We have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to! Our present suffering cannot even compare to our future glory! So for now we wait patiently with eager anticipation and we see God’s sovereign plan of salvation working out in those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans: The Glory of the Gospel Part 20
Future Glory – Romans 8:18-30
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – February 18th, 2018
- Last week we learned that we are not slaves to our sinful nature and we do not have to do what it desires. We are to “put to death the deeds of the body” and in so doing we will live. The Spirit of God leads us to do so. If we are slaying the sin within, this is evidence that we are children of God.
- We have been given the Spirit of adoption, which gives us a desire to call out to God as a child for our beloved Father. Because we are children of God, we are also heirs of God with Christ, provided that we presently suffer in our battle with the flesh as we wait to be glorified with Christ.
- The next section of chapter 8 contrasts our present suffering with the future glory, instructing us to patiently wait with eager anticipation and we see God’s sovereign plan of salvation working out in those who are called according to His purpose.
Present suffering < future glory
Rom 8:18 ESV
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
- Our present sufferings of this age are microscopic in comparison to the glory which is to come
- Because of their length.
2 Cor 4:17-18 HCSB
For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
- Our afflictions are momentary, light and temporary.
- Our afflictions are producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.
- The Holy Spirit could not use a stronger language than this
- The substance of this glory is “absolutely incomparable” and “eternal.” It is currently unseen and is what we are to focus on using the eyes of faith.
- Because of their weight
- The “weight” is the measure of the reality of what is yet to come in glory.
- This truth should produce in us gleeful, joyful anticipation of what is to come. This should give us the strength to endure and sacrifice anything. (Ill. of wedding and treasure in a field)
Rev 21:3-5 ESV
“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
- This is just a foretaste and a foreshadow of what is to come when God makes “all things new.”
Creation eagerly longs for freedom
Rom 8:19-22 ESV
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
- Creation waits with “eager longing” for the time of the end of the age when Jesus comes in His glory and reveals (like the pulling back of a curtain) who the children of God are.
- Why? Because the creation was cursed (when Adam sinned not only was humanity affected, but all of creation) to futility (things not working the way they should, frustration, unfruitfulness, brokenness, decay) not willingly (God gave creation over to us to govern – we have “dominion” over it [Gen. 1:26]– creation itself did not want to go into this state)
- Creation waits with hope to the day when it will be set free from the bondage to decay (amazing to think about) and it will also obtain the freedom of the Glory that the children of God will have (which of course means that we will be eternally free from the bondage of decay as well) – miracles are when God temporarily displays His glory as a foretaste of what is to come.
- Since the curse began, the whole creation has been groaning in the pains of childbirth. This is the pain knowing that something good and wonderful will come in the end. Jesus used the same language when He talked about what will happen on the earth “There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.” (Mark 13:5 ESV) It is safe to say that like childbirth, the pain gets more frequent and intense as it moves forward in the process until the children of God are revealed.
We wait patiently with eager anticipation
Rom 8:23-25 ESV
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
- As we patiently wait for the adoption as children and the redemption of our bodies, there is a groaning of our being because of sin and its effects. Notice that creation groans (v.22), we groan (v.23) and the Holy Spirit of God groans (v. 26) as we patiently wait. This is the right response to the pain, heartache and suffering in the world . . . from the smallest to the greatest affect of the curse because of sin.
- But we also do so with eager anticipation of what is to come -where there is redemption, resurrection and recreation – don’t you long for that day! The depths of the grief, our sorrow and our suffering is nothing in comparison to our exuberant joy and the weight of Glory that is yet to be revealed. So, hang onto hope, it will not disappoint you – wait for it with eager anticipation.
- Know also that the Spirit of God is also groaning with us and interceding for us giving us strength.
The Spirit intercedes for us
Rom 8:26-27 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
- The Spirit of God helps us (He is the helper) in our weakness – He gives us strength to endure with hope.
- We don’t know what to pray for as we ought . . . (Lord teach us to pray) but the Spirit knows what to pray – and He intercedes (stands in the gap -stands as a representative working on our behalf). This is not a detached intercession – this is one with such deep feeling that there are not even words to express this, just groanings. (Do not ever think that God is indifferent to your pain and to the suffering in the world.) God, who searches hearts, knows what is in the mind and understands exactly what is there even without the benefit of words because all we can do is groan.
- The Holy Spirit strengthens us to be procuring for us what is in the will of God the Father – because He prays as He ought (He prays the will of the Father and the Father answers the prayers that are in accordance to His will. Much of that has to do with timing and understanding the will and the heart of God from His word).
- Know that the suffering that causes groaning of both creator and creation of the present time is nothing in comparison of the weight of glory that is to come.
- Know that the Holy Spirit is not indifferent to your pain but is affected deeply by it and is interceding on your behalf to the Father.
- Know that God is providing the strength for us in our time of weakness. Continue to trust in faith with eager anticipation when all things will be made new.
Questions for the week ahead:
- What ministered to you from the word today?
- How are these things going to help you in this life?
- How are you going to remind yourself of these truths?