Groaning with Hope

I recently preached a message on Sunday morning from Romans 8:18-25 about how all creation groans  under the curse (including Christians).  The message was entitled Groaning with Hope.  I often feel that I have only skimmed the surface of deep truths as I leave the pulpit.  This is certainly the case any time preaching in Romans.  

Here are a few summary thoughts as well as a book recommendation for your continued meditation:

  • We were made to live forever with God.
  • The feeling that things are “not as they were intended” is inescapable.  It is not a Christian thing.  It is a creation thing.  Everyone “gets it” on some level. As Tripp says, [paraphrased]  

Children aren’t supposed to grow up never knowing their biological parents.  Husbands and wives were not meant to leave one another in hurt and selfishness.  Boys and girls aren’t supposed to live in daily fear of the mockery of friends at school.  Pleasurable experiences aren’t supposed to have the power to addict us.  The world shouldn’t be scarred by violence and war. Your skin color shouldn’t be a reason for being rejected.  Human beings were not meant to use other human beings for their own pleasure.  Government was meant to protect people, not use people to consolidate its own power.  Human lives were not meant to be cut short by hunger, natural disaster, or disease.  Innocent peoples’ futures were not meant to be destroyed by political and financial scams.  Daughters were never meant to despise their mothers, or sons their fathers.  Brothers and sisters were never meant to spend their childhood years in daily conflict with one another.  The soil of the earth was never designed to grow weeds better than food or flowers.  No person was meant to go to sleep with tears or wake up with anxiety or dread. 

  • Every longing for perfection is a longing for eternity with God.
  • Jesus did not come ultimately to die for our sins.  He came ultimately to bring us back to God.  Sin was the cause, separation from God was the problem that was caused.  Jesus came to die for our sins so that he could ultimately bring us to God.  If he came simply to die for our sins then reforming our earthly lives would be his ultimate goal.  This would be a false gospel which would lead to despair.  We have hope because we are offered a different life, eternal life.  This life is not all there is!  
  • While Christians experience real pain in this sin-cursed world (just like unbelievers), for us, the pain has meaning.  Like the pains of a new mother in child birth, the pain though very real, is an affirmation that what she has been told is accurate and she will indeed, after experiencing these pains, receive the promised expectation.
  • Every earthly pain and heartache is a reminder that the gospel is true and that this is not how we were intended to live.   

I mentioned that much of our application from the message came from a book by Paul David Tripp entitled Forever: why you can’t live without it.  If you would like to consider these thoughts further you can purchase the book here.  

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