Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:23
Read: Romans 8:22-23
Listen: Romans 8
Knowing his readers will make the connection, Paul uses the analogy of pain in childbirth to describe the state of our world. He knows it’s horrible, but only until the baby finally arrives. Then the joy and beauty of new life make the pain practically forgotten. Paul goes on to say this is true not only for creation but also for their bodies. Whatever pain they experience one day gives way to a new body. As this thought begins to sink in, Paul uses the idea of “firstfruits” to help explain it.
In the same way “first fruits” are a down payment on a greater harvest to come, this image hints at a theological reality we describe as “already/not yet.” Yes, we are “already” sons and daughters of God, but we have “not yet” experienced this reality fully—especially as it pertains to our bodies that are breaking down.
This “redemption of our bodies” is a huge deal for many of us. Living between cancer scans, we look forward to no more anxiety. Unable to leave the house, we long for the day when we can walk and run. Caring for family members experiencing memory loss, we yearn for coherent and joyful discussions. The hope of the Gospel is not just for creation but for our bodies as well. God’s Spirit in us guarantees it.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Offer gratitude to God for providing this hope through his Son, Jesus. If you have not yet placed your faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sin, we’d love to have a conversation with you about how this hope can be yours. Contact us at email@example.com and say, “I want this hope.”
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
March is FASTING. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.