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But as the subjects of this hope are already believers in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-7; Colossians 1:13), the attainment of these things is not properly the object of their hope, for these are already possessed; but a continuance of these blessings, together with guidance, protection, succour, and consolation in all difficulties and trials, timely deliverance from them, perfect holiness and meetness for heaven (Galatians 5:5), perseverance in grace, and, especially, eternal life (Titus 1:2), or the glory of God (1 Chronicles 5:2).3. ARE WE BURDENED WITH FEAR OF DEATH? For what has it been to the Jewish people through the tragic vicissitudes of their wonderful history — to Christendom for nineteen centuries? Throughout the Christian centuries the Old Testament has been a mine constantly worked, and far to-day from being exhausted. No evil to be feared (Psalm 23), and from the Apocalypse gleams of glory to be seen.(J. Patience is not blind to the many dark problems in the history of the world and in human nature. The only limit which can be put to its power is that imposed by our own unbelief. ARE WE ANXIOUS ABOUT TEMPORAL AFFAIRS? Ah, how richly hope is sustained by the glorious promises of which the Scriptures are full!(J. This second sense of Scripture is especially instructive as a guide to the knowledge and love of Christ, who is the end as of the law, so of the whole of the Old Testament, to every one that believeth. And if we can commit them to memory, so much the better. They rise above the local and personal incidents of their production; they show qualities which address themselves to the minds and heart of the human race. Spurgeon. Edification. Instruction.2. He who will always get from others knows not the blessedness of giving. (3)Joseph patiently forgiving the unkindness of his brethren, and bearing the false accusation of his master. Nay, more, He went out of His way to sanction not a few portions of it which our modern scepticism too eagerly rejects. THE TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.1. But there is much which has a primary reference to some saint, or hero, or event of the day, which yet in its deeper significance points on to Him. Patience.3. But here is a Book which provides for human nature as a whole, which makes this profession with aa insight and faithfulness that does not belong to the most gifted. Written for our learning.2. On the other hand, what mischief impatience does! Parker, D. D.The best commentary upon the Bible is experience. The Holy Scriptures produce and ripen the noblest graces. Hope produces patience, and in the patience of hope there is comfort amid all the trials of life. "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine."6. The first thing to notice, then, is how Scripture gives encouragement — for such, rather than consolation, is the meaning of the word. Who can tell how many struggling souls have taken heart again as they pondered over the sweet stories of sorrow subdued which stud its pages, like stars in its firmament? Comfort. They furnish the seed and ground, as of faith, so of hope, in their doctrines, precepts, and promises, laying a foundation for faith, the root of hope, and showing us the way in which we may arrive at the object of it.4. In the account in Genesis of Abraham's relations with Hagar, Sara, Ishmael, and Isaac, the apostle bids us see the Jewish and the Christian Covenants, and the spiritual slaves of the Mosaic law, and the enfranchised sons of the mother of us all. Ah, what a rich store of that is to be found in the Scriptures of God! Scripture is given, among other reasons, that it may encourage us:, and so may produce in us this great grace of active patience, if we may call it so. The Bible tells of "grace sufficient for thee."2. They all come from my Father, and they all come for my good. How many words of direction and encouragement meet us! The neglect of this secondary and spiritual sense of Scripture has sometimes led Christians to mis-apply the Old Testament very seriously. The fruits of this hope are joy (Romans 5:1, 2), gratitude (1 Peter 1:3), humility, and patience (1 Thessalonians 1:3), not being weary of well-doing (Galatians 6:9; 1 Corinthians 15:58), aspiring after complete purity (1 John 3:3).6. Just as wilful sin is incompatible with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the soul, so inveracity is incompatible with the claim of a book to have been inspired by the Author of all truth. HOW, THEN, SHOULD WE USE THE BIBLE SO AS TO PROVE THAT WE REALLY VALUE IT?1. Patience finds difficulties in God's Word, mysteries too deep for human intellect. 