Amplified: For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees? (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Now that we are saved, we eagerly look forward to this freedom. For if you already have something, you don't need to hope for it. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven't yet got. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For we were saved in the sphere of hope. But hope that has been seen is not hope, for that which a person sees, why does he hope for it? But if that which we do not see, we hope for, through patience we expectantly wait for it. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for in hope we were saved, and hope beheld is not hope; for what any one doth behold, why also doth he hope for it?
|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"
FOR IN HOPE WE HAVE BEEN SAVED: te gar elpidi esothemen (1PAPI) : (Ro 5:2; 12:12; 15:4,13; Ps 33:18,22; 146:5; Pr 14:32; Jer 17:7; Zech 9:12; 1Co 13:13; Gal 5:5; Col 1:5,23,27; 1Th 5:8; 2Th 2:16; Titus 2:11, 12, 13; Heb 6:18,19; 1Pet 1:3,21; 1Jn 3:3)
For (gar) introduces an explanation of the preceding. Whenever you encounter this "term of explanation", pause and ponder "What is being explained?"
In hope we have been saved - That is, when we were saved, we were graciously given Christian hope. Outside of Christ there is no hope, whereas salvation brings us a great hope that God will do good to us in the future. Our subjective hope has its objective basis, (the object of our hope) in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope (1Ti 1:1). Ultimately our hope (assurance) is that Christ will return to take us home, and we will be made like Him (another aspect of our future hope). And so when the Spirit regenerated us in the past by grace through faith, He also placed in our hearts a supernatural hope. It is a hope that can waver and vacillate, but it is a hope which is strengthened by the Word of Christ, especially those passages that remind us that allude to His Second Coming. The Second Coming is mentioned either directly or indirectly in approximately 1 out of every 20 verses in the New Testament. Clearly our Teacher, the Spirit, desires for us to read and be encouraged by this truth which serves to reinforce and undergird the invaluable attribute of Christian hope.
Hope is used in a similar sense in Colossians 1:5
Marvin Vincent rightly reminds us that "In the New Testament the word (hope-elpis) always relates to a future good."
The writer of Hebrews uses hope in a similar way writing...
Paul prayed for the saints at Ephesus to get an understanding of this hope...
Denney writes that "This sentence explains why Paul can speak of Christians as waiting for adoption, while they are nevertheless in the enjoyment of sonship. It is because salvation is essentially related to the future. ‘We wait for it: for we were saved in hope.’… Our salvation was qualified from the beginning by reference to a good yet to be... Hope, the apostle argues, is an essential characteristic of our salvation; but hope turned sight is hope no more, for who hopes for what he sees? We do not see all the gospel held out to us, but it is the object of our Christian hope nevertheless; it is as true and sure as the love of God which in Christ Jesus reconciled us to Himself and gave us the Spirit of adoption, and therefore we wait for it in patience. (Romans 8 Expositor's Greek Testament)
Sozo - 106x in 99v - Matt 1:21; 8:25; 9:21f; 10:22; 14:30; 16:25; 19:25; 24:13, 22; 27:40, 42, 49; Mark 3:4; 5:23, 28, 34; 6:56; 8:35; 10:26, 52; 13:13, 20; 15:30f; 16:16; Luke 6:9; 7:50; 8:12, 36, 48, 50; 9:24; 13:23; 17:19; 18:26, 42; 19:10; 23:35, 37, 39; John 3:17; 5:34; 10:9; 11:12; 12:27, 47; Acts 2:21, 40, 47; 4:9, 12; 11:14; 14:9; 15:1, 11; 16:30f; 27:20, 31; Rom 5:9f; 8:24; 9:27; 10:9, 13; 11:14, 26; 1 Cor 1:18, 21; 3:15; 5:5; 7:16; 9:22; 10:33; 15:2; 2 Cor 2:15; Eph 2:5, 8; 1 Thess 2:16; 2 Thess 2:10; 1 Tim 1:15; 2:4, 15; 4:16; 2 Tim 1:9; 4:18; Titus 3:5; Heb 5:7; 7:25; Jas 1:21; 2:14; 4:12; 5:15, 20; 1 Pet 3:21; 4:18; Jude 1:5, 23. NAS - bring...safely(1), cured(1), ensure salvation(1), get(1), get well(2), made...well(6), made well(5), preserved(1), recover(1), restore(1), save(36), saved(50), saves(1), saving(1).
