Questions for Littles: What spirit did we not receive (15a)? To not do what? What Spirit did we receive (15b)? What does He make us cry out? Who bears witness with us (16)? What does He testify? What three things do we do jointly with Christ, according to v17? What do we have in the present time (18)? With what are they not worthy to be compared? Where will this glory be revealed? Who(what) is eagerly waiting for this revelation (v19)? What was it subjected to (20)? Who subjected it? In what did He subject it? When the children of God are revealed from what will creation be delivered (21)? Into what? What does the whole creation do (v22)? Who else groans (v23)? What does our groaning wait for? If we are still hoping for this, what do we not yet do (v24)? How do we wait for it (v25)? Who else groans (v26)? With what is He helping us as He groans in this way (26a)? According to whose will is this groaning intercession (v27)? And who listens to this groaning of the Spirit’s mind?In this week’s Epistle reading, there is a whole lot of groaning going on. The whole creation is groaning. We are groaning. The Holy Spirit is groaning.
That might sound like a bad thing at first, until we realize that the Holy Spirit is doing it too. What is going on here? There is a sense in which we are already saved (v24). But there is a real sense in which our salvation is not yet complete (cf. 13:11).
We aren’t resurrected yet. Our bodies are not glorious yet. And these are reminders that we are still in the midst of that struggle from the second half of chapter 7. Remaining sin—now there’s a reason for some groaning!
But we’re not groaning in fear. We’re groaning in hope. The creation is groaning in hope. Its bondage to corruption is time-limited. When “the big reveal” that God has made us His children happens, the entire creation will be remade. Until then, God has subjected it to futility.
But at the day of resurrection, we won’t just be revealed to be physically indestructible. We’ll be revealed to have been made perfectly holy like our daddy. We will be revealed to be the sons, the children, of God.
This is why the Spirit does not make us to grown in anxiety or fear—as if the work of God in us might never make any progress… as if it wasn’t genuinely on its way to being completed at the last. No, He is a Spirit of adoption to us. He trains us to call God, “daddy”—not in the sense of taking God lightly, but rather in the sense of taking holiness seriously.
We already know that as joint-hears with Christ, we will be jointly-glorified with Christ. The glory that is coming is not merely a glory that will be revealed to us but a glory that will be revealed in us. And that’s the comparison in v18. That’s what the suffering is being used by God to produce.
The Holy Spirit is praying that we would be made like Jesus, so that we can enjoy bringing to Him that glory forever! He groans that we would not continue as we are. And we who have the firstfruits of the Spirit also groan. And the whole creation groans. And God will do it! He’ll finish the work!
How do your prayers groan toward holiness and resurrection? What trial is this passage sweetening?Suggested songs: ARP23B “The Lord’s My Shepherd” or HB369 “How Firm a Foundation”