26). Patience.3. His great dramatic creations we feel are only the workmanship of a very shrewd human observer, with the limitation of a human polar of view, and with the restrictive moral authority which is all that the highest human genius can claim. THE PROVISION GOD HAS MADE FOR OUR ATTAINING THIS HOPE IN GIVING US THE SCRIPTURES.1. The Bible contains the history not only of the past and present, but also of the future. E. All these call on us to be followers of them who, through faith and perseverance, inherit the promises. )Comfort of the ScripturesJ. )The Bible meets life's deepest necessitiesJ. The Holy Scriptures produce and ripen the noblest graces. In one point of view patience is the effect of hope; in another it is a cause. (3)By declaring to us promises as to the future which make us cheerfully endure present griefs.II. Such as they exhibit in examples. It cuts down through all the complications of human affairs, and lays bare the innermost motive power. (4)As having an earnest of it (Ephesians 1:14), and being in the way to it.5. By the hope of the Scriptures we understand —1. It grieves over the slow progress of good, the seeming triumph of evil. Comfort. (1)They bid us rise above fear (Psalm 46:1-3). Had the Psalm applied only to David, then it would have been of private interpretation; instead of which, it belongs to humanity. It has formed the larger part of the religious note-book of the Christian Church, it has shaped Christian hopes, largely governed Christian legislation, supplied the language for Christian prayer and praise; the noblest and the saintliest souls have fed their souls on it. The neglect of this secondary and spiritual sense of Scripture has sometimes led Christians to mis-apply the Old Testament very seriously. "God cannot tempt any man" to evil. Benson. Lancaster, M.A.There is much in this text as to the Scriptures.1. We should read with the definite desire of hearing God's voice. Ah, what a rich store of that is to be found in the Scriptures of God! An appetite for food is an effect of health, and yet a cause of it; an inclination and ability to use exercise and be active is an effect of health, and yet a cause thereof. (1)We see what God has done for His people, and therefore hope. We should read it every day. (3)Joseph patiently forgiving the unkindness of his brethren, and bearing the false accusation of his master. Many a summer-holiday acquaintance we can well dismiss; but the friend that knows us, that sticketh closer than a brother, that is the same in winter and in summer, that is tenderer in affliction even than in joy, is a friend whose name will stand at the top, and will survive the going away of many whose affection was superficial, and whose relation to us, though ostentatious, was flimsy. They rise above the local and personal incidents of their production; they show qualities which address themselves to the minds and heart of the human race. (3)As being, in a measure at least, prepared for it, in proportion to our sanctification and recovery of God's image (Colossians 1:12). It would be a poor aim to comfort only; but to encourage — to make strong in heart, resolved in will, and incapable of being crushed in spirit by any sorrows — that is a purpose worthy of the Book, and of the God who speaks through it. Sayings that are handed on byword of mouth become altered; and so doubtless it would have been with God's words had He not caused them to be written, and then to be delivered to appointed guardians, charged to keep them inviolate. (1)Enoch walking with God. (2)Abraham finding God his shield and exceeding great reward. — act? But here is a Book which provides for human nature as a whole, which makes this profession with aa insight and faithfulness that does not belong to the most gifted. The apostle declares that the Old Testament Scriptures are meant to teach New Testament believers. Written for our learning.2. Herein lies the distinguishing blessedness of the Christian joy and peace, and that they carry in themselves the pledge of their own eternity. (5) Above all, a patient endurance of afflictions, which are chastisements of our faults, trials of our grace, purifying fires; in this respect especially we have need of patience (Hebrews 10:36). And this implies that we must read in a humble and teachable spirit; not approaching the Bible with our minds prejudiced, or that we may find some confirmation for our own theories and practices, but saying simply, "Lord, what wouldest Thou have me to do?"3. 26). Unless there be such a thing as inspiration of inveracity we must choose between the authority of some of our modern critics and any belief in inspiration — nay, more, any belief in the permanent value of the Scriptures as source of Christian instruction. Dwelling on the letter of the narrative they missed its true and lasting but deeper import, the eternal witness that it bears to God's hatred of moral evil, and the duty of making war upon those passions which too easily erect their Jericho or their Ai within the Christian soul itself, and are only conquered by resolute perseverance and courage.3. It is a proclamation of mercy, a message — yea, many messages — from a loving Father.II. It points to One who can be touched in our behalf, who is our Captain and Deliverer.3. Nay, more, he uses it as belonging to all Christians (ver. Unless there be such a thing as inspiration of inveracity we must choose between the authority of some of our modern critics and any belief in inspiration — nay, more, any belief in the permanent value of the Scriptures as source of Christian instruction. Help to patience.3. They are God's gift of light to a dark world when it had lost its way and was groping for the wall like the blind. Ah, what a rich store of that is to be found in the Scriptures of God! The trustworthiness of the Old Testament is inseparable from the trustworthiness of our Lord.II. This difficulty Paul meets by laying down a broad principle which includes a great deal else besides. ARE WE BURDENED UNDER A SENSE OF SIN? A solid foundation of hope.