Summary: Romans 8:18-25 Corrupted Creation

Romans 8:18-25

Corrupted Creation

Our family moved to Queensland in 1979 when I was in Grade 5.

We moved to Brisbane.

One of the things that stuck out to us

a strong memory I have from my childhood

is that when we arrived

people talked about



What happened in 1974?

Now I wasn’t in Brisbane in 1974

I was just a young kid in Adelaide in 1974.

So I never saw those 1974 floods.

But after we moved to Qld in 1979

we never stopped hearing about the 74 floods

even though it was a full 5 years after the event!

The number – 1974

it became synomous with the word “apocalypse” for Queenslanders.

It was the bogeyman

the ultimate disaster

1974 became almost mythical in character.

The big fear.

And what have we seen this last week?


Except I suppose now 1974 won’t be referred to as much anymore

1974 will be replaced by


A future generation of Brisbanites and Queenslanders

will grow up in fear of that dreaded number

- 20-11.

Friends we have experienced unbelievable scenes this week.

This time last week

we thought Queensland had been through the wringer

Chinchilla flooded

Bundaberg flooded

Rocky flooded

an area greater than France and Germany combined

- under water.

a disaster.


But this time last week we couldn’t have imagined that what had happened up to then

was only the tip of the iceberg.

Who can forget those images from Toowoomba

of that wall of water streaming through the CBD

tossing cars around like matchbox cars.

It looked like something out of a Hollywood movie

it was hard to believe it was real.

Who can forget the tragedy of the Lockyer Valley?

Towns like Grantham, Helidon, Murphy’s Creek?

Virtually swept away

houses uprooted and carted for miles

- with people in them.

Unimaginable scenes.

And that wasn’t all.

Ipswich, then Brisbane

hit by 1974 type floods.



The state is in shock

The nation is in shock.

I personally am in shock.

And we’ve got the world’s attention

Headlines on BBC, CNN

those with friends and family overseas

have no doubt been contacted by them

asking if we are okay.

And in the midst of it all

we’re aware that something is wrong.

Where did all this water come from?

What has gone wrong?


the clouds, the rain

those things that are supposed to feed us

keep us alive

by making our crops grow

have instead unleashed their fury on us.

the rain that should be feeding us

is killing us.

What is wrong?

What has gone wrong with the creation?

Why is the creation corrupted?

And you know

for us

this disaster

is shockingly close to home.

Floods aren’t new

Last year who can forget the massive floods in Pakistan

where 2000 perished

And even now

while Brisbane floods

Rio de Janiero is also flooding

and over 500 people have perished.

But as tragic as the floods in Pakistan are

and the one in Rio at the moment

as tragic as volcano eruptions in Indonesia

earthquakes in Haiti and Chile

we watch those on the news

but they are unfamiliar places

they are unfamiliar people.

But our floods

they are close to the bone.

Most of us have been to Toowoomba

many of us have walked those streets where the flash floods were.

Someone in our church

was telling me they’d been in that very spot only a few days before the flood hit.

Most of us have driven the Warrego Hwy between Brisbane and Toowoomba

we’ve passed through towns like Grantham and Helidon.

And most of us

perhaps all of us

know someone in Toowomba or the Lockyer Valley

or Bundy or Rocky

or one of the other many places affected.

And most of us probably know someone

in Brisbane.

Some, like me

have lived in Brisbane for many years

to see familiar sites,

even suburbs where I’ve lived,

under water

to hear of friends, my sister


It hits home.

And it hits home even more

because we too here in Gympie

were in the middle of it as well.

We’ve been affected too

we saw the Mary River rise

to almost a km wide.

Something is wrong with the creation.

Who’s fault is it?

Who was responsible?

Anna Bligh said,

"Mother Nature has unleashed something shocking out of the Toowoomba region,"

and then after the waters in Brisbane started to subside she said:

"I hope and pray that Mother Nature is leaving us alone for us to get on with the job of cleaning up and recovering,"

So was it Mother Nature that is responsible for all this?

Others said that we are in the lap of the gods.

Was it the weather gods that were responsible?

