Romans 8:18-27, “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. For the earnest expectation of the creature [creation] waiteth for the manifestation of the sons
of God. For the creature [creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly,
but by reason of him who hath subjected the
same in hope. Because the creature [creation] itself also shall be delivered from the
bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth
and travaileth in pain together until now. 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. 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? But if we hope for what we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our
infirmities: for we know not what we
should pray for as we ought: but the
Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be
uttered. And he that searcheth the
hearts knoweth what is the mind of
the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” [King James Version]
“…Romans chapter 8. We have finally come to the place where it says “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” and that the Spirit has made us free. The law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death, that there’s a higher law that’s working within us through the new birth. And it’s changed us. Paul is honest and says those who are unsaved---the mind that is continually set on the things of the flesh---the carnal mind is death---those who have no longing, no light, no awakening, no new birth, those who don’t think on spiritual things, but whose minds are continually set on the things of the flesh, that that’s death. And certainly a passage to encourage us to examine ourselves [cf. 2 Corinthians 13:5]. But that those who are spiritually minded, that have a mind for spiritual things, that that’s life for us. Not only that, he goes on to tell us that we’re not indebted to the flesh any longer. It never produced anything in us. I don’t know all of our stories, I know there are some ingredients that are common to all of our testimony, ‘that I was a sinner and I was going to hell, and I got saved’, that goes for all of us. And there’s a lot of incidentals that are filled in according to our background. But we know we owe nothing to that. When I think of that life, it seems like a different life, like a different person. And I think of where my life was going. I can’t imagine living without Christ or without his Word, I can’t imagine watching the news without the Holy Spirit, without the Word of God, I can’t imagine living today without the hope that he’s given me. I can’t imagine looking at what’s going on around me without Light, without spiritual insight. I can’t imagine where I’d be, it seems like a different life. And he says, we owe nothing then, we’re not debtors to the flesh, we’re debtors to the Spirit, because of the incredible thing that is happening within us, not that salvation is that condition where we have been delivered, we are “being delivered” it says in 2 Corinthians 1:10, ‘we shall yet be delivered.’ Salvation is an eternal salvation---we are saved, we’re being saved, we shall yet be saved---in the sense of the fullness of it. So, today, you and I, debtors, not to the flesh, but to the Spirit. Not only that, it says ‘The Spirit within our hearts cries Abba, Father. We talked about this last week. Abba, the word of emotion, Hebrew. Not the same Greek word for Father. Abba was the word of endearment. In the Hebrew culture, it was against the law for a slave to call the master of the house Abba. He could use a different word, but couldn’t use that, because it’s the word of emotion, it’s the word of endearment. Father is the word of recognition, position, and they’re both given to us. Jesus prayed Abba, Father in Gethsemane. And the same Spirit is in our hearts now, crying Abba, Father. I love that, that Abba, you go to Israel and you hear the little two-year-olds walking around the street, and they don’t say “Daddy,” they say “Abba, Abba”. You hear it. None of my kids at home call me Father, “Ten bucks, Father.” No, it’s always “Dad, Hey Dad.” That’s the way I want it, “Dad.” Abba, the word of emotion. And it almost seems to us, sometimes sacrilegious. I know, before I was saved, I had such a strange perception of God the Father. I was used to stained-glass windows and incense, it was all a little spooky and I felt kind of, in those days, before I knew better, if I’d have looked to heaven and said “Dad”, I might have got hit by lightning. But he’s the one where he could have said to us, you call me LORD. He didn’t say, ‘When you get to heaven [or in the first resurrection to immortality, cf. 1 Cor. 15] and that corruption has put on incorruption, then you can call me Dad.’ He’s the one that put his Spirit in our hearts crying “Abba”, “Dad” and “Father.” And it says ‘More than that, the Spirit also, verse 16, beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God, the born ones, we’re adopted, and by adoption we receive the fullness of inheritance. But we’re born by the Spirit, the born-ones of God.’ ‘His Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we are the born-ones of God, that we’re the children of God.’ It’s a difficult thing, because you talk to unsaved people and you say, ‘Well, you need to be saved.’ And he says, ‘What do you mean, saved?’ ‘Well, the Spirit comes into your heart, you ask him to forgive your sins…’ And they say, ‘How do you know?’ And you say, ‘Well, I just know.’ ‘Well, what do you mean you know?’ ‘I know that I know that I know that I know. Don’t you understand?’ No, it’s because the Spirit is bearing witness with your spirit that you are the born-ones of God. You can’t explain that to an unbeliever, that connection is not there. They don’t know, that they know, they know, they know like you know and I know. The Spirit itself bearing witness with our spirit that we’re the children of God, and if children---born-ones---then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, if so be---since---we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together---joint heirs with Christ, heirs of God.
What does it mean to be joint-heirs with Christ?
