Student at Bethlehem College and Seminary.
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In this Hope
Romans 8:23-24
We were saved to a hope. Keep hoping patiently because that hope is sure.
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Published November 5th, 2016
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Romans 8:23-24
And not only [the creation], but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly [within our souls],
οὐ μόνον δέ, ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτοὶ τὴν ἀπαρχὴν τοῦ πνεύματος ἔχοντες, ἡμεῖς καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς στενάζομεν
as we eagerly wait for adoption as sons,
υἱοθεσίαν ἀπεκδεχόμενοι,
the redemption of our bodies.
τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν τοῦ σώματος ἡμῶν.
For in this hope we were saved...
τῇ γὰρ ἐλπίδι ἐσώθημεν•
inside our souls
aorist passive indicative first plural
Intro: - Just like the whole creation groans, we also groan inwardly. This is a deep soul groan. We groan within ourselves. Do you feel the inward groan - the soul groan? It may be fatigue - emotionally, bodily, and spiritually. It may be sin. It may be unsaved loved ones. It may be anxiety about the future - or just the day ahead. Do you feel the inward groan? I sure do. That's why I picked this text. How do I fight fear and anxiety and lack of faith. - Paul says that we who are groaning are those who have the firstfruits of the Spirit. Eph. 1:13 "In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit." Eph. 4:30 "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." 2 Cor 1:22 "...[God] set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come." - Paul says we are eagerly waiting for something. What are we groaning for? Our completion. The fullness of the Spirit. We have the firstfruits, and we are longing for the fullness, which Paul describes as our longing for the completion of our adoption. He further describes it as a longing for our new bodies. Based on the context of the passage - he seems to be pointing to the hope of our glorification (Romans 8:30). "...And those whom he justified, he also glorified." - For in this hope we were saved. The ground of our present waiting is a hope that we were saved into. We were, past tense (see parsing), saved, and that salvation was based on our placing hope somewhere. We placed our hope in the living God made flesh on our behalf, who died and rose, promising forgiveness, new bodies, everlasting life! He sealed us with his Spirit as a guarantee of our true position as sons until we aquire it fully. That is the key word, fully. - In this hope. Our salvation is both past, present, and future. I think the Bible gives reason to look to all of these for assurance of our faith. We look back remembering Christ's work for us. We look at our present believing today, kept by the grace of God. And we look to our future salvation, which is guaranteed. This is the hardest part, right? But this is our present lot. We all know what it is like to hope for something. We know what it is like when our hope is deferred, too. The proverb is accurate. It makes the heart sick. But our hope is sure. Guaranteed. It is as sure as you hear me talking today! And even more sure! - ...but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. This is a challenge to keep our hope strong. Wait for that sure day steadfastly - with great patience. This is all our hope. I meditate on this as I continue to sin against God and others. I long for his kingdom come. The alleviation of poverty, of death, of slavery.... May it come quickly.
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.