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Romans 8:19-25

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The opening verses of introduce the profound liberation which comes from the Holy Spirit.
Verses 2–4 reveal how the Holy Spirit liberates us through Christ.
Verses 5–17 tell us what the Holy Spirit gives us as he liberates us.
As we followed the argument of these verses we saw an exhilarating intensification of hope culminating in the cry, “Abba, Father.”
Now in verses 17 and 18 Paul contrasts this rising hope with the inescapable reality of the pain of human existence
and declares that our pain is not worthy to be compared with the coming glory.
He says in verse 18, "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” ()
As our greatest good comes through the sufferings of Christ, so God’s greatest glory that he has from his saints comes through their sufferings.
300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans God Gains Glory through the Saints’ Suffering

As our greatest good comes through the sufferings of Christ, so God’s greatest glory that he has from his saints comes through their sufferings.

Having said this, Paul gives us three reasons which make it certain that the present order cannot go on for ever.
They are that creation groans, that we groan and that the Spirit groans.
Having said this, Paul gives us three reasons which make it certain that the present order cannot go on for ever. They are that creation groans, that we groan and that the Spirit groans.
1. The Creation’s groan & promise (8:19–22)
First, he tells us that ‘the whole creation groans’.
This creation has been under a curse since the fall of man.
It is awaiting deliverance from that curse.
It will be delivered at the time when God’s children are openly announced.
19 "For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed.” ()
Olyott, S. (1979). The Gospel as It Really Is: Romans Simply Explained (p. 105). Darlington, England: Evangelical Press.
This creation is the whole frame of the universe.
Heaven, earth, and the creatures in them.
This fallen, broken world is now Christ’s world.
It is the theatre of His redemption (; ),
the place of His mission, over which
He has total authority for the accomplishment of his saving work (; ; ; ).
The rule of Christ will bring this present world to the glory of the world to come (; ; ; ).
He will come again in glory to judge the nations and form a new universe (; ; ; ; ).
v19 says that “God’s sons” are “to be revealed.”
This is where we get the term apokalypsis which is, “The revelation of Jesus Christ” () We are united to Him in His second coming.
That’s when the revelation of the son’s of God is going to happen. Listen to our union to Christ in His coming again.
4 "When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” ()
There’s the revelation of the son’s of God, the revelation of Jesus Christ.
There’s the appearing of Christ and when He appears, we shall appear with Him!
The whole frame of the universe was first made in that beautiful state for the glory of God and for the use of man.
Clowney, E. P. (1995). The Church. (G. Bray, Ed.) (p. 172). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
The whole frame of the universe was first made in that beautiful state for the glory of God and for the use of man.
Well since this it is subject to many changes and at length, it will be subject to destruction.
The earth, and all the bodied in it and on it shall be burnt up like a scroll, but
when the children of God come into that glorious state, everything shall be renewed.
This double compound (in v19) “waits with anticipation” paints a vivid picture of the
hushed expectancy with which the whole creation awaits the disclosure of the coming glory.
As the saints are suffering for it, so are we waiting for it.
Christ is there in glory beloved. God, by His Spirit wouldn’t raise and encourage those hopes only to defeat and disappoint us.
He will establish this word to His servants in which He’s caused us to hope
49 "Remember your word to your servant; you have given me hope through it.” ()
So why is creation eagerly waiting with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed?
"For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope” ()
Paul is referring, of course, to the curse that came upon creation when mankind sinned.
When man sinned, the ground became cursed along with all of creation.
Everything changed and became mortal.
21 "that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.” ()
Due to the fall of man, the creation has taken on infirmities, deformities, and impurities.
Creation has now been stained and much of that beauty is gone.
Now man hates one another and we are all subject to decay and death, making humanity liable to the strokes of God’s judgments.
Creation became a sufferer and was imbued with futility, decay, and death.
The animal world was invaded by fear and violence.
