Greetings In the Name of the Lord:
Romans 8:23-25 (NLT)
23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.
24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it.
25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
The great thing about the Good News is that it just keeps getting better. We have seen how it brings us salvation by faith, forgiveness of sins, release from the power of sin, and how God adopts us as His children. However, now Paul tells about something else we gain from the Good News, hope. He begins by saying, “And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us…” “Groaning” expresses a frustrated longing for God’s deliverance from the difficulties and oppression of this life (NLT Study Bible). We still face the same difficulties that other people who do not know Christ face. We still have bills to pay, sickness to overcome, disappointments, heartache, sadness, and loss. However, we have something that the non-Christ followers do not have, hope! Paul tells us, “…the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” We have the hope that there is something more than what we see right now. We have the hope of eternal life with Christ in a place that defies the imagination. Furthermore, we have the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of the that hope. You see Biblical hope is not wishful thinking, but rather it is a looking forward to something that is certain and concrete. In the OT, the phrase first harvest or firstfruits often describes the offering of the first and best part of a harvest to God. The Holy Spirit is God’s pledge that he will see his work in us through to its conclusion (NLT Study Bible). In his letter to the Ephesian church Paul wrote, “The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him” (Eph. 1:14, NLT). So now only do we have the promise of new life, but we also have the guarantee of that new life – the Holy Spirit living within us. The Good News just gets better and better!