Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. — Romans 5: 5
We hope in the salvation of Christ and allow ourselves to be led by love.
The hope of salvation
Our Bible text begins with a message of comfort: “Now hope does not disappoint.” To what hope do these words refer? We hope for salvation in Jesus Christ. We hope for His return.
This hope is justified because:
- It is based on the promise of Jesus. He has promised that He will come again (John 14: 3).
- It is rooted in the love of God. No one can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8: 39).
- We can become heirs of eternal life through the rebirth out of water and the Holy Spirit.
It is for the following reason that this hope will not disappoint: it is firmly anchored in God’s will to save.
The love of God within us
Apostle Paul goes on to say that the love of God has been poured out in us by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us.
We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit. This means that:
- We have received the life of God.
- We have received the power of God.
And what is God? God is love! Seeing we have received the life and power of God, we have also received the love of God. Apostle Paul states that this love has been poured out in our hearts.
- In the Bible, the heart symbolizes the core of one’s being and existence.
- The heart is also the place where decisions are made.
Effects of the love of God
What are the effects of the love of God? God is always the one who gives! He gives without stipulating any conditions or expecting anything in return. The Lord Jesus once said, “For He [God] makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good …” (Matthew 5: 45). Jesus has given His life unconditionally for all. He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit. He gives this gift because He loves!
Making decisions with love
Now if the love of God has been poured out in our hearts—in the very core of our being, there where all our decisions are made—then our decisions and conduct will also have to be defined by love.
If we truly love, then we should also be those who give. We are to give without calculation, without waiting for anything in return. The Lord Jesus brought this to expression very clearly: “But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you” (Luke 14: 13, 14). Here we once again find this same idea: those who love will give without expecting anything in return, without calculation.
Let us keep this in mind in everything we do in our family, our congregations, and everywhere else!
* Thoughts from the Chief Apostle adapted for the divine service held on 01 May 2016 at Midrand Congregation.