We have been saved is aorist tense which records the saving act as a past event, a historical fact = justification (See Three Tenses of Salvation) The we is all who have accepted salvation in Christ. We now possess salvation "past tense", each of us having been saved at a certain point in time in the when we confessed
Regarding the phrase in hope, A T Robertson comments that...
Hope in Scripture is not the world's definition of "I hope so", with a few rare exceptions (e.g., Acts 27:20)
Elpis - 53x in 48v - Acts 2:26; 16:19; 23:6; 24:15; 26:6f; 27:20; 28:20; Rom 4:18; 5:2, 4f; 8:20, 24; 12:12; 15:4, 13; 1 Cor 9:10; 13:13; 2 Cor 1:7; 3:12; 10:15; Gal 5:5; Eph 1:18; 2:12; 4:4; Phil 1:20; Col 1:5, 23, 27; 1 Thess 1:3; 2:19; 4:13; 5:8; 2 Thess 2:16; 1 Tim 1:1; Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7; Heb 3:6; 6:11, 18; 7:19; 10:23; 1 Pet 1:3, 21; 3:15; 1 John 3:3
Denney writes that "Hupomone is the constancy which belongs to and characterizes hope in dark days. In the pastoral epistles (1Ti 6:10; Titus 2:2) instead of the pistis, agape, elpis (faith, love, hope), of earlier letters, Paul writes pistis, agape, hupomone (faith, love, perseverance), as if he had discovered by experience that in this life “hope” has mainly to be shown in the form of “patience”. (Romans 8 Expositor's Greek Testament)
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.
Hope is the looking forward to something with some reason for confidence respecting fulfillment. And so in this same chapter Peter encouraged the suffering saints writing
Click in depth study of Biblical hope: chart summarizing the definition of, source of, stabilizing effect of and sanctifying effect of hope.
G K Chesterton said that
What hope? “That blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13-note). The best is yet to come! The believer does not get frustrated as he sees and experiences suffering and pain in this world. He knows (his hope = a certainty) that the temporary suffering will one day give way to eternal glory.
In other words if you had received ALL of your salvation already, what are you hoping in? You've just received the earnest "money" or down payment of your inheritance (see notes Ephesians 1:13; 1:14). Ro 5:5 (note) teaches us that this hope will not disappoint. The Holy Spirit living in us now assures us of that certainty (Ro 8:15, 16-see notes Ro8:15; 16). From the outset we have looked forward to full and final deliverance from sin, suffering, disease, and death (1Pe 1:5, 13-see notes 1Pe 1:5; 13). If we had already received these blessings, we wouldn't be hoping for them. We only hope for what is in the future. In other words, in this life we cannot expect to experience the reality of our glorification but only the hope of it. But since the believer's hope is based on God's promise, the completion of his salvation is more certain by far than anything he sees with his eyes. Because of this future HOPE in (Titus 2:13-note) Paul says that our present attitude should be one of "LOOKING (with an attitude of expectancy) for the blessed HOPE and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."
Hope is seen with the eye of faith. Charles Simeon has a great word to encourage us to develop this "supernatural vision"...
