Romans 8:18-25 Amplified Bible
18 For I consider [from the standpoint of faith] that the sufferings of the present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us! 19 For [even the whole] creation [all nature] waits eagerly for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration and futility, not willingly [because of some intentional fault on its part], but by the will of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will also be freed from its bondage to decay [and gain entrance] into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons—the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection]. 24 For in this hope we were saved [by faith]. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait eagerly for it with patience and composure.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
So, how is your day so far today?
Did you dread getting out of bed this morning?
Will you be irritated by traffic on the way to work?
Are you facing unreasonable demands from your employer?
Is there ongoing tension in your marriage?
Do you find that your children are ever more appreciative of what you do on their behalf?
Did the evening news cheer you at the end of the day?
Are you simply tired of the same old routine, and longing for something new?
Chances are you feel burdened about one or more issues above.
You are certainly not alone.
In fact, the Bible states,
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. Not only that but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the first fruits – we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:22-23).
All of creation groans, longing for redemption.
The Definition of Redemption
The dictionary defines redemption as:
1. the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.
2. the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.
Romans 5:8-11 specifies,
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Redemption is used in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
The Old Testament.
In the Old Testament, redemption involves deliverance from bondage based on the payment of a price by a redeemer.
The Hebrew root words used most often for the concept of redemption are pada, gaal, and kapar.
The verb pada is a legal term concerning the substitution required for the person or animal delivered.
The verb gaal is a legal term for the deliverance of some person, property, or right to which one had a previous claim through family relation or possession.
The meaning of the third verb, kapar, is to cover.
Fundamental to the message of the New Testament is the announcement that Jesus of Nazareth is the fulfillment of Israel’s messianic hope and that, in him, the long-awaited redemption has arrived.
Deliverance of humankind from its state of alienation from God has been accomplished through the death and resurrection of Christ (Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
In the New Testament, redemption requires the payment of a price, but the plight that requires such a ransom is moral, not material.
Humankind is held in the captivity of sin from which only the atoning death of Jesus Christ can liberate. (“Entry for ‘Redeem, Redemption'”. “Evangelical Dictionary of Theology”)
Redemption is Necessary
When life gets hard we tend to say that we need a break.
What we really need, however, is redemption.
Instead of gaining a momentary respite from the madness that surrounds us, redemption is the promise of God to deliver us from the power and presence of sin.
If this promise sounds too good to be true, consider the fact that the world used to work this way.
Prior to their rebellion, Adam and Eve had unbroken fellowship with God, unparalleled intimacy with each other and undisturbed enjoyment in their Edenic environment.
There has never been a time such as theirs when humans exercised biblical dominion over creation, complemented each other so completely and joyously lived every moment of every day under the rule of God.
But there will be again.
The Bible envisions a day when these broken relationships will be forever restored.
God’s people will inherit a new earth that bears abundant food apart from the sweat of their brow and without the threat of thorns (Revelation 22:2).
They will never feel pain or cause others to experience hurt of any kind as their tears have been eternally wiped away (Revelation 21:4).
Death will no longer haunt the living as gentle lambs will rest side by side with formerly carnivorous wolves (Isaiah 11:6).
Best of all, God will dwell with his people (Revelation 22:3).
Nothing unclean will be allowed to enter the new creation.
There will be no trees that trick or serpents that tempt.
Worship, not worry, will characterize the family of God in a world without end.
In a word, this fallen world will be redeemed.
Thus, the Christian worldview is premised on two realities:
God’s good world spoiled by human sin (fall) and sinful humans made fit to enjoy God forever (redemption).
In spite of the fall, the world continues to work – sort of.
After the fall, Adam and Eve’s oldest son proved remarkably adept at navigating through life.
Cain married a woman and loved their son (Genesis 4:17).
The curse of the ground notwithstanding, Cain became a farmer and then a city builder (Genesis 4:3, 17).
Even Cain’s descendants were known for their creative prowess, including advancements in shepherding livestock, playing musical instruments and developing sturdy weaponry (Genesis 4:20-22).
Put simply, even fallen people in a fallen world somehow manage to contribute to human progress.
On the other hand, even morally upright people manage to confirm the human predicament.
Noah is such a man who, in the midst of a moral sewer, managed to find favor in God’s eyes (Genesis 6:8).
His craftsmanship is demonstrated through his ability to build an ark that withstood the most destructive storm ever.
His attention to detail spared not only his life but that of his family and the entire animal kingdom (Genesis 6:14-22).
Nevertheless, in spite of God’s grace towards him, Noah later became drunk and passed out naked in his tent (Genesis 9:20-21).
When he awoke he cursed generations yet to be born (Genesis 9:24).
This is hardly the behavior one would expect from the man God used to rescue the world but Noah’s life confirms that “there is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).
Redemption is Already Accomplished but Not Yet Complete
Humans still retain the image of God, which accounts for any semblance of goodness and enables any sense of progress (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6).
