The Importance of God’s Word

Romans chapter 15 verse 4 says this: “Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”  The word hope here in the original Greek means “to expect or confide; or to have hope for; or to trust.”  Remember that to “confide” means to have confidence; (we use this work more for the secondary meaning which is “to show confidence by imparting secrets to a friend.”)

So here we see an important exhortation and reminder of how the scriptures were written for us to “have hope” as it says or, really, to increase our hope, or to establish our hope or confidence in what God has promised us.  Much of the discussion in the scriptures is about how God is faithful to fulfill His promises, and therefore we can encourage ourselves by bringing to remembrance how God fulfilled His past promises to His people and will surely do the same with the future promises that He has given through His Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is critical for us to set our affections on the things that God has promised us, the spiritual treasures that are in heaven waiting for us.  If we allow our hearts to be set on the false hopes and promises that this life has to offer, we will be pulled down into the trap of longing for these earthly things, and eventually, these longings and desires will take root and give birth to carnal activity, and eventually to sin (see James 1:14 & 15, and Colossians 3).

There are not many scriptures in the new testament that mention the encouragement of the scriptures.  It’s important to note that this verse emphasizes this encouragement and points to the readers possession of hope.  Here again we see the working of our faith being built up by the Word of God, and directing us towards hope.  Ultimately, with our hope established, we can then walk in love.


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