Others said the floods are of biblical proportions.

If so, is it God’s fault?

And if so,

Why does He allow these things to happen?

Today we are going to answer that question.

Please open your Bibles

Romans 8:18-25 pg 944.

This is a passage

that talks about the creation

and how it has been corrupted.

We are going today to look at these things:

Why is creation corrupted?

Will creation always be corrupted?

and where is your focus in your life

- this life, or the next?

Let’s have a look at our text.

Romans 818 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Already in verse 18 we see a few things


Paul, who wrote Romans,

recognises that in this present time we have sufferings.

Sometimes in Australia we don’t realise that

most of the time

most, but not all of us, live fairly well off lives.

we have enough food on the table

petrol for our cars

we never question if we can get our basic needs.

but now in the last few days

we’ve seen what empty shelves are like.


the majority of the world’s population

doesn’t know if they are going to get food today.

And throughout history

most people have never had it as good as us Aussies do in our current era.

In fact,

the last few days here

hard to find petrol

empty shelves at the shops

terrible roads

reminded me a lot of what normal life in many poorer countries is like!

Yet even in Australia

with all our wealth

with all our mod-cons and technology

we are still at the mercy of the elements

and even when the elements don’t batter us

we are still at the mercy of our mortal bodies

which will one day break down and die.

this time, this age

as it says in Romans

is an age of suffering.

But the sufferings of this age have got nothing

on the wonderful glory that will be revealed to us.

That word “revealed”

it’s the same word that gives the book of Revelation its name

- αποκαλυπτω

That is

one day in the future

not in this age

but in the coming age

the age to come

there will be glory

which we will participate in.

and that glory

is so wonderful

that the sufferings of this world






will not compare to how wonderful that future is.

Now let’s look at the next verse:

19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.

Now in the Greek

the sense of eager longing in this verse is really really strong.

Verse 19 literally translated reads something like:

The deep, eager longing of the creation waits expectantly for the revealing of the sons of God.

And the sense of expectation comes from a word that means to crane your neck forward

trying to see something

the creation is eagerly, expectantly, anxiously, awaiting for the revealing of the sons of God.


Why is it eagerly awaiting the revealing of the sons of God?

Well if we jump to verse 21 it says:

21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Ah, now we see the picture.

The creation has been in bondage

- the word literally means “slavery”

the creation has been in bondage – slavery – to corruption

it still is

- and awaits the freedom that will come with the glory of the children of God.

Well, here it mentions the children of God again.

So now we know why the creation eagerly awaits the revealing of the sons, the children of God.

The reasons is

that when these children of God are revealed,

then the creation will be released from its slavery of corruption

and be free

and no longer corrupted.

Well that answers that question

but raises two more:

who are these children of God?

well we’ll hold off answering that question till later.

But the other question is

what is this corruption?

And why is the creation corrupted?

Well that is answered for us if we go back one verse to verse 20

20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it,

Here we learn that the creation was subjected to futility

That means - if was subjected at a point in time to futility

it means that there once was a time when it was not subject to futility

a time when it was not corrupted.

a time when creation helped us live

and didn’t turn around and try to kill us as it has over the last few weeks.

And that time was the time before the fall

what we learned about when we looked at Genesis 1 in October

Remember when we looked at Genesis 1

we learned that God had made the world and everything in it




a paradise where creation always worked for us

never against us

and our own bodies were not subject to decay

we humans had the potential to live forever.

And then what happened?

we sinned.

God gave our ancestors Adam and Eve a choice

to obey Him

or to question God, to doubt God

and to obey the devil.

What did they choose?

they spurned God’s command

and instead of obeying God

they obeyed the devil.

And sin

that is – rebellion against God

entered the human race.

But not only did it enter the human race

the effects of that sin were so great

that creation was affected also.

We read in Gen 3

that God cursed the snake – the devil

and the man and the woman

because of their sin

their rebellion against Him.

but let us listen to part of that curse

Gen 317 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife

and have eaten of the tree

of which I commanded you,

‘You shall not eat of it,’

cursed is the ground because of you;

Notice that not only is the human race cursed

but also the ground is cursed.

