Groaning Inwardly

The Promised Land or the Abundant Christian life is not a life free from strongholds or enemies.  It’s just how we approach the adversary.  We are called to deal with the enemy from a position of strength in the victory that Christ has secured for us.  You are a super conqueror in Christ and the object of His love.  I’m convinced the enemy fears Christ in you today.  But that doesn’t mean we don’t long for the day we are set free from temptations and living in a physical body tainted by sin.
 
Romans 8:23–25 “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. 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.” 
 
And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, The portion of the harvest presented to the priest was called the first fruits, and it was in the nature of an offering that consecrated the entire harvest.  It recognized God as the owner of all we have.  The Holy Spirit is the down payment of God’s promise to bring about our complete redemption.  The Spirit of God is Christ in us as our source.  There is so much more to come but His gift to us  shows we are His possession and His Spirit is in us.
 
groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Because we have the Holy Spirit in us we have a new sensitivity to sin, we ourselves groan over the dreadful curse of sin that is still manifested by our remaining humanness.  If your sin and the sin of others doesn’t trouble you there is a serious problem.  Sin should be very grievous to us.  To see the effects of sin in our community and world should cause us to groan and seek healing.  Our redemption is not yet complete.  In one sense we have already received our adoption, since we have been brought into God’s family.  Nothing is ever going to change that family relationship.  Yet in a second sense we still wait for our adoption, because we do not yet enjoy all its privileges.  Our spirit is full of the life of God, our soul is saved but our body is yet to be redeemed.  So we wait patiently for the day our body is redeemed and our adoption complete. 
 
Philippians 3:20–21 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”
 
It is hardly possible not to wonder what kind of resurrected and redeemed body believers will have in heaven.  We know that it will be completely free from the curse of sin, no more pain, no more sickness, no more death!
 
For in this hope we were saved. In this life we cannot expect to experience the reality of our glorification but only the hope of it.  But since the believer’s hope is based on God’s promise, the completion of his salvation is more certain by far than anything he sees with his eyes.  Do you have this secure hope?
 
Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? Hope is one of the very great words of the Christian vocabulary.  It is one of the three great virtues listed in 1Corinthians 13:13 (These three remain: faith, hope and love).  What is striking about the Christian attitude of hopefulness is that it is “sure and certain” and not merely wishful thinking.  What makes it sure and certain is the content.  Hope is centered outside of us.  Hope is a steadfast remaining in God waiting on the fulfillment of His promises.
 
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  Now hope is expecting something better!  Hope is the measure of true Christianity.  True Christianity has its eye mainly on the world which is to come.  Paradoxically, of course, it is only these heavenly-minded people who are able to make any real or lasting difference in the world.
 
He’s coming soon and our adoption will be complete with a brand new body free from all the effects of sin.  No more pain, no more illness, no more temptation!  Come Lord Jesus, come!
 
You are loved!
 
Pastor Tim