Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Our salvation is not simply a declaration made by God that we are now justified and so have peace with him. There is more to that salvation because it has an effect on our lives here and now, not just in the life to come. First, as we have already seen, it produces perseverance, character and hope. Second, we are given the gift of the Holy Spirit in our lives who opens our eyes to the glory of God’s love in the work of Christ. Or as John Piper has put it – “he is a heart-eye opener to the ravishing reality that in the death of Christ for us, God loved us infinitely.”
Paul here says that the love of God has been poured out in our hearts. This pouring out is not like a mist or a dew or in a few droplets of rain. The pouring out is that of shower of rain soaking a parched land. It is an overflowing river of love that is immeasurable, filling our heart and soul.
This pouring out of the love of God is in the perfect tense meaning that the God’s love was revealed to us in the past and the results continue today. The revealing of God’s love towards us was at the cross and the Holy Spirit continues to shower that same love upon us today as he reveals our spiritual eyes to that very love on the cross.
But this love of God is also passive meaning we are not doing anything to experience it or to see it or to have it poured out in our hearts. We are simply recipients to this love. God is the one who is pouring it out and he does so not because we earned it, but because he freely gives it. So be encouraged as you face trials and tribulations because the love of God will be and is being poured out in your heart because of the presence of the Spirit in your life.