About Us Services MinistriesSermon Message Bible StudyChurch Calendar Contact Us


Statement of Faith

The Four Most Important Things We Could Ever Tell You

Listen to this week's message!

Map to the Church

Prayer Requests

Enhance your daily reading of God's word. Click here for free, printable Bible Reading and Prayer Journal sheets!

Bible Study Archives


Romans 8:18-25

Wednesday Evening Home Bible Study
May 12, 2004

Theme: The glorious future that God calls His saints to "eagerly await" helps put present suffering into perspective.

Paul was an authority in the area of suffering. He not only willingly suffered the loss of all things in order to gain Christ (Phil. 3:4-8); but he also gained a great deal of experiential suffering in the exchange (2 Cor. 11:23-29). But in all this, Paul was able to say that the present suffering he underwent was not worthy of being compared with the glory which was going to be revealed in the saints. He didn't deny the reality of present suffering; but was able to put present suffering into perspective. He had grown to look beyond the present suffering to the glorious hope in Christ that lay ahead for him.

Three times in this passage (vv. 19, 23 and 25), Paul uses the very important Greek word: apekdechomai. It means to "eagerly await" something. It is because of the sure expectation of the believer - his or her "hope", in which he or she eagerly waits - that he or she is able to endure patiently the trials one may suffer for Christ in the present time.

A. Paul took the glorious hope of the future in Christ as his perspective on the present. And in doing so, he concluded that the present suffering isn't even worthy to be compared with the future glory that will be ours in Christ. Our union with Christ (Romans 6:4-5) is the basis of this. When we were placed in Christ, we share in all that happens to Him - not only His death and burial, but also His resurrection and ascension, His righteousness, His inheritance and also His future glory.

B. This glory is yet to be revealed in us; and so, we must view it as a "hope". This "hope" is not meant to be understood as something uncertain, as if to say we merely "hope" it will happen. Rather, it is to be understood as a confident certainty that, though not yet seen, will be fully brought to pass (Rom. 8:12-17).


A. It's a hope that affects all of creation today (19-22).
1. Creation was subjected to futility by mankind's fall (Gen. 3:17-19). But even then, it's subjection occurred in the context of hope. Creation itself "eagerly waits" (apekdechomai) for the revealing of the sons of men.

2. Until that time, the creation itself groans and suffers pain. It's not the groaning and suffering of death, however; but the groaning and suffering that proceeds birth! The Bible's promise is that, when God brings His redeemed people into full glory in Christ, then the creation - over which God had designed mankind to rule - will truly come to life (Isa. 65:17-25).

B. It's also a hope that affects us today (v. 23). We, like creation, groan in these weak and frail bodies. But our groaning is also in the context of hope. We are assured of this hope in two ways:

1. We are assured of this hope because we have the "first fruits" of the Spirit. Whenever any crop was harvested, or the offspring of any cattle was born, the "first" portion - which was considered the best - was offered to God before the rest could be used. Here, we see that it's we who have the "first fruits of the Spirit" - that is, something that is given by God to man. It is a pledge that more is to come and will certainly be given (Eph. 1:13-14).

2. We are also assured of this hope because of the prospect of our full "adoption". We are already God's children by adoption (vv. 15-17). The paper work as all been signed, as it were; and we are already His. But we haven't yet been brought to our "new home" yet - and we wont be until the "redemption of our bodies" has occurred (1 John 3:2; see also 1 Cor. 15:50-55 and 1 Thess. 4:13-18). This is something for which we are "eagerly waiting" (apekdechomai).


A. We are saved in a state of hope (v. 24a). God didn't simply save us from our sins and leave us at that; but He saved us and left us with a great expectation of hope for the future. He has held up to us the glorified Lord Jesus Christ; with the promise that, since we share in His death, we will also share in His glory.

B. But this is a hope that we do not yet see. A "hope" that we can see is not really a "hope" anymore, because we can see it. But we hope in something that we do not yet see; and so, we "eagerly wait" for it (apekdechomai).

* * * * * * * * * *

May this hope in which we "eagerly wait" be the cause of our confidence in our present times of suffering (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

Printable Version

Bethany Bible Church, 18245 NW Germantown Road, Portland, OR 97231 / 503.645.1436

Site Map | Privacy Policy | Copyright Information