|Romans 15:11 And again, "PRAISE THE LORD ALL YOU GENTILES, AND LET ALL THE PEOPLES PRAISE HIM." (NASB: Lockman)|
|Greek: kai palin: aineite (2PPAM) panta ta ethne, ton kurion kai epainesatosan (3PAAM) auton pantes hoi laoi.
Amplified: And again, Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise Him! [Ps. 117:1.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: And yet again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; praise him, all you people of the earth." (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: - And yet again: 'Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles! Laud him, all you peoples!' (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: And again he says, Rejoice, Gentiles, with His people. And again, Be extolling, all you Gentiles, the Lord. And let all the people extol Him. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and again, 'Praise the Lord, all ye nations; and laud Him, all ye peoples;'
|Romans — 3:21-5:21||Romans — 6:1-8:39||Romans — 9:1-11:36||Romans — 12:1-16:27|
Jew and Gentile
|Demonstration of Salvation|
|Power Given||Promises Fulfilled||Paths Pursued|
Restored to Israel
|Slaves to Sin||Slaves to God||Slaves Serving God|
|Life by Faith||Service by Faith|
Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work Jensen's Survey of the NT
AND AGAIN PRAISE THE LORD ALL YOU GENTILES: kai patarlin aineite (2PPAM) panta ta ethne:
Psalm 117:1 Praise (command in Hebrew) the LORD, all nations; Laud (command in Hebrew) Him, all peoples!
Paul quotes Ps 117:1-note to highlight that the Gentiles had been invited to sing praises to the Lord, the God of Israel in the OT. Thus Paul is emphasizing that the work of the Messiah had always pointed to bringing the Gentiles together into one body with the Jews. The Gentiles were not an afterthought.
Praise (134)(aineo from ainos = praise [noun]) All NT uses refer to praise offered to God. To sing praises. The Lxx uses aineō to translate the Heb. hālal (01984 = halal, chiefly in the piel). "The primary idea: ‘express approval’" (BDAG).
NIDNTT - In secular Gk. aineō meant: (a) to mention, especially mention honourably, and so praise; (b) to vow, to promise, and so simply say. The noun ainos meant a saying which is particularly pregnant with meaning, cleverly phrased, or needing explanation. So it developed the meanings: (a) proverb, story, fable; (b) praise, eulogy. The compound verb epaineō meant in popular speech: (a) to → approve, sanction; (b) to praise, give a public mark of esteem. The corresponding noun epainos meant praise, approval, sanction, agreement, song of praise (about a man; for a deity hymnos, → song, hymn, was used).
Webster says praise means to express a favorable judgment of. 1828 Webster adds "Commendation bestowed on a person for his personal virtues or worthy actions, on meritorious actions themselves, or on any thing valuable: approbation expressed in words or song. Praise may be expressed by an individual, and in this circumstance differs from fame, renown, and celebrity, which are the expression of the approbation of numbers, or public commendation. When praise is applied to the expression of public approbation, it may be synonymous with renown, or nearly so. A man may deserve the praise of an individual, or of a nation."
Aineo - 8x in 8v - Usage: give praise(1), praise(2), praising(5).
Aineo - 123v in non-apocryphal Septuagint - Gen 49:8; 1Chr 16:4, 7, 10, 35f, 41; 23:5, 30; 29:13; 2Chr 5:13; 6:26; 7:3; 8:14; 20:19, 21; 23:12; 31:2; Ezra 3:10f; Neh 5:13; 12:24, 36; Esther 4:17; Job 33:30; 35:14; 38:7; Ps 18:3; 22:23, 26; 35:18; 56:10; 63:5; 69:30, 34; 74:21; 84:4; 100:4; 102:18; 107:32; 109:30; 113:1, 3; 115:17; 116:19; 119:164, 175; 135:1, 3; 145:2; 146:1f; 147:1, 12; 148:1ff, 7, 13; 149:3; 150:1ff; Pr 31:26, 30f; Song 6:9; Isa 38:18; 62:9; Jer 4:2; 20:13; 31:5, 7; Dan 2:23; 4:1, 34, 37; 5:4, 23; Joel 2:26;
AND LET ALL THE PEOPLES PRAISE HIM: kai epainesatosan (3PAAM) auton pantes hoi laoi:
Praise (1867) (epaineo from epi = on, upon + aineo = to praise) means to express admiration or approval (person, object, event), in so doing conveying an expression of high evaluation. Commendation given (or received). Applause. Public recognition.
Epaineo - 6x in 5v - Usage: praise(5), praised(1).
Epaineo - 18v in the non-apocryphal Septuagint - Gen 12:15; Ps 10:3; 34:2; 44:8; 56:4; 63:3, 11; 64:10; 102:8; 105:3; 106:5; 116:19; 145:4; 147:12; Eccl 4:2; 8:10, 15; Dan 5:1;
Henry Morris - In four straight verses Paul quotes four Scriptures from David, Moses, an unknown psalmist, and Isaiah, respectively. This particular quote is from Ps 117:1 (Note). The 117th psalm is the shortest chapter in the Bible, yet one of its two verses is cited by Paul in his letter to Rome.
Amplified: And further Isaiah says, There shall be a kSprout from the Root of Jesse, He Who rises to rule over the Gentiles; in Him shall the Gentiles hope. [Isa. 11:1, 10; Rev. 5:5; 22:16.] (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: And the prophet Isaiah said, "The heir to David's throne will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hopes on him." (NLT - Tyndale House)
Wuest: And again Isaiah says, There shall be a sprout out of the root of Jesse, even the One who arises to be a ruler of the Gentiles. Upon Him will the Gentiles place their hope. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and again, Isaiah saith, 'There shall be the root of Jesse, and he who is rising to rule nations -- upon him shall nations hope;'
AND AGAIN ISAIAH SAYS THERE SHALL COME THE ROOT OF JESSE: kai palin Esaias legei (3SPAI): estai (3SFMI) e rhiza tou Iessai: (Isa 11:10 Rev 5:5 22:16 Jer 23:5,6)
See the topic Root of Jesse
Paul is quoting the Messianic promise in Isaiah 11:10 and specifically is quoting not from the Hebrew but from the Greek, the Septuagint (LXX). Here is Brenton's English rendering of the Septuagint of Isaiah 11:10 (see commentary)...
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall arise to rule over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust (verb = elpizo = to hope), and his rest shall be glorious.
From the Root comes a Branch thus His name Righteous Branch...
Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. (Jeremiah 23:5)
One would normally use root for the origin (so the root of Jesse would be that from which Jesse derived his being), but the word is not used in this way either in Isaiah or here in Romans. Rather it points to one who springs from Jesse, One from Jesse's bloodline.
Henry Morris - This reference is taken from the great Messianic promise of Isaiah 11:10, when Christ ("the root of Jesse," the father of Israel's greatest king, David--hence both "[the] root and the offspring of David," as in His claim in Revelation 22:16) will reign over all nations, both Israel and the Gentiles.
AND HE WHO ARISES TO RULE OVER THE GENTILES, IN HIM SHALL THE GENTILES HOPE: kai o anistamenos (PMPMSN) archein (PAN) ethnon, ep auto ethne elpiousin (3PFAI): (Ge 49:10 Ps 2:4-12 22:27,28 72:8-10,17 Isa 42:1-4 49:6 Da 2:44 Da 7:14 Mic 4:1-3 5:4) (In Him - Jer 16:19 17:5-7 Mt 12:21 1Co 15:19 Eph 1:12,13 2Ti 1:12 1Pe 1:21)
He Who arises - The Greek verb for arises is anistemi which in other contexts describes the "Root of Jesse's" resurrection (Mt 17:9, 20:19, Mk 8:31, 9:9,10,31, 10:34, Lk 18:33, 24:7,46, Jn 20:9, Acts 2:24,32,10:41, 13:34, 17:3,31, 1Th4:14). Because He rose from the grave, cause Him to arise above every tribe and tongue and people and nation, so that "at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:10, 11) God will raise His Son in the end of time to be the King of kings to rule over the Gentiles and over all the earth (cp the messianic prophecy in Ps 2:8, 9).
Arises (450)(anistemi from ana = up, again + histemi = stand, to cause to stand) means literally to get up, to stand up, to stand again, to cause to rise (thus "to raise"), to stand or be erect (Acts 9:41). To rise from a lying or reclined position. To stand straight up from a prostrate position (Acts 14:10). Most uses of anistemi denote the act of getting up from a seated or reclined position.
In Him - in Christ (see study) - At one time the Gentiles had no hope (Eph 2:12-note), but now in Christ they have hope, for He is the living personification of hope (1Ti 1:1) promised in Isaiah's prophecy.
