Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Romans 8:17-25

...and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. 

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing 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 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. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

The Original Intent

1) What is the significance of being an “heir”?

An heir in both Old and New Testament times had weighty implications. Only the firstborn son was eligible to receive the richest inheritance and the fullness of everything his father owned. The eldest would be the sole benefactor of the physical inheritance, not by merit or reputation, but simply by being born.

In the same fashion, those who are in Christ are “born again” (John 3:5-6) as being from God with a new heart and a new Spirit, the Spirit of God Himself!

Not by merit, not by our righteousness do we earn this standing, rather it is the gift of God! (Romans 6:23)

Also unique, is the singular aspect of firstborn. In ancient times, there was one beneficiary. In God’s perspective though, there are countless individual believers, yet there is one Body, one Bride, His Beloved Church. (Romans 12:5)

This inheritance is ours as the Church!

The Everyday Application

1) What is the significance of being an “heir”?

Backing up into the verses preceding this section, we see that those who choose to follow Christ, surrendering their heart to Him completely, God adopts as sons.

The sign of this “sonship”, or adoption, (Galatians 3:26) is the very Spirit of the Living God coming to dwell within that person. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the “seal” of our salvation (Ephesians 1:13), marking forever that we belong to the Lord.

The overflowing of the Spirit’s work in our lives is the fruit of righteousness that can only genuinely be attributed to the Holy Spirit’s work and not our own (Galatians 5:22-25). Having this Spirit will not only transform us, but will also both guarantee our eternal reward in glory with Christ Jesus as well as guarantee suffering in this life (John 16:33).

Even though suffering is a guarantee, how does the knowledge of being a “firstborn heir” change your perspective on the trials in your life? Think about your everyday moments today, how does the truth of who you are and all that is yours through Jesus affect your heart attitude?

The Original Intent

2) If we are heirs of God, then why do we have so much suffering?

It’s a classic question, and one no one loves to answer. The root answer is found at the very beginning of time in Genesis 3. Sin.

Before sin entered the world, everything was perfect, all was flawless. Relationships. Bodies. Plants. Animals. No disease. No sickness. No death. From the smallest insect to the magnificent human body, no detail was corrupted or broken. But Sin. 

Sin’s destruction affected everything. All relationships. All bodies, plants, animals, and everything else in creation. When difficulties come barreling at us, it’s life-giving to remember that God did not create these hardships to harm us or break us or make us weep.

His original intent was perfect beauty in all things. We cannot escape the effects of sin in our world.
 But God! 

Despite the impossible brokenness of our sin, God entered in. He not only suffered
 with us, but He suffered the eternal consequences of sin for us, that we might have an eternity free from suffering. (Ephesians 2:4-7)

The Everyday Application

2) If we are heirs of God, then why do we have so much suffering?

How do you view suffering?

The Lord knows our suffering here is not even worth comparing to the glory awaiting us. The Lord knows that our suffering here will produce eternal character in our hearts, both drawing us closer to Him as well as allowing us to comfort others and reach them with the gospel.

Take time to challenge your own view of suffering!

Look up Romans 5:1-5 and read it slowly, taking in the fullness of its meaning and the supreme weight of the coming, eternal glory awaiting those who trust in the Lord!

Suffering is not meaningless. Only a very good and sovereign God would be able to take an atrocity like suffering and mold our hearts as we walk through it in order to produce good things in us as a result!

The Original Intent

3) How does “all of creation groan”?

As mentioned above, it was not only human relationships that were broken as a result of the original sin. “All of creation” began a steady, insidious decay as a result of Adam’s poor stewardship with creation.

Adam, being charged with the care and taking of all creation (Genesis 1:28-30), had ushered it, along with all humanity (Romans 5:12), right into the consequences of sin, which is always death, destruction, and decay. (Romans 6:23)

We see other references where “creation” cries out for restoration and redemption in places like Matthew 27:51 when Jesus breathes His last, the earth quakes and rocks split. In Habakkuk 2:11, the stones were said to cry out (figuratively) because of the sin of Israel. In Job 31:38, the land (figuratively) cries out.
One glorious day, all will be made right. There will be “a new heaven and a new earth because the old heaven and the old earth (will pass) away.” (Revelation 21:1)

The Everyday Application

3) How does “all of creation groan”?

The very sure and certain hope of an eternal glory that will neither fade nor pass away nor ever be touched by the death, destruction, and decay of sin is an unshakeable source of comfort and stability!

Sin’s effects are inescapable, suffering is a guarantee, brokenness is a fact of life, but in the face of these earthly-bound trials, we must train our hearts to remember the eternal.

Take to heart the fact that every single thing about this world will one day be completely gone, like a morning mist, and in its place will stand the immoveable, unshakeable, flawless and fully, beautifully redeemed creation, bodies, and relationship that God intended from the very beginning.

It is for this blessed hope that we wait!
(1 John 2:15-17)

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5 years ago

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