May 3, 2020
Living in the Meantime: The Glory to Be Revealed
Dear Church Family,
I think I could preach a ten-part series of sermons on Romans chapter 8. It’s a wonderfully rich reflection on living in the Spirit, on suffering, on salvation and on hope—all themes that are especially relevant to us today. Starting around verses 17 and 18, Paul considers how our lives, although redeemed through Christ, are characterized by suffering. All of creation is “groaning” (v. 22), waiting for the completion of God’s salvation. This includes Christians, who still need to have their bodies redeemed (v. 23). Despite our suffering (or perhaps through our suffering), God is bringing about good for “those who love him” (v. 28). He is still in control of our ultimate destinies, and nothing that can hurt us in this life (vv. 31-36) can steal our victory.
These verses offer several reasons that Christians can have joy despite suffering. The first is the fact that, when we suffer, we are walking the path that Christ walked. In fact, that is the path that will ultimately lead to sharing in his glory (v. 17). That leads naturally into the second reason to have joy: “present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” (NIV) The glorious victory we will share will be so wonderful that the present sufferings are ultimately inconsequential.
You could even say there is a type of benefit of Christian suffering. We experience this age as those who have the “first fruits” of the Spirit (v. 23). The Spirit gives us joy in the present because he is a foretaste of the final salvation we will enjoy at the resurrection. In addition, this joyful presence of the Spirit gives us the strength to persevere. That is really where the “benefit” of suffering comes in: suffering gives us the opportunity to bear a testimony to the world. In the midst of suffering, we can show our neighbors that there is joy in Jesus Christ even in hard times.
I hope you are joyful today. Please take some time to read Romans 8 and reflect upon the security of your future salvation, and the reality of your present experience of God’s presence in the Spirit.
God bless you all,
PS: I hope you will be able to join us for our parking lot service this Sunday, May 3 at 11 AM. Come to the southwest (Main entrance) lot of the church and park facing north. We will be having communion, so please bring your own elements. I look forward to seeing you there!
Our Parking Lot Church Service will be on FB live.
KNMO Radio 97.5 Sunday 8 am.
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