Saturday, March 31, 2012

Three Groans and One Glory

Preached by Pastor Brian Robinson on March 18, 25, 2012

Romans 8:18-39

Creation groans, the church groans and the Holy Spirit groans.
God did not create the world with existing materials. He created out of nothing. What is nothing? It’s not air or space, because they are something. Matter is not eternal.
What is happening in creation now? Vs. 20, 21 Creation stands on tiptoe.
It eagerly awaits its redemption. The fate of creation is linked to ours. It awaits the revealing of the sons of God. Then God will release creation from its bondage. It is under a curse. We live in a fallen world. It cannot reach the perfection for which it was designed. It is flawed and frustrated. It was created for a purpose and has not been allowed to achieve it. It’s not by the choice of creation , unlike Adam, who disobeyed.
Man was to have dominion over creation. Now it would happen through blood, sweat and tears that man would get his food. The cruelty of animals against animals, germ causing disease, and natural disasters demonstrate this. Gen. 3:15 was a word of hope and promise.
Christ’s redeeming work was not only for us sinners, but for His creation as well.
He will not abandon His creation, but will renew it, unpolluted, that it cannot fade away. Like childbirth, it is not purposeless or meaningless pain. They are bringing to birth a new order. Picture a radiant mother holding her baby. You don’t show pictures of your wife in labour.
The lion will lie down with the lamb. Creation claims chaos came after order. It was a fall. Evolution says order came from chaos.
Christ wore a crown of thorns. He redeemed the earth on the cross, as well.
Vs. 23 We also groan, awaiting our redemption. This world is a vale of tears. Why do we groan? Because we see things as they are, and we know how they will be. We see the dissonance.
We long for its fulfillment.
Like Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus, he wept at the effects of the fall.
We have the firstfruits of the Spirit, but we long for the harvest. Vs. 24,25 we hope, and we wait patiently for it. We haven’t obtained it yet. This hope is certain. Therefore we endure, we persevere.
All of creation will sing His praises.
In warfare, morale is essential.
“We can do it!” This war is winnable. Don’t lose heart. We may groan, but we know how it ends.
The Holy Spirit also groans. Vs. 26
Paul assumes we are weak, dependent and frail.
The worldling boasts in his strength. The boast that they are self-sufficient and self-made.
1 John 2:16 “boasting of what he has or does”.
Paul boasts in his weaknesses. “When I am weak, then I am strong.” Paradox.
We boast in the cross. The Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses. Who is sufficient for these things?
We have the downpayment, but not the full inheritance yet. We await the full harvest. A pledge from God.
We don’t know what we ought to pray for. We know the will of God broadly from the Bible.
For prayer: ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.
There are many sample prayers. Sometimes words are inadequate.
Unutterable sighs and groans. We are speechless before God.
Judges 2:4 the people wept aloud.
Jesus groaned before Lazarus’ tomb.
Prayer is not about eloquence, but as a general rule, we use words. But there are times when we have no words. Even if no one else is praying for you, the Spirit and the Son are interceding for you.
We feel Heaven’s longings. Our will is subsumed under the will of the Father.
We need to have the heart of God, not just the mind of God.
We are cold and indifferent. God uses us in our prayer life to further His purposes.

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