Rom. 5:5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
We live in a real dangerous time. Humans are medicating themselves from the pain involved in day to day life with a variety of pills and drink. The power to liberate man is found in the ancient well that Jesus spoke of, the well of living water. This is a well of joy that is available to all who come by grace and drink of God’s incredible gift of life. The problem boils down to this. Rather than making this well available in our churches we act as if the well is not needed. Instead, we are told that God loves us like we are and accepts us like we are because of grace. That is only partially true. He loves us so much He refuses to leave us like were are. There is freedom from all kinds of sin that comes from drinking from God’s cup of grace. There is freedom from addictions to alcohol, drugs, sexual sin, greed, etc. John Piper uses the teachings of Augustine to make this very clear. Check this out.
“So saving grace, converting grace, in Augustine’s view, is God’s giving us a sovereign joy in God that triumphs over all other joys and therefore sways the will. The will is free to move toward whatever it delights in most fully, but it is not within the power of our will to determine what that sovereign joy will be. Therefore Augustine concludes,
‘A man’s free-will, indeed, avails for nothing except to sin, if he knows not the way of truth; and even after his duty and his proper aim shall begin to become known to him, unless he also take delight in and feel a love for it, he neither does his duty, nor sets about it, nor lives rightly. Now, in order that such a course may engage our “affections, God’s “love is shed abroad in our hearts” not through the free-will which arises from ourselves, but “through the Holy Ghost, which is given to us” (Romans 5:5).’”
So it is the very grace of God that actually changes what we love. Rather than lusting for drugs, or someone we are not married to, we are set free. Our enslaved will is set free from the chains that held us captive. What were those chains? The promise of pleasure found in sinful activities. The freedom comes when we taste the pleasure found in knowing Christ intimately.