From my desk, I have the pleasure of seeing the sunrise. Most of my cover pictures come from there. It’s especially enjoyable now as I notice daily changes in the position of the sun. Every day it marches further and further north as it peeks over the horizon. I’m not the only one that notices this. The birds are singing like crazy. It’s as if the whole world is waiting with great expectation. For what? Spring? Yes, the world comes alive with spring, but that’s not what is really happening. Something much more important is happening, something so huge that we often don’t even notice it. We’re like flies on an elephant – oblivious to the obvious.
Romans 8:18-25 For I consider that the sufferings of the present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know what the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Ok, there is far more to this, now that I type it out, than I realized. I always thought it was about Jesus’ return, and it is, but his return is important for a reason. Let’s see if we can tease this out.
– For the revealing of the sons of God.
– To be set free from its bondage to decay AND obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
– WE wait for adoption as sons which is the redemption of our bodies.
I’m starting to see a whole new side of this. The idea of Jesus’ return shines a huge spotlight on a problem. Jesus HAS to return. Why? Because the entirety of creation is a huge mess. It’s rotting away. Not only that, but there is no hope of rectifying the situation on our own. Why? Because the whole of creation is in BONDAGE to decay. We cannot loosen ourselves. Furthermore, it’s not the earth’s fault that it is deteriorating. It’s OUR fault. There’s no point arguing the merits or demerits of climate change. Nope. This world – the entire universe – is going down the toilet because of us.
Because of us, as in humans? Yes. That’s what I read here. God isn’t coming to stop beetles from chewing on rotted tree trunks, although that will happen. No, he is coming for those whom he has chosen. Why is that necessary? Because MANKIND, starting with Adam and Eve, have made a complete mess out of everything. We have not only soiled in our nest, we have completely ruined it.
And everything in the universe knows it.
That’s why it’s groaning in hope of Jesus’ return, for him to make right in us that which is wrong. He is removing man entirely. Some will get new, resurrected bodies and enjoy the new heavens and new earth with him for eternity. Others will be removed to be contained forever in the lake of fire. And the whole of creation is looking forward to that. Can you say, “Good Riddance!’?
God is making all things new. And we, the ones who have firstfruits of the Spirit, are his primary target. We are what he has personally chosen to make right. The entirety of the human race was garbage, including us, but he chose us, who are indeed saved, to reveal to the entire universe as the sons of God.
Let that sink in for a minute. We, the born-agains, have the FIRSTFRUIT of the Spirit. FIRSTFRUIT! Firstfruit is big concept throughout the entirety of the Old Testament. And to think we have the firstfruit of the SPIRIT? We, the ones who completely trashed our hotel room, in a drunken, violent, rock n’ roll orgy, are being treated like royalty, like God treats Jesus himself?
It doesn’t make any sense. Not to me, anyway. Apparently, it does for God. That is very, very good news for me. We see this explained in Romans 5:
Romans 5:6-11 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – although perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we were reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
So, the birds are singing today. Yes, they are signing to the Lord because he made them that way. But, they are also signing in anticipation for the removal of mankind’s impact. And, quite frankly, so am I. So, what’s our takeaway? This is about US no longer being subjected to decay. I am a son of God. My bondage to decay (sin) has been broken. I have been freed. Completely. Yes, Jesus is coming to present me with my new body, but I have been set free of sin. Yes, I have. My job, besides sharing the gospel (like the birds), is to rid myself of my unlocked chains. To remove all sign of rotten. I should be looking for signs of decay and cut it off, just as I would gangrene on a wounded leg.
Romans 6:12-14 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
Let the singing birds be reminders, my friends, of God’s return for us, and make every effort to rid ourselves of sin. I can assure you, the birds, trees, and all of creation has been burdened beyond imagination because of us. Let’s not tolerate our sin a moment longer. Make yourself ready for the coming of our King, the Lord Jesus Christ!
Father, I want to do this. Please encourage me! Amen!
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers