This broadcaster has 811 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
March 28, 2022 12:00 am
In Romans 8:23-25 we learn that the Apostle Paul was a restless man.
Verse 25 we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for our groaning. That is not some depressing moaning, but it is active, it is expected. It is a longing and it is with eagerness and anticipation. We live life with this kind of attitude we ground now. But we know how we grown that we are headed for glory our groaning will one day be swept in travel and extended trip yourself back home. Or maybe you've experienced trials or stress at work or at school and you couldn't wait for the data so that you could return to the comforts of home.
Well, the apostle Paul had those kinds of longings, not so much for his earthly home but for his heavenly home working to explore that longing today. This is wisdom for the hearts Stephen David continues his series called from groaning to glory with this lesson entitled longing for home. CS Lewis wrote a classic allegory of the battle between good and evil, between Christ's kingdom and the rule of Satan over mankind. Perhaps you read the first volume entitled the lion the witch and the wardrobe you have in I recommend you get it and you begin reading it, no matter what your age happens to be in the opening of this volume. The kingdom of Narnia is under the control of the wicked witch of the land is bound to perpetual winter it's all snow.
It's all ice. It's all cold in this kingdom as she keeps it in bondage under her rain spring time will never come, but Aslan the lion representing Christ offers himself to the witch to be put to death. Her kingdom seems to triumph, as it were over him and his hope. But if you've read it, you know, Azlan arises from the dead and defeats the wicked witch and the snow immediately begins the melting the ice melts and the flowers begin to bloom in the trees begin the Bodden Springs suddenly comes to the kingdom of Narnia's great story and some of the allegory.
Obviously fits well with the text we've been looking at while Earth today certainly experiences spring. It is short-lived. The hope of spring is replaced with the heat of summer and then the announcement of death in autumn comes true in winter.
Once again, nature seems unable to hold on to life the conditions of Eden's paradise are only short-lived. Throughout the course of the year. The apostle Paul has informed us it is because of this enslavement to corruption. This decay and it is a longing for the day when paradise will return and John informed us of that coming day when trees will Bodden flower all year long bearing fruit were plentiful water will flow freely from God's throne were animals in all the earth will enjoy the greenery and the beauty of God's spectacular universe and earth free forever of the wicked ruler who has been banished forever. Now that's the truth. The groaning of nature. Paul tells us will give way to eternal glory of the groaning of nature is not alone. Go back to this paragraph in Romans chapter 8 and take a closer inspection. He writes again in verse 22 these words 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 firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons. In other words, were told here that creation is groaning out also that the Christian is groaning part of the victorious life, I believe, is a Christian is bound up in understanding that creation is in fact groaning and why you remember verse 20 were told it was affected by the fall of man. He came down the frustration and decay. This law of entropy. This law that takes things from order to disorder Genesis 3 spell that out because of the fall of man, thorns and thistles would grow and that inaugurated. Of course the seasons and the merciless cycles of nature, the drones with its hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes. The fear of animals in the merciless cycle of the violent animal world, but God reminds us that he is in control of nature and not man. Part of joy and confidence is understanding that God is sovereign. Genesis 3 informs us that mankind was given the privilege of stewarding nature, making order out of disorder fighting the elements taming the animal. Mankind is the steward of earth, but he is not listen to me he is not the Savior of the earth. In fact, earth is not dependent upon man for its ultimate survival while mankind should not pollute the earth but care for her and attend her as good stewards earth is not going to distract itself or have some kind of destructive nature that wipes it all away because of something falling. Mankind does or just read the book of Revelation fight at the end of the days of earth and you discover the stars and planets are still there. The moon is still reflecting the light of the sun.
The sun is still warming the earth. Freshwater and saltwater are still plentiful animals and trees are in abundance. The earth is covered with people reflecting their national identities and their kingdom.
According to the description of earth in its final days before God re-created it does not run out of oxygen or water or trees or animals are people. The earth is covered with all of them. God is sovereign over his creation, not man.
Unbelieving man puts himself up as God and Savior and his arrogance, assuming that it is up to him. Though God has given us the privilege of attending earth and we will to our comfort, or we can ignore and polluted to our dis-comfort. But God is sovereign and he will one day make a new earth and heaven. Revelation 21 one Revelation 22 verse three were given the signal of the summary where John says and their will on earth be no longer any more curse is gone and creation is longing for the day Nepal back here in verse 23 that we just saw says that even we ourselves groan.
