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Read Introduction to Romans

 

24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?

 

but hope that is seen is not hope;

Hope is opposite to what is seen. God provides an objective confidence in our future glorification, not a subjective hope. If we already possess hope, it can no longer be the object of our hope. That is a contradiction. We can only hope for something that is yet future. Our confidence is in something that is not in plain view. We hope for something presently unseen.

for why does one still hope for what he sees?

We do not hope for what we already have. The very idea of hope is an expectation of something yet future that will become a present reality. Hope that has arrived ceases to be the object of hope.

This phrase reminds us that the major or third phase of our salvation is yet future. This reminder gives us encouragement to persevere in the midst of trial. We are saved but not fully.

2 Co 4: 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

PRINCIPLE:

As faith is necessary to appropriate salvation, so hope is required to take in future glorification.

APPLICATION:

Our salvation came with wonderful operating assets, but there is still more to follow. Our salvation included justification, regeneration, positional truth, and positional sanctification, among many other things. Beyond that, we have progressive sanctification. Yet further, we have hope of complete glorification in eternity. There will come a time when all the problems of this present time will be eradicated.

Salvation of our souls does not mean that we will have easy lives. We live in a cursed world; therefore, we groan and long for ultimate glorification. We cannot expect to see in this life anything that approaches the glorified state. That is why hope is the watchword for the Christian in the present time.

1 Pe 1: 13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

knowing God’s promises stabilizes us over our circumstances. Focus on circumstance destabilizes the believer in time. The Christian who puts his focus on eternity has an attitude of confidence about the problems of life.

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