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You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet (Romans 8:18-27)

First Baptist Church https://fbcbartow.org

“You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”

(Romans 8:18-27)

Series: Romans – United in the Gospel [on screen]

Rev. Matthew C. McCraw, EdD

First Baptist Church, Bartow, Florida

May 22, 2022

Introductory Comments:

What a beautiful journey we have begun in Romans 8. We started off this way last week, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” [on screen] How incredible is that? No condemnation for the child of God!

However, there’s more beautiful truth found in this chapter. In fact, today’s sermon is entitled, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet.” [on screen] In today’s passage, Paul is going to speak about the glories of the life that awaits those of us who are in Jesus. 

Before we go any further, let’s pray together and ask God to speak to us. Join me now in prayer. 

(prayer)

So, let’s look at the passage that we’re studying today. Look at Romans 8:18-27:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. 23 Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Well, church: God has given us many blessings in Christ while we are here on this earth but we ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Or, we have not seen anything, yet.

There are realities and promises that are secured for us by the work of Jesus and the delivery of the Holy Spirit that are sure to come our way. These are realities that we can anticipate as we look to days ahead. 


So, let’s look at these realities. First, . . . 

I. We anticipate future glory. [on screen]

Listen again to what Paul says in verse 18:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.

Isn’t that verse just so full of wonder and beauty?

First of all, Paul doesn’t skip over the reality that some of us have suffered. Now, some of us have suffered to various degrees but we can agree on this: there is definitely suffering in this world? There is suffering in this life. There is suffering in this present time. 

Paul has already spoken about suffering. In fact, it’s hard to understand the meaning of verse 18 without going back to verse 17, which we studied last week. Verse 17 says, “ . . . if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.”[on screen]

Although there are sufferings in this world at this present time, they are not worth comparing to all the blessings and glory that we are still yet to realize in the days to come. 

When Jesus comes back and takes us home to be with Him forever, there will be glory revealed to us that will likely cause us to reflect back upon the sufferings of this world as if they never happened because the blessings that God gives His children far outweigh the burdens of this world!

Life in Jesus is pretty incredible now, isn’t it, church? However, down the road, there is something that we can only imagine that is incredibly more awesome than what we have now. 

So, you may be going through some terrible suffering in this moment, legitimately. However, that does not compare to the riches and glory of that which is to come! 

We must anticipate, or look forward to, this future glory!

Also, . . .

II. Creation anticipates future newness. [on screen]

Did you know that the actual physical creation is suffering also? Likewise, it is looking forward to a day of redemption and newness.

Listen to what Paul says in verses 19-22:

19 For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope 21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now.

Paul gets right to the point in verse 19: creation itself is eagerly waiting for God’s sons to be revealed. Well, what does that mean exactly?

Remember, Paul said in last week’s passage that we are God’s adopted sons. With that comes an inheritance that has not yet been fully revealed. However, one day it will be totally revealed who God’s children are. When that moment happens, everyone will know who belongs to Jesus because a redemption process will accelerate that will affect everything, including creation itself!

Paul says that creation was subjected to futility by God when sin came into the world. 

Sin not only affected us, it affected the place where we live; it affected everything!


We read about this in the earliest moments after sin came into the world. Genesis 3:17-18 says, “The ground is cursed because of you. You will eat from it by means of painful labor all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you . . .” [on screen]

Church, all of creation is affected by sin and it is looking forward to the day that it is no longer affected.

We know all about the futility of creation here in Florida, don’t we? Mosquitos can overtake you at dusk. Alligators can chomp your leg off. Rattlesnakes can catch you in the woods. The heat can make you pass out. We have drought in the dry season and floods in the rainy season. We have hurricanes and sinkholes. We have love bugs, Cuban tree frogs, and buzzards everywhere. We’ve got pythons in the everglades and iguanas in South Florida. We get to see firsthand that creation is messed up!

My wife has been on a mission for about a year to rid our yard of carpenter ants. [show picture on screen] Quite frankly, at times I think she is fighting a losing battle. But one day creation will be set free from the curse of carpenter ants! So, ultimately, it is not a losing battle. 

Paul said that creation is even groaning such as in labor pains. It is painful for us to suffer and it is painful for creation to suffer. But, just like in childbirth, what is coming after the labor pains is wonderful and miraculous! I’ve never seen a mother holding a newborn child after going through labor and say, “Well, that wasn’t worth it!” No, they are smiling and gazing into the eyes of that child with wondrous and glorious joy, to which the sufferings that led to that moment cannot compare!

One day, all creation will be made good, right, and new. 

Church, be encouraged! There is not only a coming glory for us there is a coming glory for creation also!

