Sunday, July 22, 2012

Romans 8.18-25 "Persevering Hope" 120722AM@TBC


Purpose of  ROMANS: "Obedience of Faith” among all nations  for His name - Romans 1:5 (& 16:26)  
Romans 1.5 (ESV)
Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,
Romans 16:26 (ESV)
25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith-- 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

“...we can obey Jesus as Lord only when we have given ourselves to Him in faith.” —-Douglas Moo, NICNT

Christian obedience springs from saving faith.

Looking back:  
The chapter begins with "no condemnation" for those who are in Christ   v. 1
and our walk according to the Spirit of Life.   v. 4
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, … 4 who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Looking forward:    vv. 37-38
The chapter ends with the eloquent declaration that nothing can separate the believer from the love of God in Jesus Christ.
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Victory in difficult times is not primarily defined as relief, though God often provides that, and we thank Him. But, that is secondary.

While we desire and strive for relief, our first priority in difficult times is to not be moved from our confidence in and closeness to Christ!  That is victory with eternal value.
Comment to Colleen at Don’s funeral.
Process of noticing everybody experiences pain after Donna’a surgeries.

"So please listen carefully. If you have not suffered much, your time will come. And God has inspired this section of Scripture so that you will be ready and able to fight the fight of faith and not be conquered by despair or unbelief.”  —John Piper

“He is writing to help us not throw away our hope in Christ when the miseries and groanings of this present time are overwhelming.”   —John Piper

Here, in a nutshell, is the idea of our passage.
The expectation of future glory   (vv. 18 &23)
during present sufferings  (vv. 21-23a)
sustains persevering hope.  (vv.24-25)

1st  future glory      (box)
v.18 — the glory which shall be revealed in us
v.21 — delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
v.23 — the adoption, the redemption of our body.
2nd present sufferings      (underline)
v. 18 — sufferings of this present time
v.20 — creations subjected to futility
v.21 — bondage of corruption
v.22— groans and suffers/labors/pain together
V.23 — groans
3rd persevering hope        (circle)
v.19 — creation eagerly waits
v. 23 & 25 — we, believers, eagerly wait
v.24-24 — hope
v.25 — perseverance


  1. Paul in verse 18
  2. All Creation in verses 19-22
  3. Believers in verses 23-25

 I.  SIZE OF THE GROAN:        Paul’s view of suffering  (18)
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

“Its [v. 18] design is to show the power of the gospel in sustaining the soul in trials: a very important and material part of the scheme. This had been partially noticed before, (Romans 5:3-5) but its full power to support the sold in the prospect of a glorious immortality had not been fully discussed.”  —Albert Barnes

consider  Strong's G3049 - logizomai : calculate
YLT, KJV—reckon; NASB, NKJV, ESV, NIV84, NET—-consider;
WET—reasoned conclusion

     (note that it is plural.)
Strong's G3804 - pathēma  Less common than páthos, this means “misfortune,” “state of suffering,” “sorrow,” and occasionally “emotion.”  (From a presumed derivative of πάθος (G3806) )

We can have sufferings

  • that are because of Christ,
  • that Satan causes,
  • that are self inflicted,
  • and that are just the natural consequences of a fallen world.
v. 17 seems to focus more specifically of thing we suffer for the sake of or because of Christ
  ...if indeed we suffer [or feel pain together] with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Phil’p 3:10
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
v. 20 speaks of all creation subjected to futility and the bondage of corruption for all creation. 
v. 23 applies suffering to believers who groan waiting for their new bodies.
These seem to be  a more general kinds of suffering related to the futility and corruption of the creation

“Paul was not ignorant or blind to the sufferings of human existence; he experienced more of them than most any of us today.” —© 2002 David Guzik

“If we did not know the sufferings of Paul, we might think that was a cheap consolation—a kind of ivory tower effort to comfort the saints.”   —John Piper 

2 Corinthians 11.23-28 
23 Are they ministers of Christ?--I speak as a fool--I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. 24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness-- 28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
“...not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”    (v.18)

not worthy to be compared
not worth comparing (ESV, NIV)
Strong's G514 - axios ἀξίωςa: pertaining to having a relatively high degree of comparable merit or worth—‘worthy, comparable, of comparable value, worthily.’

