Passage Romans 8:17-25.
Supporting passages Eph 1:18-32
2 Co 5:18-19
1 John 3:1-3
Context 6-7:6 released from slavery to law and sin
7:7-13 law elicits our rebellion and sin
7:14-25 dual natures
8:1-2 no condemnation for those in Jesus
8:2-11 Law working through the flesh could not produce
righteousness/life, but the Spirit can.
8:12-17 therefore, an obligation to live by the Spirit. We are God’s
children; we will share Jesus’ inheritance if we share his suffering.
8:17-25 waiting for the full realization of our salvation
8:16-39 God is for us and helps us in our waiting. We are secure.
Major points of the passage The glory to come, when we are revealed as God’s children and
the Creation of our glorious state is birthed
Waiting in patience
Message theme/Message points Recap: Freedom to follow, desire and power to follow.
Theme: Where this is leading
1. As God’s children, we share with Jesus the inheritance of the
kingdom, Jesus mission and the associated suffering.
2. The suffering of the world is from God, is temporary, and is
because of us. Since we were to rule and care for the world,
the world’s fate is tied to us, its restoration to our restoration.
a. This is the end goal of our faith – restoration of
ourselves, the world, and our role in it.
3. We are in the Now and Not Yet time of childbirth. We can taste
the future, but we must go through the pain, with hope.
4. So let us live as kingdom builders, in anticipation.
Application Live in the light of the future
Message Title Where the road leads
[Rom 8:17-25 NIV] 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer
with him, that we may be also glorified together. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth
comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was
subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the
creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children
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.
● We are in the book of Romans in ch8.
In this chapter Paul is explaining the gospel and how to live by it.
● In the last two messages I gave, I’ve been using the metaphor of roads to make it easier to remember
what we are learning.
○ Fundamentally, there are two roads ahead of us.
○ Message 1: ‘Which Road ’
■ In Romans 6, we saw there are two roads, a road where sin is the master which leads to
death, and the road where God is master, leading to life. We have been freed from
slavery to sin so that we can choose to walk the road where God is master.
○ Message 2 ‘What kind of road ’ 2 weeks ago:
■ Again two roads. The road where we are led by our flesh or the road where we are led
by the Spirit.
■ The road where we follow our own natural fleshly desires is a road of breakdown and
death, because as humans we are weak. The road led by the Spirit is a road of life and
peace, because the Spirit is able to make us follow God.
○ Today’s message: ‘ Where does the road lead ?’
■ If we take the road to obey God, and we are led by the Spirit, where does that road take
● Now last week in Kentaro’s message, we learned that when we believe in Jesus we are given the right
to become God’s children, and that is something we should experience to the fullest.
● So I would like to start there today, with what it means to be God’s children.
Point 1: Sharing Christ’s glory and suffering
● V17a Inheritors with Christ
○ Paul has told us before that we are identified with Jesus Christ in his death, and his resurrection
to new life. That is what baptism symbolizes.
○ Here it talks about another connection with Christ. Paul says we are co-heirs with Christ. We will share in the inheritance that God gives to Jesus.
○ So what does Jesus Christ inherit? He inherits the kingdom.
○ Remember, Jesus is his name, and Christ is his title.
Christ means ‘anointed’. Anointing is what you do to coronate kings.
Jesus is the Christ, meaning he is the Messiah, the King that God has chosen to rule over
○ Let’s read what Paul says in the book of Ephesians:
[Eph 1:18-23 NIV] I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength
20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
21 far above all rule and authority,
power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills
everything in every way.
○ So Christ is seated at God the Father’s right hand, meaning he has the most important place.
God the Father made him head over all things.
○ And God gave Christ to the church.
○ Remember we said last time that Christ has authority, and he is given to us,
■ so that we have everything we need to be his people
○ So we are heirs with Christ over everything that God gives him, and God gives him everything.
● V17b Sharing in his suffering
○ But the second half of the verse talks about sharing in Christ’s suffering.
To be God’s child is not just about being good people, or being in relationship to God, it’s also
about sharing in Christ’s suffering.
○ What suffering are we talking about? There are various kinds of suffering, e.g.
■ Paul talked about the internal suffering of being torn between two selves (7:14-25), the
new self we want to be, and our old self .
■ There is suffering because of this broken world. Sickness, death. Earthquakes, floods.
Strife and wars, loneliness.
■ And there is suffering from serving and following God.
● Suffering for the sake of others, like Paul talks about being worried about
● Suffering from people who reject, oppose, and persecute believers
■ This is the suffering that Christ endured, suffering for the building of the kingdom.
■ And we are told we must endure suffering in order to share the glory.
● So the point of being God’s children is not just the relationship with God, it includes
○ inheriting the kingdom. Just like in the Sermon on the Mount.
○ Sharing in the work of Christ.
■ What was the work of Christ?
■ Well he healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead. And this was all part of
telling us that the kingdom of God was coming.
■ Paul looks at it in a little different way:
[2Co 5:18-19 NIV] 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through
Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
■ 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s
sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
■ So the work of Christ was to re-establish peace between God and his creation.
■ And we, as God’s children, are given the responsibility to share in that work.
○ That is the road the Holy Spirit will lead us on, to grow the kingdom, to bring reconciliation.
○ And as v17b says, there is suffering in that process, we will share that but also the glory.
Point 2: Where does this road lead?
● v18 This glory that will be revealed in us is said to be so much bigger than the suffering.
○ There is something that will make up for all the sorrows and suffering of life, the suffering that
may come from building God’s kingdom.
Q: What do you think that is?
● Many people are looking forward to going to heaven, to be with the LORD.
○ Heaven is a spiritual place, where God lives, and we will go there to be with him.
○ But there is something beyond heaven.
