S225-060108 Ro 8b
Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ 060108 ~ Romans 8b
Title: Suffering with Sin
6:1 ~ Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?
6:15 ~ Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?
7:19 ~ The good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.
8:13 ~ If you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Romans 8:17&18 ~ 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. 18For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Because Christians are products of the fall we suffer
Because Christians are at war with sin we suffer
Because Christians are filled with the Holy Spirit we suffer
The word is pa>qov, and it means to feel or be affected by something – it stresses the person’s feelings rather than the actual object causing the feelings.
Many people go off track in this next section
Sure it can be loosely applied to many kinds of suffering, BUT the primary meaning is in the context of a Christian’s suffering with sin
And not just us…
Romans 8:19-22 ~ 19For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
All of creation was tied by God to the wagon of man as God ordained man with dominion over creation.
V19 – “anxious longing,” is: ajpokaradoki>a, ajpo (away from) + kefalh> (head) + de>comai (to take) = to take the head away from the body.
Creation is certain of its hope and waits expectantly for mankind to fulfill their original purpose and then creation will be able to do likewise.
V20 – “futility,” is: mataio>thv (vanity) It is the world as it appears rather than as it really is, so it implies the failure to live up to that which was intended.
You’ve become less than what you are.
V20 – “cursing of the creation,” it is not grammatically the direct agency of God, but on account of Him –
God’s righteousness required it as an inevitable consequence. Yet the whole point is for hope.
V22 – “groans together & suffers together,” sustena>zw & sunwdi>nw…
Groans is deep and inexpressible inner trouble – it is used of mourning sudden death
Suffers is birth pangs, i.e. contractions.
What creation groans about is the complete wrongness of the way things are!
Creation wants to glorify God and decay is not glorifying!
Creation can’t wait for the sons of God to be manifested so that it can shine as God intended!
Romans 8:23 ~ And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
Paul tells us we are the sons of God and yet he says we, like the creation, eagerly wait for our adoption.
Salvation is ultimately future – never forget that!
We groan – but why and how and when?
Why – we have the Holy Spirit
Nearness to God gives us something to compare everything to –
I’m no longer basically good and neither is anything else except God alone.
How – within ourselves
We could get depressed, but we know who we serve and so we have a sure hope
Externally, we display joy due to our confidence in Him
When – we find out later is when we pray
When we are not distracted by this world and see things as the really are and desire to glorify God.
When we are in His presence longing to be with Him more fully and seeing how far off everything – including our self – is from Him. That’s why we pray for the Lord’s return.
Romans 8:24&25 ~ 24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
Obviously, I don’t hope Don comes to church this morning.
We have been saved fully – now, but not yet – we trust in Him fully.
We eagerly and expectantly wait with patience because like an innocent child prior to becoming disillusioned we believe.
Romans 8:26-28 ~ 26In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Another spot where people go off and miss the primary point!
V26 – “weakness,” is ajsqe>neia, and it means lacking strength – it is the same word in James 5.
We should know, but we don’t because of this fleshly tomb – therefore and never fear – God will do it for us!
God intercedes by way of the Holy Spirit groaning, but never fear, the Father understands the groaning perfectly because it is requesting His perfect will!
The whole point is that we know we are not as we are supposed to be, we are not fulfilling our destiny, we have become less than we are!
Now we have the correct context for this famous or infamous verse…
God causes all things to work together for good
The good spoken of is God’s will done on earth just as it is in heaven.
Just so we don’t misunderstand, the rest of the verse confirms it…
“Good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
What is good to the true Christian is God’s will because the true Christian trusts God.
The point of these verses is that Christians suffer with sin.
No one knows this like the Christian – only genuine Christians have received the Holy Spirit and it is only this intimacy with God that truly allows us to see how far from the design we are!
So we groan – but we know who it is we are trusting.
We have a sure and certain hope
Why do we have so much hope? Not only do we groan, but creation as well but most importantly God groans in eager anticipation of that day as well!
If God desires it as more than we do how much more certain can it be?
These sufferings must be seen as the result of the war inside each Christian!
The Condemnation problem is solved by being in Jesus and confirmed by the Holy Spirit presence, BUT what of this suffering with sin?
Suffering is seen as the experience of every son of God. It is this suffering—and the sustaining ministry of the Holy Spirit during our suffering—of which Paul writes in Romans 8:18-27.
Why do we suffer, because we are fighting evil!
(1) The groaning of creation is universal.
(2) The groaning of creation is the result of man’s sin.
(3) Creation has been in the process of deterioration since the fall of man (2nd Law).
(4) Creation has a sure and certain hope.
(5) Just as creation’s downfall came through man, so its deliverance will come through man. The Lord Jesus took on human flesh, not only to take man’s place on the cross of Calvary but to take man’s place as the Son of God ruling over God’s creation.
The contrast between what we presently are and what we shall be someday as adopted sons intensifies our groaning.
I’m basically Good vs. I’m basically evil is related to that standard by which we judge - it is comparative/relative.
Those who believe the presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit brings only ecstasy, jubilance, and rejoicing need to consider more carefully Paul’s words in verse 23. The suffering and groaning the Christian is said to experience in verse 23 is linked to the believer’s possession of the Holy Spirit.
If you don’t groan, you should ask yourself why.
Christians think everything should be easy, comfortable and completely risk-free without any inconvenience, controversy or sacrifice.
How shall we react to groaning? Shall we become legalists, libertines or shall we take action to bring about God’s Kingdom through our effort?
As strange as it may sound, groaning characterizes the life of the Spirit-filled Christian. We have joy in the midst of sorrow.
We must place our hope in things to come, those things which God has promised.
God intends for those things we see as wrong within us and in the world in which we live to create in us a hunger for heaven.
Sad though it may be, only the lost can expect life to be lived without sadness and suffering and groaning. When those who are successful and comfortable in this life see life as a bowl of cherries, they are not looking at life as it really is. They are looking through eyes which are blinded to the imperfection of this world due to man’s sin.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus reversed the views of the unsaved world and of lost men. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:2-6).
We tend to trust in ourselves when we are doing too well. Prosperity and ease does not tend to turn us to God but away from Him.
The question is not whether you are groaning, but what good this suffering and groaning is producing in you.
The suffering of God’s children is a dominant theme in the teaching of Scripture. Why then is it not more prominent in the teaching of many preachers and churches?
Christian living must be based upon reality.
If God graciously sends suffering and groaning into our lives, why in our prayers do we ask God to remove our suffering and pain? Why do we not pray for strength and endurance and for our hope to be set on heaven?
The so-called “mid-life crisis” is simply men coming to a realization of what Paul is teaching here.