However, life is not as it should be in this fallen world.
Theologians have differed over the means by which Adam’s sin has been passed down to every person but the reality of death provides sufficient confirmation that no one is exempt (Romans 5:12).
Though Charles Manson and Billy Graham took completely different paths with their lives, both are subject to the death sentence as are you and I.
The Bible thus describes our common plight: we are “dead” in our “trespasses and sins” and we are “by nature children under wrath” (Ephesians 2:1,3).
Redemption is the reversal of the fall.
In part, this reversal means that those who were spiritually dead are made alive (Ephesians 2:4) and those who were children of wrath are now children of God (1 John 3:1).
Though the Bible recognizes fallen people may make positive contributions to the world as a whole, the Bible is quite clear that no one can contribute anything positive to their own redemption (Romans 3:23-28).
The only person qualified to undo the effects of the fall is Jesus Christ who, as the eternal Son of God incarnated through the Virgin Mary. by the Holy Spirit.
This is not to say that he was not tempted as he lived in a fallen world and experienced genuine struggles that all humans face (Hebrews 2:14-18).
However, the Bible unflinchingly states that Jesus never sinned (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22) and thus focuses on him alone as the one who can make sinful humans fit to worship a holy God (Acts 4:12).
Even the death of Jesus was not the result of any sin he committed but rather the most gracious act of love ever displayed, where he took upon himself the sins of the world so that all who believe in him will be saved (Romans 5:6-11).
The Big Picture of Redemption in the Bible
The doctrine of redemption extends even beyond the matter of individual salvation.
During his lifetime, Jesus provided abundant proof of his ability to completely restore a fallen world.
He demonstrated his lordship over heaven when he calmed the storms on the sea (Mark 4:35-41);
he demonstrated his lordship over hell when he exorcised demons from a troubled man (Mark 5:1-20);
he demonstrated his lordship over life when he healed a woman of her incurable disease (Mark 5:24-34);
and he demonstrated his lordship over death when he raised a young girl from the dead (Mark 5:35-43).
With these and countless other unwritten miracles (John 20:30-31; 21:25), Jesus provided ample reason for us all to conclude that this troubled world is not our home – in the end, He himself will make all things new (Revelation 21:5).
The final book of the Bible is, therefore, a fitting end to the story of the fall with its triumphant declaration of full redemption:
“Then he showed me the river of living water, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the broad street of the city. The tree of life was on both sides of the river, bearing 12 kinds of fruit, producing its fruit every month. The leaves of the trees are for healing the nations, and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His slaves will serve Him. They will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. Night will no longer exist, and people will not need lamplight or sunlight, because the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:1-5).
Living in Light of Redemption
Living in a fallen world as Christians means we will experience trials and tribulations and will continue to struggle with our own temptations.
We are forgiven, but God is not finished with us yet (Philippians 1:6).
Consequently, longing for a better world, even a perfect world, is not a form of escapism.
Rather, it is the Christian’s rightful anticipation of a promise made by the One who justly pronounced a curse on this world and then lovingly took that curse upon Himself in order to, for once and all time, redeem people for His glory.
What are some practical steps that you can use to share the story of redemption with others?
Recognize that we are all products of the fall and in need of redemption.
It’s easy to forget that people who bother us are often people just like us.
We are all affected and afflicted by the fall.
When we view people through the lens of being fallen (instead of expecting them to live as if they were fully redeemed), we can be more sympathetic.
Thus, instead of bearing a grudge against them we should recognize the need to point them to their Redeemer.
Jesus stated it this way: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:35-40).
Realize that the sufferings of this world are temporary.
This is not to diminish the pain we feel when our bodies fail or when friends betray us.
Pain is hurtful and we will feel it.
Yet, the promise of redemption is that our pain and hurt are not final.
We have hope because God Himself has promised to redeem all of creation.
If we want others to share in our story of redemption, we do this best when we live in light our future redemption.
1 Corinthians 2:9 states,
“But as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived’ – God has prepared these things for those who love him.”
Respond to God’s grace in your life by offering grace to others.
One of the joys we will experience in the new heavens and new earth is knowing that we are there because someone shared the good news of the gospel with us.
How much more will our joy be to know that someone has been redeemed because we shared the story of redemption with them!
We can do this with gentleness and kindness: “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15).
Creation is Groaning as in the Pains of Childbirth.
Romans 8:22 Amplified Bible
22 For we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth until now.
God created a paradise and sin ruined it.
Fortunately for us that is not the end of the story, creation is longing to be restored to the state it was created to be in, based on the promise of God.
This promise was fulfilled in Jesus and now Paul describes the physical fulfillment of this promise as something creation is in anticipation for.
He likens this waiting period to the labor pains of childbirth.
The process might be hard and might take awhile but once started there is no way to stop it.
And the end result makes the whole thing worth it.
Many people look around and make a judgment call based on what they see.
They look at the state of our natural realm and see death and decay.
Our news channels are filled with warnings of global warming ruining our environment.