He’s going to move into a passage now where he begins to talk about that. What does that mean to you, to be joint-heirs with Christ? [For me personally, I love astronomy, and earth science, and the earth. I’m a Trekky (Star Trek fan). Jesus, Yeshua owns the earth and the whole vast universe---that means it’s mine too---Yippee!!! Maybe we each get a galaxy of our own, our own personal one. Now that’s a piece of real estate! That’s just a physical view of our potential inheritance.] What does it mean to you? I mean, it’s unimaginable in one sense, to be fellow heirs with Jesus Christ, those things that are ahead of us, heirs of God. Very important for our affections to be set on things above and not on things of the earth. I think that, in proportion to how we have embraced these things and understood these things, it gives great strength to us in this present world. Paul will say to us in 2 Corinthians chapter 4, we’ll probably look at that this evening, that the inner man is renewed day by day. Sometimes we think Paul was like the Energizer Bunny when he got saved on the Road to Damascus, he just kept going and going and going. No, Paul says he and Silas despaired of life itself, they were pressed beyond measure when they came into Asia. But he says that we’re renewed in the inner man day by day. That’s how he needed renewing from God, same way we do, continual dependence. And he said it happened while we look, scopio, while we scope out, microscope, telescope, bring into view---while we look---not at the things that are seen, because the things that are seen are temporal, but at the things that are not seen, because the things that are not seen are eternal. [the new heavens and earth will be eternal, in that sense. We haven’t seen them yet either.] Paul says, ‘I brought before the view of my spiritual part of my new birth of what God has given me, of the light he has given me, of the spiritual perception he’s given me, he’s brought me out of darkness into the kingdom of light, and I keep before the eyes of my heart that kingdom. I keep before the eyes of my heart that Day when we’ll stand on that Sea of Glass and the fire around the throne with the cherubim, with the Lord before our eyes. I keep before my eyes that Day, that’s the thing that I long for when we’re finally set free, when we’ll be given rewards, crowns to cast at his feet because he rightly owns them.’ Paul says, ‘In that, I’m renewed day by day.’ Here he says to us, joint-heirs, heirs of God, joint-heirs with Christ. What do we owe to the flesh when he goes through this? No we’re debtors to the Spirit when he talks about the remarkable things that have been accomplished. [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Revelation%20%2021-22.htm for a fuller view of what it’s going to me “being joint-heirs with Christ.]
“If so be that we suffer with
him”---the creation is also groaning with us
And he says this, “If so be”, the King James says, “that we suffer with him”---and the idea is ‘we do, we suffer with him’---“that we may also be glorified together.” Now the only other time it uses this particular voicing of this word “suffer” is in 1st Corinthians chapter 12 verse 26, where it says “when one member suffers, all of the body of Christ suffers.” Now that’s a funny thing that happens isn’t it? I think before we were saved, I think of how often, when you look back, we had a heart of stone. You were just kind of immune to your surroundings in so many ways. But when you come into the body of Christ, all of a sudden, you see someone in the fellowship you love, you see them with cancer, you see them with hardship, you see things going on, and it says “when one member suffers, all of us suffer.” It doesn’t just say that it’s blessed to suffer, it’s not just talking about suffering, it’s talking about suffering with Christ. It’s talking about something that happens to us, because the Spirit has come into our hearts. Jesus in John said this, he said, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, that your fruit should remain. And whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, that he may give it to you. These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own. But because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore it hateth you.” All of us have experienced that. How many of us after our conversion come back to a family or come back to friends, and we’re saved and we’re excited, and we’re telling them about the Bible, we’re giving them tracts---and they want us to move out. They want us out of the house, we’re driving them completely out of their mind. And there’s a level of suffering there. Jesus wasn’t received, he says, a prophet is not without honor except in his own home and his own town. How many of us have experienced that? How many of us have experienced further for the cause of Christ?---rejection, mockery, sometimes even persecution. And when it says we suffer with him, it says [in the Greek], “we do” and “we will”. And I wonder, depending on how long we’re here before he comes what suffering we may see, what persecution we may see here in this country? But slowly, maturely, incrementally, this world and its system is taking away from us the rights that we have to believe in Christ as the only way of salvation, to believe that sin sends people to hell, embrace the morality that we embrace because it goes along with God’s Word and God’s Scripture---slowly but surely those things are being eroded. And we look at it all and we say ‘Well, OK Lord, the law of the Spirit of life has made me free from the law of sin and death, now I’m your kid, not just you’re my Father, you’re my Dad, my heart cries out to you. You’ve told me that all things are mine in Christ, I’m joint-heirs with Christ, of God, and Lord we’re enduring what we endure, but Lord, so much is out of kilter, Lord I don’t understand---if you’re my Dad, if you want that endearing relationship, if you’ve made yourself that vulnerable---Lord, why the difficulty, why the suffering, why is this going on?’ And as he moves into this passage he’s going to tell us that there’s a groaning that’s connected to all of this. Not a whining, and not a griping and not a grumbling [which 1 Corinthians 10 and Numbers 13-14 warns us against doing] but a groaning, something that goes on. And he’ll say to us that creation itself is groaning. It isn’t just us. There’s something wrong in the world. What’s wrong? We look at the tidal waves and the earthquakes and the typhoons, and the death and the things that are going on, creation itself is groaning. [Be sure to read the article on Global Warming at: http://www.unityinchrist.com/warming/warming1.htm, which will help explain all of this from a legitimate scientific point of view. Also log onto the article titled “Coming World Famine?” at: http://www.unityinchrist.com/E-Mails/2010/Coming%20World%20Famine.htm] Then he says, “We groan within ourselves.” You think you don’t? Turn on the news, and look at the injustice, look at the deaths---in Chechnya, look at what’s going on, we talked about that today. We did a funeral here yesterday. People were groaning in themselves because ‘What does death have to do with all of this Lord?’ And I don’t think God ever gave us the capacity to deal with death. I don’t think when he wired us in the Garden of Eden, he gave us that ability because death was not part of his original plan. And when he brings us to the eternal state, in Revelation 21 is says ‘Death will not be there.’ So I don’t think in his original intent he ever made us to deal with death, and you watch people groan, they go through these emotions trying to deal with it, and trying to understand what to do with it---and it’s been a loved one or a friend, and they never really find, as they dredge themselves, the right emotion. We look at Columbine, we look at Fort Worth, we look at H.I.V., something’s wrong. We look at the world, we hear of the nuclear threat [be sure to order the DVD “Trinity & Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie” from http://www.amazon.com and watch it], we see everything that’s going on around us, there’s groaning within us because we’ve been given more light than that. It’s wrong, we’re able to look at something now and say ‘This is not right!’ ‘This is wrong!’ ‘This should be different.’ ‘Why can’t our children be safe?’ ‘Why can’t we let them play without worrying about someone taking them?---why is there all this injustice and bigotry?’ We look at all of that and see we’re groaning. And then he goes on finally to say, “that the Spirit itself groaneth within us.” There’s a lot of groaning about all of this. Not griping. When you’re griping and whining that’s not the Spirit, that’s you. And I’m good at that. Groaning. He says this about the present difficulty, he’s brought us to this remarkable place where we’re God’s kids, where we’re joint-heirs with Christ, we’re set free from the law of sin and death that surrounds us in this world, and we’re set free from that by the law of the Spirit of life. Why the difficulty?
Our present suffering can’t compare to our coming
He says, verse 18, “For I reckon that the suffering of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” The first thing he tells us is ‘I have come to this conclusion.’ “Reckon” is a word from the market place, it means “to calculate” or “to compute.” He says ‘There’s a work of our mind here.’ Paul says ‘I’ve reckoned, I’ve weighed this out, thought about it, I’ve measured it out, I’ve come to the conclusion that the present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Again, ‘not worthy,’ also from the market place, it means ‘not weighing as much as’. The present sufferings do not weigh as much as---when you put them on the scale---against the glory that’s going to be revealed in us in eternity, they don’t even measure up. When you calculate those things out, when you think about those things---and Paul, no doubt had a different perspective than we do, he said that “our light affliction which is but for a moment worketh for us a far more exceeding eternal weight of glory.” Paul said “our light affliction”, and then he wrote this [in another place, about his “light afflictions” and what they were], “in labours more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in prison more frequent, in deaths often, of the Jews five times received I forty stripes, save one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I suffered shipwreck.”---we know about one---“A night and a day I spent in the deep”---Lord, don’t ever let that happen to me, I’ll just hear that music [Jaws], don’t let me float out there in the ocean---“In journeyings often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils by the city, in perils of the wilderness, in perils by the sea, in perils amongst false brethren, in dreariness and painfulness and watchings often and hunger, thirst, fastings often, cold and nakedness”---he says, “This light affliction.” That’s not in my “light” category. That’s like in the really way bad stuff in my list. Paul says “This light affliction which is but for a moment.” But he’s gone through that process where he says “I reckon, I have calculated, I have weighed it against some other thing.” Now no doubt, he says that he had been caught up to the third heaven, he saw things there that were unspeakable, they were so remarkable that God gave him a thorn in the flesh to keep him humble. And besides that a messenger from Satan buffeted him about that, trying to cause him to doubt God’s love.
