The Love of God 8 – imparted

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on the love of God that has been imparted into our hearts.

Scripture

Romans 5:1-8

1  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5  and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

6  For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– 8  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Observations and reflection

Context: Paul wrote this glorious letter to the congregations in Roman suffering under mounting persecution of Emperor Nero.

  1. What do you understand by “rejoice in the hope of the glory of God”? (verse 2) [hint: what do Christians believe about life after death?]
  2. Why does Paul “rejoice in… suffering?” (verse 3) Write it in your own words.
  3. Compare verse 5 above with Ephesians 1:13-14.

Ephesians 1:13-14

In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

  1. What does Paul teach about the Holy Spirit in Ephesians 1:1-14?
  2. Comparing Romans 5:5 with Ephesians 1:14 – what do you learn about hope and the Spirit of God in our hearts?
  1. In conclusion, how does “hope” and “the Holy Spirit” and “God’s love in our hearts” relate to each other? (Romans 5:5)? Answer in your own words.

Personal reflection and prayer

Paul encouraged the persecuted Romans church that although they suffer temporarily, they should take heart at the glory that awaits them after death, and that they don’t have to doubt that since God’s love for them is evidenced by the his Holy Spirit who now and forever lives in them.

  1. When have you felt “far from God”? Why?
    1. Considering the Texts we studied today, what would you say to a Christian who says he feels “far from God”?
    2. Do you feel ‘far from God” today? Pray through Romans 5:5-8 and ask God to reveal his personal, secure love through his Spirit living in you.
  2. Hardship or habitual sins tend to make people doubt the love God has for them. Why?
    1. Considering the Texts we studied today, what would you say to a Christian who says he doubts whether God still loves him/her?
    2. Are you struggling under hardship or habitual failure? Then pray through Romans 5:1-8 today and ask God to reveal again his love to you through his Spirit living in you.
    3. Pray for some persecuted church in a country that God has laid on your heart that they may be secure in God’s love amidst hardship.