Summary: Christians are to live in elpizo hope; always expecting and anticipating the glory of God to happen!
How many of you have heard the term “Health and Wealth Gospel” or “Prosperity Gospel”??
This type of “gospel” basically states that once you believe in Jesus Christ, everything will go well with you. This “gospel” will state that if you’re poor or sick, you must be weak in your faith! This “Prosperity Gospel” is preached out there today! Does the Bible teach this? Is this how we are to live? We will touch on this subject as we continue our study of the Letter to the Romans.
We noted last week that the letter is well organized with the basics of the faith for both Jews and Gentiles. The letter ends with Chapters 12-16 with instructions on how to specifically live a Christian.
Romans 6-8 describes who Christians are:
Rom 6:8-14 “Alive in Christ and alive with Christ!”
Rom 6:15-7:6 “Christians are slaves to Righteousness!”
Rom 7:7-8:17 “Christians have 2 natures in conflict.”
Today from Rom 8:17-25, we will note that Christians are “living in Hope”! What does this mean and how do we apply it to our lives?
Please open your Bibles to Romans 8. Before reading our passage, let’s pray our commitment to God’s Word…..
Read along with me Romans 8:17-25……..
The Letter to the Romans emphasizes the fact that A Christian belongs to God for eternity! Romans 14:8 states, So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.
Romans 8:15-16 declares that Believers of Jesus Christ are children of God!
And so we read in Romans 8:17, Christians are heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ! What does it mean to be an heir of someone??
An heir is someone who inherits or has a right of inheritance! And so, if Christians are heirs of God, Christians will inherit what God has!
What does God have??
Christians will receive what God has for eternity! And God has everything!!
And Christians are co-heirs with Jesus Christ.
Christians will receive what Jesus received! And v17 reminds us that Jesus Christ received sufferings and glory! Christians will receive sufferings and glory as well!
Based on this Bible passage, you can throw away the health and wealth Gospel out the window! Now of course, Jesus’ sufferings were unique for He is God and His sufferings were meant for our benefit and in obedience to a Holy, Perfect, Loving God!
Do you remember when Jesus was praying and preparing Himself to face the ultimate suffering of death? Luke 22:42 states that Jesus prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." Jesus knew how hard the suffering was going to be and He knew He had to die, but He trusted God by obeying. How could Jesus trust God? Jesus knew God is Holy, Perfect, and Loving! Jesus lived and died with the hope of glory from God!
Can we live and suffer a little for a little while as we wait for the glory of God to happen in our lives? Do we really trust God that everything will eventually go perfectly for us Christians?
Now, what kind of sufferings will Christians have and how are we to view these sufferings?
Look again at v18 with me………
Christians will face sufferings here on earth; but based on v18, what should Christians be focusing on??
This is the main point of the message for us this morning: In spite of sufferings, Christians are to live in the hope of Glory to come!
Consider our “Salvation Chart” again…… (show slide)
We are saved from the eternal judgment of God when we accepted Jesus Christ as our only savior and God. Christians are being saved as they are being sanctified, becoming more and more like Christ as they yield to the Holy Spirit! And in the near future, Christians will be glorified, completely changed forever in heaven!
As Christians live their lives on earth, we are to be yielding to the Holy Spirit within us and be focused on the glory to come for us!
What about these sufferings that Christians will face?
Romans 8:19-23 gives a commentary on these sufferings. According to God, is the universe and everything in it evolving to be better and better??
God tells us in Romans 8:19-23 that the entire creation of God including the universe is eagerly waiting for God’s revelation! The whole creation is frustrated with the bondage of decay!
The whole creation is groaning with pain! The Letter to the Romans was written 2000 years ago; how do we know it is the Word of God? We are witnessing today what God said in Romans 8:19-23, aren’t we? What are some examples of the truth that the things in the universe are decaying??
What ever God says will happen and we know the Letter to the Romans is God’s word because what was written has happened, is happening, and will happen!