulations, because you know that God will provide joy while you endure them.  Furthermore, God will produce greater personal qualities within your life.  We saw yesterday that “perseverance” means we endure and continue to stand with Christ during difficult times.  It is the same idea that James talked about in the first few verses of his epistle (James 1:1-4).  Now let us look at “proven character.”

       Proven Character.  The Holy Spirit uses a term “proven character” (“δοκιμήν“)  in Romans 5:4 to describe the growing spiritual quality in our lives dealing with the proving and improving of character, or the core of our decision-making.  It is a test of who is in charge of our lives: God or self.  This word includes the idea, in 2 Corinthians 2:9, that God puts us to the test, to see if we are obedient in all things, and ties that obedience to love for Christ (2 Corinthians 2:8).  So, on one level, the tribulation process increases our love for Christ, by testing us to see who is in charge of our decisions, and whether we love Christ so much that, during the tribulations, we turn in obedience to Him.  Notice that turning to obedience in Him produces exultation in this case, in the middle of tribulations.  Another sense of this “proven character” is found in 2 Corinthians 13:3: the Corinthians sought proof (“δοκιμήν“) that Christ was speaking in Paul.  When we persevere through tribulations, with exultation during them, we prove to everyone, especially ourselves, that Christ works within us.  Finally, consider Philippians 2:22, where Paul tells us that Timothy was a man known for his proven worth (“δοκιμήν“).  Not only does your exulting in tribulations help you walk with Christ daily, and especially through tribulations, it also provides evidence to others that Christ, and the power of justification, works within you.  Proven character leads to hope.

        Hope.  In Romans 5:4, concerning the tribulation process, proven character leads  to “hope” (“ἐλπίδα“).  Paul will speak more about the hope in the next verse, but today we will take a brief look at the concept of hope here.  In Romans 15:4, Paul links hope to the knowledge of the Scriptures.  In that verse, he says that the Old Testament, plus the New Testament, have been written to instruct us, so that through the perseverance (“τῆς ὑπομονῆς”) and the encouragement (“τῆς παρακλήσεως“) of the Scriptures, we might have the hope (“τὴν ἐλπίδα“).  The Holy Spirit moved Paul to explain carefully that the Scriptures instruct us, so that they would produce perseverance and encouragement that only come from God through the Word of God, and result in our hope.  As you may recall, hope will always concern things future and unseen, because no one hopes for what they already see.  Indeed, “we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance (“ὑπομονῆς“) we wait eagerly for it” (Romans 8:24-25). 

       So we learn more about Jesus and the power of justification today.

    ●  The tribulation process produces spiritual maturity, and we should exult in it. 

    ●  The tribulation process produces perseverance, which leads to proven character, and proven character leads to hope.

    ●   Hope comes from faith in the learning and encouragement we receive through the Scriptures, as we apply the Word of God to our daily lives, and live by the power of justification.

Application for Today

     As I live today, I look forward to more hope, which will come from more proven character, which comes from more perseverance.  I will rejoice during the tribulation process, because I will be trusting the Lord Jesus today.  Do you need more hope today?

 Christ Assembly │ The Daily Power of Justification │Perseverance, Proven Character, and Hope

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