Romans 8:17-25

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Text: Romans 8:17-25

SUFFERINGS AND GLORY

INTRODUCTION:

In Romans 8:17-25 we see that all the suffering believers may be called upon to endure will be worthwhile when compared to the hope that lies before us.

Anything worthwhile is going to be costly. It costs a great deal to earn a good reputation, but it is worth it. It may cost you a great deal to buy a home, but it is worth it. It may cost you dearly to buy a newer car or truck, but most of us think it is worth it occasionally. A college education is costly, but it is worthwhile. Living for the Lord may be costly, but it is well worth it. Teaching our own children is costly, but it is worth it.

One of the costs of living for the Lord is that we may suffer for it, but it is well worth the glory that will follow.

We see -

I. THE ASSOCIATION OF SUFFERING WITH GLORY - 8:17-18

Romans 8:17-18 - (17) And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (18) For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

And continues the thought from the previous verse.

If children is a condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true.

If is, therefore, understood in the sense of because, since, inasmuch as, or assuming that.

Of God must be supplied with children from the previous verse; and we are must also be supplied by the reader so that, if Paul had completed the phrase, it would read, Because (since, inasmuch as, or assuming that) we are children of God. If the condition is true, the conclusion, then heirs, is also true.

Then heirs is also heirs, and we are must again be supplied so that the completed phrase would be, We are also heirs. If we are God's children, we are also God's heirs.

And joint-heirs with Christ. The fact that we are children of God means that we are also going to be joint-heirs of God, fellow heirs or co-heirs, along with Christ. We as believers are going to inherit along with Christ.

If so be is if indeed, if after all, since, or since indeed. It does not suggest a condition for our inheritance which may or may not be fulfilled; rather, it indicates something that is definite. Just as Christ suffered for us, we also will suffer with Him.

That we suffer with him, i.e. we are suffering with Christ, in order that we may also be glorified together with Him or in order that we might share in His glory.

A. There is a reason for suffering

I Peter 1:3-9 - (3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (4) To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (5) Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (6) Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: (8) Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (9) Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

Romans 5:1-5 - 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

James 1:2-4 - 2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

We see -

B. How others have suffered

II Corinthians 11:16 - 16 I say again, Let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. 17 That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also. 19 For ye suffer fools gladly, seeing ye yourselves are wise. 20 For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devour you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. 21 I speak as concerning reproach, as though we had been weak. Howbeit whereinsoever any is bold, (I speak foolishly,) I am bold also. 22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: 33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.

Hebrews 11:35-37 - (35) Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: (36) And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: (37) They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

Not only do we see the association of suffering with glory, but we also see -

C. The disproportion of suffering to glory - 8:18

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Verse 18 is used to explain verse 17.

For I reckon is, For I think, For I believe, or For I am of the opinion that. Its tense indicates that it is Paul's habitual thought rather than just an occasional one.

What he believes is that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

The sufferings of this present time refers to whatever sufferings, persecutions, or afflictions believers are experiencing in this lifetime.

Are not worthy to be compared means are not comparable.

With the glory which shall be revealed in us. It means that there is no comparison between the sufferings we endure in this life and the glory which we shall share with Christ. The glory will be far better.

This glory will be revealed in us by God. It speaks of the completion of our salvation, also known as our glorification.

Therefore, believers should not be distressed by any sufferings they may endure in this life. They should, rather, view these sufferings in the light of the glory which they will receive in heaven. It will be worth it all.

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

There is -

II. THE HOPE OF THE CREATION - 8:19-21

Romans 8:19-21 - (19) For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (20) For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, (21) Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Verse 19 is used to explain verse 18, why the future glory believers will all experience far outweighs the sum total of all the suffering believers will ever experience in this lifetime.

The earnest expectation is the eager expectation.

It is the specific expectation of the creature, i.e. of the creation. It means that the eager expectation the entire creation has rather than an expectation some portion of the creation has.

Waiteth for means is eagerly awaiting.

What the creation is eagerly awaiting is the manifestation of the sons of God.

The manifestation is the revelation and is a direct reference to the glory which will be revealed in us from the previous verse.

God's glory will be revealed in us; and we, the sons of God, will be revealed to the creation. The creation itself is eagerly awaiting this event when the creation will see believers in their glorified bodies.

Romans 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.

Verse 20 was written in order to explain verse 19, why the creation is eagerly awaiting the glorification of believers..

The creature is the creation and was referred to in the previous verse. It includes all things in the creation lower than man.

Genesis 1:31 - And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Was made subject to is was subordinated to, and its tense indicates that its action occurred at one point in time in the past. In Genesis 3 as part of the curse following Adam's sin in eating the forbidden fruit, the creation was subordinated to vanity, i.e. to emptiness, futility, or purposelessness.

Not willingly means not gladly. It was not the choice of the creation but came as the result of Adam's sin.

But introduces a statement in strong contrast to the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly.

By reason of is because of or on account of.

Because of him who hath subjected is because of the one who subjected or because of the one who subordinated and refers to God the Father.

The same refers to the creation and is understood in the sense of it.

In hope represents all that the creation had left. It could only hope for the promised redemption that would eventually come.

Genesis 3:17-19 - 17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; 19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Romans 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Verse 21 was written to show the reason the entire creation eagerly awaits seeing the believers in their glorified bodies at the rapture. It is because the creation itself will at that time be freed from the corruption brought about by sin.