Go one step further in telling us what will groaning for, and then even further than that of telling us how to groan the right way. As believers, I believe that is so important for us to understand this is what the world does not understand God's plan for creation.
I fear the average believer doesn't understand God's plan for the Christian. So when a Christian is faced with difficult times and will be with a Christian experiences pain and he will.
The Christian faces pressure and tribulation, and he will when he faces the ridicule of the world and he will when he experiences disease and discomfort and he will when the believer ultimately dies of something and he will is left with little answer is been led to believe fanciful guarantees and mystical promises. The Bible really knows nothing. But it is perverted and twisted and tortured into proving some sort of pain free disease-free problem free, trouble-free crisis, free life.
Just read the New Testament just read the word go to Hebrews 11 and look at what happened to God's choice of service on earth. He said they were sawn asunder. They live destitute lives they were hungry they were thirsty they were persecuted, martyred, and even today, around the globe. The vast majority of believers outside of our own country are facing great difficulty today. These were the people of great faith you speak seven in Hebrews 11 of whom the world was not worthy question is what we supposed to be groaning about a longing for and how do we go doing Paul gives to key your categorical thoughts. When you give them to you. First of all first thought is this, there is the undeniable presence of groaning in the life of the true Christian, and secondly there is the unmistakable pattern of groaning in the life of the true Christian look again in verse 23. The middle part of it. There is the presence of groaning. Even we that as we were believers, even we ourselves groan within ourselves. I love the honesty of Paul.
There is no let's stick a smile on your face and everything is roses now that you belong to Jesus.
The Christian is groaning and that's reality, he says, groaning is the reality, and in the life of the believer watch reality TV will. This is reality. KJV or NIV more spiritual NASB groan. The word snob so is translated here.
This way means to inwardly long it has the element of society there is a deep sigh to rare word, occurring only about half a dozen times in the New Testament.
Three of them in this paragraph where you're sort of unloaded with this this term to choose of Jesus has a groan to heal the deaf man its use of Jesus as he approached the tomb of Lazarus. He groaned he grieved the long knowing that humanity was bound to decay and corruption and death along with his creation. And even though he knew he raised Lazarus from the dead. He groaned the Jews also church leaders who groaned over the disobedience of members of the flock.
Hebrews 13 is a word that carries a deep longing for something better. And here in this text were told that every believer is involved in some way siding for a longing for groaning for that bettered that's reality. He says were grieving for three things. Number one work groaning for the final compensation of our inheritance elected verse 23 again, but we also ourselves have the first fruits of the spirit you think that the time to jump up and down as shout hallelujah but it's in the context of groaning the mean, how could it be what Paul takes from harvest time and illustration that all of his readers would've understood and I certainly wouldn't have for study Leviticus, the believing Jew was to take the first grain of harvest and take it to the priest and the priest held it up and waited before the Lord is as a statement of this farmers entire harvest is dedicated and consecrated to God, it was something the believer gave to God. Now Paul reverses the Old Testament story or idea in this New Testament principle here in this text. The first route isn't something the believer gives the God the first fruit is something that God is given the believer, and that something is someone the Holy Spirit. He says he is the first fruit that is he is the first payment from God on our incredible, eternal, immortal inheritance will never perish, relieve us of the spirit signifies an effect there is more to come.
Paul reassures the Corinthians, when he wrote, he who established us with you in Christ and anointed us is God who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. Second, drinking is one. In other words, the security of the believer is related to this first fruit.
This Holy Spirit is not related. The security that is as to how you grow and how quickly or how obedient you are or how sinless you become or have committed.
You asked those are all wonderful things, and may very well indicate the genuineness of our faith, but the security believers are related and I'm glad because I could grow quicker, be less sinful, be more compassionate in my commitment to Jesus Christ our security is not related to what the believer does for God.
Our security is related to what God is done for the believer. It isn't what we give to him that brings a security it is what he has given us. He says the spirit of God is given to you and now you have this first installment of this incredible inheritance that you will have an you want more are. Can't wait to see God in the person of Christ.