The destiny of the creation is linked to us!---not
to the tree-huggers or Greenpeace
“I reckon” he says, “that the present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us, for”---now, he builds his thought---“the earnest expectation of the”---now the King James says “creature” in these verses, it’s “creation” (same Greek word), “the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creation was made subject to vanity [emptiness], not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (verses 18-21) So he says, he moves into this now, after his reckoning. “We know for the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Now he uses this very interesting phrase where it says “earnest expectation”, it’s a Greek phrase that means “with outstretched neck”, like you’re looking around the corner waiting for something to come around the bend. He says “the creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God, our redemption to be complete, and the creation is waiting expectantly, eagerly, with an outstretched head looking around the corner, waiting for that day.” You think you’re excited about it? You think when you have a bad day and say ‘Lord, Jesus, just come, take me out of here, blow the Trumpet, I’m ready, get me outa here.’ He says the creation is doing the same thing. Now that’s interesting. Because what does that mean? What link is there between us and the creation? Isn’t that funny? The destiny of the creation is linked to us!—not to the tree huggers. Those guys that are out there with their Green Peace and Save the Whales and all the nonsense they got going on, and Save the Spotted Owl’s, those Spotted Owl’s don’t want nothing to do with them. The Spotted Owl’s sitting in a tree saying ‘Hoo, hoo, come Lord Jesus.’ [laughter] The Spotted Owl’s future is connected to us, not to them. The whales are not gonna be saved until God comes and changes us into the glory that is ready for us. The creation is directly related to us. I can’t imagine what it was like in Eden, I know this, it always tickles me, just something in me when I follow God through the days of creation. And he creates the fruit trees after their kind. And when he’s done he says ‘This is good.’ Come on God, you’ve been waiting to eat a grape for eternity? You want to bite into a Georgia peach or something? No, no, what he’s saying is ‘Wait until they taste one of these. Wait until Adam bites into one of these, this is good. He’s gonna like this.’ And the creation is related to us. It’s subject to vanity, which means it has not yet lived up to its purpose. And it will not until we are released in regards to the redemption of our bodies from the situation that we’re in. You know, it’s interesting. Scientists are finding out all kinds of things about light, how important light is. Sometimes now, people who get depressed in the winter, they make them get up at five and turn on a sun-light, a sun-lamp because they’ve realized through this light therapy that it changes our whole attitude, just being in more sunlight. They’ve discovered things now about aroma therapy, how about that. Flora-sense. Now isn’t it interesting, because they have discovered fifty foot ferns, fossils. Now I have to imagine if we’ve got a fifty foot fern in Eden, we’ve got a six foot rose. My wife likes it when we bring in one of those little roses from out front with the thorns on it. What were roses like before the fall? Just a big old six-foot rose, you’d smell it all the way across the neighborhood. What was creation like? I don’t think we have any idea. I think it has fallen the way we have fallen. I’m convince that we were clothed with light. I’m convinced we had an entirely different drive system, it wasn’t blood drive, I think that’s part of the fall. [Now he’s gotten entirely out on a speculative limb. But in the resurrection to immortality we will be clothed with light, cf. Daniel 12:1-3.] I think that we could step in and out of the presence of God, that he had open fellowship with God. That means that we were more than one dimensional. [not necessarily, God could have been the One stepping in and out of our dimension whenever Adam called. We don’t know for sure, Scripture doesn’t tell us.] I know that when Moses was forty days and forty nights on the mountain, came down, broke the Ten Commandments, went back up again, second forty days and forty nights, forty days and forty nights without food or water---that’s 80 days---and when he came down he was glowing. Because where we’re supposed to be and what we’re supposed to be experiencing, life is sustained there on an entirely different level, it has nothing to do with eating and a blood-drive system. Book of Revelation, we’re clothed with white garments, pure and white, which are the righteousness of the saints, it says. Well, that’s the righteousness we were clothed in when we were created in his image and likeness, with white garments that were not material, they were something else that disappeared when Adam fell, because he says he knew he was naked and he was ashamed. Well, all of that, and unimaginably more is waiting. Paul has weighed so much of that against his present sufferings that he was a driven man. I don’t know what he saw in Paradise, the third heaven, but he was driven. You couldn’t stop this guy. And he’s trying to encourage us, saying, ‘Look, if these things which are not, if you put them on the scales with our present sufferings, they’re not even worthy to be compared, they [our present sufferings] don’t even weigh as much. They so outweigh any difficulty we have in the present, that it’s not even worthy to be compared. “And the whole creation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Now that is not a lot of things---“the manifestation of the sons of God.” There was a whole doctrine that came through the church in this century, the ‘manifest sons of God doctrine.’ Which basically says that you and I are going to come to some realization and spirituality in this world, and that is going to set a lot of other things free. [Wasn’t that what Timothy Leary was looking for with LSD?] Well first of all, that is depressing, and secondly it’s nonsense. “The manifestation of the sons of God” is when we are set free from this corruption and put on incorruption, and when we are set free from this mortal and put on immortality---when we shine like the stars of the firmament in their glory---when we stand on the sea of glass and the fire and look into the face of our Lord. [cf. 1 Corinthians 15:49-56; Daniel 12:1-3 and Revelation 4:5-6.]
