The Letter to the Romans
COLLEEN MOORE TINKER
27. From Suffering to Glory
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit he3lps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
Paul has powerfully argued that as Christ-followers we can choose between living by the flesh or by the Spirit of God. He has stated that if we share with Christ in His sufferings, we are joint heirs with Him and will also share in His glory.
1. What is the connection between suffering and glory? (see Matthew 5:10; 19:29; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 4:13; John 12:23-26; 15:18-21; 17:11, 13-15, 22-24)
2. Why must we suffer as Christ followers? (see John 15:21; 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-7; 4:7-11; Philippians 3:7-10; Colossians 1:24; Hebrews 12:7-10; 1 Peter 4:12-16)
3. If we become sons of God when we accept Jesus, what does Paul mean when he says "creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed"? (see verses 22-25; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 15:42-49; 2 Corinthians 4:16-17; 1 Peter 5:1; 1 John 3:1-2)
4. How was creation subjected to frustration? (see Genesis 3:17-19, 5:28-29)
5. How will creation be "liberated from its bondage to decay" (NASB: "set free from its slavery to corruption")? (see 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1; Acts 3:21)
6. What does it mean that we have "the firstfruits of the Spirit"? (see verses 16-17; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 5:5; Ephesians 1:13-14)
7. This passage states that we are saved in the hope of the future redemption of our bodies. This hope sustains us in our suffering. What makes biblical hope something more than a wish or a desire or a possible outcome? (see Ephesians 2:11-13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14; 5:8; 2 Corinthians 1:9-10; Romans 5:5; 15:4; Colossians 1:27; Hebrews 6:18-19; 11:1)
8. Because of the Holy Spirit witnessing to our spirits, we have hope in our suffering. Similarly, the Holy Spirit also intercedes for us in prayer. In verse 23, we groan. In verse 26, the Holy Spirit groans on our behalf. What are the implications of the statement that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us? (see verse 34; Ephesians 6:18; Job 16:18-20; Isaiah 53:12; Hebrews 7:23-25; 9:24; 1 John 2:1-2)
9. Who searches our hearts, and what do we learn about the relationship between Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father from verses 26-27? (see Revelation 2:23; 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39b-40; Psalm 139:1,2, 23; Proverbs 21:2; Jeremiah 17:10; Luke 16:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:4)
10. In what hardship or suffering are you having to trust Jesus at this point in your life?
11. How are hope and/or the intercession of the Holy Spirit impacting your life currently?
12. What hardship or difficulty is God asking to you surrender to him,
to stop fighting against it and instead to accept the hope of His promises
and strength and intercession for you as you walk through it?
Copyright (c) 2004 Graphics Studio, Redlands,
CA USA. All rights reserved. Posted September 18, 2004.