(J. )The Old TestamentCanon Liddon.The apostle's purpose in making the quotation of ver. Could any moral human author ever have stood the test which the Old Testament has stood? A whole martyrology will be found in Hebrews 11.3. And we feel sure that all that is predicted will be fulfilled, just because all that was prophesied concerning the Jews, and Jerusalem, and Christ has been fulfilled. This second sense of Scripture is especially instructive as a guide to the knowledge and love of Christ, who is the end as of the law, so of the whole of the Old Testament, to every one that believeth. 26). (1)The hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:8). Patience. "(2) Put no forced construction on any part that will contradict other portions. (4)David, in many trials and under many reproaches, patiently waiting for the crown, and refusing to injure his persecutor. THE TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT.1. The written word is conceived for the source of patient endurance which acts as well as suffers. Written for our learning.2. )The BibleJ. )The Bible isJ. (6) But the word here used also means enduring, persevering to the end. There the afflicted learn that they are not suffering under the strokes of an angry God, but that "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." But although David in it is describing his own troubles, a Jewish Christian would not have been surprised at St. Paul's applying the words to our Lord, for he would have known that some Jewish books already understood these words of the promised Messiah; but a convert from heathenism would have had many difficulties to get over in accepting this. Such as they produce. (Canon Liddon. ARE WE TROUBLED BY DIFFICULTIES OF CHRISTIAN LIFE AND CONFLICT? (2)As being children and heirs (Romans 8:17). Beeby.I. (4) Christ, as "the first-fruits of them that sleep," is our forerunner, giving us an example of immortality being destined for man.3. Nay, more, He went out of His way to sanction not a few portions of it which our modern scepticism too eagerly rejects. As the Bible is the best book of private devotions, use it as such.5. In the account in Genesis of Abraham's relations with Hagar, Sara, Ishmael, and Isaac, the apostle bids us see the Jewish and the Christian Covenants, and the spiritual slaves of the Mosaic law, and the enfranchised sons of the mother of us all. Such as they produce. Whatever are our burdens, there is comfort here.I. (1)We see what God has done for His people, and therefore hope. Whatever is held by the heart is held longest. Scripture is intended to work in us a good hope. They answer man's inquiries as to the origin and history of the world, etc., in a way which meets the anticipations of a reasoning and reflective mind. )The Holy Scriptures a source of comfortJ. ARE WE BURDENED UNDER A SENSE OF SIN? Ah, how richly hope is sustained by the glorious promises of which the Scriptures are full!(J. Prophecy. The Old Testament is not outworn; apostles learned from it. They furnish us with many and very bright examples (Hebrews 11:13, 16, 26).III. Yet it is full of comfort, telling of the way of forgiveness, pointing to the fountain opened. WE DERIVE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE.(J. )The Scriptures the foundation of Christian hope, and patience a means of it: — These words in their connection show us that Christ and the great truths of Christianity are to be found where a superficial observer would not expect to find them. Sayings that are handed on byword of mouth become altered; and so doubtless it would have been with God's words had He not caused them to be written, and then to be delivered to appointed guardians, charged to keep them inviolate. It grieves over the slow progress of good, the seeming triumph of evil. Patience. (3)We enjoy present blessing, and therefore hope.Let us hold constant fellowship with the God of patience and Consolation, who is also the God of hope; and let us rise from stage to stage of joy as the order of the words suggests.