A prophecy of the Messiah is contained in God’s
curse on the earth in the time of Adam---and that curse will be lifted by the
“For” verse 20, “the creation was made subject to vanity,”—not by its own choice—“…subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.” It tells us this in Genesis, when God pronounces the curse there because of Adam’s sin, “The Lord God said unto the serpent, ‘Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, above every beast of the field, upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life, and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed, and it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise his heel.’ Unto the woman he said, ‘I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception, in sorrow thy shalt bring forth children. Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.’ And to Adam he said, ‘Because you 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. Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, thou shalt eat the herb of the field and 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 shall return…” but all of that is subjected in hope, because it said “of the seed”---singular---“of the woman.” And it’s the only place here in the Bible “you’re going to bruise his heel and he’s going to crush his head.” There’s a prophecy of the Messiah, in the curse itself. The creation being subject to all of that, yet in hope. And the very creation itself, connected to us, waiting for the day. Isaiah says this, and it’s beautiful, “And the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play in the hole of the poisonous snake…”---my wife would be excited about that---“and the weaned child shall put his hand in the cockatrice den, thy shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9). Man, we are waiting to be set free, I’ll tell you that. And creation’s waiting for the same thing, the lion and the lamb laying down together, the bear and the cow feeding together, their young ones playing together, the lion eating straw like an ox. Trillions of dollars of military spending beat into plowshares and pruning hooks, and man learning war against man no more. Isn’t that interesting? [For an in-depth look at this future glorious time period when the earth and we are redeemed, log onto http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/kog.htm and http://www.unityinchrist.com/kingdomofgod/isaiah/isaiah1.htm.] “The creation itself was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who has subjected the same in hope. Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” The whole creation is groaning and travailing, imagine ladies being in ceaseless labor. That’s what it’s talking about, being in transition for thousands of years---aaah, ‘breathe’, ‘you breathe!’ I’ve been there a few times. And you know it’s so interesting because everybody wants to worship ‘Mother Earth’---well she needs more make-up than we got going right now, she’s in a mess---and worship this and worship that. And I understand that. I think if I wasn’t saved I’d be chasing flying saucers, I’d be out their somewhere, I know where I was headed. I’d be headed down to the ‘GODS-R-US’ to pick out something for myself. And that’s what they do, they worship, that’s the first chapter of Romans, worship the creation more than the creator---denying the conviction that’s in their own hearts. Interesting, I have an article that someone gave me from The Wall Street Journal, October 15th, and this is not by a Christian, Dr. John A. Clark, Professor Emeritus of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan. He talks about ‘smart machines and foolish people’…“They seemed to have overlooked a central message from the new developments in molecular biology. Rather than supporting the random event hypothesis of evolutionary science, the revolutionary new insights provided by the fact of information stored in the DNA chain raises the pregnant question of where and how that information got there. As each person or species, it makes them unique, and the information inside its DNA unique. The assignments of randomness as it’s cause appear to be foolish. Further, if one looks to the insights provided by the recent developments in cosmology, it becomes clearer that a design and plan exists for both human life and the cosmos. These ideas are powerful and compelling, and seem to require a reconsideration of the arguments from the random selection put forth in the 19th Century.” Dahh! [laughter] How about that? How about that?! That’s why we call it the creation all through this study. It’s not the random chance mess. It’s the creation. And it says it’s subject to corruption, which means decay. [see also http://www.unityinchrist.com/dinosaurs/molecularmachines.htm ]
It says, verse 21, “The creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption”—entropy, the second law of thermodynamics, which all scientists agree about, defies evolution. And the creation is breaking down. The aeromachesis, the slow-burning fire of disintegration that’s everywhere. And yet the evolutionists are telling us that slowly but surely things are evolving and improving. I haven’t seen that anywhere. They don’t have any record of it, but that takes way more faith than believing in creation. [Most micro-biologists who are into the study of DNA believe God or a Supreme Being of some kind created everything, even though they may not be actual believers in the sense of being Christians.] They say, Professor Gans of Princeton University said, “To support the present universe, billions of light years wide, it only takes about 200 bits of information, because it’s mostly gases.” [yes, but the laws of astro-physics, which includes nuclear science, how a star “burns”, is huge as well.] Simple. “To support a basic bacteria would take millions of bits of information.” And yet somehow they say we’re evolving, we’re going from the less complex to the more complex. The second law of thermodynamics is saying we’re going from the more complex to the less complex, we’re breaking down. And the information needed to manage a human being, your frame, your body, your throw-away container, is billions of at least, if not trillions of bits of information. They say if you would take the DNA out of every cell of your body it would fit into an ice-cube, fearfully and wonderfully made. And yet if you took all of those strands of DNA and put them end to end, they would go from the earth to the sun and back 300 times. [that’s 93 million miles times 300 or 27,900 Million miles!] Now that’s a lot of information in a throw-away container. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet. All of that is for another purpose, it’s subject to vanity, it hasn’t seen it’s true purpose yet. Imagine when all of that is charged up by the Spirit, freed from the law of sin and death, what will happen.