There is a beautiful progression in the promises that Paul quoted (Ro 15:9) Jews glorify God among the Gentiles (2Sa 22:50, Ps 18:49) (Ro 15:10) Gentiles rejoice with the Jews (Dt 32:43) (Ro 15:11) All the Jews and Gentiles together praise God (Ps 117:1-Note) (Ro 15:12) Christ shall reign over Jews and Gentiles (Isa 11:10)
Gentiles (nations) (1484)(ethnos gives us our word "ethnic") in general refers to a multitude (especially persons) associated with one another, living together, united in kinship, culture or traditions and summed up by the words nation, Gentiles (especially when ethnos is plural), people (much like "people groups" in our modern missionary vernacular). In somewhat of a negative sense ethnos conveys the meaning of godless (generally idol worshipping) pagans (heathens, cp Eph 4:17, Mt 6:32), foreign nations not worshipping the true God (Mt 4:15). Often ethnos stands in clear contradistinction to Jew (Ioudaios) (Gal 2:14). Ethnos sometimes refers to Gentile Christians (Ro 11:13, Ro 15:27, 16:4, Gal 2:12). Ethnos is used in the singular of the Jewish Nation (Lk 7:5; 23:2; Jn 11:48, 50-53; Jn 18:35; Acts 10:22; 24:2, 10; Acts 26:4; 28:19). Plato used ethnos of a special class of men, a caste, tribe. In the Septuagint ethnos was used for nation, people Ge 10:5; non-Jews, Gentiles Ps 2:1.
Hope (1679)(elpizo from noun elpis [word study] = hope, absolute assurance of future good) means to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial. To express desire for some good with the expectation of obtaining it. To hope signifies to have an absolute certainty of future good.
William Newell comments...
Gentiles, thank God, may now freely "hope, " and look to Him who will rule all the earth, during the Millennium. All nations then will be directly dependent upon the Lord, enthroned in the Millennial temple at Jerusalem. How blessed is the Gentile who now learns to "hope in Christ" (Eph 1:12) before He "arises to reign"! Verily there will be a reward! As Paul says in 2Ti 2:8: "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, of the Seed of David, according to my gospel." How few Christians connect their Savior with David! They remember Ro 1:4, but not 1:3. So they forget His royal earthly claims! (Romans 15 Commentary)
Amplified: May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: May the God of hope ﬁll you with all joy and peace in your faith, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may overﬂow with hope.
NET Bible: Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in Him, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Greek = “in the believing” or “as [you] believe,” with the object “him” supplied from the context. The referent could be God Ro 15:13a or Christ Ro 15:12).
New Jerusalem Bible: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in your faith, so that in the power of the Holy Spirit you may be rich in hope.
NLT: I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: May the God of Hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant and alive. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: Now the God of the hope fill you with every joy and hope in the sphere of believing, resulting in your super-abounding in the sphere of the hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and the God of the hope shall fill you with all joy and peace in the believing, for your abounding in the hope in power of the Holy Spirit.
NOW MAY THE GOD OF HOPE FILL YOU WITH ALL JOY AND PEACE : O de theos tes elpidos plerosai (3SAAO) humas pases charas kai eirenes: (Hope - Ro 5:2, 3, 4, 5; 8:20, 24, 25; 12:12. 15:4, 12) (Fill you with all joy and peace - Ro 14:17 Jn 14:1,27 Php 4:7 Isa 55:12 Ep 5:18,19)
Now (de) marks a transition to a new subject, something distinguished in some way from the preceding. Paul has just quoted from Isaiah 11:10-note regarding the Gentiles hope and now he moves from that Scripture to intercession requesting realization of that hope in the lives of his readers.
Bishop Handley Moule comments that now refers to...
“the Hope” just cited from the Prophet, the expectation of all blessing, up to its crown and flower in glory, on the basis of Messiah’s work.
William Newell exhorts believers to...
Look at this great thirteenth verse: how it blossoms out before us! Here is a verse packed full! The name here given to God thrills our hearts: The God of Hope. Hope looks forward with exultation for ever and ever! Now, if God is the God of hope, looking forward with expectancy and delight to the certain, glorious things of the future, then a dejected, depressed, discouraged saint of His is yielding to a spirit directly contrary to His will, which is, for each of us, that we abound in hope. (Romans Verse-by-Verse) (Ed: If you are not "abounding in hope", consider importuning the God of hope to give you a Spirit enabled supernatural hope. Use the words of Paul to beseech the God of Hope.)
Alexander Maclaren gives an excellent explanation of how this great passage fits with the overall context of Paul's call in Romans 15 to unity of the saints at Rome...
With this comprehensive and lofty petition the Apostle closes his exhortation to the factions in the Roman Church to be at unity. The form of the prayer is molded by the last words of a quotation which he has just made (quoting Isaiah 11:10-note in Ro 15:12), which says that in the coming Messiah ‘shall the Gentiles hope.’ But the prayer itself is not an instance of being led away by a word—in form, indeed, it is shaped by verbal resemblance; in substance it points to the true remedy for religious controversy. Fill the contending parties (Ed: Eg see Ro 15:1, 2, Ro 15:7 for context) with a fuller spiritual life, and the ground of their differences will begin to dwindle, and look very contemptible. When the tide rises, the little pools on the rocks are all merged into one....This is Paul’s conception of the Christian life as it might and should be, in one aspect. You notice that there is not a word in it about conduct. It goes far deeper than action. It deals with the springs of action in the individual life. It is the depths of spiritual experience here set forth which will result in actions that become a Christian. And in these days, when all around us we see a shallow conception of Christianity, as if it were concerned principally with conduct and men’s relations with one another, it is well to go down into the depths, and to remember that whilst ‘Do, do, do!’ is very important, ‘Be, be, be!’ is the primary commandment. Conduct is a making visible of personality, and the Scripture teaching which says first faith and then works is profoundly philosophical as well as Christian. So we turn away here from externals altogether, and regard the effect of Christianity on the inward life. (From Maclaren's sermon Joy and Peace in Believing)
The God of Hope - The truths conveyed are that God is both the origin of hope and the object of our hope ("Who inspires hope and imparts it to His children" Harrison). God is the Source of hope and the Giver of hope. Stated another way, the great benefits (hope, joy, peace) Paul prays for the saints at Rome, cannot be possessed apart from God. In the same manner, believers today can possess them only as He gives them to us. And what is the believer's part in this divine transaction? To believe [in believing] as explained below by Alexander Maclaren.
James Denney explains that the God of Hope signifies...
the God Who gives us the hope which we have in Christ. (Romans 15 - Expositor's Greek Testament)
John Piper in discussing the name God of hope reminds us that...
Everything starts with God. If there is hope for joy that is deep and eternal it will be hope that is founded on God. Any other foundation will fail. God is, and God is a God of hope. This we must believe. (Word of Promise, Spirit of God, Hope of Man)
Matthew Henry on the importance of God's names like the God of Hope...
It is good in prayer to fasten upon those names, titles, and attributes of God, which are most suitable to the errand we come upon, and will best serve to encourage our faith concerning it. Every word in the prayer should be a plea. Thus should the cause be skillfully ordered, and the mouth filled with arguments. God is the God of hope. He is the foundation on which our hope is built, and he is the builder that doth himself raise it: he is both the object of our hope, and the author of it. That hope is but fancy, and will deceive us, which is not fastened upon God (as the goodness hoped for, and the truth hoped in), and which is not of his working in us. We have both together, Ps. 119:49.
What is the "hope" to which Paul refers? In the Greek text note that the definitive article precedes the noun hope so that literally the text reads "the hope". Thus it is not just any hope, but is a specific hope. In Romans 5 Paul describes this hope writing that as believers "we exult in hope of the glory of God." (Romans 5:2-note). Among other things then, this hope of all believers is the joyful certainty that we will indeed see the Glorious One Himself, Christ Jesus, our "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:13-note). Note well that Our God is the God of hope, and the hope that He gives centers on the Lord Jesus Christ (1Ti 1:1). This hope also includes the confidence that when we see the Glorious One, we will be like Him--glorified (1Jn 3:2-note). As an aside dear saint note that Scripture speaks of three different ways we will experience the glory of God: (1) We will see God in all His glory (Rev 22:4-note, Rev 22:5-note). (2) We will be transformed to reflect His glory (Col 3:4-note). (3) We will live in a world filled with God's glory (Ro 8:21-note). These great truths should cause all God's people to shout "Glory! Hallelujah!"
Someone once quipped that "The only thing we know about the future is that the providence of God will be up before dawn." As we face what lies ahead, we can count on that maxim (truth). Hope is the God of all our tomorrows provides optimism for our glorious future and gives strength for the trials of today.