The creature is the creation.

Itself intensifies the creation, thereby, emphasizing it.

Also suggests in addition to saved people being glorified.

Shall be delivered is shall be set free or shall be freed.

What the creation shall be delivered from (or freed from) is the bondage of corruption. The creation was corrupted or ruined by sin, and the creation has been involuntarily bound in this condition ever since and unable to do anything to change it.

What the creation has been delivered unto is the glorious liberty of the children of God. It is the glorious freedom which belongs to the children of God. Saved people were once the slaves of sin but were delivered. The creation awaits the same deliverance.

III. THE HOPE OF BELIEVERS - 8:22-25

Romans 8:22-25 - (22) For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. (23) And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (24) For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? (25) But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Verse 22 pictures the creation eagerly awaiting the glorification of believers as a woman ready to give birth eagerly awaiting the birth of her baby.

We know describes a present experience. There is no doubt about it. We are absolutely sure of something.

What we know is that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

The whole creation means all the creation.

Creation is the same word translated creature in verses 19, 20, and 21.

Since the whole is used in this verse to describe creation, it includes humans as is made clear by verse 23; whereas, in verses 19-21 the creature included only that part of the creation lower than man.

Groaneth . . . together means laments together, while travaileth in pain means is in travail with or suffers together. It pictures the creation in labor and ready to give birth.

Together goes with both groaneth and travaileth in pain.

Until now is until the present time.

Romans 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

Verse 23 continues the thought of verse 22.

Not only . . . but . . . also emphasizes that this is the whole creation including human beings.

Ourselves is intensive and means we ourselves as the next clause makes evident.

Which have is literally having and is best understood in the sense of because we have.

The firstfruits of the Spirit is the firstfruits, that is the Spirit, which means that the Holy Spirit is the firstfruits, i.e. the firstfruits of the full redemption awaiting the believer. Believers have already had a sampling of their complete salvation by having God's Holy Spirit dwelling in them, and they want the rest.

Even heightens the emphasis. It could also be understood in the sense of also.

We ourselves is emphatic.

Groan means are groaning or are sighing. This internal groaning represents an inward desire.

Waiting for is literally awaiting eagerly and implies while we are eagerly awaiting.

What believers are eagerly awaiting is the adoption. The does not appear before adoption in the Greek text. Therefore, it is literally, while we are eagerly awaiting adoption.

This adoption is specifically defined by the words introduced by to wit; which means that is or more specifically.

The adoption we are eagerly awaiting is the redemption of our body, which refers to the completion of our salvation.

Redemption originally meant the buying back of a slave or captive, making him free by payment of a ransom. The unbeliever is a slave to sin. When he is saved, he is set free from this slavery. However, he is still plagued with an old sin nature. The redemption of the body will take place at the rapture when we will be made completely like Jesus because we will see Him as He is (I John 3:2 ). At that point in time our redemption will be complete, but at the present time it is not yet finished.

We are eagerly awaiting the redemption of our body.

Body is singular, and our is plural. This indicates that it is true of each and every believer; each believer is eagerly awaiting the redemption of his own body.

Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

We are saved is we were saved. Its tense indicates that its action views the salvation of all believers as a whole.

By hope can mean by means of hope. If so, it is by means of hope in Christ's atoning work on Calvary's cross. It can instead mean in hope, i.e. in hope of what God is doing for us in Christ. Both things are true.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast with we are saved by hope.

Hope that is seen is not hope means that, when we can see something, it is actually present. We do not have to hope for it because it is already here. Therefore, it is not really hope.

Paul's explanation begins with for.

What a man seeth is literally what someone sees or what anyone sees.

Why doth he yet hope for? is a very logical question. If one can see something because it is present, he no longer has any need to hope for it. He already has it. We have not yet received the redemption of the body; but we are hoping for it; and this hope is certain to come. We will not be disappointed.

Romans 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

Verse 25 states a contrast with verse 24 as indicated by but.

If we hope for that we see not is a condition which, for sake of discussion, is assumed to be true.

Therefore, if may be understood in the sense of because, since, inasmuch as, or assuming that.

Both hope and see indicate continuous or habitual action. Therefore, we hope for that we see not means we are hoping for what we are not seeing.

If the condition is true, the conclusion, then do we with patience wait for it, will also be true.

With patience is through patience and indicates intermediate agency. We are the ones waiting for it (i.e. for what we do not see), and we are doing it through patience.

Patience is not a passive frame of mind as is suggested by its twenty-first century usage. It is to be understood in the sense of endurance, steadfastness, fortitude, perseverance, or patient endurance.

Wait for is the same word translated waiteth in verse 19 and waiting for in verse 23. It means await eagerly.

It is whatever we do not see for which we are hoping and, therefore, eagerly awaiting. Having to hope for something serves to strengthen our character.

Hope is centered on the coming of Christ and our resurrection from the dead with complete deliverance from sin, likeness to Christ, and the full revelation of our sonship to God in Christ.

Philippians 3:20-21 - (20) For our conversation (i.e. citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: (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.

I Corinthians 15:51-57 - (51) Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, (52) In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (55) O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (56) The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Thessalonians 4:15-17 - (15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

I John 3:1-2 - (1) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (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.

CONCLUSION:

Do you have this hope in Christ that makes all suffering worthwhile?

You can be saved today and have it.