You long for that we experience something like this first fruit of this first installment in our own cultures only week we put money down on the contract and that holds it for us right we have this wonderful invention called layaway that wonderful any put a little money down his estate into you come back and he put some more money down. So finally it's all yours.
We also do this in relation to her personal relationships.
When you decide that that girl has to be your girl. You give her down payment in the form of what a ring if you cannot afford.
And I mean it's a sign of your devotion and love here. I'm willing to go deeply in debt for you but it works the right men wonderful thing. I leave you guys when you proposed to your girl had that ring somewhere nearby, ready to present me say oh yeah it to you. Why do why do we do that because we needed help right, mostly women laughing on that because we knew we are proposing to somebody we didn't deserve right right to give you one more chance for a decent lunch propose knowing you are asking somebody far better than you deserve the married to a man. Oh yes three times I needed help to my dad at a rule that none of his four sons to get married until after college and I met Marsha my freshman year, it was going to be a long haul and we broke up a few times she were here she'd say you broke up a few times and I broke up before my senior year. She'd had it made.
That was it. She was Fisher dad quote wanted to have words with me and I can understand I was I was Mr. for: says a lot to do with Romans eight I'll get back to just a second trust and next fall.
Let Summer a group a lot get that a lot of heart and I realize I was gonna lose some of them are special.
The best thing God ever did for me so I came back to school and eventually connected in Esther out and rather tentatively but yet the miracle was. She said she would and I knew before even came back that I needed to get a ring I'd never proposed course of this time so I did all kinds of jobs.
I did everything I could imagine to try to get some money to pay for this diamond ring knowing I wanted to propose on Thanksgiving day, and so on Thanksgiving over the Thanksgiving break from college. We went to her home. That's where dad lived now make the story short, but I proposed had the ring and a miracle occurred wasn't that her father didn't kill me. That was a miracle with the miracle what she said yes.
She put that ring on her finger. And I mean the heavens opened and the great choir of heaven saying the hallelujah chorus right. Men amen amen now I can tell you're gonna follow me all the way to the tape.
She needed this pledge from me to prove that I meant what I said and it helped. Paul says, in effect, something that reveals the heart of a gracious God. God, in dealing with us as his son's bride gives us more than just words, gives us more than just the promise he gives us the Holy Spirit as a pledge as this down payment that there is more to come home emphasizes this truth of the Ephesian believers. He says after you listen to the message of truth, and believed you were sealed in him and the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance. In other words, the Holy Spirit is this pledge of God, which means this is only the beginning.
There is more to come.
Have you ever met a girl was engaged who says this is all I want this diamond ring. I don't care any further than that, I'm satisfied no. She knows that it represents more there's going to be a wedding there's going to be a Mr. and Mrs. there's going to be the setting up of God willing, there's gonna be a family to grow and and every fiancÚ is excited about the name fiancÚ only because it's gonna be replaced eventually with the name wife or husband.
Nobody would say when this is enough. I have the ring US can engage couple how many days are left amazing. The guy knows you know what they're doing while they wait the groaning there long. Their society you want to be around. No true Christian says I have the Holy Spirit. That's enough you can leave me down here on earth, Lord, now that you've given me your spirit that's enough. I'm satisfied will stop here no believer says that know the believer is groaning he is sighing he is a longing for the marriage supper of the Lamb is a longing to said house in the father's home grounds for that you know something, don't you, by the way, and engagement can be broken.
A marriage vowel can be abandoned diamond ring isn't enough to make a promise stick a wedding band is enough to hold marriage together. But God's fell will never be broken. For it is impossible for God to lie, that's why his pledge to us is not a thing is in a ring isn't house is in the job it isn't health that is in the child is a person the Holy Spirit and he comes and resides in your life is God's seal and promise things are gonna be better.
One day we drove pulse a secondly we also grown for the final consequences of our adoption. He says in verse 23 in the middle part were waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons we grown for our adoption as son that we've already studied adoption procedure back in verse 15 and how it related to biblical theology, but at least let me adhere that adoption is twofold. First, there is the placing the child into the family that adopted him and and second of all, there is the ceremony the bestows upon the mature son the right to represent the family, the right to carry on the name the right to represent the name of his father and that's the thought of Paul here it is the second point that he speaking of the believer is going to be given the responsibility of representing the name of God by ruling with Christ and every Romans son, even if he been born into the family had the ceremony of adoption is mature, son for like we give the keys at 16.
