October 19 – Groaning With Anticipation

“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.” – Romans 8:22-23 (NASB)

There’s an interesting word in today’s selected verses and it’s good for us to understand its meaning as intended by the Apostle Paul writing this letter under the guidance and inspiration of the Spirit of God.  The word ‘For’ in verse 22 introduces what we might call “Three Groanings.” These of creation (v.22), of ourselves (v.23), and of God’s Spirit (v.26). We are discussing our ‘future glory’ and not ours only but that of all creation. First Paul compares the earnest longing and eager forward looking of creation to the groaning of a woman who is in the process of giving birth to a child. It is important to recognize that such groaning, which indicates suffering and pain also promises hope.  Although possessing a promise of the first fruits of the Spirit we still are looking forward and even reaching out for the fulfillment of even more precious promises. Let’s look at it this way, Since we already have the Spirit abiding in us with all He has promised and provides, we are convinced that much more, is promised and in store for us. So, we therefore yearn eagerly to receive our adoption and redemption at His coming.

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January 9 – Divinely and Parentally Reimaged

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” –  Galatians 4:4-5 (ESV)

This is a verse that demonstrates a need to close a gap in our means of interpretation. Adoption, in the time that Rome ruled the world and Paul wrote his letters to the churches in the first century was not like the adoptions we are familiar with today. It was not babies or young children but adult men that were adopted by families seeking to have an heir to carry on the family name and business. It was different in many ways to adoption familiar to us. “Adoption” is the act of bringing someone who is the offspring of another into one’s own family. Since unbelieving people are by nature not children of God, the only way they can become God’s children is by spiritual adoption. Indeed, we are made members of our Father God’s family”. With respect to this adoption, it surpasses anything that takes place on earth. It confers upon its recipients not only a new name, a new legal standing, and a new family-relationship, but also a new image, the image of Christ. We are adopted by God because He has chosen us to become one of His family. It is a permanent action and standing. 

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