In his classic commentary, Robert Haldane writes that
God is called the God of hope, because He is the Author of all the well–grounded hope of His people. All hope of which He is not the author, in the heart of men, is false and delusive. The world in general may have hope, but it is false hope. All true hope with respect to the Divine favor is effected in the human heart by God Himself (Ed: Specifically birthed by His indwelling Spirit's power as Ro 15:13 teaches!). Not only is God the author of all true hope, but He can create this hope in the midst of despair! (Ed: This is clear evidence that His "hope" is supernatural, not natural, for dire circumstances "naturally" breed in us a sense of hopelessness. Praise God that He is the God of supernatural Hope!) The most desponding are often raised by Him to a good hope through grace (Ed: "Spirit of grace" Heb 10:29); and the most guilty are in a moment relieved (Ed: 1Jn 1:9), and made to hope in His mercy (Ed: Ps 119:156). How remarkably was this the case with the thief on the cross (Lk 23:42, 43), and with the three thousand on the day of Pentecost! (Acts 2:41) ...["fill you"] implies that there are degrees of joy and peace in the minds of Christians. Some may have a measure of these graces who do not abound in them. It is a great blessing to be filled with them; and for this blessing the Apostle prays with respect to the Christians at Rome. If there be different degrees of joy and peace, how important is it to look earnestly to God for the fullest communication of these blessings! (Commentary on Romans)
May...fill (4137) (pleroo) means literally to fill "to the brim" (a net, Mt 13:48, a building, Jn 12:3, Acts 2:2, a city, Acts 5:28, needs Phil 4:19). Metaphorically, pleroo means to make complete in every particular, to pervade, to take possession of and ultimately to control. This is the same verb used by Paul to command the saints at Ephesus to be continually "filled with the Spirit." (Eph 5:18-note) The idea is that what fills a person, exercises control over the person's affect, attitude and actions. In the present passage may...fill is in the the optative mood which expresses a wish or prayer.
You - Paul uses the plural pronoun which speaks of all the saints in Rome, whether they are Jews or Gentile believers.
Beloved, are you looking for a powerful prayer to pray for someone? Here is a prime "candidate" - in fact, consider memorizing this short prayer (see the value of Memorizing His Word) and using Paul's powerful prayer to intercede for family, friends and other members of the body of Christ. Will God answer this prayer? Notice what the apostle John says...
And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. (1Jn 5:14, 15)
Praying Scripture is a wonderful pattern for productive prayer. Why not stop now and pray this prayer for someone in your sphere of influence? You can be assured that what you ask for is in God's will and that you will have the requests you have asked from Him!
Beloved, you can "put it in the bank" that even in the bleakest times, Christians have the brightest hope.
Feeling a bit down today? As discussed above, consider beseeching the God of hope with this hopeful (hope filled") prayer in Romans 15:13. Consider asking a brother or sister in Christ to pray it for you. I think they would be honored at your humble request and consider such intercession a precious privilege! I took my own advice this morning asking another saint to pray Ro 15:13 for me as I prayed it for him - I must say my day has been a wonderful experience of abounding hope by the power of the Spirit.
J B Phillips paraphrases this prayer...
May the God of Hope fill you with joy and peace in your faith, that by the power of the Holy Spirit, your whole life and outlook may be radiant and alive.
Comment: I like Phillips' phraseology, don't you? Isn't this what all followers of Christ ardently desire...our whole life and outlook radiant and alive? Is this not your desire?
Abounding in hope ideally should be the description of every follower of Christ. Of all people, the Christian should be the one who manifests the inner strength (and Spirit) to look ahead with a contagious enthusiasm. God has given us hope, the absolute certainty of that God will do good to us in the future.
All joy and peace - "All" in Greek means all without exception. In other words Paul is praying not for a percentage, portion or fraction, but for all the joy and hope that God has promised to those who love Him! God is not a stingy grinch (Dr Suess' character) but He is a gracious Giver and Paul desires that the saints at Rome (and you and I dear child of the Most High God) experience this supernatural joy and peace to the max!
Notice also that joy and peace are two components of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-note).
Note the qualifier -- "in believing." This speaks of our responsibility. Do you really believe God is "able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us" (Ephesians 3:20-note)? Through His prophet ("mouthpiece") Malachi (means "Messenger of God") God challenges us...
"Test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts (Jehovah Sabaoth, LORD of hosts or of armies), "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows." (Malachi 3:10)
What impact would it have on the spiritually dead (Eph 2:1-note) and irrevocably decaying world (2Pe 1:4-note) if it were to witness the lives of believers continually filled with the Spirit, walking by the enabling power of the Spirit and bearing the fragrant fruit of the Spirit? Would the "walking dead" not be convicted by the Spirit of sin and of righteousness and of the judgment to come as they saw the irrepressible power of the "Gospel" being lived out in their very presence? And would not some ask "you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence" (1Peter 3:15-note)? The impact of radiant Spirit empowered lives on a society vainly searching for the meaning of life would be dramatic! Indeed, as Paul wrote to the saints in the moral cesspool of Corinth...
we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? (2Cor 2:15, 16, See 2Cor 3:5, 6 for "Who is adequate?")
Charles Hodge - All joy means all possible joy. Paul here, as in Ro 15:5, concludes by praying that God would grant them the excellencies which it was their duty to possess (Ed: But as explained elsewhere in these notes [see especially Dr Maclaren's explanation], their part, their "responsibility", was believing or trusting or having confidence.) Thus constantly and intimately are the ideas of accountableness and dependence connected in the sacred Scriptures. We are to work out our own salvation, because it is God that works in us both to will and to do according to his good pleasure. The God of hope, ie, God Who is the Author of that hope which it was predicted men should exercise in the root and offspring of Jesse. (Romans 15 Commentary)
Alexander Maclaren has a beautiful description of the joy given by the God of hope...
If I am living in an atmosphere of trust, then sorrow will never be absolute, nor have exclusive monopoly and possession of my spirit. But there will be the paradox, and the blessedness, of Christian experience, ‘as sorrowful yet always rejoicing.’ For the joy of the Christian life has its source far away beyond the swamps from which the sour drops of sorrow may trickle, and it is possible that, like the fabled fire that burned under water, the joy of the Lord may be bright in my heart, even when it is drenched in floods of calamity and distress. (Joy and Peace in Believing)
Joy (5479) (chara from chaíro = to rejoice) (cf Ro 14:17-note, Ro 15:32-note) is one of Paul's great themes, with charas being used by him 21x compared to next most frequent use of 9 by John. The Christian life is to be a life of "JOY". It is founded on faith in Jesus, whose life on earth began as "good news of great joy for all people" (Lk 2:10).
Joy is the deep-down sense of well-being that abides in the heart of the person who knows all is well between himself and the Lord and is independent of whether circumstances are favorable or unfavorable (Jn 16:20, 21, 22).
Joy is God’s gift to believers, a component of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-note). Nehemiah declared, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh 8:10). So Paul prays that they would be filled with all joy, that inner gladness and deep seated pleasure which is independent of one's external circumstances. It is a depth of assurance and confidence that ignites a cheerful heart. It is a cheerful heart that leads to cheerful behavior.
Earlier in Romans Paul related joy with the Holy Spirit writing that...
the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in ("in connection with, under the indwelling and influence of" - Alford) the Holy Spirit. (Ro 14:17)
Comment by Denney: One may serve Christ either eating or abstaining, but no one can serve Him whose conduct exhibits indifference to righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Paul prays for Joy to fill the saints at Rome. So as wine fills a man and exerts control over him (just listen to him slur his words and watch his wobbly walk!), in the supernatural way the spiritual fruit of joy and peace fill the believer and "controls" him or her.
John Piper comments...
The pathway that the Spirit cuts through the jungle of our anxieties into the clearing of joy is the pathway of faith. Luke says of Stephen in Acts 6:5, that he was “a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit,” and he says of Barnabas in Acts 11:24 that he was “a good man full of the Holy Spirit and of faith,” The two go together. If a person is filled with faith, he will be filled with the Spirit, the Spirit of joy and peace. The most important text in Paul’s writings to show this is Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Notice that it is in or by believing that we are filled with joy and peace. And it is by the Spirit that we abound in hope. When we put those two halves of the verse together, what we see is that through our faith (our believing) the Spirit fills us with his hope and thus with his joy and peace. And, of course since hope is such an essential part of being filled with joy by the Spirit, what we have to believe is that God is, as Paul says, the God of hope. We have to rivet our faith on all that he has done and said to give us hope. (Be Filled with the Spirit)
Dictionary of Biblical Imagery...
Joy is a by-product of life with God. Joy is not found by seeking it as an end in itself. It must be given by God (Job 8:21; Ps 4:7; 36:8). Therefore, it is received by faith with the gift of salvation (1 Sam 2:1; Ps 5:11; 13:5; 20:5; 21:1, 6; 33:21; 35:9; 40:16; Is 12:1; 25:9; Hab 3:18; Lk 1:47; 2:10). In the OT, joy comes with God’s presence (1Chr 16:27; Job 22:21–26; Ps 9:2; 16:5–11). In the NT that presence is identified as the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:52; Rom 15:13; Gal 5:22; Eph 5:18, 19; 1Th 1:6).
