Summary: This sermon leads the hearer from suffering or trouble to finding hope in Christ Jesus.

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The Way That Leads To Hope – Romans 5: 1 - 8

Intro: Verse 1 – “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have PEACE with God . . .” (Greek - ERAYNAY) – PEACE – biblical term for blessings, advantages & fruits of salvation

I. Verse 2 – through whom we have obtained access – (Greek - PROSAGOGAIN) – ACCESS – used only twice in NT.

A. used 2 introduce or usher one into before royalty where ships come in.

B. Paul’s envisages grace as room into which Jesus has ushered all who believe.

C. What we could not do ourselves, Christ has done for us.

II. Verse 3 – “And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings.” I’ve had more hardship than you?

A. sufferings = (Greek - THILIPSIN) - troubles, tribulations, literally - pressure – wants etc.

B. Objectively evil; but subjectively opportunities to become more aware of total reliance on God.

C. Western Xians believe not only pursuit but attainment of happiness is inalienable right.

III. Verse 3a – 4 – “knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” THE PRODUCTS OF SUFFERING:

A. ENDURANCE - (Greek - HUPOMONEN) – FORTITUDE – the spirit to overcome the world. Not “hang in there” – do what you can!

B. CHARACTER – (Greek - DOIKEMAIN) – METAL PASSED THROUGH FIRE – FORTITUDE – STRENGTH. – Man & daughter to carnival – bought cotton candy – “eat it all?” – “I’m a lot bigger on the inside than the outside.” – C.= being bigger on the inside.

C. HOPE – (Greek - ELPIDA) - EXPECTATION – PROSPECT – Verse 8 “But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.”

Conclu: A very wealthy king possessed a large, beautiful ruby. He would sit for hours admiring the gem and it depth of color and sparkle. One day he noticed a large scratch across the middle of his precious stone. He sent out a decree that he would give 1/2 his kingdom to the person who could return his gem to its original beauty. A jeweler attempted to buff away the scratch but it went too deep into the stone. A priest prayed over the stone but the scratch remained. A simple sculptor came and took the stone and with delicate tools worked on the stone for hours. The king discovered when the gem was returned that the sculptor had used the scratch as the stem for beautiful rose carved into the stone. Never had the stone shone forth such beauty for the sculptor had combined the beauty of the stone with the tragedy of the scratch to make something unique and beautiful in a different way. This is how God can take the "scratches" of our lives and using them, turn us into a thing of beauty as well.

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