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Sermon #3178

The Sphere of Hope

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 permeates this world. Christian or not, all question the purpose of tragedy and suffering. In order to maintain a proper Christian joy in this hopeless world, says Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in the sermon “The Sphere of Hope,” the Christian must follow the apostle Paul’s argument in Romans 8:18­–25. One cannot be confused on the Christian’s hope and he explicates the topic in great detail. He explains the difference between objective hope and subjective hope, and argues that the apostle is interested in both. In other words, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, a person who is saved has the grace of hope within them and a hope with respect to something outside themselves. A person is saved in the sphere of hope as well as in the realm of hope. Moreover, one must remember the “tenses” of salvation – past, present, and future. When the Christian does this, they avoid the dangers of having no assurance concerning salvation as well as claiming too much of salvation by saying they have reached full sanctification. The Christian position, Dr. Lloyd-Jones states, is one where the Christian confesses this world is not their home. The reason they can say this with confidence is because they have been brought into the sphere of hope.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The apostle Paul is continuing his teaching from Romans chapter 8.
  2. Verses 24 and 25 are being considered.
  3. For the 178th time, the message of Romans is being examined.
  4. Verses 24 and 25 cannot be understood without context of the surrounding passage.
  5. The overall message of Romans 8 is assurance of salvation.
  6. Paul is proving that salvation will be completed.
  7. Verses 24 and 25 sum up and reaffirm what Paul has been teaching.
  8. The translation "we are saved by hope" can be misleading. A better translation is "we were saved in hope".
  9. Hope does not save us, faith does. Hope refers to the thing hoped for, not just the act of hoping.
  10. "Hope" has two meanings: the grace of hope within us, and the objective thing hoped for. Both meanings are used here.
  11. We were saved in the sphere or realm of hope. We were saved in expectation.
  12. To understand this teaching is key to happiness and enjoyment in the Christian life.
  13. There are two dangers: claiming too little (only hoping to be saved) or too much (already have full salvation).
  14. Salvation has past (justification), present (sanctification), and future (glorification) tenses.
  15. Hope represents earnest looking forward, not just wishing or desiring. It is a helmet and anchor, not something vague.

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.