It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that we experience the joy of salvation and are enabled to rejoice even in the midst of trials. The Holy Spirit uses His Word to create joy in our hearts. Romans 15 contains an interesting connection between God and the Scriptures. Ro 15:4-note speaks of the endurance and encouragement that come from the Scriptures; Ro 15:5-note says God gives endurance and encouragement. That God gives endurance and encouragement through the Scriptures should not surprise us.
God is the Source.
The same truth applies to joy. Ro 15:13 speaks of the God of hope filling us with joy and peace as we trust in Him. How would we expect God to fill us with joy and hope? The reasonable answer is by means of the comfort of the Scriptures (Christian life--Fruit of the Spirit)
In another book Bridges writes the following on Romans 15:13 "One of the most important aspects of the second bookend is the hope the Holy Spirit provides to believers. Every believer needs this divine encouragement because our opposition is relentless, and there are plenty of disappointments along the way. Sometimes we think we’ve turned the corner on a particular sin, only to discover a few days later that we’ve merely gone around the block and are dealing with it again. But there is hope in our battle with sin, and it lies in placing our dependence on the power of the Holy Spirit, our ever-present Helper (John 14:16, 17). (The Bookends of the Christian Life-Highly Recommended)
Warren Wiersbe defines joy as "that inward peace and sufficiency that is not affected by outward circumstances. (A case in point is Paul’s experience recorded in Php 4:1ff-[see notes].) This "holy optimism" keeps him going in spite of difficulties."
Donald Campbell - Joy (chara) is a deep and abiding inner rejoicing which was promised to those who abide in Christ (cf. Jn 15:11). It does not depend on circumstances because it rests in God’s sovereign control of all things (cf. Ro 8:28-note).
Webster's definition reflects the world's view of joy "the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires". Obviously this is not an accurate description of the JOY independent of circumstances that is available to every believer.
Peace (1515) (eirene from verb eiro = binding or joining together what is broken or divided) (10 uses of eirene in Romans - Ro 1:7; 2:10; 3:17; 5:1; 8:6; 14:17, 19; 15:13, 33; 16:20) means literally that which has been bound together. It is freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. Peace in this verse is that inward state of quiet which is independent of circumstances and is that inner attitude which God's Spirit (Gal 5:22-Ga 5:22, Gal 5:23-note) gives His people. Note that this peace is only possible after one has been justified by faith and experienced peace with God (Ro 5:1-note). In short peace with God must precede and is the basis for the peace of God (Php 4:7-note).
Webster defines peace as a state of tranquility or quiet, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, harmony in personal relations, a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity, state of repose in contrast with or following strife or turmoil. (Click for discussion of "gospel of peace" the believer's spiritual "sneakers").
IN (the) believing: en to pisteuein (PAN):
In believing - The Greek literally reads "in the believing" or as Kenneth Wuest renders it "in the sphere of the act of habitually believing."
THE VITAL ROLE OF
WITH JOY AND PEACE
man’s faith and God’s filling...as the foundation of everything. ‘The God of hope fill you...’—let us leave out the intervening words for a moment—‘in believing.’
Now, you notice that Paul does not stay to tell us what or whom we are to believe in, or on. He takes that for granted, and his thought is fastened, for the moment, not on the object but on the act of faith. And he wishes to drive home to us this, that the attitude of trust is the necessary prerequisite condition of God’s being able to fill a man’s soul, and that God’s being able to fill a man’s soul is the necessary consequence of a man’s trust. Ah, brethren, we cannot altogether shut God out from our spirits. There are loving and gracious gifts that, as our Lord tells us, He makes to ‘fall on the unthankful and the evil.’ His rain is not like the summer showers that we sometimes see, that fall in one spot and leave another dry; nor like the destructive thunderstorms, that come down bringing ruin upon one cane-brake and leave the plants in the next standing upright.
But the best, the highest, the truly divine gifts which He is yearning to give to us all, cannot be given except there be consent, trust, and desire for them.
You can shut your hearts
And just as the wind will sigh round some hermetically closed chamber in vain search for a cranny, and the man within may be asphyxiated though the atmosphere is surging up its waves all round his closed domicile, so by lack of our faith, which is at once trust, consent, and desire, we shut out the gift with which God would fain fill our spirits. You can take a porous pottery vessel, wrap it up in waxcloth, pitch it all over, and then drop it into mid-Atlantic, and not a drop will find its way in. And that is what we can do with ourselves, so that although in Him ‘we live and move and have our being,’ and are like the earthen vessel in the ocean, no drop of the blessed moisture will ever find its way into the heart.
There must be man’s faith
Further, this relation of the two things suggests to us that a consequence of a Christian man’s faith is the direct action of God upon him. Notice how the Apostle puts that truth in a double form here, in order that he may emphasize it, using one form of expression, involving the divine, direct activity, at the beginning of his prayer, and another at the end, and so enclosing, as it were, within a great casket of the divine action, all the blessings, the flashing jewels, which he desires his Roman friends to possess. ‘The God of hope fill you...through the power of the Holy Ghost.’ I wish I could find words by which I could bear in upon the ordinary type of the Evangelical Christianity of this generation anything like the depth and earnestness of my own conviction that, for lack of a proportionate development of that great truth, of the direct action of the giving God on the believing heart, it is weakened and harmed in many ways. Surely He that made my spirit can touch my spirit; surely He who fills all things according to their capacity can Himself enter into and fill the spirit which is opened for Him by simple faith. We do not need wires for the telegraphy between heaven and the believing soul, but He comes directly to, and speaks in, and moves upon, and molds and blesses, the waiting heart. And until you know, by your own experience rightly interpreted, that there is such a direct communion between the giving God and the recipient believing spirit, you have yet to learn the deepest depth, and the most blessed blessedness, of Christian faith and experience. For lack of it a hundred evils beset modern Christianity. For lack of it men fix their faith so exclusively as that the faith is itself harmed thereby, on the past act of Christ’s death on the Cross. You will not suspect me of minimizing that, but I beseech you remember one climax of the Apostle’s which, though not bearing the same message as my text, is in harmony with it, ‘Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.’ (Ro 8:34) And remember that Christ Himself bestows the gift of His Divine Spirit as the result of the humiliation and the agony of His Cross. Faith brings the direct action of the giving God.
And one more word about this first part of my text: the result of that direct action is complete—‘the God of hope fill you’ with no shrunken stream, no painful trickle out of a narrow rift in the rock, but a great exuberance which will pass into a man’s nature in the measure of his capacity, which is the measure of his trust and desire. There are two limits to God’s gifts to men: the one is the limitless limit of God’s infinitude, the other is the working limit—our capacity—and that capacity is precisely measured, as the capacity of some built-in vessel might be measured by a little gauge on the outside, by our faith. ‘The God of hope’ fills you in ‘believing,’ and ‘according to thy faith shall it be unto thee.’ (From Maclaren's sermon Joy and Peace in Believing)
Joy is linked with faith in Paul's letter to the Philippians...
Believing (4100)(pisteuo from pistis; pistos; related study = obedience of faith) means to consider something to be true and therefore worthy of trust. To have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy or ability of something or someone. Pisteuo means to entrust oneself to an entity in complete confidence. To believe in also conveys the implication of total commitment to the one trusted. To be confident about or to be firmly persuaded as to something. Pisteuo is in the present tense which pictures this believing is one's practice or lifestyle. See Ray Stedman's explanation (below) regarding the importance of continually "believing" as it relates to joy and peace and power!
It is in a believing heart that these blessed results are brought about. When asked by the Jews in the Sixth of John, "What must we do that we may work the works of God ?" our Lord replied, "This is the work of God the one thing He asks of you, that ye believe on Him Whom He hath sent." The believing of Romans 15.13 is, of course, that "living by faith in the Son of God" of which Paul speaks in Gal 2:20. It is stepping out on the facts God reveals about us; and learning to live the life of trust. (Romans Verse-by-Verse)
Charles Hodge comments that in believing means to
fill you with that joy and concord among yourselves, as well as peace of conscience and peace towards God, which are the results of genuine faith. (Commentary of the Epistle to the Romans)
James Denney explains that...
The joy and peace which He (the God of hope) imparts rest on faith (in believing). Hence they are the joy and peace specially flowing from justification and acceptance with God, and the more we have of these, the more we abound in the Christian hope itself. Such an abounding in hope, in the power of the Holy Ghost (cp the power of the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8, Luke 4:14), is the end contemplated in Paul’s prayer that the God of hope would fill the Romans with all joy and peace in believing. (Romans 15 - Expositor's Greek Testament)
Ray Stedman helps us understand how all joy and peace is related to the phrase in believing...
I want to stress that briefly because I think that we have gone astray in this respect. Oftentimes people come to me, and say,
"What is the matter with my Christian life? I have come to a plateau where I seem to be so bored, and nothing interesting is happening, and I have lost all vision and joy and victory in my life. It seems to be so dull and lifeless. What can I do?"
