The Do or Do Not of Jesus

The master of do or do not is Jesus.

The Do or Do Not of Jesus

5  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

6  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 5:5-6 (KJV)

In Preparation...

  • Consider the statement made in the first verse and answer the question: What does Paul believe non-Christians have to be ashamed of that hope in Christ removes from those who have faith in Christ?
  • Why does hope replace shame?

Hope Strong's 1680-Elpis

Greek Strong’s Number: 1680

Greek Word: ἐλπίς

Transliteration: elpis

Phonetic Pronunciation:

el-pece’

Root: from a primary elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure)

Cross Reference: TDNT – 2:517,229

Part of Speech: n f

Vine’s Words: Hope, Hope (for)

Usage Notes:

English Words used in KJV:

hope 53

faith 1

[Total Count: 54]

 

from a primary elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstract or concrete) or confidence :- faith, hope.

James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “1680”.

Love Strong's 26-Agape

Greek Strong’s Number: 26

Greek Word: ἀγάπη

Transliteration: agapē

Phonetic Pronunciation:

ag-ah’-pay

Root: from <G25>

Cross Reference: TDNT – 1:21,5

Part of Speech: n f

Vine’s Words: Feast, Love, Love feasts

Usage Notes:

English Words used in KJV:

love 86

charity 27

dear 1

charitably+ <G2596> 1

feast of charity 1

[Total Count: 116]

 

from <G25> (agapao); love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast :- (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

from <G25> (agapao); love, i.e. affection or benevolence; specially (plural) a love-feast :- (feast of) charity ([-ably]), dear, love.

James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “26”.

Love Strong's 25-Agapao

Greek Strong’s Number: 25

Greek Word: ἀγαπάω

Transliteration: agapaō

Phonetic Pronunciation:

ag-ap-ah’-o

Root: perhaps from agan (much) [or cf <H5689> ]

Cross Reference: TDNT – 1:21,5

Part of Speech: v

Vine’s Words: Beloved, Love

Usage Notes:

English Words used in KJV:

love 135

beloved 7

[Total Count: 142]

 

perhaps from agan (much) [or compare <H5689> (`agab)]; to love (in a social or moral sense) :- (be-) love (-ed). Compare <G5368> (phileo).

 James Strong, Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch Corp., 2007), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “25”.

Jesus does not "try"

What makes a person a “Christian”? People can claim they are anything, but it doesn’t make it so. Someone can say the words, “I am a penguin” but it doesn’t make a human being a penguin just because he or she decides to say those words. So, what makes a person a Christian, an actual Christian? The simple answer is that they follow Christ. Note that statement does say they try to follow Christ. This is a do or do not situation (the link is for that scene from the movie, you know the one). There is no try. Note again that statement also doesn’t say there won’t be any failure either. Of course, there will be a failure, but that isn’t the same as “try”.

This will all circle back to hope. It also comes back to love. Promise.

In the second verse of today’s passage, Paul mentions who we were before Christ: the ungodly. It is interesting to note that Paul doesn’t make a distinction between anyone. You are either godly or ungodly, and Paul’s implication here is that only the faithful believers of Jesus Christ are godly. Paul also implies that without Christ there is no strength either, but we know plenty of strong people who have no faith in Jesus, so Paul cannot mean fortitude or physical strength. What can he mean?

Paul means the kind of strength that pulls us through adversity, through our darkest times, through the lowest moments in our lives. The light at the end of that tunnel, whatever it is attached to, always contains an element of hope. That element is either large or small but it is there. Without hope despair sets in, our strength to persevere flags, and we begin to be worn down. So why does Paul connect shame and hope and strength in today’s passage?

The shame Paul sees here that is driven out by the hope that comes from faith in Jesus Christ is the shame that comes when we realize the things we have done for which Jesus died. The Bible calls these things we are ashamed of sin, and every person has some sins in their lives. The good news is, and why hope removes that shame, is that when Jesus died on the cross it was as a sacrificial substitute for us paying the price for the sins we committed. He died on our behalf, in our place to atone for us setting us right with God.

The righteousness of Christ became a substitute for our wretchedness and now when God looks at us as faithful believers in His Son, he only sees the righteousness of Christ and not the things we have done for which we might feel shame.

With those sins out of the way, we now bask fully in the love of God. His Holy Spirit indwells in our heart reinforcing that connection. When we seek comfort and strength from God the Holy Spirit is there to guide and direct our path following in Jesus’ footsteps. We gain hope. We gain strength. We move forward in His love because we know Jesus and His sacrifice once again opens the path to God for us and that one fact alone fills us with hope for a brighter future no matter the circumstances we find ourselves in at the time.

Yoda says, “Do or do not. There is no try.” When Luke sees Yoda succeed where he failed, he says, “I don’t believe it.” Yoda’s response is, “That is why you fail.” The difference between “try” and “do” as Christians is this; faith. Do we believe Jesus was who He said He was or not? Luke did not believe, and he failed. As Christians, we declare our faith and belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and that washes away all the “try” in the world.

Digging Deeper

  • In your journal list things you are good at, times you persevered, and events you grew from as a person.
  • Using a concordance or online tool, search for a verse on strength and write it down on a piece of paper you carry with you all day long.

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