Title: The Hope of Faith

Focus: Since we are sinner who are made right with God by faith in God’s atoning work through Christ, we have peace and reconciliation with God which results in confident hope even in our troubles and difficulties

Function: To encourage the hearers to persevere in their faith and walk with God in spite of and through their troubles and difficulties

Text: Romans 4:23 - 5:11

1.  What is peace?
	a.  Synonymns:  Stillness, contentment, unruffled, serenity, comfort, ease
	b.  Image:  When I used to fish at Beaver lake in early cool morning
2.  Not the kind of peace Paul talks about
3.  There is a greater, more lasting, and unstealable peace
4.  Text:  Romans 4:23 - 5:1
	a.  Paul sums up his point - reckoned as right with God
	b.  Therefore, we have peace with God
		- When not right with God, did not have peace with Him
		- Not talking about serenity, some are serene and not right
		   with him
5.  How do we have peace with God?

I.  (v.1-2) Through his Grace
	A.  Text says through Jesus Christ came grace
		1.  Same idea in 3:24 - Jesus a propitiation
		2.  Jesus an atoning sacrifice
	B.  Jesus introducted us into this grace by faith
		1.  Introduction (access) prosagwghn into this grace
			a.  Verb form used in 1 Pet 3:18 - Jesus “bring” us to God
			b.  I would say, he introduction into this grace
				- Because it describes what done for us
				- Access sounds like something we do, we do not
				   obtain grace or it wouldn’t be grace
		2.  This introduction into grace enables us to “stand”
			a.  isthmi means means to stand, be established, confirmed
			b.  Word also used for “standing” or “establishing” boats
				- In other words, securing it. tying it up
				- Word used for boot moorings
	C.  ILL:  I remember watching a movie about a type of mooring
		1.  Couple climbing a cliff, seemed to be a mile high
		2.  Scary looking, I don’t like heights 
		3.  One slipped, and stumbled, and down she went, a few feet
		4.  Saved by the safety harness
	D.  Ever felt like you lost your foothold on God?
		1.  Maybe committed a grave sin, bring guilt, then shame, go into 
		      hiding, and you fall away
		2.  There is a saftey harness = grace
		3.  Trust in his grace, not second guess or worry all the time
		4.  Be not dismayed whater betide, God will take care of you

II.  This grace through faith bring us confidence (v.2-5)
	A.  What is confidence?
		1.  Commercial - Confidence the SURE way
		2.  What about when trouble in life strikes
		3.  Deoderant will not help you cope, it just makes you smell good
		4.  Confidence for life does not come from deoderant
	B.  We exult/rejoice/boast both in God’s glory and in trouble
		1.  How?  Trouble produces perseverance
			a.  Your Bible may say endurance.  Let me explain what kind
			b.  Can sit and endure and do nothing
				- ILL:  Sitting in parking lot waiting for wife in store
				- I enduring oxymoron - rap music in next car
				- I really had no choice
				- That not kind of endurance Paul talking about
			c.  Perseverance - keep on keeping on
			d.  Abraham persevered for 25 years waiting for a child
				- Because he persevered with God, he blessed
				- Had 6 more children by Keturah
		2.  Perseverance produces “proven character” (dokimh)
			a. Dokime means proof by testing (to approve, test, prove)
			b.  ASV says “approvedness”
			c.  Jas 1:12 - Testing of faith produces endurance
			d.  See this in Abraham - Faith tested in Gen 22
				- Binding of Isaac
				- Afterwards, God “swears” on oath (Gen 22:12,16)
				- Abraham became tested, or approved
		3.  This proving brings hope
			a.  That brings us back to the them of Romans - Faith
			b.  Heb 11:1 - Faith is assurance of things hoped for
			c.  Hope and Faith are sisters - Strong Faith=Strong Hope
	C.  ILL:  I’m, not sure we understand that hope does not dissappoint
		1.  We “hope” for a lot of things in life
			a.  Jer’s Ball game - I hope it won’t rain
			b.  Hope I get a raise, a bonus, a promotion
			c.  Hope I pass my exam, Hope parents say yes
			d.  This all sounds pretty normal
		2. What about these hope statements
			a.  Been doing well, so I hope I still have a job tommorrow
			b.  Put in smoke detectors, hope not die in fire
			c.  Hope I’ll still be alive tommorrow
			d.  Hope the sun comes up tommorrow
		3.  What would you say if I said these?
			a.  Ears perk up - “Why wouldn’t the sun come up?”
			b.  You would think I a very pessemistic person
			c.  See how we think about hope?
			d.  We have made it almost equivalent with doubt
				- Doubt is a killer of hope and faith
		4.  Doubt is not Biblical hope
			a.  Hope is assurance
			b.  Bible doesn’t teach once saved maybe/barely saved
	D.  Hope rests first of all on grace
		1.  God swore an oath to bless ALL of us
		2.  How much more sure can we be?  All mighty God swore
		3.  So we have HOPE which enables us to rise above trials

Hope is strengthened by the love of God

III.  The ground of our hope is the Love of God (v.5-11)
	A.  If ground of hope was our ability, then it sure would be doubt
		1.  If it were up to us, it would be more than doubt - despair
		2.  Text calls us ungodly, sinners, enemies
	B.  What would cause someone to die for ungodly enemies?
		1.  Most people would barely die for a righteous/upright man
			a.  Know any upright people?
			b.  Not break laws, pay taxes, not cause trouble, dutiful
			c.  Many would not die for an upright man
		2.  Someone might dare to die for a good man
			a.  Know any good people?
			b.  Does good deeds for homeless, children, bring 
			      happiness and sunshine into people’s lives
			c.  Someone might dare to die for him
		3.  BUT Christ died for ungodly sinners who were enemies!  Why?
	C.  ILL:  Story about a young man guilty of murder
		1.  Police investigation - Mother claimed she did it
		2.  Everyone knew son guilty, even the mother, but can’t prove it
		3.  Why did she do this?  Because son good?  She loved him.
			a.  Would son turn life around?  Appreciate it?
			b.  Mother sacrificed self for guilty son!
	D.  Isn’t that what Jesus did for us?
		1.  Expressions of God’s love in Bible - He is like a father, mother, 
		     and a husband  -  But highest expression of love - Cross
		2.  Sacrificed himself out of love
		3.  When someone truly loves you with all their heart
			a. Takes away doubt, and brings confidence
			b.  Means even when mess up, will still love you
		4.  Satan sees you getting off free
			a.  Like any prosecutor - he is insenced
			b.  He will do everything he can to get you
			c.  But God is judge, and he loves you, and makes the rules
			d.  There is our confidence

1.  As long as you stick with God in trust, you have peace
	- Satan does not have a case against you
2.  These are the ingredients of peace
	a.  Grace, faith, hope, love 
	b.  These bring confidence and strength
3.  My image of peace - Storms blowing on the sea, but in the cleft of the rock is a
bird, unbothered by the storms
4.  There are many storms and troubles in this life.  Which are you facing
	a.  Divorce, family, finances, employer, job, health
	b.  Hope elevates you above all this
	c.  This is all moving you toward something - God
5.  (2 Cor 4:2-10, 16-18;  5:7) - You will overcome because God is faithful