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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

Suffering Leads to Glorificaiton Notes and Video


SUFFERING FOR THE GLORY OF CHRIST

CHARLES E WHISNANT,  MAY 20, 2012  ROMANS 8:18-23

SUFFERING FOR GOD OR SUFFERING FOR SIN 8:17-27

The Suffering Christ and His Suffering Christians

The Glory of God as Motive in Trials and Suffering

 

Free from Indwelling Sin:       8:1-11

Sonship Through the Spirit:    8:12-17

From Suffering to Glory:        8:18-30

God’s Everlasting Love           8:31-37

Sonship Through the Spirit

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
From Suffering to Glory
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered.

  OKAY YOU SAY, WHAT ARE WE DO TO WITH THIS INFORMATION?
And illustration:
This past week, I read the Tony Award winning play, Red about the life of the late painter Mark Rothko.  Rothko was a brilliant artist and contemporary of Jackson Pollock.  Like Pollock, Rothko suffered but not just for his art, he also suffered for the success of his art.  He was obsessed with his own relevance.  He was constantly plagued by the anxiety of remaining at the top and at the cutting edge.  When the artistic movement led by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein threatened Rothko’s position, he committed suicide.
On the one hand, anyone who attempts to do anything of consequence suffers; the difference is whether it is worth it.
Romanian pastor Richard Wurmbrand spent 14 years in a communist prison for preaching the gospel. Although his captors smashed four of his vertebrae and either cut or burned 18 holes in his body, they could not defeat him. He testified, “Alone in my cell, cold, hungry, and in rags, I danced for joy every night.” During this time he turned to a fellow prisoner, a man he had led to the Lord before they were arrested, and asked, “Have you any resentment against me that I brought you to Christ?” His response: “I have no words to express my thankfulness that you brought me to the wonderful Savior. I would never have it another way.”
Wurmbrand truly suffered but he did so with peace.  Rothko suffered without any inner calm.  The difference lay in what they suffered for–the latter suffered for himself the former for God and the promise of an inheritance of total access to God day and night.
This is how life works–suffer for yourself and live in anxiety and die in misery.  Or, like our Lord, suffer out of faithfulness for God and know peace and joy now and heaven later.
Which will you choose?[i]
WHEN THE SCRIPTURES TALK ABOUT PROGRESSION TOWARD RESURRECTION, THEY EMPHASIZE DEATH.  WHEN SCRIPTURES TALK ABOUT PROGRESSION TOWARD GLORIFICATION, THEY EMPHASIZE OUR SUFFERING AND WEAKNESS.

Introduction

In Romans 8:18-25 we find that the Christian will likely face difficult life situations. Along with the freedom of a new life also come the transition period into this life. Verse 21 and 23 carefully explain this:
"The creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God" and


"But also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body."
In other words, there is a parallel experience going on between creation and the children of God. There is the ultimate plan of freedom alongside the distressful life experiences. Although we are the Lord's, we still are affected by the sin-stained world. As Christians we are caught in the frailty of our human bodies. They have not experienced redemption even though our souls have. Our real potential is hidden behind the weakness of our human bodies.
For this reason hope well characterizes our lives. We inherently know and long for the full realization of all of God’s promises.There is a pattern very clearly set in verses 17-18.
Creation Suffers Romans 8:19-25
Romans 8:17 starts by connecting suffering with glorification. "...If indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him" (Romans 8:17).
Paul is addressing God's children living on the edge of two worlds, one group of people are caught in the web of sin and death and the other have stepped into life and light (see Romans 5). Christians, however, like those bound in darkness are still suffering even though they have escaped the curse of sin through justification. Perhaps Paul sensed the impending persecution against Christians. In any case, the Roman Christians greatly suffered and needed a theology to take them through.
Conclusion: We should not therefore be surprised when God sometimes takes what is perfect and subjects it to a humble status so that a greater good might be accomplished. Take hope! This stage of suffering is merely a transitional period.

Theological perspective

We should remember that it is man that sinned. Because of God's grace both the creation and Christ Jesus suffered. If man did not sin, then both the creation and Christ would not have suffered at all. But somehow through God's amazing grace in the face of man's awful sin, a greater good results!
"For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Neither has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard" (Palms 22:24).
"The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; Those who seek Him will praise the LORD. Let your heart live forever!" (Psalms 22:26).
"alled according to His purpose."

Practical perspective

Romans 8:28, along with the former verses on adoption and the latter ones on calling, all become our spiritual backbone. The truth in this verse is incredible! God can and will work out all things for a higher good. No matter what sickness, shortness of life, poverty, persecution, difficulty in life, family rejection or even horrible physical features we might have, we can fully trust God to bring about a greater good. In other words, in His wise providence, the trials are designed to further His good purpose.

Bottom Line

Trials are to be expected. Suffering is part of this life. We are to keep our faith and even strengthen our trust in Him during times of trials for God will create a greater good out of it.

Great to know that everything will work out for us in the end! [ii]

 

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
As we have tried to establish over these lessons in chapter eight that the purpose of the whole 8th chapter of this book of Romans is to show Christian believers the way to a full assurance of their salvation.  They have a new spirit within them working for righteousness, a spirit which will guarantee their ultimate glorification, including even their bodies.
In addition to all this we are “sons of God,’ and should have within them “the spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
And over all this and even above this it is possible for each Christian believer to experience the Spirit Himself bearing witness with their spirit that they are the ‘children of God, and if children, the heirs, and heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.” Amen and Amen.  Lloyd-Jones

And as we are going to see all that the world and throw against us in trails and suffering, we are going to be strengthen in our faith, which is going to further give us the assurance  of our salvation..
Paul is going to say, and is saying, that in their suffering (the Christian believers in Rome) is  a proof that they are children of God, in that the sufferings are a proof that they are being prepared for the glory to which they will be taken.
For as in Acts 14:22 that in much tribulation that we must enter into the kingdom of God..
The point Paul, is that the ultimate end and object of salvation is our glorification.
We must remember that all those who are saved, are “in Christ” and as such are “united with Christ,” and therefore will be glorified “together with Him.
We and those in Roman needed to remember that just been forgiven is not the end.  Even their sanctification is not the end of the matter, but the end is glorification, and this then is the theme to which Pau is now about to introduce us to..

NOW WE NEED TO ASK THE QUESTION: WHAT DOES’GLORIFICATION’ MEAN?
COMMENTARY ON EACH VERSE
1A     FOR
Since “and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together”
               The threefold testimony to the future transfiguration which awaits suffering believers.
               8:19-22 The Testimony – the sighing of creation
               8:23-25 The yearning hope of Christians themselves




[ii] http://www.foundationsforfreedom.net/References/NT/Pauline/Romans/Romans08/Romans08_18-25_Suffering.html