Unlimited: We Groan Inwardly
Jan 24, 2023 96
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 (Romans 8:23).
Here, as in the previous chapter, Paul describes the reality in which believers live in this present age. We live with a groaning, an anguish of longing for the deliverance of our whole being from the power of sin. Paul has already described what this groaning entails in Rom 7:14–24.
While it is true, as Paul has already stated in verse 15, that we already possess the blessing of adoption into sonship, we have it as a legal right and inner relationship with God. However, our objective state in the world doesn’t correspond to this reality yet. Inwardly we still struggle with sin, and our bodies still decay and die.
We live with a groaning, an anguish of longing for the deliverance of our whole being from the power of sin.
This spiritually personal application is correct, however, we shouldn’t miss what is a theme in the writings of Paul: his cosmic understanding. There is a clear sense in which we suffer together with all creation, and together with it, we also wait eagerly for the glory that is to come. This connection with creation comes from the responsibility which our first parents were given (Gen 2:15), but which we have denied in our rapacious greed that comes from the fall.
God’s children will have sensitive and “groaning” hearts. To see another suffer should cause us to suffer, be it even the smallest sparrow that falls (Mat. 10:29.)
To love is to suffer. You would never suffer if you didn’t love. (The problem is that many of us love the wrong things.) Practice some suffering by empathizing with another. Find someone who needs support and listen to their story, or just sit with them in their sorrow.