Main point summary
We groan eagerly awaiting the redemption of our body, because we were saved and live in the assurance of a glorious future.
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.
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?
But if we hope for what we do not see,
we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
What are the firstfruits of the Spirit?
Isn't a child of God already adopted? How can he wait for its adoption?
What is the redemption of our body?
Paul explains what biblical hope is
Why do we groan within ourselves? The groaning is because of the weakness of our bodies. Our bodies will have to experience salvation yet. All bodily weaknesses and character flaws are the cause of our groanings. An example of Paul's groaning is in Romans 7:13-25.
"were saved" is something that happened in the past that a child of God knows of.
"this" refers to what?
Interesting that Paul mentions that. It is pretty self-explanatory.
In 8:19-22, Paul taught the groanings of creation, and moves one now to the groanings of the believer (8:23-25) before he finishes with the groanings of the Spirit (8:26-28). 8:23 What are the firstfruits of the Spirit? It is the glory of being a recipient of God's blessings as a child of God. We "tasted" of Christ and we desire more of Him. We have received the best appetizer and the full meal is yet to come. Why do we groan within ourselves? The groaning is because of the weaknesses of our bodies. Our body will yet have to experience salvation. All bodily weaknesses and character flaws are the cause of our groanings for the glory that will be revealed in us. An example of Paul's groaning is in Romans 7:13-25 concluding in "I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Isn't a child of God already adopted (8:15)? How can he wait for his adoption? A weak analogy might help to understand this: A wealthy couple seeks to adopt a poor child from a 3rd world country. They will have to choose a child from among many and do all the necessary work to call it legally their child. At some point everything is prepared and all that is left is to pick that child up. That child belongs legally to that family but is not home with the couple yet. Now this is the adoption Paul refers to. It is being picked up to be home with God. The analogy is very weak because the child of the couple will be able to rebel, but when our adoption happens, we will be unable to rebel. We'll be in a perfect state of absolute harmony. What is the redemption of our body? "The adoption, the redemption of our body" is the perfect body we'll receive one day. The adoption as sons is the position we received when we received the gift of God ( 8:15 ) . 8:24 What does Paul refer to with "this" hope? 8:24-25 is the ground for 8:18-23. So the ground includes the glory that shall be revealed in us as well as creations and our groanings. "This hope" refers to the glory that will be revealed in us. The hope of glory and suffering happens at the same time in the life of the children of God. Suffering strengthens the hope of glory. Why did Paul explain hope? It seems as if there was a misunderstanding of the meaning of the word. Someone might have said that we have arrived already, here and now. They neglected the fact of the weakness of our body and the decay in nature. 8:25 Paul further explains hope. The hope is not used as we use hope in today's English. Hope in today's English got some uncertainty to it, but Paul speaks of hope as a certainty that is not seen, but eagerly awaited. This again is truth that is to be reckoned in the believers life. Children of God refocus their thinking to God's perspective of life. Paul explains how to think in a way that is best for us and is God-honoring. The best way of thinking is with our eyes set on the finished work of Christ and also on the glorious future that awaits every believer. The brokenness of this life is very real, but the glory that is to come exceeds theses things by far. Keep looking ahead to the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. An amazing future is ahead of us! More about Jesus; on His throne, Riches in glory all His own; More of His kingdom's sure increase; More of His coming - Prince of Peace. More, more about Jesus, More, more about Jesus; More of His saving fullness see, More of His love who died for me. Eliza Edmunds Hewitt