Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 3 Study # 11
January 8, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<370> Thesis: The invisibility of "hope" insists upon the exercise of biblical faith. Introduction: In our last study of Romans, we looked into Paul's declaration that "we are saved by hope". In that study we saw that Paul has a crucial perception of two different kinds of hope -- one built off of experience and ignorance, and the other built off of experience and divine revelation. We also saw that Paul's grasp of "hope" is that it actually precedes and sets the stage for "faith". The conclusion that we drew from these facts is that there is a critical distinction between "hope" and "faith" that rests particularly on one issue: the action of taking the "risk" that is involved in "hope". This evening we are going to add one more feature to our understanding of "hope": its invisibility. Paul, having said that our salvation was rooted in "hope" (though actuated by "faith"), goes on to say that hope is "not seen" -- that "seeing" signals the death of "hope" in the same way that fulfillment eliminates longing. So, we are going to ask why Paul raises this most obvious point.