Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 3 Study # 4
Thesis: The time of the subjection to the bondage of corruption is to be lived in hope.
Introduction: In our last study we saw that God deliberately and sovereignly placed the entire creation under the bondage to corruption. This bondage was called The Vanity because, no matter what happens in the short term by reason of the powers of corruption, the extended outcome will be the opposite of the intentions of the master of The Vanity. Paul ended that particular part of his teaching by saying that the future holds forth the promise and hope of the freedom of the children of The God. This "freedom" is the deliverance from the bondage to corruption and will be accomplished by God as He shares His "glory" with children.
This evening we are going to look into Paul's contrasting reasoning. It seems to be his intention to attempt to overthrow the mindset of human beings who tend to be very fixated upon the present and the problems. He wishes his readers to embrace "Hope".
April 23, 2017
- I. The Present Reality.
- A. A matter of common knowledge.
- 1. Since Paul confidently wrote that "we know..." (oidamen), the evidence has to be all around us.
- 2. Interestingly, both the first and second laws of thermodynamics support Paul's thesis that we are under bondage to corruption.
- a. The first law basically says "you cannot win".
- b. The second law basically says "you cannot even break even".
- c. This is fundamental science and its evidence is everywhere ... termites, moths, rust, wear, etc.
- B. A matter of divine intentionality.
- 1. The subjection of the whole creation to the bondage of corruption has, as one of the intentions, painful awareness (groaning together as if squeezed in a vise).
- 2. The subjection of the whole creation to the bondage of corruption has, as a second intention, the production of a "baby" (laboring together in birth).
- a. In Paul's analogy he uses two rare words.
- 1. "Groaning together" has only two attested uses in Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon.
- 2. "Laboring together" is rare for a reason: it is almost impossible for a woman to share her "travailing in birth".
- a) Following Paul's analogy of the whole creation followed by "we also ourselves", we see that the "travailing together" is the woman and her baby; the baby doing very little but being "pressured" from all sides.
- b) Our subjection to the bondage of corruption is not by our choice and our method of enduring is "hope" that we will, one day, burst forth into the glorious freedom of the Kingdom of the Christ.
- b. The point here is a return to the end of 8:20 and the words "upon hope".
- C. A matter of long term "time".
- 1. It has been going on for a long time.
- 2. It is currently the reality of time.
- D. A matter of "even we ourselves".
- 1. Those indwelt by the Spirit of God do have a significant advantage, but it is not as significant as some would like us to think.
- 2. Even the "first fruits of the Spirit" do not erase our groaning.
- 3. But as believers, this First Fruits first fruit is "hope"; an attitude of mind that enjoins patient endurance.
- E. A matter of the body as a dominating reality under bondage.
- 1. Our bodies are capable of making the issues of the spirit and soul look less important than they are.
- 2. Our bodies are loathe to endure the bondage to corruption so that our attitudes are often turned from hope to complaint.
- F. A matter of "hope's" impact.
- 1. "Hope" was there when the promise was made so that when the promise is believed, "hope" enters the picture [we were saved in hope].
- 2. But, "hope" is "hope"; it is not present reality.