William Newell - There is a longing for and expectation of something better, no matter what spiritual blessing comes to the believer. This that is longed for, is, of course, “the liberty of the glory,” that belongs, by God's grace, to the children of God (verse 21). Creation will share this “liberty.” Therefore we have a double feeling toward creation: sympathy with its suffering, and joy in its prospect of sharing the “liberty of the glory” into which we shall shortly come. (Newell's Commentary on Romans)
BUT HOPE THAT IS SEEN IS NOT HOPE, FOR WHY DOES ONE ALSO HOPE FOR WHAT HE SEES: elpis de blepomene (PPPFSN) ouk estin (3SPAI) elpis o gar blepei (3SPAI) tis elpizei (3SPAI) : (2Corinthians 4:18; 5:7; Hebrews 11:1; 1Peter 1:10,11)
But - Always pause and ponder this conjunction of contrast usually calling for examination of the context.
Hope that is seen is not hope - We are looking for HOPE but once it appears it is not something we have to hope for any longer. Ultimately our hope is "Blessed" (Titus 2:13). It is not an entity but it is the Person of Christ (1Ti 1:1 - Literally "Christ Jesus our HOPE!"). And when we see Him all our hopes will be fully and forever realized in Christ Jesus our HOPE! OH GLORIOUS DAY! (Oh Glorious Day - A Great Song by Casting Crowns)
Lenski - once the object of hope is seen, it ceases to be an object of hope. Once the hoped-for glory, liberty, resurrection of our body are before our eyes, hope turns to realization.
For (term of explanation) - Pause and ponder "What is Paul explaining?" Note the first "for" is a term of explanation (used in the sense of "because") but not the second "for."
Sees (991) (blepo) means perceive with your eyes. Blepo can denote simple voluntary observation and so mean to look at, behold. Many NT uses convey the sense of becoming aware of or taking notice of something, of perceiving or discerning or understanding.
Writing to the saints at Thessalonica who had experienced much tribulation (1Th 1:6), Paul refers to the hope of salvation as a helmet, symbolizing our divine protection from the blows of doubt that Satan sends to crush our hope
The idea is that from the beginning of our salvation we have looked forward to full and final deliverance from sin, suffering, disease, and death (especially as we were taught the truth about these great "hopes"). If we had already received these blessings, we would not be hoping for them. We only hope for what is in the future.
In this life we cannot expect to experience the reality of our glorification but only the hope of it. But since the believer’s hope is based on God’s sure Word of promise, the completion of our salvation is more certain than anything we can see with our eyes (cp 2Cor 4:17, 18, 2Cor 5:7). In fact as Paul states later in this same chapter, our salvation is so secure that our glorification is spoken of in the past tense (Ro 8:30-note)! It's as good as done!
Expositor's Greek Testament (Denney) explains
Spurgeon on Ro 8:24-25
George H Morrison (renowned Scottish preacher) "The Saving Power of Hope"
Amplified: But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: But if that which we do not see, we hope for, through patience we expectantly wait for it. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and if what we do not behold we hope for, through continuance we expect it.
When you are “living in the future tense,” it is difficult for the things of the world to ensnare you. In this section, Paul teaches us that when we are tempted to be downcast by our suffering and circumstances, to try the "uplook".
BUT IF WE HOPE FOR WHAT WE DO NOT SEE: ei de o ou blepomen (1PPAI) elpizomen (1PPAI) :
But - see importance of pausing to ponder this term of contrast.
We hope (1679) (elpizo from elpis) means to look forward with confidence to that which is good and beneficial. The present tense pictures this attitude as the believer's lifestyle, which is one of hope, where hope is defined in the NT as the absolute assurance that God will do good to us and for us in the future.
Elpizo - 31x in 31v - Matt 12:21; Luke 6:34; 23:8; 24:21; John 5:45; Acts 24:26; 26:7; Rom 8:24f; 15:12, 24; 1 Cor 13:7; 15:19; 16:7; 2 Cor 1:10, 13; 5:11; 8:5; 13:6; Phil 2:19, 23; 1 Tim 3:14; 4:10; 5:5; 6:17; Philemon 1:22; Heb 11:1; 1 Pet 1:13; 3:5; 2 John 1:12; 3 John 1:14. NAS = expect(1), expected(1), fix...hope(2), fixed...hope(2), hope(13), hoped(3), hopes(1), hoping(4), set...hope(2), trust(1).
