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Northwest Bible Church – Feb. 29, 2004 Worship Service – Alan Conner
The Incomparable Glory
Such thoughts of suffering (v. 17) may discourage the children of God so Paul wants to quickly bolster our faith by telling us that our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared with our future glory. Paul will give us two reasons why this is so.
I. OUR SUFFERINGS CANNOT BE COMPARED WITH OUR FUTURE GLORY (18).
A. No amount of suffering now can compare with our future glory.
B. No suffering is meaningless for the Christian.
II. REASONS WHY OUR FUTURE GLORY OUTWEIGHS OUR SUFFERINGS (19-23).
A. Our present sufferings cannot compare with the cosmic magnitude of our future glory (19-22).
1) Creation longs for our glory to come (v. 19).
anxious longing (or "eager expectation") -
revealing of the sons of God -
2) Creation longs for our glory because it was subjected to futility and corruption in hope of sharing in the freedom of our glory (vv. 20-21).
free at last! -
3) So intense is this longing that the creation is now groaning as if in the pains of childbirth waiting for the day when it shall be reborn into glory (v. 22).
B. Our present sufferings cannot compare with the bodily magnitude of our future glory (23).
First fruits of the Spirit -
3 groaners – creation, children of God, Holy Spirit
The nature of our groaning -
III. WAITING FOR THE HOPE OF GLORY (vv. 24-25).
Both creation and the children of God wait for their future glory in HOPE (vv. 24-25). This is no uncertainty to this hope, as we often use the word today. Our hope is a confident hope, a sure hope that will not fail, even though it is unseen, for "we walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Cor. 5:7).
Creation waits (v. 19), Christians wait (v. 23, 25).
1) Our suffering now cannot compare with our future glory, for that glory is so spectacular, so all-encompassing, that it swallows up the entire creation itself.
2) Our sufferings cannot compare with the glory to come because as in childbirth, once the glory of our inheritance appears, it will be so transforming and so joyfully satisfying, we will remember our former suffering no more.