The loveliest scenes in nature, while remaining beautiful, are also witness to bloody horrors.
Floods, hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, blights, avalanches, and earthquakes stalk the earth.
22 "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.” ()
The earth groans like a woman in labor. It want desperately to be delivered.
When man rebelled, creation was affected.
Yet God subjected it in hope.
He has determined that its present condition is not to be its permanent condition.
It will not always be uncoordinated, ravaged by sin and spoiled by man’s corruption.
20 "For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope 21 "that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.” ()
There’s coming a day of final victory. (Please turn to Isaiah 65).
Some of the prophets weighed in on this too. God will triumph gloriously.
Although Jesus accomplished all that was needed to vanquish sin and suffering in the first century,
God’s glorious victory will not be manifest until Jesus comes again.
Morgan, C. W., & Peterson, R. A. (2008). Suffering and the Biblical Story. In C. W. Morgan & R. A. Peterson (Eds.), Suffering and the Goodness of God (Vol. 1, p. 134). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Isaiah predicted the newness and joy of that day: 17 "“For I will create a new heaven and a new earth; the past events will not be remembered or come to mind. 18 "Then be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I will create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight.” ()
This new heavens and earth will be characterized by peace: 25 "The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like cattle, but the serpent’s food will be dust! They will not do what is evil or destroy on my entire holy mountain,” says the Lord.” ()
Furthermore, God’s glorious victory will be characterized by a universal knowledge and worship of God:
18 "“Knowing their works and their thoughts, I have come to gather all nations and languages; they will come and see my glory. 19 "I will establish a sign among them, and I will send survivors from them to the nations—to Tarshish, Put, Lud (who are archers), Tubal, Javan, and the coasts and islands far away—who have not heard about me or seen my glory. And they will proclaim my glory among the nations.” () 23 "All mankind will come to worship me from one New Moon to another and from one Sabbath to another,” says the Lord.” ()
Listen to Habakkuk. He is more direct: 14 "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, as the water covers the sea.” ()
Morgan, C. W., & Peterson, R. A. (2008). Suffering and the Biblical Story. In C. W. Morgan & R. A. Peterson (Eds.), Suffering and the Goodness of God (Vol. 1, p. 134). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
Look to the last OT book of Malachi.
On this day that the son’s of God are revealed, when Christ appears, it will be a day , not just of rejoiced but also retribution.
1 "“For look, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says the Lord of Armies, “not leaving them root or branches. 2 "But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.” ()
Here Malachi contrasts the destruction of the wicked with the Christ (“the sun of righteousness”) healing and blessing the righteous,
Morgan, C. W., & Peterson, R. A. (2008). Suffering and the Biblical Story. In C. W. Morgan & R. A. Peterson (Eds.), Suffering and the Goodness of God (Vol. 1, p. 135). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
whose joy is compared to that of frolicking young animals.
Daniel speaks starkly of the resurrection of the godly and ungodly to their respective eternal destinies:
2 "Many who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to eternal life, and some to disgrace and eternal contempt.” ()
Please turn over to .
Which is, of course, the same message Jesus preached, exactly what the prophets preached.
31 "“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 "All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” ()
When that happens King Jesus will say to the saved, 34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” ()
That day will mean blessing and a great inheritance for the people of God.
By contrast, Jesus will say to the lost, 41 "“Then he will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels!” ()
Pointedly, Jesus sums it up: 46 "“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”” ()
Jesus’ apostles reinforce his teachings on heaven and hell. The last judgment will be a “day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” ().