(C. We must read them with faith and submission. Instruction.2. In all these respects patience must minister to hope, and be a cause of an increase and confirmation of it. For what has it been to the Jewish people through the tragic vicissitudes of their wonderful history — to Christendom for nineteen centuries? (2)They urge us to think little of all transient things. Nobody, of course, would ever expect to find the second sense in an uninspired book, however well written. "Trust and thou shalt be glad." "The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope." Sayings that are handed on byword of mouth become altered; and so doubtless it would have been with God's words had He not caused them to be written, and then to be delivered to appointed guardians, charged to keep them inviolate. How much need we all have of it! There the afflicted learn that they are not suffering under the strokes of an angry God, but that "whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." Patience.3. One comes down from the glaciers, and bears the half-melted snow in its white ripple; the other flows through a lovely valley, and is discoloured by its earth. Such a hope as they produce. The man who can stand up and say, "I have been in affliction, sorrow, darkness, weakness, poverty, and the Bible has proved itself to be a counsellor and light and guide and friend," is one of the best annotators the Bible ever had.(J. (2) A patient progress through the various parts of Christian experience; we cannot step at once from our first awakening into glory. (3)By declaring to us promises as to the future which make us cheerfully endure present griefs.II. In the account in Genesis of Abraham's relations with Hagar, Sara, Ishmael, and Isaac, the apostle bids us see the Jewish and the Christian Covenants, and the spiritual slaves of the Mosaic law, and the enfranchised sons of the mother of us all. It points to One who can be touched in our behalf, who is our Captain and Deliverer.3. (4)Enlarge and confirm our knowledge.Thus, as we take food for nourishment every day, so shall the soul receive its proper aliment which will nourish it unto life eternal.3. (3) Consider the speaker; the characters spoken to; the occasion; the allusion; the end; the connection; the meaning in similar passages. )LinksRomans 15:4 NIVRomans 15:4 NLTRomans 15:4 ESVRomans 15:4 NASBRomans 15:4 KJVRomans 15:4 Bible AppsRomans 15:4 ParallelRomans 15:4 Biblia ParalelaRomans 15:4 Chinese BibleRomans 15:4 French BibleRomans 15:4 German BibleRomans 15:4 CommentariesBible Hub, (4)The hope of glory (Colossians 1:27). How it sweetens life and lessens its ills! Nobody now expects to be instructed by the false Decretals. Patience finds difficulties in God's Word, mysteries too deep for human intellect. It sees them. Parker, D.D.The psalmists never hesitated to say that the Bible, as they had it, met all life's deepest necessities: "This is my comfort in my affliction, for Thy word hath quickened me" (Psalm 119:50); "I remember Thy judgments of old, O Lord, and have comforted myself " (Psalm 119:52); "Unless Thy law had been my delight, I should then have perished in my affliction" (Psalm 119:92); "Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet Thy commandments are my delights" (Psalm 119:143). Our minds are diverted from second causes to "It is the Lord." ); a prepared place (John 14). Do not be perplexed because there are some things in the Bible which you cannot understand. (2)As being children and heirs (Romans 8:17). (3)The hope of the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6). (6) But the word here used also means enduring, persevering to the end. All this great deliverance from Egypt and Babylonia, foreshadowed a greater deliverance beyond; all these elaborate rights of purification and sacrifice, which have no meaning apart from the one sacrifice for the sins of the whole world, and that succession of saints and heroes who, with all their imperfections, point onwards and upwards to One who dignifies their feebler and broken lives by making them in not a few respects anticipations of His glorious self. Nay, more, He went out of His way to sanction not a few portions of it which our modern scepticism too eagerly rejects. This second sense of Scripture is especially instructive as a guide to the knowledge and love of Christ, who is the end as of the law, so of the whole of the Old Testament, to every one that believeth. Thus it is mentioned as a fruit of hope (1 Thessalonians 1:3) and as a cause of it (Romans 5:2).2. The Scriptures reveal the great object of this hope, and bring life and immortality to light, which neither the light of nature nor any other religion can do.2. In Macaulay's History, e.g., we read what he has to say about the events which he describes, and there is an end to it. The preceding verse, quoted from Psalm 69:9, would appear to be meant only of David; and yet the apostle was taught to consider them as also referring to Christ, of whom David was a type. But this is not true of the Old Testament Scriptures. 1). Beeby.I. (1) Receive them as if we saw everything with our eyes, or heard God speak. Did ever you find any other book like it in this respect?II. Then, in time, we should have our minds stored with holy thoughts, and when Satan approached, "the sword of the Spirit" would be ready to our hand.2. Could any moral human author ever have stood the test which the Old Testament has stood? How many words of direction and encouragement meet us! A well-spring of comfort.4. 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