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Romans 8: Hope in Christ

Romans 8  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Even though we may endure suffering, we continue to hope in Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith.

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Introduction

Good morning and welcome!
This morning we are going to continue our series working through , focusing today on verses 18-27.
So far through our study, Paul has taken us on quite a journey through some of the inner-workings of our Christian faith.
Today is really no different, but this morning we are really going to be talking about one of my favorite subjects in the Bible.
And that subject is hope.
And when I think about hope, the one thing that always comes to my mind is . . .
Hebrews 11:1 NIV - Anglicised
1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
Which also echos the direction that Paul is going to take us this morning, because hope and faith are linked together and really cannot be separated.
We have faith because we have hope and our hope is continuously building our faith.
But ultimately hope is the cornerstone because without hope, honestly life would be pretty pointless.
Church and religion would be completely irrelevant.
And it really wouldn’t matter where we went, what we did, or what happened in life because without any hope, once it’s over it’s over.
And the sad fact is, there are many people wandering around in the world today that this is precisely their outlook on life.
They act the way the act and do the things they do because they have absolutely nothing to hope for.
I could not imagine going through all the things that we go through in life and not having anything in the future to hope for.
All of the sickness that we and our loved ones have faced, all of the death we have dealt with.
To be honest, if I had no hope I would probably have lost my mind by now and probably most of you as well.
But even though we, who are in Christ have hope this morning, there are those around us who do not have Christ.
And without Christ, there is no real hope.
And even though Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, still yet there are things that happen that shake our faith and as some days, weeks, months, and maybe even years drag on our hope begins to waver.
So, this morning, the main purpose of this message is to offer a source of hope to those among us who have no hope.
And to remind the rest of us of what and who we place our hope in.
So, if you have found in your Bible, I’d invite you stand with me.
Again, we are going to be going through verses 18-27, but I want us to pay particular attention to verses 22-25.
Paul writes . . .

Scripture Focus

Romans 8:22–25 NIV - Anglicised
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Suffering Cannot Compare to Hope

So, right out of the gate we have set the tone for what Paul wants us to zero in on and focus on.
That being the fact that our hope comes in Jesus Christ and the promise of eternal life and heavenly glory!
But, what about all the suffering that takes place?
How are we supposed to respond to that?
Well, Paul starts out this passage by writing . . .
Romans 8:18-
Romans 8:18 NIV - Anglicised
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
And one thing that people will often say is, “well, that’s easy for Paul to say, he doesn’t know what it’s like today.”
And that is true.
And it is also true that Paul did not completely know what the people he was writing to were going through either.
And I can’t stand up here and say that I know what any of you are going through this morning either.
But I can tell you that we have all had to endure suffering . . .
Matthew 5:45 NIV - Anglicised
45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
So, we all have some experience to draw on.
I can also tell you that we are to rely on God’s Word for instruction . . . .
2 Timothy 3:16–17 NIV - Anglicised
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
And, I can tell you that Paul himself knew a thing our two about suffering . . .
2 Corinthians 11:23–28 NIV - Anglicised
23 Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, 26 I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. 27 I have laboured and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. 28 Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
2 Cor 11:23-
And I don’t say this to minimize any suffering that anyone has endured, but rather to point out that Paul knows what he is talking about here.
He knows what it is to suffer, so we should at least listen to what he has to say.
And this is what he says . . .
Romans 8:18 NIV - Anglicised
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Can we wrap our head around that this morning?
No matter what we have suffered, no matter what we have endured, it is not even worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us.
And that glory is the salvation that is found through Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ only.
And that glory is revealed with we stand before God and hear . . .
Matthew 25:23 NIV - Anglicised
23 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
And if we want to hear those words, we must put our hope in Jesus Christ and must put our hope in His promises, because without the hope, the suffering is too great.
The hope and strength found in Jesus gives us the ability to . . .
2 Timothy 2:3 NIV - Anglicised
3 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
Which is an excellent analogy because we are involved in a war.
Not over land or power, but a war for souls-our soul and souls of everyone we care about.
The question is are we going to fight or are we going just roll over and let the enemy have his way?
I don’t know about you but I plan to fight and I will fight until my last breath.
I’m not in it to survive, I’m in it to overcome and if you are going to make it this morning you have to have that same attitude.
So, examine where you are at this morning and if it is not where you need to be, then I’d invite you to come and do something about it this morning.
So, Paul places the hope out there for us to grasp and then he goes on to explain it a bit further . . .
Romans 8:19-
Romans 8:19–21 NIV - Anglicised
19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
And let’s be honest, do you feel frustrated this morning?
Guess, what, we all do at times.
Frustrated by how messed up this world has become and no matter how hard you try things just sometimes don’t go well.
Or no matter how hard you try to convince people that Jesus is the way and they just won’t listen.
It makes you want to grab them and shake them, but we know we can’t do that.
Or maybe you’ve grown weary and tired and just want to go home, you real home.
That’s exactly what Paul is talking about next . . .
Romans 8:22-
Romans 8:22–23 NIV - Anglicised
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
But the point I want to make though is, don’t give up.
Don’t quit.
Don’t lose hope.
Just hold on, because look at what Paul writes next . . .
Romans 8:24–25 NIV - Anglicised
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Romans 8:
Which is almost identical to , but I do want to point one thing out.
Notice Paul writes, “we were saved.”
He doesn’t put “we will be saved.”
Paul writes it in the past tense because as long as we remain in Christ, our salvation is secure, our hope is secure.
Which reiterates exactly what Jesus said . . .
John 10:27-
John 10:27–30 NIV - Anglicised
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
That is our hope, regardless of what lies Satan tries to tell you.
If you remain in Christ, your inheritance, your promise is secure.
Don’t let Satan rob you of your hope.
Walk with God and remain in Christ.
Because regardless of how bad things seem to get, God is still there, God is still with you, and God will deliver you.
Which brings us to our last point.
What happens when it gets hard ?

The Spirit Helps Us

Look at what Paul writes next . . .
Romans 8:26
Romans 8:26 NIV - Anglicised
26 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 with groans that words cannot express.
And we have all been there.
So beaten down and beaten up, we don’t even know what to pray for.
Don’t even have the strength or energy to pray.
This is when the Holy Spirit steps in on our behalf.
The Holy Spirit is called the Comforter for a reason.
The Spirit offers us comfort and intercession on our behalf.
But somewhere along the line, we got into this mindset that we have to pray some magic formula for God to hear us.
The truth is we don’t even have to say a word.
Finishing up, Paul writes . . .
Romans 8:27 NIV - Anglicised
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
God knows our heart.
God searches our heart.
And regardless of what we say, God knows what is truly in our heart.
Meaning we can pray the most beautiful and lovely prayer ever prayed, but if it is not in our heart, it is empty words.
Also meaning that we can cry out to God with a single word, a single tear, or complete silence and God still knows what is in our heart.
And remember what God told Samuel . . .
1 Samuel 16:7 NIV - Anglicised
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

Altar Call

The question this morning though is, what is in your heart?
When God searches your heart, what will He find?
Will He find hope?
Or, will he find despair?
The truth of the matter is, the only people that know what is truly in your heart is you and God.
And if God is laying anything on your heart this morning, I would encourage you to come and place it on God’s altar.
Romans 10:10 NIV - Anglicised
10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
The altar is here, the time is now, what will your choice be?
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