○ Remember that we learned that we will receive a new body, like Jesus’ new body.
That body will be glorious.
○ And there is more.
● v19 Creation is eagerly waiting for what will happen to us, for when we are revealed as we were meant
○ Paul was talking about our glory, and now he talks about creation.
○ Well, since we will have a body, our final destination cannot be heaven, a spiritual realm.
○ Our final destination is this created world, but renewed.
God is not going to throw away creation, he is going to renew it.
○ Something will happen to the created world when ‘God’s children will be revealed’.
■ So what is it, what will happen?
■ Let’s first look at what is wrong with the world now.
● Q: What went wrong at the Fall, when Adam and Eve sinned?
○ Loss of relationship with God , certainly.
○ Loss of relationship with people , clearly.
○ Nature is messed up , yes. Earthquakes, floods, disease and death.
○ But what else?
■ We don’t live as we should. But that doesn’t mean simply that we do wrong.
■ It means we don’t do our job properly.
● When we were created we were given a role.
● Our job, our role was to be God’s vice regent on the earth. We were supposed to
rule the earth, take care of it, develop it.
● We don’t do that very well any more. We have become exploitative, uncaring,
● And the creation does not obey us.
■ So our relationship with creation is also broken.
○ So the creation is waiting for us to be revealed as we were meant to be: God’s image-bearers,
taking care of the world.
● V20 God cursed the world, in hope.
○ The effects of the curse:
■ We plant seed and reap thorns – our work becomes burdensome.
■ Relationships are characterized by power hierarchy (上下) and abuse.
■ The world is based on conflict and death.
○ (Problem of Evil): People say “if God is good and powerful, why is there evil?”
■ Some say this proves God is not good.
■ Some say this proves God is not able to make the world good. That he is not competent.
○ But God willed this situation with a purpose, and in hope.
■ First of all, Paul tells us that the current situation isn’t by accident. God willed it.
■ It doesn’t say why God cursed the world, but we know it was because of us.
● There is a connection between our sinfulness and the state of the world.
■ We don’t know how it works.
● It’s probably not a direct connection, because it says it was not Nature that
responded, but God who willed the response.
■ We don’t know why God cursed the world, but we can imagine if we had eternal life and
had unrestricted power over the world.
● The world would be full of conflict
● And we would never repent
■ Secondly, Paul tell us that God cursed the world ‘in hope’.
● This current state is not God’s final intention
● It is only a necessary step along the way
■ So God is not bad, and he is not powerless. He has a plan.
● V21 The curse is not the end
○ This situation will not last forever. One day it will be over.
■ God cursed the world because he was looking to a future day.
■ On that day, the creation will be liberated. God’s plan is to undo the curse upon creation.
○ Creation’s restoration is linked to our restoration, its freedom to our freedom.
■ In that future day, the world will be restored, because we have been restored.
● That connection is still there between us and the creation.
● Because we are given the world to rule, and so our fate is the fate of the world.
And God does not take back what he has given.
○ On that day, the effects of Adam’s sin will be completely undone.
○ Our full capacity to rule and care for the world will be restored
● This is going to be glorious!
Point 3: Now – Not Yet
● V22 The creation groans. Things are not as they should be with the world.
○ But these are not meaningless cries of pain. These are the groans of childbirth.
■ Childbirth is painful (I am told).
■ But the outcome is known, and comes at the appropriate time.
■ The outcome is something new, something wonderful, miraculous.
■ What is coming is the renewed creation
○ Meanwhile there is suffering.
● V23 We too groan. Things are not as they should be with us.
○ We have the firstfruits of the spirit, as a taste and a promise:
■ We experience fellowship with God
■ We experience the love and acceptance we have as his children
■ We experience his leading and his power.
■ So we know that restoration has started.
○ But there is still suffering of all kinds.
Suffering is the gap between what we hope for and what we have.
○ There is a ‘now’ but ‘not yet’ aspect to our salvation.
■ There is more to come. Now we see in part.
■ We wait for the redemption of our bodies, which signals our coming into our inheritance
as sons of God
○ [1John 3:1-3 NIV] 1 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us
is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will
be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be
like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves,
just as he is pure.
○ So we know
■ God loves us
■ We will suffer rejection from the world
■ But God will make us into something glorious
■ And so we walk the road of submission to God
● V24-25 Hope
○ This hoped for future is the goal of our salvation.
○ Our salvation is not simply the forgiveness of sin, and fellowship with God
○ Our salvation is:
■ Our living with God forever
■ As his people, a nation of priests and kings
■ In the world as God intended it
■ With us fulfilling the role God intended for us
○ No we don’t see it yet.
■ That’s why it is called hope.
■ But since we hope, we wait patiently.
● So we have seen the end of the road, the hope that is ahead of us.
○ We will be renewed, in glorious new eternal bodies
○ A renewed creation
○ A renewed role to care for and develop the world
● What does this road mean for us now ?
○ The Christian life is not just about our avoiding doing wrong.
○ The Christian life is not just about our relationship with God.
○ As God’s children, we are called to share in Christ’s kingdom building, the reconciliation of the
world to God
○ God’s plan is to restore the world, and our glorious role in it.
■ That role has never been taken away.
■ I think this should affect how we think about the creation, and how we do our work.
○ .Take courage! Aim high!
● How can we do such a big task?
○ Jesus has the authority to give us the task, and to equip us
○ Jesus gave each one of us abilities and gifts, and he gave us to the church
■ Just as God gave Jesus to the church
○ Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to teach us, to lead us, to motivate us, and to empower us
○ Jesus placed us in the church, his body,
■ To remember who is LORD
■ To feed our hearts and minds
■ To remember God’s purposes
■ To learn how to serve
■ To grow together
The kingdom of Jesus, the Christ, is among us.
And we pray together:
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.