Daily Reading: (Romans 8:22-25) 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 to sonship, 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 they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Paul is saying that the only hope that will produce salvation is Jesus. “IN THIS HOPE”… all other hopes in people and things will only disappoint in terms of saving us. Think of salvation beyond everlasting life. The proper Greek translation into English here is “for hope salvation”. Paul purposefully doesn’t use the Greek word “soteria” for salvation -he specifically uses “sozo”.
Because in Christ we can have a confident expectation (elpis) of all that (sozo) would encompass:
- keep safe and sound,
- to rescue from danger or destruction
- to save one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health
- to deliver from the penalties of the Messianic judgment
- to save from the evils which obstruct the reception of the Messianic deliverance
So, I have hope, a confident expectation of my eternal salvation, that I am penalty free from all my sins when I stand before God, but I also have a confident expectation of good, for God to protect me, to rescue me, to heal and make me well. Hope’s main basket ingredient is faith. As flour is to cake so is faith to hope. You can’t have hope Paul says without faith (Romans 8:24).
Believers are the “firstfruits” of God’s Spirit (Romans 8:23)” and are a kind of firstfruits of all he created” (James 1:18). Spiritual “firstfruits” may also be the first converts in an area (Romans 16:5) who will blossom and pollenate the fields of humanity with the Gospel of God’s grace. This means that believers as “firstfruits” are a testimony to God’s power in salvation. They are His first born, redeemed by Christ’s blood.
So, in having the “firstfruits of the Spirit, ” the work of the Spirit in effecting the present redemption of their souls, believers are given the guarantee that they will have the future redemption of their bodies at the second coming of Christ (Romans 8:23). That is something I am hoping for. I have not experienced a body that doesn’t get tired and worn out. I have hope to one-day have a glorious new body.
“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. There is an amazing element here”. If you confidently believe the promise is coming, it doesn’t matter how long it takes for it to happen (Romans 8:25).
In summary, when I look to the future I do so with great hope (Romans 8:24). I have a confident expectation of the good God will bring about in my future and so I will wait patiently until He returns (Romans 8:25)- even though there will be internal groanings in my earthly body (Romans 8:23) because I long for what lies ahead.