Summary: PENTECOST 9(A) - Believers eagerly expect God’s greater glory because earth only offers groaning but heaven provides praising.
BELIEVERS EAGERLY EXPECT GOD’S GREATER GLORY
ROMANS 8:18-25 - August 1, 2004
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
INTRO: Look ahead. What does the future hold? Look ahead so much not often pay attention to present. Today’s society emphasizes uncertainty of future. Today look ahead – not just to a short-term future but to the future that will last forever.
"Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight"(2 CORINTHIANS 5:6,7).
BELIEVERS EAGERLY EXPECT GOD’S GREATER GLORY
I. Earth only offers groaning
II. Heaven provides praising
I. Earth Only Offers Groaning
A. Paul faced many difficulties especially in his earthly ministry.
1. These difficulties meant little to Paul. Verse 18
2. God’s glory greater than any/every earthly non-glorious things.
B. Sin infested not just people – but even planet. Verse 20a
1. Verse 22. Nature itself groans – with earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.
2. World suffers to the very present as result of sin. Verse 20b
C. From first sin all changed beyond every/any/all imagination. World, believers. Verse 23
D. To the present day sin is still powerful in its effect. There are groanings, disappointment,
disgust, discouragement. "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return"(GENESIS 3:19).
E. Work, once a joy, not always so today. At times life, work, even living can be unpleasant.
"So I hated life because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind"(ECCLESIASTES 2:17).
F. None escape sin. None escape death.
"Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death"(JAMES 1:15).
TRANS. Believers expect more. Need to. Ought to. After all only groaning on earth. There is more to life than just earthly living – more than moaning & groaning, grumbling & complaining, worry & fretting. Look beyond. The blessed fact our text expresses is the reassuring truth Heaven Provides Praising.
II. Heaven Provides Praising
A. Paul mentions hope a number of different times in today’s text.
1. More to be expected by creation. Subjected in hope. Verse 21
2. Look forward to revelation and effect of believers on world. Verse 19
B. The world waits. Believers bide their time.
1. Looking to heaven as eagerly expect God’s greater glory. Verse 23b
2. Redemption – present forgiveness. Redemption – future glory.
C. Saved in and by hope. Verse 24a Hope is defined.
1. Hope – eternal. Hope is a glory yet to come. Verse 24b
2. Wait for this hope to be revealed, patiently. Verse 25
D. Note today – patience and hope closely related.
"I wait for the LORD my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning"(PSALM 130:5,6).
E. See groaning because of sin revealed in God’s word. God’s word also frees.
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all"(ISAIAH 53:6).
F. Praise in the glory of heaven guaranteed. Eagerly expect God’s greater glory.
"Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession--to the praise of his glory" (EPHESIANS 1:13b, 14).
CONCL. Fear and worry in the headlines of today. Seems future is very uncertain. Look ahead. Look beyond earthly groaning. Look ahead into heaven itself. Heaven is our home. That is God’s promise. Therefore we eagerly and excitedly look ahead – expecting God’s greater glory.