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.
eagerly waiting for the adoption,
“Eagerly waiting” is the same word used in verse 19 of creation’s eager anticipation of glorification at the Second Coming. Paul will use this word again in Romans 8:25:
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
The phrase “eagerly waiting” comes from three words: to watch, away, from. This is an intense idea whereby we stretch our head away from our body to watch for our glorification, the ultimate redemption of our bodies. The idea is of passionate waiting with eagerness.
As we saw in a previous study in this chapter, “adoption” is literally placing as a son. This word describes the sonship of the believer or legal rights with God. We have these rights because we received the Holy Spirit (v. 15). Adoption here is the final phase of our adoption. God will not raise our bodies in their present state but in an entirely new state. Although we believers are already sons, we await the completion of our sonship at our glorification, the redemption of our bodies.
Adoption, then, in this case has to do with future adoption or permanent son-placing. This is the believer’s legal relationship to God as an outcome of God’s grace. We received the adoption at salvation (Ga 4:6-7; Ro 8:15) yet we still anticipate the final adoption in its fullness—the redemption of our bodies. We groan inwardly and wait eagerly for our redemption.
Although our souls are redeemed, our bodies will be fully redeemed as well.
Believers already have a status with God as adopted sons, but we do not yet have the full glorification of our status with God. Christians have already received the adoption positionally, but we will not receive complete benefits of adoption until we are in glory. Although our souls are redeemed, our bodies will be fully redeemed as well.
We should note that adoption includes much more than the redemption of our bodies. Future adoption is when God will recognize us as completed sons, whereas redemption of our bodies is when God will bestow upon us a glorified body without sin and the consequences of sin.
God seals our salvation by giving the indwelling Holy Spirit as the guarantor of our future with God in heaven. He does this by placing a seal on the believer. This seal is a mark of authority. Later in Romans eight, the Holy Spirit will develop the idea of the security of the believer even in much greater detail.
Eph 1: 13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 4: 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Note that Ephesians 4:30 says until “the day of redemption.” God eternally seals our salvation until the believer is fully redeemed. The day of “the redemption of our body” is the day to which the Holy Spirit sealed us (Ep 4:30). This is the guarantee of our complete, fulfilled salvation; the reality of our resurrection is a stark, flat promise from God. All of this depends on the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and is waiting for us over there. God sovereignly controls time and the events of the universe. He directs everything toward the consummation of His purposes. He will never take His hand off of His purpose or decree. He will make us incorruptible, undefiled, and immortal on that day. He has already marked out that day for us, the day of the emancipation of our body.