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Read Introduction to Romans

 

23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

 

even we ourselves [very emphatic] groan within ourselves,

A “groan” is an utterance of pain. It is a deep sorrow at our present circumstances. In this passage “groan” refers to those of us who have no immediate prospect of deliverance from our personal pain. However, our pain is not permanent. There will come a day when we experience pain no more. Although God does not give a specific date about when this will happen, His promise stands.

Ps 32: 3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah

Just like creation, believers groan because of pain in this world. The double use of “ourselves” is very emphatic. To “groan” is to experience deep sorrow at some circumstance. There is something more even to our salvation than we now experience. What we have now is real, but we look forward to something even better.

“Within” indicates the interior groaning of the believer who awaits redemption from the pain of life. This is not the province of unbelievers. It is strictly the domain of believers, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, to groan temporarily until the redemption of their bodies.

Christians find it difficult to bear the adversities of life. We groan because of susceptibility to sin. We have burdens difficult to bear. These groanings are within ourselves.

PRINCIPLE:

Christians groan, not out of desperation, but in anticipation of future deliverance.

APPLICATION:

There is no evidence of a partial or incomplete salvation in Scripture. The opposite is the case. No one that we read about in Scripture ever loses his or her salvation.

The groaning of the believer is the desire to obtain our blessed future and to be separated from the evils of this world. One day God will raise us from the dead. This is a redemption which the whole creation anticipates. In that day the Lord Jesus will save us body, soul, and spirit. This is the nature of our resurrection state.

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