Romans 8:14-30

N. Anderson.

A normal feature of sonship is the leading of the Holy Spirit. Amongst other things, He leads to the moral judgment of what we were so that we might accept the truth of being identified with Christ. He was crucified that judicially "our old man" would be crucified with Him. Accepting this we realise we need power to live to God. The Spirit then is, "the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." Hence He leads in the consciousness of deliverance from the bondage of sin, also from the bondage and fear of the law. On the positive side the Spirit leads into the liberty and joy of sonship. This is the new place of the believer, through grace and redemption. The Spirit is also the witness with our spirits of our new and proper relationship as children of God. This ensures heirship with Christ. Though not at home any longer in the world where Christ was crucified, where consequently suffering with Christ is our portion, the hope of glory with Christ is spread before us. In the light of this, present time sufferings are not worthy of being compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us. This shall be the glory of Christ's supremacy and also of the Father's house. These shall be revealed to us in the moment of our being caught up to meet our glorified and glorious Lord.

So, we are waiting to go in and, if so, creation awaits our coming out. Creation expects the manifestation of the sons of God.

The creation is in subjection to the bondage of corruption with its suffering and death. It has been made subject to vanity — unlike man, the fallen head — "not of its will, but by reason of Him who has subjected [the same], in hope that the creature itself also shall be set free . . . into the liberty of the glory of the children of God" (verses 21, 22 N. Tr.). Creation has no place in the glory of grace but it will have in that which glory gives.

The Creator would not have it that the creation have the ascendancy over man, and so He subjected it. The period of its subjection is limited, God has His own purpose and in His own time He shall glorify the many sons. In the meantime the whole creation groans and travails together in pain until now, and we groan too as linked with it in these bodies of humiliation. If the creation awaits its deliverance, we do also — we await redemption by power. We are redeemed by blood, every judicial question which could be raised has been settled to God's eternal and righteous satisfaction, we are waiting to be freed from the weakness of our present condition. We shall yet have bodies like unto Christ's body of glory — bodies suited to the treasure which they now contain.

The Spirit is the first-fruits of that coming glorious day and it is the Christian company which possesses Him as such. We have been saved in hope — in hope of the glory! While we hope we wait with patience. And thus are we helped for the Spirit understands the inarticulate groans of the saints of God deeply inwrought with holy sensibilities. While they do not know what to pray for as they ought "the Spirit itself makes intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered." Whilst unutterable on our side, they are not unknowable with God who searches our hearts, for He knows what is the mind of the Spirit Who prays according to God. We do now however that all things work together for good — things pleasing and otherwise. The things which beset saints in their journey here are allowed of God. We are sons of God and are being educated as sons for the day of glory. Rejoice then that we are among those who love God, who are called according to His purpose. That purpose is impossible of being thwarted for it will eventuate in our being conformed unto the image of His Son. When this does take place Christ shall be manifested amongst His brethren in the day of kingdom glory, grace has wrought with this blessed end in view. The many brethren are being formed now in order to their being His representatives then. He shall be the Firstborn among many brethren, all praise to Him.