We’re all groaning just like the creation is
“Because the creation” verse 21, “itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know”---and I hope you do know---“that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” The whole creation is groaning, is under some restriction where it is not glorifying God, it’s not living up to its original purpose and it is not in connection with us the way it should be. “And not only they,” verse 23, “but ourselves also, we which have the firstfruits of the Spirit”—the down payment, Ephesians 1 indicates, the engagement ring—“even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting”—the idea is, eagerly—“for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body.” So you and I, it says, groaning, waiting. If you wonder what that is sometimes, you know. I, I look at my own family. Let’s start here, you know. My eyes, they didn’t need these a few years ago [his glasses]. You guys all look like fuzz [without his glasses on]. Not police. The eyes, the ears, the teeth, trying to get this bag of bones out of bed in the morning. It groans. Yours does too [unless you’re a teenager]. But more than that. I look at my staff. [laughter] I look at the ones who have prodigals, and my heart breaks, and groans. How do you pray for all of this stuff, Lord, we are surrounded with stuff. I look at the ones who have hepatitis or sickness, or the ones who have lost children, that do so well until it comes up, and then all of a sudden there’s a tear there so quickly. Look at the folks here that struggle in their marriages [if you are struggling in your marriage, log onto http://www.HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.COM], or looking at a little child with cancer or leukemia. And it’s in your face. And I groan. I look at the news and tears run down my face. We ourselves are groaning, saying ‘Lord, set us free from this.’ This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be. “Why Lord, if you’re sovereign, you’re all powerful, why Lord, do I find my heart groaning like the Psalmist said in Psalm 73, ‘Why do the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer?’ Lord?” And we groan. Because he’s given us Light, because we see things now that we never saw before. [Solomon said that with much knowledge comes much sorrow, and we have greater knowledge, spiritual knowledge of the evil that’s going on in the world. The unsaved, uncalled, unconverted go about their lives in ignorance, mostly, living up to the saying “Ignorance is bliss.”] Because that Spirit of adoption has moved in and opened up truth to us. He has given us Light, he’s given us perception---we’re not able to bear all of that. I hear Christians sometimes say to me, “You know, I’m not as thankful as I should be.” Well for you to be as thankful as you should be, you’d have to look right into the face of the One you need to be thankful to, and if you did that [in your present body], you’d disintegrate [be vaporized, cf. Zechariah 14:12]. If you tried to be as thankful as you should be right now, you would just get crushed. I hope you’re being as thankful as you can be. Or people saying, “I need to read more, I need to pray more.” Well I said that the first week I was saved. And I’ve been saved longer than I’ve been unsaved . And every day I find myself saying ‘I need to read more, I need to pray more.’ And I read more and pray more, and I read more and pray more than I ever have. Because, you know what I’m really saying? “I’m groaning.” “Lord, I want to be home.” “I want to see my wife there Lord, and I want to see her rewarded for all of her labor, I want to see her body free from the difficulties that there are. Lord I want to see my four kids there, Lord, where I don’t have to worry about the world [this evil age], drugs and kidnapping and pornography and all of the things that are thrown in their face every day, and don’t have to worry about the ones who have health problems, Lord, see that all gone.” Ah, take a deep breath. ‘Lord I want to see my Mom and Dad, they’re going to go before me, I know, but what a wonderful thing. Lord, I want to see my Grandfather, who’s there. I want to see so many from here we’ve sent ahead.’ That’s what I’m saying when I say I need to pray more, I need to read more. I do, but that is a means to an end, and in all of that, I’m saying ‘Lord, I want to be home. I’m groaning, Father. The Spirit, the down-payment, the engagement ring, the earnest, the that part that you’ve put in us of Yourself has ruined me for this world.’ And I hope that you are not playing games. And you know what, if you are, I know that you’re miserable [addressing the audience again]. Your friends might think you’re cool, but I know you’re worried about being “hot”. [laughter] If you’re treading on the grace of God, it ain’t worth it, is it?---because when you go home and lay down your head alone, and you’re friends are all gone and nobody’s there but you, you know there’s something inside of you that’s saying, ‘Lord, please forgive me, I am sinning, don’t let me die in my sin. Lord, you know the groaning the same way the rest of us do.’ Let me tell you something. I don’t want to give up my liberty in Christ, I don’t want any chains on me anymore. I want to be able to lift up my head every day in my groaning, and say “Come today!” I don’t want to say ‘Would you wait till next week, I got something to straighten out.’ I want to live with my head lifted up.
