Romans 5:4
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Experience.—“Approvedness,” the quality of being tried and approved. The result of patient endurance is to test, confirm, and refine the better elements of faith. Out of this, in its turn, grows hope. Hope began and ends the circle. It is the knowledge of what is in store for him that, in the first instance, nerves the Christian to endure; and that endurance, being prolonged, gives him the steady, calm assurance no longer of the novice but of the veteran.

5:1-5 A blessed change takes place in the sinner's state, when he becomes a true believer, whatever he has been. Being justified by faith he has peace with God. The holy, righteous God, cannot be at peace with a sinner, while under the guilt of sin. Justification takes away the guilt, and so makes way for peace. This is through our Lord Jesus Christ; through him as the great Peace-maker, the Mediator between God and man. The saints' happy state is a state of grace. Into this grace we are brought, which teaches that we were not born in this state. We could not have got into it of ourselves, but we are led into it, as pardoned offenders. Therein we stand, a posture that denotes perseverance; we stand firm and safe, upheld by the power of the enemy. And those who have hope for the glory of God hereafter, have enough to rejoice in now. Tribulation worketh patience, not in and of itself, but the powerful grace of God working in and with the tribulation. Patient sufferers have most of the Divine consolations, which abound as afflictions abound. It works needful experience of ourselves. This hope will not disappoint, because it is sealed with the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of love. It is the gracious work of the blessed Spirit to shed abroad the love of God in the hearts of all the saints. A right sense of God's love to us, will make us not ashamed, either of our hope, or of our sufferings for him.And patience, experience - Patient endurance of trial produces experience. The word rendered "experience" (δοκιμήν dokimēn) means trial, testing, or that thorough examination by which we ascertain the quality or nature of a thing, as when we test a metal by fire, or in any other way, to ascertain that it is genuine. It also means approbations, or the result of such a trial; the being approved, and accepted as the effect of a trying process. The meaning is, that long afflictions borne patiently show a Christian what he is; they test his religion, and prove that it is genuine. Afflictions are often sent for this purpose, and patience in the midst of them shows that the religion which can sustain them is from God.

And experience, hope - The result of such long trial is to produce hope. They show that religion is genuine; that it is from God; and not only so, but they direct the mind onward to another world; and sustain the soul by the prospect of a glorious immortality there. The various steps and stages of the benefits of afflictions are thus beautifully delineated by the apostle in a manner which accords with the experience of all the children of God.

4. patience worketh experience—rather, "proof," as the same word is rendered in 2Co 2:9; 13:3; Php 2:22; that is, experimental evidence that we have "believed through grace."

and experience—"proof."

hope—"of the glory of God," as prepared for us. Thus have we hope in two distinct ways, and at two successive stages of the Christian life: first, immediately on believing, along with the sense of peace and abiding access to God (Ro 5:1); next, after the reality of this faith has been "proved," particularly by the patient endurance of trials sent to test it. We first get it by looking away from ourselves to the Lamb of God; next by looking into or upon ourselves as transformed by that "looking unto Jesus." In the one case, the mind acts (as they say) objectively; in the other, subjectively. The one is (as divines say) the assurance of faith; the other, the assurance of sense.

And patience, experience; viz. of God’s sustentation and care of us, and of his faithfulness in fulfilling his promises, Psalm 91:15 Isaiah 43:2 2 Corinthians 1:4,5; as also of our own sincerity, and strength to endure and persevere, Matthew 13:21.

And experience, hope; i.e. of the glory of God, as before in Romans 3:2, or hope of further mercy and seasonable deliverance. Believers find and feel that God hath delivered them, and doth deliver them, and in him they trust and hope that he will still deliver them. And patience experience,.... As tribulations tend to exercise and increase patience, so patience being exercised and increased, enlarges the saints' stock and fund of experience; of the love and grace of God communicated to them at such seasons; of his faithfulness in fulfilling his promises; of his power in supporting them; and of their own frailty and weakness; and so are taught humility, thankfulness, and resignation to the will of God:

and experience, hope; hope is a gift of God's grace, and is implanted in regeneration, but abounds, increases, and becomes more strong and lively by experience of the love, grace, mercy, power, and faithfulness of God.

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 5:4. ὑπομονὴν κατεργάζεται: has as its fruit, or effect, endurance. ὑπομονὴ has more of the sense of bravery and effort than the English “patience”: it is not so passive. ἡ δὲ ὑπομονὴ δοκιμήν: endurance produces approvedness—its result is a spiritual state which has shown itself proof under trial. Cf. Jam 1:12 (δόκιμος γενόμενος = when he has shown himself proof). Perhaps the best English equivalent of δοκιμή would be character. This in its turn results again in hope: the experience of what God can do, or rather of what He does, for the justified amid the tribulations of this life, animates into new vigour the hope with which the life of faith begins.4. experience] The Gr. properly means “a proof, a test.” So usually in N. T.: e.g. 2 Corinthians 8:2 (where E. V. “trial”), Romans 13:3 (where E. V. “proof”); Php 2:22 (“proof”). The word here cannot refer to the testing of the believer by his Master, for the next clause shews it is something in his own consciousness, producing hope there. It is rather his own testing of himself; his discovery of what he can bear and do, through grace; promoting courage for future efforts, and steady hopes of final victory.

hope] Of future grace and (perhaps mainly here) of the glory to follow. Each “test” of the power given enhances the confidence that He who gives it will continue it till the course of “patience” ends in the eternal welcome.Romans 5:4. Ἡ δὲ ὑπομονὴ δοκιμήν) Again, conversely, τὸ δοκίμιον τῆς πίστεως, ὑπομονήν. [The trying of your faith, or experience, worketh patience] Jam 1:3. It will be difficult to find an instance of any one having used δοκιμὴ before Paul: δοκιμὴ is the quality of that man, who is δόχιμος.—[—who has been proved through various casualties and trying circumstances of peril.—V. g.]—δοκιμὴ ἐλπίδα, experience, hope) Hebrews 6:9-11; where Romans 5:10 illustrates δοκιμὴ, experience; Romans 5:9; Romans 5:11, illustrate hope. Comp. Revelation 3:10.—ἐλπίδα, hope) to which our attention is directed at the end of Romans 5:2. The discourse returns in a circle [reverting to hope, from which he started in Romans 5:2]; and it is to this whole [i.e., from rejoice, in Romans 5:2, to maketh not ashamed, Romans 5:5] that the Aetiology[49] [reason assigned by the] because, at Romans 5:5, refers.

[49] See Appendix.Experience (δοκιμήν)

Wrong. The word means either the process of trial, proving, as 2 Corinthians 8:2, or the result of trial, approvedness, Philippians 2:22. Here it can only be the latter: tried integrity, a state of mind which has stood the test. The process has already been expressed by tribulation. Rev. renders probation, which might be defended on the ground of English classical usage. Thus Shakespeare:

"And of the truth herein

This present object made probation.

"Hamlet," i., 1

Jeremy Taylor: "When by miracle God dispensed great gifts to the laity, He gave probation that He intended that all should prophecy and preach."

But probation has come to be understood, almost universally, of the process of trial. The more accurate rendering is proof or approval.

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