W E Vine writes that - The future fruition of present suffering and toil in service faithfully rendered is fully assured in the hearts of those who engage in it; they know their God will fulfill His promises, and accordingly God Himself is the firm foundation of their hope. It is not merely a trust in God but a hope that rests upon Him. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
What is our present hope of future good in context? It is clearly that our mortal bodies will one day be redeemed in the twinkling of an eye (1Cor 15:51,52) and we shall receive our glorified bodies, free from even the presence of SIN.
Paul is saying that since we have a certain hope even though we don't yet see it, that this very certainty should prompt a specific attitude & behavior - such a person can persevere or bear up under whatever their circumstances are because they have a fixed confidence that knows what is coming. One who has this hope is willing to persevere. In Php1:6 Paul says "I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus", (cp note 2 Timothy 1:12) which is the day when glory is revealed to us. Peter says a similar thing in (see note 1 Peter 1:13) Set your sights on this glorious future grace & allow the Holy Spirit to change your perspective on the present suffering you are experiencing. Live in the light of who you are in Christ (note) and in light of who God is going to reveal you to be some day when this "season of suffering" is over.
Sin, my worst enemy before, shall vex my eyes and ears no more;
WITH PERSEVERANCE WE WAIT EAGERLY FOR IT : di hupomones apekdechometha (1PPMI) : (Ro 8:23; 2:7; 12:12; Ge 49:18; Ps 27:14; 37:7, 8, Ps 37:9; 62:1,5-6; Ps 130:5-7; Isa 25:9; 26:8; La 3:25,26; Lk 8:15; 21:19; Col 1:11; 1Th 1:3; 2Th 3:5; Heb 6:12,15; 10:36; 12:1, 2, 3; Jas 1:3,4; 5:7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Rev 1:9; 13:10; Rev 14:12)
With perseverance - Literally (the Greek preposition) dia means through (the instrumentality of) perseverance. And remember that the key to persevering in suffering with hope (absolute assurance of future good) is to keep your eyes on the promised future glory.
William Newell - Now hope is expecting something better! The very fact that we have not seen it realized as yet, begets within us that grace which is so precious to God--patience. But note, it is not patience in the abstract that is set forth here: but patient waiting for the coming liberty of the glory of the children of God. (Newell's Commentary on Romans)
Alford - Patience (endurance) is the state, in which,—through which as a medium,—our waiting takes place:
R C Sproul - Here is the real difficulty of the Christian life. We know that when we die we are going to heaven; we know that God is going to renovate his creation; we know that he is not going to fail in the promises he has made. But in the meantime, we hurt, we suffer, we get discouraged and it is so easy for us to become impatient....But it is not merely hope and patience that make it possible for the Christian to endure the present tribulations and sufferings of this world. Paul speaks of another crucially important dimension in Ro 8:26 One very important part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to sustain us in the midst of tribulation. He is the one who stands with us in our moments of darkness and of trial. He helps us to persevere. (The Gospel of God: An Exposition of Romans)
Matthew Poole - If we indeed hope for redemption and salvation, which is out of sight, then it is meet that we do with patience digest and bear all our present evils and sufferings; true hope is accompanied always with a patient waiting for the things hoped for; therefore you read of the “:patience of hope,” 1Th 1:3: see Heb 6:12, 10:36.
John Stott explains that...
Paul commends the church in Thessalonica for their perseverance writing that he, Silas and Timothy were...