Paul does NOT say that our earthly suffering are nothing. But that they dim in comparison to the glory to come.
the glory which shall be revealed in us

“Now the saints are wrapped up in the common brown paper of flesh, looking outwardly like other folks. But the whole creation is waiting for their unveiling at Christ’s coming., for they are connected with Christ, one with Him, and are to be glorified with him at His coming.” —William Newell

Colossians 3.3-4
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
Phil’p 3.21
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

Our poor pathetic bodies are not fit for the new heaven and earth. 

We have neither the aptitude nor ability to enjoy them as their Creator deserves.  We look forward to a time when we will be changed.  Glory, hallelujah!

1 Cor. 15
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."

1 Corinthians 15:53
The body is sown in corruption,        it is raised in incorruption.
It is sown in dishonor,                         it is raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness,                         it is raised in power.
It is sown a natural body,                     it is raised a spiritual body. 44
the man of dust,                                    shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man 49
this corruptible                                      must put on incorruption
this mortal                                              shall put on immortality  54
The sting of death                                will be swallowed up in victory!  56-57 

Does GLORY appear
smaller than it really is
in your “rear view mirror”?
this corruptible must put on incorruption

Many side review mirrors have a concave feature that expands the how much you can see, but makes everything look a little smaller and seem farther away than they are.  So, they have the warning, “Things may appear closer than they are.”  When our future glory is observed in our rearview mirrors instead straight ahead our perspective in suffering can get a little out of focus.

       All creation suffers together   (vv. 19-22)
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.  20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.   22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
23 Not only that, but we also... 

1) Subjected
Strong's G5293 - hypotassō :  to arrange under, to subordinate
     to futility
Strong's G3153 - mataiotēs  The word mátaios carries the senses of “vain,” “deceptive,” “pointless,” “futile.” (While kenós means “worthless,”) mátaios means “worthless because deceptive or ineffectual.”

This condition of things does not exist merely in regard to the humans, but is the common condition of all the creation.
2) because of Him [God] who subjected it
Genesis 3.17-19
17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return." 

3) in hope. 
The Gospel was preached to the Serpent to give hope of better things to come.
 Genesis 3.15
"And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel." 

Transitional Statement:
In the mean time all creation suffers under the curse.  It is described in two more ways.

1) bondage of corruption
bondage of
Strong’s G1397 - douleia; slavery, bondage, the condition of a slave
YLT—Servitude; NASB—slavery
5785 φθορά (phthora), n.fem.; 1. destruction (Gal 6:8; Col 2:22; 2Pe 2:12(2×)+); 2. decay, perishableness, rot (Ro 8:21; 1Co 15:42, 50+); 3. moral corruption, depravity (2Pe 1:4; 2:19+)
NIV, NET—decay

2) groans and labors together
groans (with)
Strong's G4959 - systenazō: to groan together
labors with birth pangs (with)
συνωδίνω Strong's G4944 - synōdinō :  metaph. to undergo agony (like a woman in childbirth) along with

“Three ways Paul puts our sufferings in a global context.
First, he shows that the futility, corruption, and groaning of the world is a judicial decree of God, not just a fluke or a law of nature.
Second,  this subjection includes all history from the fall to the coming of Christ.
Third, he shows us that all creation, not just part of it, is involved in the futility. Verse 22: "The whole creation groans."   —John Piper

Transitional Statement:
“This futility, corruption, and groaning is temporary. It had a beginning (verse 20), and it will have an end (verse 21 – "the creation will be set free from his slavery to corruption").”   —John Piper

"When all believers are finally glorified--fully transformed in body and soul to the image of Christ--the universe will be recreated to a state as lest equal to its condition before the Fall of man (Rev. 21-22)"   —Charles Swindoll

John in Revelation 20.1 says…
Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. 

2 Peter 3.13-15
13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,  

Don’t feel special when you suffer.
O wretched man that I am!
Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Romans 7:24

Our bodies are riddled with corruption.  We struggle with our sinful natures.  We will all suffer as our bodies decline and wear out—some more than others.

Ecclesiastes. 12.3 describes a time,
When the grinders cease because they are few,
And those that look through the windows grow dim;”

Therefore, the meaning of all
the misery in the world is
that sin is horrific.”
---John Piper

          We wait with perseverance  (vv. 23-25)
23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Ephesians 1.13b-14
...having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. 

“First fruits” was the actual beginning, the first installment, of the Palestinian harvest (Lev 23:10); the presence of the Spirit in believers is thus the actual beginning of the future world. Believers had experienced redemption (Rom 3:24) and adoption (8:15), but still awaited the fullness of that experience at the resurrection of their bodies by the Spirit (8:11). “  —IVPBBC - Keener, C. S., 

We have, with the indwelling Spirit,  a guarantee and a hint of what is to come.

eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”

Adoption is a theological term that describes an aspect of a believer’s relationship with God as His son and co-hair with Christ.
Galatians 4.4-7
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

There is a "not yet" aspect of our adoption.

(Toerinhgs traveling home with Brook ill.)

adoption...  “Regarding adoption, Denney says; "They have already received adoption, and as led by the Spirit are sons of God; but only when their mortal bodies have been quickened, and the corruptible, has put on incorruption, will they possess all that sonship involves.”  —Wuest  
1)  Saved in hope
"All this is summed up in Paul's words in v. 24a: "we were saved in hope":
"saved" --- a past, definitive action;
"in hope" --- the state in which we now live, waiting with anticipation and assurance
for the culmination of God's plan for us and the world."  —-Douglas Moo in NICNT

In Paul’s estimation, there were not enough rewards on this earth to make being a Christian worth it.
1 Corinthians 15.19
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

ἐλπίζω  Strong's G1679 - elpizō

Denney explains; “This sentence explains why Paul can speak of Christians as waiting for adoption, while they are nevertheless in the enjoyment of sonship. It is because
...salvation is essentially related to the future. ‘We wait for it: for we were saved in hope.’ … Hope, the apostle argues, is an essential characteristic of our salvation; but hope turned sight is hope no more, for who hopes for what he sees? We do not see all the gospel held out to us, but it is the object of our Christian hope nevertheless; it is as true and sure as the love of God which in Christ Jesus reconciled us to Himself and gave us the Spirit of adoption, and therefore we wait for it in patience.”  —Wuest

2) eagerly waits
ἀπεκδέχομαι  Strong's G553 - apekdechomai  :assiduously and patiently waiting for
Same as in verses 19 & 23
“It is apokaradokia and it describes the attitude of a man who scans the horizon with head thrust forward, eagerly searching the distance for the first signs of the dawn break of glory.”  —William Barclay

3) with patience
ὑπομονή  Strong's G5281 - hypomonē :   lit. “to abide under”; steadfastness, endurance
in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
YLT—continuance;  NASB, NKJV—perseverance; KJV, ESV, NIV84, WET—patience; NET—endurance
Same word used in
James 1.2-3
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

APPLICATION: The best is yet to come!
1 John 3.2-3 

 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

“He is writing to help us not throw away our hope in Christ when the miseries and groanings of this present time are overwhelming.  So please listen carefully. If you have not suffered much, your time will come. ”  —John Piper

Arm yourself with this thinking...with a strong sense of and anticipation for the glory to come.

The expectation
of future glory   (vv. 18 &23)
during present sufferings  (vv. 21-23a)

 sustains persevering hope .  (vv.24-25)

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