So, creation anticipates future newness. Similarly, . . . 

III. We anticipate our redemption. [on screen]

Again, listen to what Paul says in verses 23-25:

23 Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. 24 Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 25 Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.

Not only is creation groaning, we are also groaning. We are eagerly awaiting for the full benefits of our adoption as God’s children to be unleashed. Oh, what a glorious day that will be!

On that day, we will experience the redemption of everything including the redemption of our bodies. 

Now, most of you know that I just turned forty. Someone asked me if I felt like I was forty. I said that I felt forty before I was forty. I’m old enough to know why the hair color industry exists. I’m old enough to know that it’s easier to lose weight when you’re twenty than when you’re forty. I’m old enough to get an injury while I’m sleeping. I’m old enough to be outrun by one of the children in my household. Oh, how I look forward to the redemption of my body!

One day there will be no more glasses, no more hearing aids, no more bandages, no more COVID-19, no more cancer, no more abortion, no more miscarriages, no more infertility, no more dementia, no more blindness, no more deafness, no more diabetes, no more mental illness, no more lupus, no more strokes, no more heart attacks, no more sore back, no more sore throats, and no more sickness. Oh, what a glorious day that will be!

I’m thankful for hospitals, vaccines, nurses, physicians, bandaids, Advil, NyQuil, and Pepto bismol, but you ain’t seen nothing yet, Church! There is a wonderful and full redemption that awaits the children of God. What a glorious day that will be!

Paul says in verse 24 that it is in this hope that we are saved. 

We have a sure hope that all that God promised will be fulfilled. What has already been secured for us in the work of Jesus will surely one day be delivered to us fully. It is already sure but not yet fully experienced. But, oh, what a glorious day that will be!

We have a great hope of what is to come. 

We hope as a schoolchild hopes in the knowledge that the last day of school is coming at some point. We hope as a young engaged couple hopes in the knowledge that their wedding day is approaching. We hope as someone who is 64 years old hopes in the knowledge that soon and very soon they will see retirement. We hope as someone who knows vacation is just a few days away.

We hope in a way that we don’t yet see it but we know it’s coming!

Creation is groaning and looking forward to redemption. So also, we are groaning and looking forward to redemption. 


Finally, . . .

IV. The Spirit anticipates our groanings. [on screen]

The Holy Spirit of God groans on our behalves. Remember, He is our helper and our counselor. He feels for us and He comes to our aid in our suffering.

Listen to verses 26-27:

26 In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Sometimes in the midst of our suffering, we don’t even know how to pray to God. 

Have you ever been so hurt, mad, or confused that you don’t even know what to say? It’s that way in our spiritual lives sometimes. 

However, the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. When we don’t know what to say, He does. He takes our groanings and He groans on our behalf before the throne of God. Then, God the Father, who knows our hearts, also knows the mind of His Spirit and He hears our prayers and blesses us. 

He is with us, He knows our hearts, and through His Spirit, He hears our prayers perfectly. He has promised that He will be with us now and He will fully rescue us later. 


That day is coming. The sufferings are great now but the glories will be greater later. Oh, what a glorious day that will be. 

Concluding Thoughts:

Church, “ . . . the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.”


So, let us live our lives with anticipation of all that God is still doing and will do in our lives. 

Let this bottom line summarize what God’s Word teaches us today. 

Bottom Line: Our future story is full of future glory. [on screen]

(repeat)

Did you know that, Church? Your future story is full of future glory. 

With the coming of summer break, you know that school will start back in about two months. With the coming of retirement, you know you will have a honey-do list that is way overdue; you know that eventually, your body will begin to breakdown as you get older. With vacation, you know that it will soon be over and you’ll have to be back at work. These blessings are only temporary. 

However, when our future glory comes it will be ours forever. Our future story is full of future glory. 


Challenge yourself this week in the following ways:

Weekly Challenge: [on screen]

1. Identify how you have suffered. [on screen]

Now, we are not to sulk in defeat. However, you can take some time this week to identify how you have suffered. 

Thank God that He is with you in the midst of this suffering. Thank God that He promises you a future glory to which the sufferings of this world cannot compare. 

2. Identify the future that awaits you. [on screen]

Now, we don’t know everything about the future that awaits us. However, we do know some truths about the future glories that await us.

Take some time this week and dive into God’s Word. Discover the future that awaits us. 

Closing:

Do you have future glories that await you? If you are in Jesus, you certainly do. 

(Gospel presentation)

(closing prayer)

COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER: The text contained in this sermon is solely owned by its author. The reproduction, or distribution of this message, or any portion of it, should include the author’s name. The author intends to provide free resources in order to inspire believers and to assist preachers and teachers in Kingdom work.

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