Listen and grow from the current and past sermons preached at Eternal City Church in Pittsburgh PA.
We learn that within five verses: Romans 8:22-26: the creation is groaning, we who are Christians are groaning, and the Holy Spirit is groaning on the Christian's behalf. This groaning is unexpressed suffering in the hope of being liberated from bondage to decay and frustration. There is, in addition, a glorious truth that God is at work on behalf of those whom he has called to himself. God will work out all things in their lives for their ultimate good. This truth should cause us to look forward in the hope of one day seeing how God used all the events in our own lives we experienced as terrible and destructive (or good) to shape us and keep us clinging to God, helping us to persevere until the end.
When our first parents (Adam and Eve) sinned against God, God responded by cursing the ground and, by extension, breaking his "very good" creation as a judgment. Since that fateful day, the whole creation has been "groaning" with labor pains, anticipating a new creation. Eagerly awaiting God's children to be revealed. This day will fulfill old testament prophecies such as Isaiah 11:1-10 and Isaiah 65:17-25.
"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us."
Every person suffers. This is part of our human existence. We are subject to living in a fallen and broken world and being subjected to the consequences of our sin. Sometimes suffering is mysterious. We don't understand what is happening or why. Sometimes we can't imagine that God is involved in our suffering. The good news is that God has entered into our hell by becoming one of us and willing suffering on the cross in our place. He has not left us to ourselves. He has taken on ultimate suffering and won.
Creating A Culture Of Encouragement
Ephesians 4:29 exhorts Christians to "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." This means that we as believers must be intentional about how we speak to one another. Being deliberate in encouraging our brothers and sisters for their good and God's glory as well as the strengthening of God's church.
Rejoice, childless one
In Isaiah 54:1 the prophet says “Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the LORD. Paul quotes this verse in Galatians 4:27 referencing the true children of God. The implication is that all those united to Jesus are the sons and daughters of God. We are family. This familial dynamic is by grace, through faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Immanuel God With Us
Our first parents Adam and Eve, had the unhindered and unbroken presence of God. He was face to face with them. Tragically their rebellion broke this union they enjoyed. Thankfully, God always pursues his children even when they run away and hide from him. God has made a new way for his children to have unbroken access to his presence once again. Let's draw near through the body broken and bloodshed of Jesus that we may know God more intimately and better (John 17:3).