Tuesday 19 April 2016

Bible Book:

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.” (v. 14)

Romans 8:12-25 Tuesday 19 April 2016

Psalm: Psalm 73:15-28


When (in verse 22) Paul describes the whole creation "groaning"with "labour pains", his style echoes that of the psalmists andprophets. The personification of creation struggling and groaningcaptures something of our experiences and draws attention to thesimilar struggle - and hope - of Christians, who live with all thetensions of the 'now' and the 'not yet'.

Paul has just set out (verses 1-11) the new life that Jesus has madepossible and that believers can enter into here and now (verses12-13); and he further describes the blessing "for all who are ledby the Spirit of God" (v. 14) of adoption as God's children (verses14-17). Believers are already forgiven and reconciled to God; theyno longer have to wait and wonder about being found worthy, but ledby the Spirit they are united with God and declared to be God'schildren. Of this we are assured, and we can be eternally confidentin this new life and new relationship.

Yet, we, indeed the whole of creation, still wait for the finaland full revelation, "the glory about to be revealed" (v. 18). Wecontinue to "groan" (v. 23) and wrestle and suffer, to endure thetensions and longings of the 'now and not yet' time in which welive. The image of a creation groaning with labour pains capturesthe messiness and agony of a world still waiting and, sometimes,speaks to our experience; but we are no longer defeated or enslavedby the brokenness of the world and its people. Our hope is sure,and we are encouraged to endure the tensions with patience, withthe help of the Spirit, and with the knowledge and assurance thatwe are "children of God".

To Ponder

  • What does it mean to you to be a 'child of God'? To what extentis this something you are able to have confidence in and fullyaccept?
  • During those times of groaning and wrestling, what helps you torecognise the guiding Spirit of God present with you?
  • In the times of waiting, what helps to remind you of theassurance that is already given?
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