Many organizations rally the governments and it’s citizens to save the planet.
However, the Bible says that creation as already been saved.
After taking all of this in it would be easy to say that God hasn’t fulfilled his promise to creation yet based on the natural evidence of this.
However, when Jesus came, I John says, that he came to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
Since he has already come, Satan’s power over creation has been destroyed.
We know this because Jesus came the first time to reconcile us to the Father and he will come the second time to redeem us and take us home.
Based on this we understand that creation has already received the first fruits of it’s redemption because Jesus has sent to us the Holy Spirit to testify that we are his children.
Paul said earlier in this chapter that this revelation of the sons of God is what creation has been waiting for (Romans 8:19).
Paul uses the illustration of childbirth to illuminate this very truth and to help us understand that just because we cannot see it, does not mean it has not happened yet.
Pregnancy is a sign that new life is something which is already taking place, awaiting the moment when God and God alone calls the new life into being.
Psalm 29:8-10 Amplified Bible
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord [a]makes the doe labor and give birth
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple all are saying, “Glory!”
The Lord sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.
When a child is conceived within the womb of the mother, the evidence of this isn’t apparent for a time, even to the women – but changes are already starting.
Psalm 139:13-18 Amplified Bible
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
The body of the mother is already beginning to adjust itself to receive the new life and attach it to the walls of the uterus where it may be nourished by mom as it steadily comes together and grows and grows as God has ordained it to be so.
A women doesn’t become pregnant when there is evidence to support that she is bearing a child, a women becomes pregnant at the conception of this child.
This illustration helps us to understand that the physical evidence always follows the act.
The spiritual always births the physical.
Creations’ redemption is already complete in the spiritual realm and now it is experiencing the labor pains which have started announcing to the reader the physical manifestation of this.
The amazing thing about labor and childbirth is that afterward comes fullness of joy.
The pains and hardship experienced are quickly forgotten once a baby is held in arms.
Countless women cannot recall any details of their labor because the joy of motherhood is so great.
Knowing what this type of suffering produces gives courage to all to endure it.
The same is true with creation.
Expectation of being restored to a perfect sinless existence is enough to endure hardship right now.
Creation is waiting in anticipation for it’s final redemption because it knows the One who promised is faithful.
Today, I join with creation in praising our God, looking forward to that day when I will see him face to face.
May you also join with us in celebration our full redemption through Christ Jesus, Amen!
The First Fruits of the Spirit
Romans 8:23 Amplified Bible
23 And not only this, but we too, who have the first fruits of the Spirit [a joyful indication of the blessings to come], even we groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for [the sign of] our adoption as sons—the redemption and transformation of our body [at the resurrection].
Heart change comes quickly on the heels of Salvation.
This is because at Salvation our entire being and nature is completely changed when we get the Holy Spirit deposited inside of us testifying to the fact that we now belong to the family of God.
The Holy Spirit is given to us as the first fruits of our eternal redemption through Christ Jesus.
This is a foretaste of the blissful things that are to come.
Our bodies long to be clothed with Christ and like creation, we groan inwardly a waiting for this adoption to take place.
If the world and it’s desires held anything over you, once you are born again, the illusions of this world seem to fade away.
Replacing them comes a longing to be reunited with Christ.
Paul talks in detail about this desire.
In 2 Corinthians 5 Paul talks about a inward groaning in which we long to be further clothed and fitted with our heavenly dwelling.
On this earth we long and groan under the burden of this body because we are being fitted with a heavenly body fashioned after Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:2-5).
But in the same way that he is preparing us and making us fit for this heavenly body, the Holy Spirit is given to us as a guarantee of the fulfillment of this promise while on this earth (2 Corinthians 5:5 Amp).
So in this we can rejoice knowing that we have already received the first fruits of our redemption.
The amazing thing about knowing this promise is that we can rest assured of our future with God.
He left nothing up to chance but has done everything to bring restoration to us through his son Jesus.
Today I am so blessed to be called a child of God.
I am so blessed to have the Holy Spirit inside of me to testify to this wonderful truth every moment of the day.
I pray that this scripture based truth will come to bless you mightily today!
In the name of God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Everlasting God, as our hearts yearn and groan within us waiting for the fullness of your kingdom, help us to pray, help us to wait, help us to not be misled by deception, but with undivided hearts look for the true light of your coming. Heavenly Father, thank You that in Christ I have been made a new creation. Thank You that the day is coming when the curse on the whole of Your groaning creation will be lifted. Until that time I pray I may live and work to Your praise and glory in Jesus name I pray,
Dear Father, you have blessed me with so many wonderful blessings. I thank you for each and every one of them. At the same time, dear Father, I do long to be brought into your presence in glory as your child. The pain and heartache of the world, the fragility of my body, and my frustration with my own vulnerability to sin keeps me longing for the day that your Son returns in glory. Until that day, help me as I try to be your holy child, let the Body of Christ be Your Church. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.