Eagerly Awaiting

10 April 2022 AM – Romans 8:18-25 – Ro2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: When two young people are in love and are engaged to be married, they eagerly await the special day of their wedding. They count the days and the hours until they say, “I do.” They dream about the occasion. They talk to everyone about it. They are truly excited.
Similarly, there is an exciting day coming, more exciting than the grandest wedding, which all of God’s creation awaits. It is that day when all will again be perfect. God will make things like they were in Eden.
Transition: Our text gives us encouraging information about the eagerly awaited perfection that I want to show you today.
  1. God will restore glorious perfection (v.18)
a.         Present sufferings are not enjoyable
1)         Last week, we learned in verse 17 that being a joint-heir with Christ means that we not only will share His future glory, but we presently must expect to share the suffering He endured on this earth.
2)         Neither Paul nor the Lord discounted the reality of unpleasant sufferings in this life. There is nothing pleasant about heartaches, sorrow, sickness, pain, loss, or rejection. Paul reminded us in (2Tim 3:12) “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
b.         A glorious perfection is ahead (v.18)
1)         We must account as Paul did that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glories that are ahead (v.18).
2)         It is interesting to note that the word translated “worthy” simply means weighty. In Bible culture, weight represented value. If a bag of grain, a basket of vegetables, or a wedge of gold was heavy, it was of greater value than a lighter quantity of the same.
3)         Yes, sufferings in this life are sometimes weighty, but when compared with the glories God has reserved for us in a perfect eternity, our sufferings are light.
2.        All creation eagerly awaits perfection (v.19-22)
a.         Every creature (all creation) is suffering (v.19)
1)         We sing the chorus, “God made everything, 6,000 years ago in just six short days. By His mighty power and His spoken word, God made everything.”
2)         You may not realise it, but nothing that God created is the same today as it was on the day of creation. Everything that God created including the animals, bugs, birds, fish, earth, stars, planets and man no longer reach the perfection that God originally intended them to achieve.
3)         We live in a broken, imperfect, sin-cursed world. As a result, God tells us that all creation is eagerly awaiting the day when sin will be no more and perfection will be restored.
4)         One commentator compared the awaiting of the great change God will perform in a believer’s life to that of a fireworks display. The fireworks, before being launched, are plain and unattractive, but when they explode in the air, their display is awesome. (See Constable) All creation is awaiting the awesome display when God restores perfection.
b.         Adam’s sin deprived the entire creation (v.20).
1)         Neither Adam and Eve nor the rest of creation volunteered for the loss of perfection and sin’s curse (v.20).
2)         God subjected humans and all creation to the curse. Perfection was gone, yet God did not leave man and creation without hope. The loss of perfection would not last for eternity. One day, God will deliver all creation from the bondage of corruption (v.21).
3)         Notice how Paul describes the effect on creation (v.22). Since the day Adam and Eve sinned until today, humans and all creation have been groaning together and suffering birth pains together (v.22). Each of you mothers can understand this far better than the rest of us.
4)         We are not alone in the trials and sufferings in this sin-cursed world. Life is painful for humans and creation alike. Paul was not suggesting that we become “tree huggers”. He was simply stating that we share the loss of perfection with every part of creation.
5)         Praise God, there is hope. One day, God will destroy sin and perfection will return. We must remember that the word “hope” in the Bible is not a wish, but a confident expectation. It is a sure promise from God what we believe we will receive.
3.        God’s children eagerly await perfection (v.23-25)
a.         This hope is not just for creation (v.23).
1)         It belongs also to us who have the firstfruit of the Spirit.
a)         Do not jump over this as a trivial comment.
b)         God required that Jews give Him the firstfruit from their gardens and fields. The “firstfruit” was an indication that much more was to come.
c)         God has given to every true believer the firstfruit of the Holy Spirit as a testimony that there is much more to come. Having the Holy Spirit living in us and helping us through life is a foretaste of the glories that are yet to come.
d)         Living in perfection for all eternity with the Lord is difficult for our mortal minds to grasp, but one day it will be reality.
2)         We are waiting for the adoption – the redemption of our body. If you are “in Christ”, you have been adopted by God; however, God has not yet brought you into His presence. He has redeemed your spirit, but your body is still awaiting redemption and perfection (Eph 1:13-14).
b.         We have not yet received our hope (v.24-25)
1)         For we are saved by hope. Literally, “For to this hope we have been saved.” In other words, God’s salvation forgives our sin, removes our punishment, and grants us the hope of living in perfection for all eternity with God. That is our exciting hope.
2)         We are confidently hoping for something not yet seen or received (v.24).
3)         Paul reasons that hope is not hope if we have already seen and received the object desired. Therefore, the object desired – our eternal perfection with God – is clearly yet future.
4)         However, if we hope for the desired object promised by God that is not yet received, we will patiently wait for it.
5)         This brings us to the thrust of the passage, life may be difficult, you may be suffering, hardships may abound, but there is hope ahead. One day we will live in a perfect environment and be sinless like Christ. (1John 3:2) “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (Phil 3:21) “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Rev 21:4) “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Rev 21:5) “And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new...” (1Pet 1:13) “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
Conclusion: This morning, if you are weary of the pain, suffering, loss, heartaches, and struggles of this life, you are not alone. All creation feels the same way. One day, God will remove sin and restore perfection for all eternity. Compared with that glorious future, the greatest sufferings of this life will seem light and of little concern.
            One of the best things we can do when weighted down with pain and cares is to follow God’s counsel found in (Col 3:1-3) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
            If you have not yet trusted Christ to save your soul, I urge you to do so. You do not want to miss the glorious future God is preparing for believers.
Song: When We See Christ – 149