Turn over to . Paul depicts the returning Christ bringing deliverance to God’s persecuted people but woe to enemies of the gospel:
6 "since it is just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you 7 "and to give relief to you who are afflicted, along with us. This will take place at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with his powerful angels, 8 "when he takes vengeance with flaming fire on those who don’t know God and on those who don’t obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 "They will pay the penalty of eternal destruction from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious strength 10 "on that day when he comes to be glorified by his saints and to be marveled at by all those who have believed, because our testimony among you was believed.” ()
The Old Testament prophets, Jesus, and His apostles bring the same message:
the last judgment will mean everlasting suffering at the hands of almighty God for the wicked and
Morgan, C. W., & Peterson, R. A. (2008). Suffering and the Biblical Story. In C. W. Morgan & R. A. Peterson (Eds.), Suffering and the Goodness of God (Vol. 1, p. 135). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
everlasting bliss at the hands of the same God for the righteous.
Morgan, C. W., & Peterson, R. A. (2008). Suffering and the Biblical Story. In C. W. Morgan & R. A. Peterson (Eds.), Suffering and the Goodness of God (Vol. 1, p. 135). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
It’s this everlasting bliss that Paul has in mind in .
21 "that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 "For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.” ()
Many of us have pictures of our wives after they have delivered a child, and typically the baby is in their arms and mother is radiant.
We tend not have a picture of our wives in labor.
We do not reach into our wallets saying, “Let me show you a picture of Niki agonizing in labor.
Isn’t the agony terrific?”
Creation will one day be delivered—and the difference between then and now is the difference between agony and utter delight!
Someday our groaning creation will come into “the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
Think what will happen when nature is free to produce as it was designed to produce, free from pestilence and danger.
We are going to see that day!
We see the principle of the groan for glory all around us.
21 "that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.” ()
We read of a peculiar glory that believers are in possession of.
This glory isn’t upon any that are not led by the Spirit of God.
This glory contains freedom.
ahh…blessed freedom!
Now Paul moves to personal application.
Creation groans, and
2. The Church’s groan and promise.
23 "Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.
The thing we groan for is our adoption as sons, which will be completed by the redemption of the body.
We are already God’s sons and daughters, but we will not be complete for eternity until we get our new bodies.
is a parallel passage: "Indeed, we groan in this tent, desiring to put on our heavenly dwelling,
Hughes, R. K. (1991). Romans: righteousness from heaven (p. 161). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
We cry, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (7:24).
It says, “we also groan within ourselves”
We groan because of the ravages that sin makes in our lives, and in the lives of those we love.
Also we groan because we see possibilities that are not being captured and employed.
And then we groan because if we see gifted people of the Lord wasting their gifts and not serving the body!
It is recorded that, as he drew near the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus groaned in His spirit
because he was so burdened by the ravages that sin had made in a believing family.
He groaned, even though he knew he would soon raise Lazarus from the dead.
So we groan in our spirits—we groan in disappointment, in bereavement, in sorrow.
We groan physically in our pain and our limitation.
Life consists of a great deal of groaning.
Those of us, united to Christ, become stewards in a world over which Jesus is Lord.
Clowney, E. P. (1995). The Church. (G. Bray, Ed.) (p. 140). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Sharing the distress of a creation that is not yet delivered from disorder and frustration,
Hughes, R. K. (1991). Romans: righteousness from heaven (p. 161). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
We also groan for a positive reason—we have “the firstfruits of the Spirit” (v. 23).
we work in hope, anticipating the joy of the new heavens and earth ().
We also groan for a positive reason—we have “the firstfruits of the Spirit” (v. 23).
We have the first installment (or down payment) of the inconceivably fabulous heritage God has prepared for us.
When Abraham’s servant was sent to find a bride for Isaac and met Rebekah,
Hughes, R. K. (1991). Romans: righteousness from heaven (p. 161). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
he gave silver and gold garments and presents to Laban as indications of what was to come.
That is what God has done for us by his Holy Spirit.
That indescribable peace we knew when we first experienced the
forgiveness of our sins, the
power of God that calms our heart despite circumstances, the
joy that floods our souls—
these are mere foretastes of what is yet to come!
We are described as waiting “eagerly” (v. 23).
This same strong word is used of creation’s waiting (v. 19).
We are on tiptoe waiting for our deliverance.
Paul underlines this promise in
24 "Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 "Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.