For years I think I gave a wrong answer to that. I said to them, "Well, are you reading the Bible?" And usually it turned out that they weren't. Or, "Are you having times of prayer?" And I gave the pat answer which is so easily given by most of us,
"What you need is time for prayer
But I have come to see that this isn't the answer. What they need is to believe what they read in Scripture, and believe what they pray--that is the answer. These other things are merely mechanics which make possible the believing, but believing is the real answer. It isn't Bible reading, or prayer or Christian fellowship that unlocks the power of the Holy Spirit. It is believing what you read or what you pray: When you believe that Jesus Christ indwells you, when you believe that He is all that you need, when you believe that He intends to act through you, then you can act! You discover that all that He is becomes visible through you and accomplishes all that needs to be done. The result is power and joy and peace, as Paul prays here....
The God of hope cannot fill us with joy and peace if we don't believe -- which means to act on what we know. But it is when we believe and act that the power of the Holy Spirit begins to work through us and causes us to abound in hope -- for all around us are the evidences that God is at work accomplishing his purposes in our lives. (Read the full message Power to Please) (bolding added)
In summary, Christian joy and peace are IMpossible apart from trusting in Him in Whom they are eminently HIMpossible!
THAT YOU MAY ABOUND IN HOPE: eis to perisseuein ( PAN ) humas en te elpidi:
So that is the preposition eis, which is the Greek preposition of motion, and literally can describe motion into any place or thing. Figuratively as used here by Paul eis marks the object toward which his supplication points--abounding hope.
May abound (4052)(perisseuo from perissos = abundant, exceeding some number, measure, rank or need, over and above - from peri = in sense of beyond) means to cause to superabound, to be superfluous, to overflow, to be in affluence, to excel or to be in abundance with the implication of being considerably more than what would be expected (and in the present context certainly far more than we deserve!) Notice also that perisseuo is in the present tense which pictures the saints as continually abounding in this great quality of Spirit empowered hope.
Perisseuo carries the idea of exceeding the requirements or of overflowing and is pictured by a river which overflows its banks! It means to exceed a fixed number or measure and so to be more than enough. Thus perisseuo was used to describe what was "left over" of the loaves after Jesus had fed the 5000 (Mt 14:20)! God's supply exceeded their need. When the God of hope supplies hope there is more than enough so that some is even "left over" so to speak! How quickly we forget the infinite nature of our great God's capability "to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power (dunamis - in the present context the power of the Holy Spirit Who indwells us) that works (energeo in the present tense = is continually "energizing") within us." (Eph 3:20-note)
Moulton and Milligan give usages of perisseuo in extracts from secular Greek writings - “more than enough has been written...if you find any purchasers of the surplus donkeys”.
And so here we the purpose of Paul's prayer - that they would be continually overflowing with hope. The joy and peace given by God to the believing saint would result in an overflow of hope.
As an aside we note that a common goal in Paul's prayers was that the saints would not be "ain'ts" so to speak but that they would ''super abound'' spiritually (See 1Cor 15:58-note Phil 1:9, 10-note, 1Th 3:12-note). In one great passage Paul used perisseuo twice to emphasize our Great God's ability to give and give more...
In the context of Paul's argument in Romans 15, saints who abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit have no time to quarrel over nonessentials. Our common hope is a powerful unifying force in the Christian life. Hope binds us together in the midst of a world which without Christ is hopeless!
James Witmer writes that...
Ray Stedman adds this comment...
Hope (1680)(elpis [word study]) in Scripture is not the world's definition of "I hope so", with a few rare exceptions (e.g., Acts 27:20) Hope is defined as a desire for some future good with the expectation of obtaining it. Hope is confident expectancy. Hope is the looking forward to something with some reason for confidence respecting fulfillment.
Related Resource: Believer's Blessed Hope
Hope as the world typically defines it is a desire for some future occurrence of which one is not assured of attaining. The ancient world did not generally regard hope as a virtue, but merely as a temporary illusion. Historians tell us that a great cloud of hopelessness covered the ancient world. Philosophies were empty; traditions were disappearing; religions were powerless to help men face either life or death. People longed to pierce the veil and get some message of hope from the other side, but there is none outside of Christ.
The book of Hebrews defines hope as that which gives "full assurance" (He 6:11-note). Thus we can have strong confidence that God is going to do good to us in future. The opposite of hope is despair, (hopelessness; a hopeless state; a destitution of hope or expectation) which is all that those without Christ as Savior can know, for Paul defines hope as "Christ Jesus, Who is our Hope" (1Ti 1:1). Thus genuine Biblical hope is not a concept but a Person, Christ Jesus!
William Barclay tells the story about hope...
BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: en dunamei pneumatos hagiou:
THE POWER OF
By the power - Literally "in" the power. In the sphere of His divine, enabling power or as Wuest renders it...
Bishop Handley Moule comments...
Let us meditate for a moment on this important phrase "the power of the Holy Spirit" - Remember that when Jesus was on earth, having emptied Himself of His divine prerogatives (albeit still fully God - mystery of mysteries! See Phil 2:5, 6, 7-note), He presented us the perfect example of how to live a supernatural life. And what was Jesus' "secret"? Luke unfolds the beautiful truth that at the beginning of His ministry, "the Holy Spirit descended upon Him" (Luke 3:22, compare Isa 11:2, Isa 61:1, 2, 3, notice also the timing = Luke 3:23 "And when He began His ministry..."). Note what Luke is saying - Jesus receives the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and this event marks the inception of His powerful ministry over the next three years. Luke goes on to record that then "full of the Holy Spirit" (Luke 4:1, see Paul's command to believers to be continually full of the Spirit, Eph 5:18-note), Jesus "was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness" (Luke 4:1b) which resulted in a period of intense temptation "by the devil " (Luke 4:2-17). In short, Jesus gives us His example for powerful ministry - filling with and submission or surrender to the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit that now indwells all believers (Ro 8:9-note, 1Cor 6:19-note, 1Cor 6:20-note). In the book of Acts, Luke reiterates the vital role of the Holy Spirit in Jesus' ministry recording Peter's declaration...
Notice the association of the Holy Spirit with the presence of enabling power, power to accomplish the ministry the Father had assigned to His Son (Do you see the Trinity at work?). Now return to Luke 4 and notice that after His victorious temptation
Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit, led by the Holy Spirit and empowered by the Holy Spirit began His ministry. In so doing, Jesus the perfect Man is providing us the pattern for powerful ministry! Have you learned the "secret" of the Holy Spirit's power in your life? Paul (1Cor 11:1), Peter (1Peter 2:21-note) and John (1Jn 2:6) all call on believers to follow in the steps of Jesus. While clearly there are some exceptions (Jesus' miracles of raising the dead, etc.), the basic pattern of power for supernatural ministry is provided - the secret is the Holy Spirit! Jesus' charge to His men in Acts 1:8 and playing out of that verse in the remainder of the book of Acts affirm the basic principle of the Holy Spirit's power enabling us to live the Christian life as more than conquerors!
Power (1411) (dunamis) (7x in Romans = Ro 1:4-note Ro 1:16-note Ro 1:20-note Ro 8:38-note Ro 9:17-note Ro 15:13, Ro 15:19-note) refers to inherent power residing in something by virtue of its nature. Here the power Source is the Holy Spirit.
In the context of Romans 15, we learn that the Holy Spirit's inherent enabling power is the means by which unity will be accomplished as He causes believers to abound in hope. The Holy Spirit supernaturally enables the stronger and weaker brothers to abound in hope and to see each other’s positions in a clearer (eternal) perspective which causes them to refuse to let their differences mar the unity that they have in Christ. Christ is our Hope (1Ti 1:1) and to paraphrase an old hymn, when we fix our eyes on Jesus (cp Heb 12:2-note, Col 3:1-note, Col 3:2-note), "the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace" (Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Alan Jackson) and the result will be true spiritual power to accept one another.
Notice also that what was described as the effect of Scripture in Romans 15:4 is now attributed to the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul here follows a pattern evident throughout the New Testament in which God’s saving acts are attributed to God’s Word as well as to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Omnipotence is one of the characteristics of the divine essence. Father: Mk 14:36 and Lk 1:37; Son: Col 1:16-17; Heb. 1:3; Spirit: Ro 15:13): (1) God the Father is omnipotent (Eph 1:17; 2Pe 1:2-3). (2) Holy Spirit is omnipotent (Acts 1:8; Ro 15:13, 19; Eph 3:16; 1Th 1:5). (3) Word of God is omnipotent (Ro 1:16; 1Co 1:18, 24; Heb 4:12).
Charles Hodge reminds us that it is
through the power of the Holy Ghost, through Whom all good is given and all good exercised. (Commentary of the Epistle to the Romans)
Barclay comments on the believer's need for power of the Holy Spirit...