We’re saved in hope
He says, “We ourselves (verse 23) groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, that is, the redemption of our body.” Verse 24, “For we are saved by hope…”---and it more properly is “saved in hope”---now don’t get excited, ‘wait a minute, I thought we were saved by faith.’ We are, our soul is saved by faith. Our body is saved in the day of redemption. The soul is saved. You die today, your body goes into the ground, your soul and your spirit go to be with the Lord. [And some believe that soul-spirit is unconscious until re-united with our new bodies in the resurrection to immortality, and some believe it is conscious until that great event. The actual truth is in the grey area of biblical interpretation, and thus not all that important, we’ll find out when it happens. Some passages indicate one way, others indicate the other way. That is the Bible’s way of showing this is a secondary doctrine. See http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm for a more complete study on this subject.] By faith, that’s taken place, done, finished. But we’re also saved in hope. Now it isn’t like people you say to someone ‘Are you saved?’ and they answer ‘I hope so.’ No, no, that’s not what we’re talking about. It’s the blessed hope of the church, it’s a certainty, it’s fixed, it’s established. It’s an inheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, that fadeth not away, that’s fixed in heaven---for us! And that is all preceded by “I thank the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, who has begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” The hope that we have is not a “maybe” hope or an uncertain hope, it is a finished hope, it is our hope, the thing we long for, and groan for. And it is a purifying hope, it does us good now, it strengthens us, while we look. It’s good for us today, and it’s the very thing our hearts are set on. Hope, yes the physical frame, the redemption of the body, we’re groaning for that, we’ve saved in hope. “But hope that is seen is not hope, for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (verse 24b) “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (verse 25) Hoping for that thing, waiting for it. “I know, eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither has it entered into the mind of man, the things that God has prepared for those who love him—but by his Spirit he has made those things known to us.” Now, isn’t that a great thing? I am longing for that moment. I read Revelation chapter 21 and 22, I love those chapters [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/revelation/Revelation%20%2021-22.htm]. That city, that place, with the throne of God and the Lamb in the middle of it, it says, “We shall see his face.” It says, “he’s going to reach out and wipe the tears away from our eyes.” And the Scripture says, ‘In the twinkling of an eye and the blast of a trumpet we’re going blast off, off the face of the earth and go into his presence---and be there forever, and walk on those streets. And you know, you ain’t seen that. You’re friends that are unsaved think you’re out of your mind. ‘They’re going to that cult up at that old meter factory. They’re all waitin’ for some trumpet, he’s going to blast off. Has he told you that yet? Ask him, bait him a little bit, ask him, ‘Tell me about the blastin’ off’ and hear what he tells you. He’s left some Bible and instructions for me, he told me when he’s gone, I can have it.’ [laughter] I’m humoring you a little, and those of you who are laughing understand. That’s part of the suffering I talked about earlier. Our hope is not uncertain, it’s fixed.
The Holy Spirit is groaning too---making continual
intercession for us
The third groaner here, verse 26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself [Greek: himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Verse 27, “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” What it says ‘in regards to all of this, we face this infirmity, bearing all of this, trying to figure all of this out, trying to weigh out the present sufferings, not compared with the glory that shall be revealed, trying live in that place, trying to live motivated by the Spirit, you know, keeping our body under [subjection], living in that condition---it says, “likewise the Spirit also helpeth”---and that’s in the present perfect tense---continually is helping our infirmities---that means our infirmities are continual also, and it speaks of our weaknesses. And it speaks particularly in regards to prayer here. And if we’re honest, you know, prayer is a very interesting exercise, isn’t it? It doesn’t appeal to the flesh at all. So much of the time, we’re apathetic about prayer. Sometimes because we put it into that container---you have to fold your hands, close your eyes---that was for kids at the table so they stay out of trouble---Jesus looked to heaven. I love to pray with my eyes open. More than that, it’s a wonder to me that God considers the condition of my heart-prayer all day long, and that when I go through that thing of groaning---‘Lord, what do I do, all these people in the church, all this is going on in the world, look at Columbine, look at the wars, look at Chechnya [or look at the Sudan]’---all of that groaning---there’s a Helper there who’s come alongside in all of that, to interpret to the Father the proper way so that it’s meaningful, so that it means something, so that I survive the weight of it. That’s remarkable, because it tells us that Jesus, Hebrews 7:25, is at the right hand of the Father, where he ever lives and makes intercession. We have an advocate with the Father, 1st John 2:1. So it’s telling us that right now at the throne of God, Jesus Christ is at the right hand of the Father, ever making intercession for us, praying for us. It says that the Spirit is inside of us helping us pray there with groaning---this is a great system. And if it’s this good now, imagine what it’s going to be when we’re finally set at liberty---because that Spirit within us is groaning for the day that God no longer has to interpret his intervention. That Holy Spirit is longing for the day when we look face to face with God Almighty, when there’s no more evil, selfish thoughts from, there’s no more of what grieves him in our lives