Wednesday, May 30, 2012
“But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:25 KJV).
We live in this fallen world, an environment abounding with despair, disease, and death. But, as Christians, we have hope. We patiently wait for the day when we shall be eternally delivered from the presence of sin and its accompanying miseries.
Since we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, God has spiritually redeemed us: our souls are no longer bound for hell because God has forgiven us our sins in Christ, and He has delivered us from the penalty of sin (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14).
Spiritually, we are redeemed, but our physical bodies have yet to be redeemed. In the context of today’s Scripture (verses 18-24), the Apostle Paul discusses “the sufferings of this present time,” living in a world that is under the curse of sin (“the bondage of corruption” [verse 21] that God placed on creation in response to Adam’s sin [Genesis 3:16-19]).
Because of sin’s curse, every living creature suffers: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:22). But even we Christians suffer sin’s curse! “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (verse 23).
Thankfully, “For we are saved by hope” (verse 24a). This is not soul salvation, but salvation from despair and hopelessness. Yes, we suffer sickness and we will experience physical death (short of the rapture), but there is hope! At the rapture, we Christians will receive glorified physical bodies, bodies fashioned like unto Jesus Christ’s resurrected body, bodies that will be eternally delivered (“redeemed”) from sin, disease, and death (Philippians 3:20,21; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58; Ephesians 4:30). The rapture is God’s method for healing in this the Dispensation of Grace: be not fooled by the “faith healers” of our day!
We join our Apostle in faith and hope, and declare (without sight; 2 Corinthians 5:7), “The rapture—we with patience wait for it!”