MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #3179

Hope in Practice

A Sermon on Romans 8:24-25


Romans 8:24-25 ESV KJV
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (ESV)

Sermon Description

Suffering can lead to despair. Many Christians undergoing great trials (especially older saints) desire to “get out” of this life. In those moments when they see the sad state of this world, evil increasing, and the limitations of humanity to change anything, the Christian may be tempted to think, “why doesn’t God take me out of this world?” But is this the Christian position? Is this biblical hope? Further, what does hope look like in practice? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones answers these questions in this sermon on Romans 8:18–25 titled “Hope in Practice.” He says mere desire to escape this life is contrary to the biblical hope because biblical hope is always positive, not negative. Biblical hope desires to be with the Lord, not merely escape difficult circumstances. By examining the apostle Paul’s words as well as other biblical passages, Dr. Lloyd-Jones characterizes hope as eager or joyful waiting. This means Christians are not to wait passively, but straining and stretching for the glory that awaits. Moreover, he emphasizes the posture of patience in hoping. Listen to Dr. Lloyd-Jones expound the wonderful truth of gospel hope.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is addressing the Christians in Rome about hope and patience in Romans 8:24-25.
  2. Hope looks forward to the future while faith looks back to the finished work of Christ. We have received only a small portion of the total salvation and inheritance God has promised us.
  3. The apostle argues against the notion that we can fully see or experience our salvation in this life. If we could see it fully, it would no longer require hope.
  4. The apostle makes two main points: 1) Hope that is seen is not hope, and 2) If we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
  5. The first point is that hope requires not yet possessing something. If you can see something, you no longer hope for it. The apostle argues this is illogical.
  6. The second point is that we must wait with patience for the fulfillment of our hope in the future. Patience means eager waiting, constant waiting, and unwavering waiting.
  7. We must hope for what we cannot see yet and wait for it with patience. This is the duty and calling of the Christian.
  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones asks if we are truly hoping for what we cannot see yet and waiting with patience. The world distracts us too much from this hope and waiting.
  9. To hope for what we cannot see and wait with patience, we must see the world for what it is, remember who we are in Christ, set our minds on heaven, seek God himself, and think of what God has prepared for us.
  10. We must make the world to come more real to us through reading Scripture, meditating, praying, and asking God to make it clear to us. This will transform how we view life and death.
  11. An example is given of a girl who wrote of her father entering the "glorious liberty of the children of God" when he died. We should have this same view of death for ourselves and other Christians.
  12. Dr. Lloyd-Jones laments how this kind of thinking seems to have vanished from evangelicalism. He says the remedy is focusing on Christ and heaven rather than ourselves and earthly happiness.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.