everyday. When there’s no more of what he bears in and of our humanity, our infirmity, on a daily basis the Holy Spirit bears all of that---every thought that we think that we shouldn’t think that no one else knows he bears it. Every bit of anger, selfishness, rage when we’re, when our mind is somewhere it shouldn’t be, futile things and empty things and stupid things, he bears it all. It’s interesting, it says he helps our infirmities, that word “helpeth” there in verse 26 is only used one other time in the New Testament, and it’s here. It says, “It came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. She had a sister called Mary [Hebrew: Miriam] which also sat at Jesus feet and heard his word, and Martha was cumbered about with much serving, and came to him and said, ‘Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone. Bid her therefore that she help me.’” The only other place in the New Testament where that word is. The Holy Spirit “helpeth” our infirmities. How? Well, it means two things. First of all, he doesn’t bear it all alone. It literally means he comes alongside of what we bear, puts his shoulder under, and helps us bear it. He doesn’t bear it all, doesn’t take it off of us. He comes in with us. Jesus called him the parakletos, the one who would come alongside to help. Not only that, how does he help? ‘Hey, Lord, don’t you care? Tell my sister Mary to get in the kitchen and help me!’ In the every ordinary daily trials of life the Holy Spirit is always there, interceding for us, caring for us. When our hearts are overwhelmed. There’s so many things to pray for, there’s so many things going on, something so painful in our family we don’t have the words. You know, personally, I enjoy, you know if you’re like me, I get alone with the Lord, I have earth-changing things to share with him. He needs to be informed about these things. I mean, I’m overwhelmed with them, once I get there and tell him I know he’s gonna go ‘Wow! I didn’t realize that’ and start taking care of some of this stuff. [laughter] And I get there with earth-changing stuff on my heart, and you start there, and ‘Lord this, and Lord that…’ and then finally, you know, that wears out in about five minutes. And then you’re saying ‘Oh yeah, Lord, that doesn’t need to change in me. You’re right, Lord. I need to be more like Jesus. OK, Lord, I am a lousy husband. Alright Lord, I’m the world that needs to change.’ And then pretty soon, there ain’t even words. But when I experience his presence, something floods forth from in the deepest part of me, tears begin to flow down my face when I experience the presence of the Living God my mind is blown, my puny little brain is not set up to handle that experience. So I just blubber. And I love it, and I know at that moment, ‘Lord, these are groanings, they’re much too deep to be uttered, they’re way down inside, you hear them, you interpret them, you answer them, Lord you carry me through this. I love you. I thank you. I long to see your face. I long to hear your voice. I long to sing your praises with saints and angels. I long to throw my crowns at your feet.’ The Holy Spirit is groaning for the same thing, it says here. In fact, it’s interesting, it uses a different word for groaning, “the Spirit itself [himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered”, the only other place that form of “groanings” is used in the New Testament are in Acts chapter 7, verse 34. It says, Stephen is telling about the children of Israel in Egypt, “I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them.” It says that’s the same kind of groaning that the Holy Spirit does in us, just like the children of Israel who were in bondage and groaning before God, the Holy Spirit is groaning within us for the bondage of infirmities that we’re in, there’s also a groaning there on his part, longing for the day that we’re set free, praying for us [for] those things that we’re not yet able to utter---“and he that searches the hearts”---and here’s the beautiful part about it, that’s speaking of God---“he that searches the hearts”, very important, because God searches our hearts, that’s a blessing and a curse, isn’t it? People say, ‘God knows my heart.’ Hey, that’s a two-edged sword. “But he that searches the hearts knoweth what is mind of the Spirit, because he maketh”---the Spirit---“maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (verse 27) When our hearts are broken, God Almighty, the one who searches the heart, hears the Spirit groaning within us, praying for us the things that we cannot pray, and those things are according to the will of God. Here we are, Abba, Dad. We get alone, and we say Father, there’s something that comes from our heart when we do that. But the question is there, ‘Why, why the suffering? You’re sovereign, you’re all powerful, you say you love us more than we love our earthly children. If that’s true, why is this going on?’ Wait, if you measure it out, the present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory that will be revealed, because the present creation is, has been made subject to vanity, and it’s longing and waiting for the same thing you are, for the manifestation of the sons of God---with its head stretched out in expectation---waiting for that day. The creation itself has not yet come to its full potential. And we also, within ourselves groan, waiting for the redemption of the body [our bodies], and not only that, there’s one more Groaner, the Holy Spirit is groaning within us for the same thing you’re groaning for. And taking those things that are too deep to be spoken in human language, and interpreting in them in such a way that they are according to the will of God, and placing them, instead of our imperfect prayers all the time, there is part of us that comes before our Father because of the redemption we have in Christ and through the power of the Spirit, that is presented before him perfectly and according to his will. I like that…” [an expository sermon transcript of Romans 8:18-27, given by Joe Focht, Pastor, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116]
The earth is groaning, just a couple things to look at:
order “Trinity & Beyond: The Atomic
Our future glory:
Earth released from the curse:
God’s incredible creation:
Marriage Tune-up material: