Theme: Our suffering today is incomparable to the coming glory, which is eagerly anticipated by all of creation and all of us with groaning and with patient hope.
This whole section is the living in between times. Adopted now, but not yet adopted. / Redeemed, but not / Resurrected, but not / Kingdom, but not
Present Sufferings (18-19)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
For: He had just spoken of our position as co-heirs with Jesus, including our suffering with Him. Consider how some of you are suffering with Jesus.
I consider: Numerical calculation from the business world, as opposed to personal opinion.
The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory: Human suffering + Uniquely Christian suffering.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (ESV) — 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…
So what is glory? The full and awesome display of God! All of His nature, presence, likeness. Manifestation of God!
19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
Revealed to us / The revealing of the sons of God: Wait. There is more. There is a strong possibility this ought to read ‘revealed in us.’
When Christ returns we will share in His glory.
- Colossians 3:4 (ESV) — 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
- Hebrews 2:10 (ESV) — 10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Paul tell us the creation is waiting for this!
Futility and Corruption (20-21)
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.
For the creation: Why does the creation, personified, look forward to the revealing of the sons of God?
Subjected to futility, not willingly: Creation is has been effected by the curse man brought on through sin.
- Genesis 3:17–18 (ESV) — 17 ...cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field.
- Genesis 9:2 (ESV) — 2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered.
- It is fascinating to consider the brokenness of the universe. It is not, apparently, all it could have or should have been.
Creation itself will be set free from its bondage:
- God can make a person into a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- God will make the world into a new creation as well.
- Isaiah 65:17 (ESV) — 17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
- Revelation 21:1–2 (ESV) — 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. How will he create this new world?
Groanings and Pain (22-23)
22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
Groaning together / pains of childbirth: The creation groans over its current condition. This is not pointless groaning, however, but is productive groaning (like childbirth).
Could it be that the running down of our planet is a birth pain?
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.
But we ourselves / Groan inwardly: We groan as well. We groan because we are “half-saved” (already, not-yet). Our groaning comes from the fact that our outward man has not entered the world our inward man has already entered into.
Who have the firstfruits of the Sprit: We’ve begun to experience the redemptive and transformative work of the Holy Spirit.
The redemption of our bodies:
David — Psalm 17:15 (ESV) — 15 As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
You are groaning inwardly.
- God knows this.
- God has done the thing that will remove this forever. God can use this in your life.
What We Can See (24-25)
24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
In this hope we were saved: Past liberation is most definitely ours, but there is more!
Patience: This is a difficult balance to maintain.
- Error: Patience that turns into lethargy or apathy or pessimism.
- Error: Patience that turns into impatience and an over emphasis on experiences.
- But we are to be patient! Not grim resignation, but triumphantly facing the matter.
- Introductory/Raw — Romans 5:3–4 (ESV) — 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
- Advanced/Refined — here.
What does this patient hope get us through?
- Present Sufferings (18-19)
- Futility And Corruption (20-21)
- Groanings And Pain (22-23)
- What We Can See (24-25)