“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. For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” (Romans 8:23-25)
Just as creation feels the weight and curse of the fall so does the crown of creation – man. All the burdens we face are a direct result of sin – either our own, someone else’s towards us or the simple fact that it’s a fallen world. We feel the weight and that weight makes us “groan.” With all of creation we are waiting for the final fix-it!
As Christians, who have the Spirit of the Living God indwelling us, I believe we long for eternity more than any other part of creation does. We have a slight taste of heaven. We have the most precious of gifts, yet it has only been opened slightly. We have a true but still unfocused knowledge of the infinite God. Those glimpses make us more and more hungry for the full and complete to replace the partial and incomplete. At least I know that it is true for me. I find myself aching for heaven more and more and more – not as an escape from where I am but as the fulfillment of who I am. “We having received such glorious clusters in this wilderness, cannot but long for the full vintage in the heavenly Canaan.” (Matthew Henry)
This waiting causes us to “groan within ourselves.” I have found that to be so true throughout this entire year. I eagerly await the day that my faith will be made sight. I long for the day when my adoption, which is legally done, is fully achieved and I see my blessed Father face to face – “to behold the beauty of the LORD.” (Ps 27:1). If we don’t groan for Him, do we really know Him?
In verse 23 the resurrection of the body is referred to as “the redemption of our body.” And that it truly is for our bodies will be redeemed from the curse of sin. They “shall be rescued from the power of death and the grave.” They “shall be made like that glorious body of Christ.” (Ph 3:21, 1 Cor 15:42). On that day our adoption will be perfected. “The children of God have bodies as well as souls; and, till those bodies are brought into the glorious liberty of the children of God, the adoption is not perfect.” (Henry)
That day will come but it is not yet. So, we wait eagerly. We wait in certain hope. Henry closes his comments on this section of Romans 8 with these words:
“Our full happiness is not in present possession. Our reward is out of sight. Those that will deal with God must deal upon trust. Faith respects the promise, hope respects the thing promised. Faith is the evidence, hope the expectation, of things not seen. Faith is the mother of hope. We do with patience wait. In hoping for this glory we have need of patience. Our way is rough and long, and though He seem to tarry, it becomes us to wait for Him.”
All along this waiting journey may we pause to set up Ebenezers of the many promises He has fulfilled, the many mercies He has manifested, and the bountiful blessings He has poured out. And may those stones of remembrance serve as stepping stones along the way to our heavenly home. He is coming – I am groaning and eagerly awaiting the fullness of my adoption as His daughter and the redemption not only of my soul but of my body.
Come quickly Lord Jesus.