January 29 - Romans 8:18-27

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Romans 8:18-27 – Future Glory

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

In verse 17, Paul wrote that we are heirs – if indeed we share in Christ's sufferings, we do so that we might also share in his glory.  The suffering we deal with right now is nothing in comparison to the glory that will be revealed.

If we allow the worries of our life now to preoccupy our thoughts, we miss the glory that is revealed in us. We quench the glory that Christ reveals to the world through us.  Creation waits for the time when the future of God's children is revealed. But that time is now and will be again when His kingdom comes on this earth.

Isaiah 55:12 says "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Creation is waiting for the reversal of sin's work to be done in each of us so that it can be set free.

Paul tells us in Romans 8:22 that all of creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. Not only creation, but we who have the firstfruits of the Spirit groan as we wait for the redemption of our bodies. The Spirit is evidence that we are the sons of God and is the downpayment … the firstfruits of the inheritance. The time is now and the glory of God is waiting to be revealed in each of us.

In Romans 8:24-25, Paul writes that salvation involves hope. We can't see the redemption of our bodies – it hasn't happened yet. Salvation is something that has happened to our spirits right now and to our bodies in the future. It is a process that begins with our acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior and ends with eternal life with God. It is characterized by hope and hope is nothing if we can see it … hope is faith in the unseen.

Because we are human and hope often eludes us, the Spirit helps us (Romans 8:26) in our weakness. He intercedes for us with groanings beyond the words we recognize. He knows our hearts helps us pray when we are inadequate. When hope is gone, when we lack faith, it is the Spirit who lifts our prayers and helps us move past those moments of fear back into the will of God.