They had that the ceremony that said, you now are responsible. You're now an adult you now represent the family and the believer wants, and longs to represent God in all his glory that will one day fill the earth by ruling and reigning with Jesus Christ. There's nothing wrong with wanting that longing for that part of your inheritance long for it to happen when the reign of God will fill all the universe third. Paul writes that the believer groans for the final consummation of his redemption we longing.
He says for the redemption of our what our body. We long to put off the sinful body we long to have done with the limitation and suffering of the body. We long for the glorified body that Christ has even now once we see him we will have as well or his second we long for that. Ray Steadman commented on this text by writing our lives, consists of groans we grown because of the ravages that sin make in our lives and the lives of those we love. We grown because we see possibilities that are not being embraced. We grown because we see gifted people who are wasting their lives. We grown and disappointment we grown in bereavement and sorrow. We grown physically in our pain and limitation life consists of a great deal of groaning. That's reality and the church at large is say well I just got a fix it now. That's everything were supposed to have now belonging that we have in our hearts is for the redemption of the body. It is for. Then we long for the day when we will dwell in the new heaven and new earth bodies much like Christ's, we travel at the speed of thought.
No obstacle can keep us, we can enjoy food and pure worship. The longer I live in this body. The more I long for that one. If you can imagine this were told in Matthew that the believer will shine with the brilliance of the son S you in.
We will shine as the sun. Daniel says that the faithful believer will shine like the brightness of the expanse of heaven and like the stars forever and forever. We can imagine that we have no idea.
We just know this is another can be regrown for the final compensation of our inheritance and for the final consequence of our adoption and for the final consummation of our redemption. That's what we grown for. How do we grown for will.
Paul gives us a few reasons or ways. Number one he tells us that we are to grown with the assurance of hope. Look at verse 24 quickly, for in the hope we have been saying now that doesn't mean we hope we have been say that is and what he said it means because we are say we have hope. That's different we are saved from hopelessness to hopefulness.
The word saved is errors passive, which means we have this done to us and we revel in its past and its present and its future effects for us. This isn't the hope that says I hope I get into heaven. This is the hope that says I wonder how long it's going to take before I get there. This is like the child in the backseat on the way to grandma and grandpa as they say what are we there yet. Here's two are we there yet are we there yet and you say were closer than the last time you asked this no were not but were getting closer all the time.
That's the idea. Here, the believer groans with that kind of longing with that kind of anticipation he wakes up and today he says I wonder if today is the day are we there yet. We grown with the assurance of hope. We grown.
Secondly, without the advantage of site. He writes further but hope to the scene is not hope for.
Why does one also hope for what he sees. You could render this who hopes for what he sees. The reason we have hope. As we can see we hope because we can't see, not because we don't believe it exists. Regrown third with an attitude of expectation encouragement.
In verse 25 but if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for our groaning, then, is not some depressing moaning, but it is active, it is expected, and it is longing, and it is with eagerness and anticipation. We live life with this kind of attitude we grown now but we know why we grown and we are headed for glory our groaning will one day be swept into glory that shapes the way we, the way we long we would listen. You just heard is called and it comes from the series from groaning to glory. I'm so glad you joined us today here on wisdom for the heart are Bible teacher is Stephen Davey Stephen pastors the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. If your travel plans ever bring you through our area. Please consider joining us on a Sunday morning for a worship service would be delighted to meet you face-to-face. Stephen's been pastoring for over 35 years now. The complete archive of all of those sermons is available email@example.com if you haven't already, I encourage you to install our app to your phone so that you can quickly and easily access all of our Bible-based resources. That app contains the audio in the transcript of each of these daily messages.
We also make available the archive of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry with full-length sermons arranged by book of the Bible.
It's free to install and use as a great companion for your personal Bible study. There is a wealth of biblical material. There all designed to equip and encourage you in your walk with Christ.
Thanks so much for being with us working to bring you the final message in our current series next time please make plans to join us then right here on wisdom for the hearts