We’re continuing our look at Paul’s letter to the Roman church. At this point he’s talking about the walk of faith. Let’s review the verses we discussed in my last post.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
It’s important that we see how these all fit together. Historically, we tend to separate things out when we teach in the church.
Usually, we only preach about one thing at a time. We’ll give a sermon on faith, or grace, or justification. This gives the impression that the Bible contains a series of theological “bubbles”.
The truth of the matter is that everything in our Christian walk is all interconnected. It all works together to bring growth and change into our lives.
That’s why it blesses me to see a verse like this that shows the flow of anointing through the Holy Spirit. It shows us the progression starting with faith. It then flows to justification and righteousness, to grace, to hope, and finally to glory.
I can’t over-stress how important it is to understand this progression. However, that’s not all there is.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Paul now brings us to another progressive work in our lives. He tells us that we can literally boast about our sufferings. By the way, that word, suffering, means pressure. It’s about the problems that crowd us on a daily basis.
If we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, these pressures cause us to develop perseverance. Perseverance means to be able to stay in a situation until it’s completed.
Fortunately, it doesn’t simply end with us persevering away. There’s another goal. As we endure the pressure, we develop what this translation calls character.
This word, character, is an important concept for us to understand. The Greek word used speaks of a proving process.
The best way to describe it is to bring you back to the days of the Gold Rush. The miners would find what they thought was gold. So they would bring it to town to the assayer’s office. It was the assayer’s job to tell the miner if it was fool’s gold or the real thing, and how much it was worth.
The word that’s translated, character, actually means to prove genuine or assay. So it’s through perseverance that our faith is proved to be genuine and valuable.
Too often we want the proof before we persevere. We want to know for sure that our faith is going to pay off. However, that’s not how things work in the spirit.
Finally, once you see that your faith is genuine and can take you through the tough times, it produces hope. If you remember, hope is that expectancy that God’s plan will prevail in your life.
As I said before, it’s important for us to see how all of these concepts work and flow together. They’re not a bunch of separate teachings that all work independently. The Holy Spirit uses all of these to bring about His destiny for your life.
Submit to His plan. Allow this work to be accomplished in you.
Question: How have you seen the pressures of life result in a good outcome?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi