csibiblestudy


Waiting for the Baby, Romans 8:18-30
February 17, 2019, 4:46 am
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book | Tags: ,

Waiting for the Baby
How many of you are sitting here with something on your heart? It is possible that you are here, turning your heart and focus on the Lord God because He is worthy of praise, but you walked into this room with a burden. It may be that you or someone you know are dealing with a physical problem, or maybe more than one. Perhaps you are worried about your finances and your bills. Maybe you have a loved one who is heavy on your heart right now. You might be struggling with sin or dealing with depression. Your marriage may be a warzone and you may be having battles in your family. You might be overwhelmed with a multitude of problems, and you are thinking, I’m struggling with many of these. Maybe you’re thinking, “you have no idea what I am dealing with right now!”
So when we read “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” in Romans 8, verse 18 seems like Paul is giving us a verse that tells us something that disconnects with what is real in our lives. What would Paul know about problems?
Let’s ask Paul; “What do you know about difficult times?” Here is Paul’s answer. “Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” (2 Corinthians 11:24–28)
The first thing that Paul reveals to us in this passage is that GOD PROMISES A GLORY TO BE REVEALED IN US THAT MAKES ALL THE SUFFERINGS OF LIFE WORTH IT.
Have you ever had something in life that is so great that all the difficulties, physically suffering, and problems that we might experience don’t compare to the joy that followed? One of the most exciting times in a dad’s life is the birth of his children. The same is true of grandfathers, or in my case “Poppy”. I do understand that it is also an exciting time in the life of a mom and granny, but I can’t speak from their perspective! In Romans 8:18-30, Paul talks about a glorious coming, which he compares to a birth. Thinking back to those days as a dad waiting for his children and reflecting on that now as a Poppy waiting for the birth of twin granddaughters, I can understand God’s use of something that is so familiar to us to show us what is ahead for us. Let’s take a look.
In verse 18, we read- “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.” Here God is reminding us, through the writings of Paul, that what will one day be comparable to the birth of a child, make everything we go through worth it. So what is the “birth” to which He refers? Look at two verses, verse 23 and verse 30. In verse 23, Paul mentions the “redemption of our body”. By using this term, Paul directs us the time, still future, when our salvation is finished. What do I mean by that? When you and I got saved, we became new creatures and sin’s influence over us was changed. Before I was saved, sin was my master. I was a slave to my sin nature. But God broke the power of sin in my life as he paid the penalty of sin. But I still experience the presence of sin. But the presence of sin also affects all of creation. One of the failures of a worldview that excludes God is that it fails to admit the inability, or futility, of man to solve his many problems, including problems with our environment. When Adam and Eve committed mankind’s first sin, not only were humans corrupted but all of creation was cursed by the fall. That is why we read “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing (birth) of the sons of God. So in verse 23, the redemption of the body is this unveiling of the sons of God in their totally glorified bodies. Later in verse 30, Paul describes man’s glorification. I love that God had Paul use the past tense “glorified” for a future event to stress the certainty of our future glorification.
We know that the “birth” of our future glorification is a day which not only we eagerly anticipate but all creation does as well. Consider this, in verse 23, Paul tells us that we have the first fruits or the first crops which confirm the future harvest of our salvation. The firstfruits is the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence. God in us the hope of glory is but the first evidence that something glorious would come for those who would suffer for a while. In verse 23 to 25, we see that all creation is waiting for the time that we have our full sonship in God.
In the Roman culture of the New Testament, adoption was extremely important. During the time of the New Testament, a natural born child could be disowned but an adopted child could not be. It is remarkable that the adopted son should have a stronger position than the son by birth, yet it was so. Also in the Roman system of adoption, an adopted son or daughter went through a change of family, of name, of home, and of responsibilities. According to this passage in Romans 8, all of creation is waiting patiently for something we don’t have yet but are waiting for it.
This passage encourages us that God will help us with the struggles of our lives. Here is how He will help you today. First, when we are overwhelmed with our problems, we may not know the words to pray. The Spirit comes to our assistance, speaking to God the Father for us with deep feelings that are too deep for words. As the Spirit searches us, He intercedes in harmony with God the Father.
Second, God takes everything, the good, the bad, the ugly and works it together for the good of those who love Him. Don’t misunderstand the word “good”. You and I may not get everything we want the way we want it. Which is good because what we sometimes think are good things, would destroy us. God knows exactly what we need and He is determined to transform us from the inside out to be Christ-like. God wants Jesus to be the firstborn or the preeminent One with many Christ-like ones to follow.
Third, God has declared those following Christ and being transformed to Christ-likeness are justified and will be glorified. Justification means to be declared right with God. Think of this: not only did Jesus satisfy the wrath of God toward our sin by the death of Jesus, but He imputes to us the righteous acts of Jesus while on the earth to us. I get credit for acting like Jesus did when He was on the earth. So to God, my heavenly Father, I am right in His sight. But now for the birth of the baby: I am glorified as a full-fledged son of the Living God. Glorification is the future and final work of God upon Christians where He transforms our mortal physical bodies to the eternal physical bodies in which we will dwell forever.
Now that we have worked our way through this passage, we need to time how we can apply this. Take the sufferings, the things that you walked in here with, and make a choice that based on the authority of the Word of God, they aren’t worth being compared to what we will be when we are glorified. So take these burdens and cast them upon the Lord. Wrap them up, and present them to God. He wants to take our problems and use them to make us Christ-like. If we hold on to them, trying to solve them ourselves, we hinder Him from using them to transform us. Let me put it this way. The downside of pregnancy is all forgotten when you hold that baby for the first time. Just think how sweet it will be when we are glorified. Let God work!

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