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Basic Bible: Anticipating Redemption

Romans 8:18-27

In the first chapter of his epistle to believers at Rome, Paul expressed his desire that they might be established in the mutual faith. Believers of today know the mutual faith includes the earnest expectation that we be part of the glory which shall be seen when Jesus rules and reigns. The mutual faith includes knowledge of the Spirit which dwells in us. All this and more is contained in the text before us.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (v. 18). Both the suffering and the glory of which Paul speaks refers back to verse 17. The suffering is that which believers suffer with Christ. The glory which shall be revealed in us is that glory which shall be revealed when Christ returns to reign for one thousand years.

In verse 19, the apostle describes this glory to be the earnest expectation of the creature (or creation). God cursed the ground because Adam ate of the fruit of tree which God had forbidden (Gen. 3:17). All creation suffered for the curse and all creation waits for the curse to be lifted. The curse shall vanish when the sons of God will reign with Christ for one thousand years. During that time, the wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox: and the dust shall be the serpent’s meat (Isa. 65:25).

Paul states the reason that the creature (creation) possesses this earnest expectation in verse 20. When God cursed the ground for Adam’s sake, Adam had cause for hope. God told the serpent that He would place enmity between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman and that the seed of woman would bruise “thy” (the serpent’s) head. The serpent would bruise the heel of the seed of woman. Adam’s hope lies in God’s promise that the seed of woman would bruise the serpent’s head. The hope of all creation is found in the person of the seed of woman. The glory which shall be revealed in us will be the manifest glory of the seed of woman.

The seed of woman shall deliver all creation from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Grace through faith has delivered us from the bondage of sin. That same grace shall make all creation free from sin’s influence. It is by grace through faith that we are saved and it is the glory of Him who died for us which shall be revealed in us.

All creation continues to groan and travail in pain almost two thousand years after Paul wrote these words because “now” is ever present. Now shall cease to be when the Lord Jesus returns. The suffering of now shall not end until Satan is bound for one thousand years. Then shall His glory be manifested.

Paul states that we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain in verse 22. In the next verse, he adds that all who have the first fruits of the Spirit also groan within because they, like all nature, wait for Christ’s return. We wait for the redemption of our bodies. We wait for our corrupted bodies to be changed. “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Cor. 15:53).

In verse 24, the apostle states that we are saved by hope. Once a hope is realized, it is no longer hope. We hope that Christ shall soon return. We are to hope with patience. The fruit of the Spirit which is in us is “. . . love, joy, peace, long-suffering . . .” (Gal. 5:22). The Holy Spirit within us produces the fruit of patience. Believers wait for His return. We do not entertain Satan’s lies. We know that disobeying God will not make us as gods. We know that we cannot save ourselves. We cannot end sin’s reign. Our hope is in Him who died with our sins encompassed about Him and, then, rose the third day.

The Spirit within us guides us in ways which “helpeth our infirmities” (v. 26). The Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. The Spirit interprets a believer’s innermost feelings — feelings that words fail to express.

In verse 27, Paul reveals that “he that searcheth the hearts” knows the mind of the Spirit. Christ Jesus is He who searches the hearts and makes intercession for us. We know that all which we ask according to His will, He hears (I John 5:14). Our Lord and Savior knows the mind of the Holy Spirit who makes intercession for us.

Knowing these things, we can reckon with Paul that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. May the power of the Spirit be manifest in us.

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