Perseverance (5281)(hupomone [word study] from hupo = under + meno = stay, remain, abide) is literally abiding under. The root idea of hupomone is that of remaining under some discipline, subjecting one’s self to something which demands the acquiescence of the will to something against which one naturally would rebel. It portrays a picture of steadfastly and unflinchingly bearing up under a heavy load and describes that quality of character which does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial. Hupomone is the constancy which belongs to and characterizes hope in dark days. It has in it a forward look, the ability to focus on what is beyond the current pressures (eg Jesus
In short hupomone does not describe a grim resignation or a passive "grin & bear" attitude but a triumphant facing of difficult circumstances knowing that even out of evil God guarantees good. It is courageous gallantry which accepts suffering and hardship and turns them into grace and glory.
Hupomone - 32x in 31v - Luke 8:15; 21:19; Rom 2:7; 5:3f; 8:25; 15:4f; 2 Cor 1:6; 6:4; 12:12; Col 1:11; 1 Thess 1:3; 2 Thess 1:4; 3:5; 1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 3:10; Titus 2:2; Heb 10:36; 12:1; Jas 1:3f; 5:11; 2 Pet 1:6; Rev 1:9; 2:2f, 19; 3:10; 13:10; 14:12. NAS = endurance(7), patient enduring(1), perseverance(21), steadfastness(3).
The writer of Hebrews alludes to the importance of Christian perseverance...
Morris describes perseverance as
We are in a battle but can be confident that the Victory has already been won! No literal earthly soldier could have had such confidence as we can.
Hupomone is the ability to endure when circumstances are difficult - not a passive sitting down and bearing things but a triumphant facing of them so that even out of evil there can come good, a bearing up in a way that honors and glorifies our heavenly Father.
The difficulties in our lives,
Jerry Bridges makes a slight distinction between endurance and perseverance...
Endurance is the ability to stand up under adversity; perseverance is the ability to progress in spite of it. These two English words are translations of the same Greek word and simply represent two different views of the same quality: a godly response to adversity. (The Fruitful Life- The Overflow of God's Love Through You)
This great section on our present possession of the first fruits of the Spirit (like a pledge cp Ep 1:14 [note]) and our future hope (certainty) of the redemption of our decaying mortal bodies in which we currently wage daily war (with the still co-existent enemies Sin and the flesh) is truth that should give us encouragement to bear up under the circumstances (cp "suffering" - Ro 8:17-note, Ro 8:18-note). We're not home yet. The best is yet to come! Maranatha! (See living with A Maranatha Mindset or see blog post with great picture of the Returning King of kings Maranatha mindset)
Eagerly wait (553) (apekdechomai [word study] from apó = intensifier [see Vincent below] + ekdechomai [word study] = expect, look for <> from ek = out + dechomai [word study] = receive kindly, accept deliberately and readily) means waiting in great anticipation but with patience (compare our English expression "wait it out"). To expect fully. To look (wait) for assiduously (marked by careful unremitting attention) and patiently.
Apekdechomai - 8x in 8v - Rom 8:19, 23, 25; 1Cor 1:7; Gal 5:5; Phil 3:20; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 3:20. NAS = awaiting eagerly(1), eagerly await(1), eagerly wait(1), wait eagerly(1), waiting(2), waiting eagerly(1), waits eagerly(1).
Kenneth Wuest explains that apekdechomai is...
Apekdechomai is in the present tense indicating this is a heavenly citizen's continual mindset (Do you frequently contemplate His return beloved?) and the middle voice which indicates the subject is the beneficiary of the waiting. Wuest picks up on this nuance of the middle voice with the translation "eagerly waiting to welcome the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and to receive Him to ourselves" where "to ourselves" is the reflexive aspect of the middle voice. What a beautiful picture of the Bride, His Church, waiting to receive Him to herself! A waiting, welcoming mindset will motivate the bride to keep herself pure and holy.
Marvin Vincent writes that...
A T Robertson adds that apekdechomai is a...
Apekdechomai pictures waiting in great anticipation but with patience. Awaiting eagerly and expectantly for some future event and so to look forward eagerly. Note that seven of the eight NT uses of apekdechomai are related in some way to our "blessed hope", the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.