Here we again find the same strong word—“wait for it patiently.”
We are on tiptoe, and we wait with perseverance.
Life right now, we can say, “It is well with my soul”.
But in the future there will be joys supreme.
I look forward to that time of
deliverance from this body of sin,
glory beyond which we can describe with words,
seeing the face of Christ,
experiencing without restriction the
perpetual joy of getting to know Him.
And so do you!
We groan … we have an inconsolable longing which our greatest joys dimly foreshadow.
Someday we will know the fullness of our salvation.
Let’s put it another way.
We have learned that the Spirit within us assures us of our adoption.
His very residence within us causes us to long earnestly for the day when our adoption will be openly declared.
This will occur when the redemption of our bodies takes place.
Our inward longing, inspired by the Spirit, is in fact a guarantee that that day will certainly come.
It has not yet come. But it will come!
In the New Testament, the word ‘hope’ does not mean a fond wish, but an absolute certainty.
n the New Testament, the word ‘hope’ does not mean a fond wish, but an absolute certainty.
We are saved in hope.

At the second coming of Christ there will be a manifestation of the children of God. Now the saints are God’s hidden ones, the wheat seems lost in a heap of chaff; but then they shall be manifested. It does not yet appear what we shall be (1 Jn. 3:2), but then the glory shall be revealed. The children of God shall appear in their own colours. And this redemption of the creature is reserved till then; for, as it was with man and for man that they fell under the curse, so with man and for man they shall be delivered. All the curse and filth that now adhere to the creature shall be done away then when those that have suffered with Christ upon earth shall reign with him upon the earth. This the whole creation looks and longs for; and it may serve as a reason why now a good man should be merciful to his beast.

Now it is by hope that we hang upon and cleave to the Lord Jesus, and thus by this grace we abide in Him.
It is therefore spoken of as an “anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that which is within the veil.”
What holds the ship firm in the storm, and prevents it falling upon the rocks? The anchor.
The ship abides firm as long as the anchor holds.
So by hope the soul abides in Christ.
He is within the veil; we are without, and, it may be, tossed up and down on a sea of doubt and fear, distress and anxiety, and yet...
there is a bond of union between Him and us firmer than the bed rock in the Atlantic Ocean.
The climax and completion of our salvation has yet to come, but there is no doubt at all that it will come!
The climax and completion of our salvation has yet to come, but there is no doubt at all that it will come!
This is the promised hope by which we are saved!
The titles of God are virtually promises, when He is called a
sun, a
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
shield, a
strong tower, a
hiding-place, a
portion.
The titles of Christ—
light of the world,
bread of life,
the way, truth, and life;
The titles of the Spirit—
the Spirit of truth,
of holiness, of
glory, of
grace, and
supplication,
the sealing,
witnessing Spirit;
faith may conclude as much out of these as out of promises.
9 "Know that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps his gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love him and keep his commands.” ()
23 "Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, since he who promised is faithful.” ()
3 "His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 "By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.” ()
Be strong and courageous dear believer because there is a power unseen by men that is at our back: The everlasting arms are underneath us and we cannot fail!
The present effect of having such a hope is that we patiently wait for it.
All this serves Paul’s purpose to show us that the present order will not go on for ever, and that glory will follow our present sufferings.
At the second coming of Christ there will be a manifestation of the children of God.
Now the saints are God’s hidden ones, the wheat seems lost in a heap of chaff; but then they shall be manifested.
It does not yet appear what we shall be (), but then the glory shall be revealed.
The children of God shall appear in their own colors.
And this redemption of the creature is reserved till then.
for man
that they fell under the curse,
so with man and for man they shall be delivered.
All the curse and filth that now adhere to the creature shall be done away
then when those that have suffered with Christ upon earth shall reign with Him upon the earth.
This the whole creation looks and longs for.
20 "He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” ()
It’s a unanimous vote, and so we join in with the whole Church, all in agreement, “Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!”
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