Rom. 8:22-23 …The whole creation groans together… We ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan in ourselves, eagerly awaiting sonship, the redemption of our body.
Matt. 6:10 Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth.
13 …For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
If you talk with unbelievers, they will admit that, in a sense, they have some enjoyment in their entertainments, like dancing and gambling. However, they will also tell you that they are unhappy….They also are groaning, but only groaning; there is nothing else. We, on the contrary, as we are groaning, have within us the Spirit as the firstfruits, as the foretaste of God Himself. Even as we are suffering, we have the enjoyment. We have the taste of the presence of the Lord. The presence of the Lord is simply the Spirit as the firstfruits for our enjoyment. So, we are different from worldly people. They experience groaning without the inward enjoyment. We, however, groan outwardly, but rejoice inwardly….We rejoice because we have the firstfruits of the Spirit. The divine Spirit within us is the foretaste of God which leads us to the full taste of the enjoyment of God. This is a great item in the blessings of sonship. (Life-study of Romans, p. 228)
While we are groaning and enjoying the firstfruits of the Spirit, we are expecting sonship…. Although we have sonship within us, this sonship has not yet become full….What is full sonship? It is the redemption of our body. We have sonship in our spirit through regeneration and we may also have son-ship in our soul through transformation, but we do not as yet have sonship in our body through transfiguration. In the coming day we will also have sonship in our body. This is full son-ship, our longing expectation.
We come…to the matter of glorification…. [Romans 8:19 says], “For the anxious watching of the creation eagerly awaits the revelation of the sons of God.”… Revelation means to open the veil…. Although we are the sons of God, we are veiled, not yet revealed. When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He was the Son of God, but He was veiled by His human flesh. One day on the mountain He was unveiled and revealed (Matt. 17:1-2). It is the same with us. Although we are sons of God, yet we are under a veil. One day this veil will be removed—that will be our glorification….Then the whole universe will behold the sons of God.
The creation is eagerly expecting and anxiously watching to see this revelation of the sons of God, because “the creation was made subject to vanity, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will also be freed from the slavery of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:20-21)….Creation’s only hope is to be freed from this slavery of corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God when the sons of God are revealed. Although the entire creation is presently held in a condition of vanity and corruption, God will bring in a kingdom to replace this present condition. The present condition is a condition of vanity and slavery of corruption; the coming kingdom will be a kingdom of the glory of God, a kingdom composed primarily of revealed sons of God. At the time of the revelation of this kingdom the whole creation will be liberated. The creation is eagerly expecting and anxiously watching for this kingdom to come. Thus, “the whole creation groans together and travails in pain together until now” (v. 22). The universe is groaning and travailing in birth awaiting the revelation of the sons of God. Furthermore, we ourselves, “who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,” also groan as we expect sonship, the redemption of our body (v. 23). (Life-study of Romans, pp. 228-229, 251-252)
Further Reading: Life-study of 1 Thessalonians, msgs. 11-12; Life-study of 2 Thessalonians, msg. 1