The Source of Christian Hope
Romans 5:1–8:39 is Paul’s understanding of the life of believers. We live in an interim between Christ’s resurrection triumph and Christ’s completion of the work that has been begun in Christ’s death and resurrection. In this in-between time, the church faces suffering and pain. We have real, present “access” to God that enables us, even in our times of pain, to “boast” in our hope of sharing the glory of God. How can suffering be a cause for boasting? Paul responds by offering a series of Christian attributes: suffering to endurance, endurance to character, character to the final hope that is confident in the complete consummation of God’s intentions for God’s world.