Our hope is certain, we will be saved, we will be adopted as sons, we will be redeemed. The world of suffering and pain is only the world waiting for creation itself to be set free.
Romans 8:20-24 (ESV)
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 corruption 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. 23 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?
Not only is creation groaning in awaiting its restoration from its fallen form, but also so are we. Paul says in verse 23;
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.
Like creation, Christians also groan inwardly as we await our transformation, our full adoptions as sons. Why are we groaning? We groan in frustration over the suffering in this life and we groan in anticipation of all that is to come. Our spirits groan in rhythm with creation longing for full release from the curse into the freedom and glory that will be ours. We are living between the times. We are betrothed but not married. God’s Son is on the way back, but He’s not here yet. We are heirs, but we don’t have our inheritance yet. We’ve been adopted, but are not in our new home with our Father. We live between the already and the not yet.
Yet hear the hope. We look forward eagerly to “our adoption, the redemption of our body.” That grand expectation is “The Hope of Glory”. So if you are trusting in Christ, remind yourself that one day we will have a new body and a new creation.
If we live with eager, certain expectations then this will enable us to survive through today, even when facing a very uncertain future, even when facing possible sickness or even death.
Why do we have such a hope of Glory? We have tasted of the rich treasure of eternity and await even more precious treasure becoming ours. We have received the first-fruits as God’s pledge of our final triumph with Christ at the end of the ages. We have the “firstfruits,” the first installment or down payment of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our resurrection life (see 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:14). And having received a foretaste of what is to be, we long in our inner man for the full realization of what adoption into the family of God means. For with our adoption we will receive a glorified body, fit for an eternal existence (see 1 Corinthians 15:25-58). Yes we groan because of our suffering, but we also groan in anticipation because we know something of what we are missing.
Verse 24 insists that this hope is part of our salvation and is legitimate even though man cannot see the Sons of God with their natural eyes.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
Saints are God’s children, but people cannot see it. But when He appears who is the “firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29), we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. (See 1 John 3:2.). What tremendous hope the saved should have. For God’s Spirit makes it sure and certain (Heb. 6:19f). A Christian can look on fallen people and the state of the world and through the eyes of God’s redeeming love still have hope for the future. We do not despair even in a world filled with sickness, death, lost jobs, destroyed economie, etc.
1. Do you ever wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and just groan? Our bodies are wearing out. They’re not what they once were! But seeing this we can still praise the Lord, they are also not what they will become one day!
2. Do you also groan with anger at what Satan is doing with people’s lives? We belong to God, born from above into His family and adopted as heirs but all humans are created by God and Satan has stolen their lives away. Does that make you sorrowful and eager to see them redeemed also?
Because our hope is in something eternal we can live a life knowing that nothing in this life can cause us to lose hope. Listen to this song and look to the eternal glory which outweighs everything of this world.