Holy Spirit - His full name is mentioned in Ro 5:5 Ro 9:1 Ro 14:17 Ro 15:13 Ro 15:16. He is mentioned by the single name Spirit in Ro 1:4, 2:29, 7:6, 8:2, 4, 5 (twice), Ro 8:6, 9 (3x), Ro 8:11 (twice), Ro 8:13, 14, 16, 23, 26 (twice), Ro 8:27, 15:19, 30. The total mentions of the Holy Spirit/Spirit in Romans = 27 including once as the Spirit of holiness (Ro 1:4), once as the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Ro 8:2), once as the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus (Ro 8:11), twice as the Spirit of God (Ro 8:9, 14) and once as the Spirit of Christ (Ro 8:9). Even from a cursory observation of His names in Romans, we receive a glimpse of the Trinity.
Tony Evans on the Holy Spirit
Henry Drummond described the Holy Spirit this way...
Arthur Pink has some wise words on the meaning and practical significance of the power of the Holy Spirit...
In the RBC Booklet The Promise of the Spirit Bill Crowder asks...
H C G Moule gives an excellent summary of Paul's great prayer writing that...
W H Griffith Thomas in his chapter entitled THE FULNESS OF LIFE-HOW IT COMES expounds on Romans 15:13, 14...
George Morrison...Joy and Peace in Believing
The Pledge and Power of a Promised Hope (Romans 15:13) - When the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen left for the North Pole in 1893, he took with him a strong, fast carrier pigeon. For many difficult months, Nansen explored the desolate Arctic regions. One day during that time, he penned a tiny message, attached it to the pigeon, and prepared to release the bird to travel the 2,000 miles back to Norway Nansen took the trembling bird in his hand and flung her upward into the foreboding atmosphere. She circled three times and then headed south — a thousand miles over ice and another thousand over the ocean. When the bird finally arrived at the Nansen home, the explorer's wife knew her husband was safe.
Similarly, the heavenly Dove, the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:16, Mk 1:10, Lk 3:22, Jn 1:32), brought encouragement (Ed: The essence of the meaning of His Name "Paraclete"-see related words parakaleo and paraklesis) and hope to the early Christians on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1, 2, 3, 4). Before the Savior left this earth, He promised to send them a Helper, a Comforter (Jn 14:16, 17, 26, 15:26, 27, 16:7, 8, 9, 10, 11).
Today the Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are God's children (Ro 8:16-note). He assures us that All Is Well (Great song - take a moment and really listen to the encouraging words sung by Robin Mark) —Paul R. Van Gorder
May God open the eyes of our heart to the great truth that...
The English poet Alexander Pope said, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast, man never is but always to be blessed." As Christians, we know there is only one sure and abiding source of hope, and that is God (cp 1Ti 1:1 = "God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus our hope"). If hope originated in ourselves, we would be cast into the depths of despair because life's complex problems have a way of squeezing every last ounce of it from our hearts. But when we trust God, hope abounds by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In his book Live With Your Emotions, Hazen G. Werner quotes part of a letter from a woman who had run out of hope. She wrote,
What that woman seemingly stumbled onto by accident, the psalmist (of Psalm 42) knew from experience. The power of gratitude can lift the weight of the most pressing trial. Turning the gaze of his soul heavenward, he saw God as an inexhaustible source of hope.
When we get discouraged, we can talk to ourselves as David did: "Why are you cast down, 0 my soul? . . . Hope in God" (Psalm 42:5-note). No matter how dark the path, thank God for Himself. It will open a window to heaven and let in a ray of hope. —D. J. DeHaan.
Hope, like an anchor,
Prepare to Live (Romans 15:13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19) - In 1931, Jane Whyte felt she was nearing the end of her life. Her husband Alexander, the famous Scottish preacher, had died 10 years earlier. As she looked at the world around her, she was depressed by the moral and political chaos. There seemed to be no reason for her to go on, nothing for her to do.
At dinner one evening, she sat next to a man who sensed her dejection. "What is your greatest concern?" he asked. "I'm preparing to die," said Mrs. Whyte. "Why not prepare to live?" he suggested.
That was the question Mrs. Whyte needed to hear to break the deadlock in her life. She began to see that God wanted her to live and to touch others for Him. Her attitude changed and within a year she led a Christian outreach team on a mission to Geneva, Switzerland. That trip profoundly affected the lives of many people.
Life can seem overwhelming at times, but God offers us hope. Paul wrote, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit" (Ro 15:13).
Regardless of your age or circumstances, don't despair and "prepare to die." Believers in Christ can prepare to live—filled with hope, joy, and peace. — David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The hope we have in Jesus Christ
Are You Full? (Ecclesiastes 6:7-12, Romans 15:13) - As a boy, I laughed and cried as I read The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. I gave little thought to the author of these books, though, until I saw a dramatized version of Mark Twain's life.
Twain had his share of tragedy. He blamed himself for his younger brother's death in a steamboat accident at age 20, and for the death of his only son, who died from diphtheria at 19 months. He grieved bitterly over the deaths of two of his daughters—one from meningitis at age 23 and one from a heart attack at age 29.
But instead of turning to God, Twain became bitter and pessimistic. When he died at 74, he was desperately lonely, unhappy, and hopeless.
Mark Twain had an emptiness that could not be satisfied with money and fame. His success as a writer only increased his misery and sense of loss. His life illustrates the folly of living without God, which is described in Ecclesiastes 6:7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. If only he had trusted Christ for salvation and looked to Him for comfort and fulfillment!
Have life's hardships left you feeling empty and bitter, or have they strengthened your relationship with God and made you better? Turn in faith to Christ, and "the God of hope [will] fill you with all joy and peace" (Romans 15:13). — Herbert Vander Lugt
The sun that hardens clay to brick
Happiness And Faith (Romans 8:28-39) - The chorus of the old hymn "At The Cross" concludes with these cheerful words: "And now I am happy all the day!" I don't know about you, but I can't honestly say that just because I know Jesus as my Savior I'm happy all day. I'm a rather optimistic person and I don't let much get me down, but some circumstances don't warm my heart and make me smile.
Troubles may make us wonder: Isn't our faith supposed to make us happy all the time? Shouldn't Jesus shelter us from harm and danger?
Some people teach these things, but the Bible doesn't. God's Word makes it clear that we will have trouble. In Romans 8, for example, the apostle Paul talked frankly about tough times we could face (Ro 8:35, 36, 37, 38, 39). The fact is, Jesus doesn't protect us from all trouble, but His love and His companionship guide us as we go through it.
A more realistic attitude than being "happy all the day" is one stated by a Christian who said, "Now that I'm saved, I'm happier when I am down than I was when I was happy before I was saved."
With Jesus Christ, we can have real joy and make it through even the bad times. — Dave Branon
The hope we have in Jesus Christ
Health-giving Hope (1Peter 1:13-21, Romans 15:13) - It is well-known that our emotions can have a profound effect on our bodies. And the condition of our bodies can affect our emotions.
For example, a 1997 article in the journal published by the American Heart Association points to the negative physical consequences of hopelessness. It essentially said that those who had experienced extreme feelings of despair had a 20-percent greater increase in arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) over a 4-year period. Other studies have also connected hopelessness with heart disease, heart attacks, and death.
The relationship between one's emotional well-being and physical condition, however, is not a modern discovery. In the Old Testament book of Proverbs, we read that "a merry heart does good, like medicine" (Pr 17:22), and that the wisdom found in God's words "are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh" (Pr 4:22).
A proper relationship to God and His Word can benefit us spiritually, physically, and emotionally. The central concern of the gospel is to bring us into a right relationship with God through faith in Christ. Its blessed byproduct is an abundant life filled with health-promoting hope—the assurance of total forgiveness of sins and eternal life with Christ. — Vernon C. Grounds
God's Word promotes the body's health,
Greek: Pepeismai (1SRPI) de, adelphoi mou, kai autos ego peri humon oti kai autoi mestoi este (2PPAI) agathosunes, pepleromenoi (RPPMPN) pases [tes] gnoseos, dunamenoi (PPPMPN) kai allelous nouthetein. (PAN)
Amplified: Personally I am satisfied about you, my brethren, that you yourselves are rich in goodness, amply filled with all [spiritual] knowledge and competent to admonish and counsel and instruct one another also. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: I am fully convinced, dear friends, that you are full of goodness. You know these things so well that you are able to teach others all about them. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: - For myself I feel certain that you, my brothers, have real Christian character and experience, and that you are capable of keeping each other on the right road. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But I have reached a settled conviction, my brethren, even I myself, concerning you, that you yourselves also are full of goodness, having been filled completely full of every knowledge with the result that you are in an abiding state of fullness, able also to be admonishing one another. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: And I am persuaded, my brethren -- I myself also -- concerning you, that ye yourselves also are full of goodness, having been filled with all knowledge, able also one another to admonish;
AND CONCERNING YOU MY BRETHREN I MYSELF ALSO AM CONVINCED THAT YOU YOURSELVES ARE FULL OF GOODNESS: Pepeismai (1SRPI) de adelphoi mou: kai autos ego peri humon hoti kai autoi mestoi este (2PPAI) agathosunes: (Ga 5:22 Ep 5:9 2Th 1:11)
Here begins the Epilogue, the personal matters of importance. It is almost as though we have been listening to Paul teaching these Romans, and class is dismissed, and we get a chance to meet the teacher a bit in these last sections.
