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Saturday, August 01 2020

Contributor: Alex Kokobili

Introduction
Our last study of Romans 8:1-17 focused on “Life through the Flesh & Life through the Spirit”. The summary of the last three verses helps us to understand that the Spirit of God is not a spirit that ensnares us into slavery, which binds one to fear but that it is through Him we gained adoption as sons and daughters of God. Also, The Holy Spirit confirms that we are now God’s children and by this, we can now share in the glories of God’s kingdom and He calls us sons as long as we keep being led by His Spirit This is because we were adopted as His children not according to the flesh but the Spirit. This means we share in both His sufferings as humans and also share in the fullness of His glory through the Spirit. Our focus now is on Romans 8: 18 -30 with emphasis on the “Present Suffering and the Future Glory”. Suffering is regarded as an unpleasant experience either in the long or short term but we realize that people consider suffering differently based on how a specific situation relates to them. One thing people often say is if God is good, then why do we suffer? But we are encouraged by Apostle Paul's words in Philippians 1:29-28. To define God’s glory is to describe God’s goodness and His wonder as El-Shaddai who is Almighty in all His ways and as believers, we are rewarded with glory each time we prevail in our Christian work and if tarry till the very end, an eternal glory also awaits us.

Verse 18 – A Comparison That Makes Suffering Worth Our While
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

Apostle Paul acknowledges the challenges of staying knitted to Christ is likened to one form of suffering or the other. In previous verses, Paul echoed on the struggles of the flesh and the carnal nature of man. The suffering of these present times is nothing if we endured partaking in the incomparable glory ahead. We must accept that the suffering of this present time is real and Christians should not be ignorant of this. For instance; Christians are regularly mocked for openly confessing their faith, while others are persecuted, and the church as a who is often a victim of government legislations to curtail its influence. Also, some other Christians are faced with the temptation for quick wealth, etc. Regardless of all these situations, we were able to endure for the glory ahead to be revealed in us.

Verses 19-22 – The World Eagerly Waits Our Manifestation
“19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.”

Paul makes it clear that the world now eagerly awaits to see us as God’s children because they realize how difficult it is to be consecrated unto God. For the Christians in this generation to partake of the glory of Christ, we must endure the sufferings of Christ and flee from all forms of evil. The world is subject to ungodliness and evil but now all men who turn to Christ can benefit from the glory ahead if they see Christ in us and turn from all unrighteousness. The glory starts from here on earth but it is a glory unto eternity which is the reason why we have to endure hardship as good soldiers of Christ (2Tim 2:3). Be aware, of the silent cry of those
perishing that we cannot hear which is the yearning for help, freedom, and liberty from the corruption of the flesh but who will set them free if we delay the manifestation of God’s glory? (Romans 10:4). But the world around can’t do it by itself because it lost hope in a generation that couldn’t unveil God to them. Part of the challenge of this generation is the unwillingness to serve God, violence, technological arrogance, manipulation of evil, etc., but it now depends on our unveiling to set the people around us from the bondage of this world. Paul likened the expectation from us as God’s sons who are surrounded by a generation that needs direction to be that of groaning and labour pangs (intensive pain during childbirth).

Verses 23-25 – Desiring to manifest God’s Glory
“23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.”

It is not enough to be a Christian, but we must desire to manifest the Glory of God. This glory is not an imagination, but that our lives portray God’s goodness all the time till the point of the rapture (At this point we are transformed from our carnal nature to glory). We must spiritually see the glory ahead, and endure all the temptations, shame and be unshaken in our faith. Hebrews 12: 1-2, tells us about how Christ despised the earthly humiliation for the glory ahead. Paul himself had to wait in perseverance for glory ahead which is the ultimate reward for all who finish their earthly race in Christ in 2Tim 4: 7-9. This should be the attitude of a Christian soldier who endures all situations (the good, bad, and ugly roads in life) without been dismissed from the Lord’s army and he/she is eventually rewarded here on earth from God’s gloriousness and most importantly with God’s eternal glory which is the ultimate goal

Verses 26-27 – The Holy Spirit Helps Us to Pray
“26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

As sons of God who have been redeemed to reveal God’s glory to this generation, we must embrace God’s will all times because he will make all things beautiful in its season. It’s an irony Christians forget that we are expected to tarry before God till the very end. For instance, 1Peter 5:10, we learn that the Holy Spirit sees the genuineness of our hearts and helps us if we are willing to persevere. Christ our High Priest was also tempted like us as it is written in Hebrews 4:15, but Christ prevailed. Let us always endeavour to ask the Holy Spirit for help, as we cannot overcome the world by motivational words but through a Holy Spirit filled and controlled life. Then, the Holy Spirit helps us to pray in accordance with God's will and gives us the grace to live a victorious life in Christ.

Verses 28-30 – God Makes All Things Work Together
“28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

God is always ready to help us get His best in life and make every aspect of our earthly pilgrimage to work for our good if we love Him and stay in His purpose whether in good or bad times. It’s God's will for us to manifest the image of Jesus here on earth because the world is waiting for us to unveil God’s glory as sons adopted in the similitude of Christ. Therefore, let us not feel discouraged or ashamed in displaying His love when we suffer all sorts as Christians, for God will eventually make it work out for His glory at the end of the day. Paul himself had unpleasant experiences in his apostolic ministry and voyages but he endured at all times. We can be assured that tarrying and discomfort for the sake of holding fast in our salvation will eventually make us perfect unto His glory - James 1:2-4 (2 Count it all joy, my brothers,2 when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing).

In Conclusion
As Christians, we must strive for the glory ahead, and what a shame if we fail to unveil God’s glory to the world around us. Paul’s love for the glory ahead cared less even to the point of death, sickness, or shame, etc., (Rom 8:35). Let us be aware that the creation is subject to eternal destruction if we don’t manifest God’s glory for them to be saved but if we rather join them to sin, it will be a total loss for us and God could raise another generation that will unveil His glory to His people. Our desire should not be to live on this earth forever but for our bodies to be transformed unto His eternal glory whenever He comes for us and all the other saints (Romans 8:23, Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, redemption of our body).

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 09:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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