Romans 8 – Now but Not Yet

Romans 8:18-27 is a rare bit of New Testament writing where Paul connects our future hope with a future hope for all creation. He speaks of our future salvation having a cosmic significance. Rom8:19 says ‘For the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.’ This revealing of the sons of God speaks of the time of resurrection from the dead of the God’s children. When this occurs creation itself will be brought into freedom, no longer subject to the slavery of decay, but brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. This is huge! The resurrection of Jesus points us towards a future where, not only are we resurrected in a renewed body but creation (animals, plants, communities, economies, towns and cities, forests and deserts, oceans and streams) is also renewed and restored. This amazing liberation for all creation is an ultimate reversal of the curse God pronounced after Adam sinned (Gen3:17-19). Adam’s sin not only brought death into the world but also curse on the ground. The decay that creation is currently subject to came as a result of mankind’s sin. It follows, therefore, that with mankind’s ultimate redemption there will also come a redemption for all creation. The salvation of mankind is intimately intertwined with the restoration of all creation!

Read Rom 8:18-27 & Is65:17-25

What does Is65:17-25 tell you about the scope of God’s salvation restoration to all creation?
Look at the description of the different aspects of creation that are redeemed in this passage. In what ways does this broaden your perspective of the future hope we have in Christ?

The idea that God will renew all creation at some point in the future could lead us to think that we don’t need to worry about the world and environment around us. If God is going to renew everything one day then surely it’s ok to use and abuse the world we have now, and squeeze everything we can out of it? Is this attitude and approach right? Why?
What is a gospel centred way of living in this world?

Should Christians be environmental friendly? Should churches get involved in the communities around them? Should the church get involved in politics? Should Christians fight for justice and work for peace in this world? Should Christians help serving the poor and disadvantaged in this world?
If so how what is a gospel centred way of going about these things? Take one or more of the above issues and consider how a gospel centred approach may differ or be in harmony with the way in which the world approaches them.

Find ways as individuals or as a group in which you can practically live out the signs of the future hope of the gospel in the creation around you.


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