And why is the ground cursed?

Well, as it says here in Gen 3

“the ground it cursed because of you.”

Because of Adam

Because of his sin and rebellion against God

the ground

and the rest of creation is cursed.

And that’s exactly what we read in Romans 8:20

The creation was subject to futility

- but not willingly.

but because of Him who subjected it.

Who subjected the creation to futility?

it was God

but why did He do it?

It was because of mankind’s sin and rebellion against God.

The subjection of creation to futility

the corruption of creation

was a by-product of the consequence of our sin

and the judgement that it brought.

So that’s why creation is corrupted.

That’s why we’ve had terrible floods these last few weeks.

That’s why Grantham is all but destroyed

why friends and family have lost their houses in Brisbane or Bundy or Rocky or elsewhere in Qld.

Creation has been corrupted

and subject to futility by God

but the reason is because of us

because of our sin.

And I guess that leads us onto a small diversion.

Some say these floods and other natural disasters

are the judgement of God.

Australia, or Queensland, is being judged because of our sin.

Now is this correct?

or isn’t it?

Well the answer is – in one sense yes

in another sense – no.

It is true in the sense that any natural disaster

is the result of a corrupted creation.

and as we’ve just seen

creation is corrupted because of our sin.

So in one sense,

the answer is yes

it is part of the judgement of God.

But it is a specific judgement?

Did the fact that Grantham get hit harder than say Kingaroy

is that because Grantham is more sinful than Kingaroy?

Or the fact that we Qld got flooded in 2011

- is that because we’ve committed some extra bad sin lately

something worse than we normally do?

After all,

don’t we read in the OT of specific judgements against specific nations

because of specific sins?

And that’s true

for example, in Ezekiel God prophesies against Israel

He lists very specific sins that the Israelites have committed

that bring judgement upon Israel for their sin

and that judgement was that they were conquered by another people and carried off into exile

For example, w read in

Ezekiel 22:13-15

Ezek 2213 “Behold, I strike my hand at the dishonest gain that you have made, and at the blood that has been in your midst. 14 Can your courage endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the nations and disperse you through the countries, and I will consume your uncleanness out of you.

The sin is specific

That is- the Israelites had been involved in dishonest gain – cheating people

they had been shedding blood – killing others.

and the judgement is specific

– they would be scattered and dispersed among other nations and peoples

So it is perfectly possible that the floods we have just experienced

may be the result of a specific judgement for a specific sin or sins.



we have to be careful in jumping to conclusions in this area.

You see, we have it revealed in the Bible why Israel suffered this specific punishment mentioned in Ezekiel.

that is

- God has told us why.

But we don’t have Ezekiel with us in our midst

or another prophet like him.

So while there may some direct cause and effect here with the Qld floods

the fact is

that God has not told us that direct link

and so if we postulate some cause and effect for our current disaster

it is pure speculation

we just don’t know.

And if we don’t know

we should avoid speculation.

In fact, the Bible tells us we should avoid speculating about things we don’t know.

You might ask – where does it do that?

Well you see

in Jesus’ time it was very common to blame any disaster

or indeed disease or disability

on a specific sin.

Once some people told Jesus about some people who had suffered a natural disaster and it is interesting to read Jesus’ response.

Luke 13:1 There were some present at that very time who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 2 And he answered them, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? 3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? 5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Two disaster are actually mentioned here

some Galileans who had lost their lives under the Roman governor – Pilate.

and 18 people who had been killed when a tower fell on them.

The people at that time assumed that these people had lost their lives because of some specific sin

But Jesus says

no, they aren’t worse sinners than others who didn’t perish..

No worse.

But were they sinners?


but so were those who weren’t killed.

and Jesus closes by saying,

“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

And we’ll get back to that later

- the need to repent.

So I hope that answers that diversion question

that is

are we suffering in Qld because of some specific sin?

Well, perhaps

but God hasn’t told us

so to say we are or to even name a specific sin

is pure speculation

which is something we should avoid.

But what is certain

is that we did suffer in a general sense

because of our sins.

we suffered because

the creation is corrupted

subject to futility

because of our sin.

But will it always be like that?

The good news is:

no it won’t!

The creation is eagerly awaiting the day when the children of God will be revealed.

And it says in

Rom 823 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.

So it’s not just creation who is eagerly awaiting for this day

but it is us too

those who have the first fruits of the Spirit.

We groan inwardly

we know something is wrong with our world

yes we have the firstfruits of the Spirit

that is

we have been born again

we have come into relationship with God through Christ

we have the assurance of sins forgiven

we have these firstfruits of the Spirit


we still live in a fallen, corrupted world.

we suffer the effects of that.

we still in mortal bodies with decay, get sick and die

we still struggle with sin in our own lives

and so groan inwardly

we eagerly await the redemption of our bodies

the adoption as sons.

Our adoption as sons.

And that last bit answer that question we had before

“who are the sons, the children of God”?

It is us.

That is,

those who have trusted in Jesus

those who have repented of their sins

those who are born again by His Spirit.

Those who live for Him

those who make Jesus the priority of your life.

we are adopted as God’s sons.

We are the sons, the children of God.

And one day

Jesus will return

Then our bodies will be redeemed

we will know in full measure our adoption as God’s children.

and the creation will be set free from its slavery to corruption

no longer will it try and kill us.

Brothers and sisters

what a week we’ve had.

a week of tragedy

and a week of seeing what a corrupted creation can do.

But here in Romans we learn

that this will continue until Jesus returns

we learn why creation is corrupted

because of our sin.

And we learn that one day it will be redeemed

when the sons of God will be revealed.

And we also learn that the creation eagerly awaits that day

and we learn that those who are God’s

also eagerly await that day

we await it, not just a little bit

but we groan inwardly as we await that day.

Which leads to the question

do you really groan inwardly for that day?

Or are you too much caught up in today’s life?

But it is foolish to be caught up in the things of this life.

Some of the most prestigious properties in Brisbane were waterfront houses

which are now devasted.

People who had banked everything on this world

lost it all.

And even if you don’t lose your material possessions in a flood

the Bible tells us that the things of this world are passing away.

Only God’s heavenly kingdom will last for eternity.

Do you think about eternity?

Do you eagerly await that golden city?

do you yearn for that day

when you will be sinless?

Do you yearn for that day

when there will be no tears or crying or sorrow

no more floods, earthquakes, cyclones, droughts?

Do you yearn for that day

when we will be in total communion with our creator God

God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit?

Do you yearn for it?

If you are really God’s child

then you should yearn for it.

And if you are here

and you don’t know God

if you haven’t yet recognised that you are a sinner

if you haven’t yet recognised that you are in rebellion against God

if you haven’t yet repented

that is,

asked God to forgive you of you sin

which He can do because of what Jesus did by dying on the cross for us.

If you haven’t trusted in Jesus

and asked God the Holy Spirit to come into your life and change you

so that you are born again.

If you haven’t done that

then you should

and you should immediately after the service ask me or someone else here

how to get right with God.

Because remember what Jesus said in Luke 13:5

“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

Some people have suffered great loss in these floods

others haven’t suffered at all.

But regardless of how much suffering we have in this life

or how much we escape it

every one of us will one day meet his or her maker

- are you ready for that?



There are many questions after an event like this.

“where is God in all this?”

Sometimes events like this can shake our faith in God

but on the contrary

The Bible

God’s holy word

tells us plain and clear why these events happen.

The creation was created perfect.

Then we sinned

and our sin affected not just us

but the creation

and because of our sin

the creation was corrupted

and so we experience natural disasters

and decay.

But one day

Jesus will return and set up His eternal kingdom

where there will be no tears, no crying, no pain

and creation

- and we who are God’s

we will be set free from corruption

and obtain the freedom of the glory of God.

In the midst of despair

in the midst of anguish

in the midst of loss

we have a hope

as it says in verse 24

Romans 824 For in this hope we were saved.

Let us now sing of that hope

as we close with the song

“It is well with my soul”

A song that firmly places our hope in God

and of a perfect day in the future

while we travel in the midst of this corrupted world.