Paul has just commanded them to accept one another despite their differences and here he is saying in essence "I know you are equipped to carry this out". Paul had somehow become convinced (must have had reports because he had never been to Rome) of the Roman believer's general spiritual maturity (Ro 1:9 [note] "your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.").
Convinced (3982) (peitho) means literally to persuade or induce by words to believe (Acts 19:26, Mt 27:20, Ro 14:14). Peitho is a strong verb, carrying the components of confidence, reliance, and hope. It means to be so convinced that one puts confidence in something or someone. The NT uses the perfect tense meaning to cause to come to a particular point of view or course of action. The idea is to come to a settled persuasion concerning something or to be persuaded. The idea of a settled conviction is the result of a past completed process of turning a matter over in one’s mind until one is persuaded of it. Paul had become convinced regarding the spiritual state of the saints at Rome (full of goodness, etc) at some point in time in the past and he remained convinced (cf uses of "peitho" = convinced in Ro 9:38-note, Ro 14:14-note) concerning the believers in the body of Christ at Rome.
Wuest renders it
Goodness (19) (agathosune [word study] from agathos =benevolent, profitable, benefiting others) describes active goodness, virtue, excellence or beneficence. It is high moral character reflected in to being good in both nature and effectiveness. Agathosune finds its fullest and highest expression in that which is willingly and sacrificially done for others. It is moral and spiritual excellence manifested in active kindness. Agathosune describes a positive moral quality characterized especially by interest in the welfare of others. Agathosune refers to active goodness as an energetic principle. It is the generosity which springs from the heart that is kind and will always take care to obtain for others that which is useful or beneficial. Thayer says that agathosune is found only in Biblical and ecclesiastical writings.
Wuest writes that agathosune refers...
Agathosune is a fruit of the Spirit and a fruit of the Light. Agathosune is moral goodness found only in believers and only as the result of the working of the Holy Spirit in the lives of those who submit to His divine will and power. Paul prayed for this fruit of goodness to be manifest in the lives of the believers at Thessalonica and was convinced it was being manifest in the lives of the saints (the body of Christ) at Rome. Paul had heard about their goodness, implying that the way they lived and interacted with others gave proof of their possession of the Spirit and His fruit.
And so in this passage Paul is speaking of the Roman believers' high moral character and virtuous living. Their hearts were right! As Paul makes clear in [Gal 5:22 [note], cf the other 2 uses Ep 5:9 [note], 2Th 1:11] all virtue is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But the Spirit can bear fruit only in the lives of believers, such as those in Rome, who are submissive to His divine will and power. They were not perfect, but neither were they spiritually deficient. Their motives were right. They had come to the place where they were motivated by a sense of goodness. The church at Rome was a responsive church, a compassionate church. It reached out to people who were in need. It responded to those who had hurts and burdens and concerns. Whenever a need was shared, there was always a compassionate response.
Paul is saying, in effect:
FILLED WITH ALL KNOWLEDGE: pepleromenoi ( RPPMPN ) pases (tes) gnoseos:
Filled is perfect tense which means they had become filled at some point in the past and have persisted in that state (they "stand filled" or as Wuest has it "having been filled completely full of every knowledge, with the result that you are in an abiding state of fulness"). The believers in this church were doctrinally sound. Not only were their hearts "right" ("full of goodness"), so were their heads! They weren't, as he wrote to one of the other churches, "carried about by every wind of doctrine" that came along (cf, Eph 4:14-note), but they acted out of an intelligent comprehension of what God wanted them to know. They were not like many Christians today, who seem to spend their whole Christian life just trying to muddle along and do the best they can, hoping that it will all turn out all right in the end. No, these Roman saints didn't do that. They knew something, and they acted from that knowledge. They didn't act apart from it.
Though this is one of the most deeply penetrative theological treatises in the NT, Paul did not write it because these people did not already know the truth that he was giving them! These believers were filled with spiritual insight and perception, knowledge of Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit and of the spiritual need of men.
Filled (4137) (pleroo) (Used 6x in Romans - Ro 1:29 Ro 8:4 Ro 13:8 Ro 15:13 Ro 15:14 Ro 15:19) means to be completely filled (like a glass filled to the brim with water). Paul had just used pleroo in his prayer for them to be filled with all joy and peace in believing (Ro 15:13).
Metaphorically pleroo conveys several rich pictures which help us understand the how these believers are filled with knowledge...
AND ABLE ALSO TO ADMONISH ONE ANOTHER: dunamenoi ( PPPMPN) kai allelous nouthetein (PAN ): (Acts 20:31 1Cor 4:14 Col 1:28, 3:16 1Th 5:12,14 2Th 3:15)
Able (1410)(dunamai) conveys the basic meaning of that which has the inherent ability to do something or accomplish some end. Thus dunamai means to be able to, to be capable of, to be strong enough to do or to have power to do something. It is usually translated able (50x), can (61x and cannot 58x) or could. Dunamai is in the present tense which signifies the saints are continuously able to accomplish the task of admonishing or warning one another.
Admonish (3560) (noutheteo from nous = mind + tithemi = to place) means literally to place in the mind. Noutheteo conveys the ideas of encouraging, advising and finally warning people of the consequences of their behavior. Admonishing speaks of encouraging counsel in view of sin and coming punishment. In short noutheteo is giving counsel with a warning involved. Noutheteo describes an effect on the will and the disposition and it predisposes an opposition which has to be overcome. It seeks to correct the mind, to put right what is wrong, to improve the spiritual attitude.
The present tense indicates admonishment is a continuing activity in the Roman church.
The "idea is not that of punishment but of a moral appeal that leads to amendment." (TDNT).
A T Robertson says noutheteo means
"Putting sense into the heads of people. A thankless, but a necessary, task."
Gene Getz writes that
Actually, the word noutheteo doesn’t refer to casual communication or normal-type teaching. It implies a definite exhortation, correction, and warning. When this word is used, there is always the implication of a problem. It presupposes an obstacle that must be removed or changed. (bolding added)
Some degree of opposition has been encountered, and one wishes to subdue or remove it, not by punishment, but by influencing the nous” (mind).
John MacArthur adds that noutheteo
is a comprehensive term for counseling. In this context, it refers to coming alongside other Christians for spiritual and moral counseling. Paul is not referring to a special gift of counseling, but of the duty and responsibility that every believer has for encouraging and strengthening other believers. Tragically, many Christians today have been convinced that competent counseling can only be accomplished by a person who is trained in the principles of secular psychology — despite the fact that the various schools of psychology are, for the most part, at extreme odds with God’s Word and frequently with each other. Although they may profess that “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2Ti 3:16-note), many evangelicals — both those who give and those who receive counseling — do not rely on the full sufficiency of God’s Word. (MacArthur, J: Romans 9-16. Chicago: Moody Press)
Admonishment is a critically important function for the vitality and spiritual health of the body of Christ locally as well as worldwide and a function which is best carried out by those who are full of goodness and filled with knowledge. This is a mark of growing up in Christ, of beginning to take on full stature as a believer, when you are able to help someone else with what you have learned -- "able also to admonish one another."
Warning, admonishing and Biblical counseling are must be carried out (in love) by those in authority in the church. Why is this exhortation so important for the integrity of the local body of Christ?
This same word (noutheteo) is used the the Septuagint (LXX) translation of the Hebrew OT in describing the failure of the priest Eli to rebuke his sons, who "were worthless (Hebrew = belial means worthless, but is a name for the devil. In as sense they were sons of the devil) men; they did not know Jehovah" (1Sa 2:12). Eli questioned (1Sa 2:23, 24) but failed to actually admonish his sons. Thus God said
Admonishing one another is a vital function which must not be ignored less there be an adverse effect on the spiritual health of the local body.
The NLT although generally a good paraphrase misses the point on this verse with the translation "able to teach others." Admonishing might involve teaching to some degree but as the English dictionary says to admonish means to
Admonishing is the responsibility of church leaders who should take note of Paul's example. In Acts Paul we read while at Ephesus "Night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish (noutheteo) each one with tears." (Acts 20:31) What was the context of his warning? He was warning them about false teachers, a threat so serious that he even wept because he knew the terrible consequences when false teachers infiltrate. Only by following Paul’s example can the faithful leaders protect Christ’s flock from the savage wolves and diseased sheep who constantly threaten it.
Admonishing is also the responsibility of every believer as clearly indicated by this passage in Romans. In addition we read Paul's second letter the Thessalonians, wherein he exhorts them that
In this verse, Paul provides a much-needed balance to the discipline process, noting that the motive for disciplining sinning believers is love. A parallel thought is found in in Paul's letter tot he Galatians where he addresses the proper attitude of the one who admonishes writing
Paul wrote to the believers at Thessalonica to urging them to
John MacArthur commenting on this verse writes that
Writing to the Colossian church (in danger of being taking captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ) Paul wrote
Paul uses noutheteo a second time in Colossians exhorting the believers to
When God’s Word rules our hearts, His Holy Spirit makes us “rich in the true wisdom” and prepares us to admonish one another, to “teach and help one another along the right road.”
Admonishing or warning people of the negative consequences of their behavior is the negative side of teaching and it is clear that both of these characteristics are the result of a life overflowing with the Word of Christ.
Certainly, there is in this word some kind of a moral appeal for change in behavior through warning and biblical instruction, or putting sense into the mind with a strong appeal to the will through understanding. In the psychological climate of today where so much stress is placed on professional counselors, these passages (Ro 15:14 [note]; Col 3:16 [note]; 1Th 5:14 [note] teach us an important point. Paul assumes that believers in the body of Christ can and should engage in the ministry of admonishment which is a form of counseling.
J Hampton Keathley III makes an important point...
Christians who are sensitive about their own walk with God are capable—and responsible—to admonish other Christians … It is one of the most difficult exhortations to obey, but it is necessary for the body of Christ to mature and grow.
Admonishment must be based upon God’s specific will and ways—not on what we think other Christians should or should not be doing. We must be careful at this point. Many Christians tend to confuse absolutes and non-absolutes. If we exhort Christians in areas that are extra-biblical—areas that are not specifically spelled out in Scripture or specific things that involve cultural standards and practices—then we are in danger of imposing standards contrary to Scripture.
Believers in Rome as in every church were expected to help one another to spiritual maturity (each but especially the strong should be an "edifier" Ro 15:2-note, Ro 14:19-note). When the body fulfills this role it helps address the pressure upon the pastor who is expected to solve every problem in the congregation, and to counsel everyone first-hand. This was never God's intention. Instead His plan is that the entire congregation should be involved in the work of admonishing.
Ray Stedman adds that willingness and ability to admonish...
is the mark of maturity, and I think here is one of the great problems of the American church, particularly. Most of us suffer from what someone has described as "prolonged adolescence merging into premature senility." We never grow up -- that is the problem. One of the great admonitions the apostle continually makes is that Christians begin to grow up into Christ so that they are "able to instruct one another." Despite all this, they still needed the ministry of reminding -- they needed the apostle. No matter how much their hearts desired Christ, no matter how much they knew of him, they were still subject to the very human failing of being apt to forget. (See full message Minister of Jesus Christ) (bolding added)
One another (240) (allelon from állos = another) means just what it says. It is like the sequoia trees of California which tower as high as 300 feet above the ground. You might be surprised to discover that these giant trees have unusually shallow root systems that reach out in all directions to capture the greatest amount of surface moisture. Their intertwining roots also provide support for each other against the storms. That's why the giant Sequoia trees usually grow in clusters. Seldom will you see a redwood standing alone, because high winds would quickly uproot it! That's what "one another" means!
Related Resource: Study the "one anothers" - most positive, some negative
Romans 15:13 Devotional by John Henry Jowett from "Brooks by the Traveller's Way: Chapter 5 - The Secret of Hope"
"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Ghost."--Romans xv. 13.
What a radiant assembly of jewels! It would scarcely be possible to bring together into two short sentences a larger company of resplendent words,--"God," "hope," "joy," "peace," "believing," "power," "Holy Ghost"! A prayer which in almost one sentence encompasses these spacious benedictions must have issued from a very exultant spirit, and one deeply acquainted with "the unsearchable riches of Christ." If we re-arrange the members of the text in vital and logical order, the two extreme limbs would appear to be these: "The God of Hope," and "That ye may abound in hope." The one expresses the creative ministry, the other expresses the created result. The text describes the making of optimists,--the "God of Hope" fashioning the children of hope. The remainder of the passage points out the gracious intermediaries by which the divine purpose is accomplished.
I. The Great Creative Source. "The God of Hope."
There are some matches which can only be kindled on one kind of surface. We may rub them on an unsuitable surface through a very long day, and no spark will be evoked. The fine effective flame of hope can only be kindled upon one surface. The human must come into contact with the divine. Where else can the holy fire be kindled? A mother is in despair about her son. His face is set in the ways of vice, and his imagination is being led captive by the devil. How shall I quicken the mother's hope, the hope which is so fruitful in loving devices? I will tell her that it is a long lane that has never a turning. I will tell her that the fiercest fire burns itself out at last. But these worldly proverbs awaken no fervent response. The depression remains heavy and cold. The match does not strike. I must lead her to "the God of Hope." A brother is discouraged because of his moral and spiritual bondage. How shall I kindle his hope? I will point out to him the lofty ideal, and let the dazzling splendour of the supreme heights break upon his gaze. But the ideal only emphasises and confirms his pessimism. I will then turn his eyes upon inferior men, and point out to him men who are more demoralised than himself. But the vision of the inferior is only creative of self-conceit A fine efficient hope is not yet born. The match does not strike. I must lead him to "the God of Hope." It is in God that assurance is born, and a fruitful optimism sustained. We must get our fire at the divine altar.
II. The Gift of Inspiration. "In the Power of the Holy Ghost."
The "God of Hope," in the pursuit of his purpose to create children of hope, plants in their life the inspiring presence of the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures compare the ministry of this presence to the influence of a wind, an atmosphere, a breathing.
1. It is quickening. Like the air of the spring time. Buried or sleeping powers awake and bud, and clothe themselves in grace and beauty. I become conscious of new and increased capacities, new powers of love, and faith, and spiritual discernment. "In Christ shall all be made alive." "The last Adam was made a quickening spirit."
2. It is bracing. How easy it is to make long journeys in fine, bracing air! Five miles in the city wearies one more than twenty miles in the Lake District. The Holy Spirit breathes through the life a bracing, invigorating influence. My powers are at their best. I am able to persist, able to endure. "They shall walk and not faint."
3. It is revealing. It is the clean, clear air which unveils the panoramas. When the Holy Spirit possesses me I "see visions." I "grow in knowledge." "He shall lead you into all truth."
These are some of the ministries which are implied in the gift of the Holy Ghost. They are the primary requisites in the production of an optimist.
III. The Creation of an Equable Temperament. "Filled with all Joy and Peace."
The life that is possessed by the pervasive "power of the Holy Spirit" will acquire the fruitful, equable temperament of "joy and peace."
1. Joy. Not a scintillating, transient happiness, but a permanent cheeriness. Life shall be lived in the light. "Lift upon us the light of Thy countenance." It is that light, the light of the countenance, which rests upon the life. What a difference the sunlight makes to the landscape! It transfigures and beautifies the commonplace. What a difference a smile makes upon a plain face! The plain face is glorified. The sunshine of the Lord's favour upon the life--that is, Christian cheeriness and joy. "Now are ye light in the Lord." "The God of Hope fill you with all joy." Every room in the house illumined! God's grace resting upon everything! The sunshine in every corner--upon the affections, upon the judgment, upon the conscience; everything suffused in the "light of life."
2. Peace. A deep, quiet sense of rightness in the background. It does not imply the absence of tribulation, but it suggests an abiding consciousness that fundamentally we are right with God. A man can go happily through a hard day's work if everything is right at home. If things are wrong there, all the work of the day is haunted and impaired, and every moment is weighted with the burden of years. A man can encounter much tribulation, and encounter it calmly if everything is right at home, if all is well between him and his God. "Peace" is just that sense of rightness with God. "It is well, it is well with my soul!" The presence and power of the Holy Spirit are creative of a temperament of mingled joy and peace.
IV. The Consequent Optimism. "That Ye may abound in Hope."
Surely this appears as quite an inevitable issue. If life is inspired by the presence of the Holy Ghost, quickened, braced, and taught by His power, and possessed of a temperament of joy and peace, it will "abound" in large and fructifying hope. I shall "abound in hope" concerning myself, that at length I shall stand before my God clothed in the white robes of a perfected life. I shall "abound in hope" concerning my brother. I shall never regard him as "past praying for." I shall hope "all things," even when confronted with the stupendous power of majestic vice. "The day will dawn and darksome night be past." The "God of Hope," through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the creation of a cheery and equable disposition, will make me to "abound in hope."
There are two words in the great text which have not yet been quoted--"In believing." They describe the link which binds the despondent and the pessimistic soul to the "God of Hope." Shall we rather say, they describe the channel by which the quickening and cheering influence of "the God of Hope" is conveyed to the depressed and disquieted life? Belief is an attitude of soul which implies both alliance and reliance--a surrender and a trust. To lay down the will at the King's feet: to make His will my choice: to attempt obedience in dependence upon His grace: this is the very secret of practical belief. "Believing," I receive "the power of the Holy Ghost"; and "the God of Hope" fills me with all joy and peace, that I "may abound in hope," and in all the sanctifying energies of this endless life. (John Henry Jowett - Brooks by the Traveller's Way)