This is the final portion of the chapter from Dr. Ironside’s book.
WE GROAN AND TRAVAIL
But there is a third aspect of redemption, and that is brought before us in the eighth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. In verse 22 we read:
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 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.
“We ourselves groan within ourselves.” Of whom is he talking? Christians. Groaning Christians? Yes! Oh, I thought Christians were always happy; I thought they were always shouting and singing! Well, you have a lot to learn. Thank God, it is possible to joy even in the midst of sorrow, and Christians have their griefs and sorrow and trials. But they have a wonderful Savior to carry them through those trials—One to sustain and help them in every hour of distress.
One of our chief causes of groaning is that of physical infirmities, and that is what the apostle is talking about here. In our unconverted days our groaning was caused by our sins. We cried out in pain as we longed for deliverance. Then we were groaning in bondage. Now as Christians we groan in grace, because of physical infirmities that are often such a hindrance in our lives. Perhaps you were just getting ready to go to prayer meeting one night. (I hope you love the prayer meeting.) But you did not get there. You were preparing to go, when suddenly you came down with such a sick headache that you had to stay at home. When others were gathered for prayer and praise, there you were, lying on the couch sniffing at camphor, and you were saying to yourself, “What a wonderful day it will be when I get a new body and a new head that will never ache.” Well, that is what the apostle means when he says, “We that are in this tabernacle (body) do groan.” We are so often hindered by physical weakness, but we are looking on to the day of the redemption of the body. We have the firstfruits of the Spirit, but we are looking forward to the full “son placing,” for that is what the word “adoption” means. Then we shall be fully conformed to the Son of God.
“FOR OUR CONVERSATION IS IN HEAVEN”
When will that be? That “redemption of the body”? In Philippians, chapter 3, verses 20-21, we read, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body.” He is drawing our attention to that wonderful event which should now be the hope of the Christian, and I am thinking again of you young Christians. He wants you now to get before your soul as the lodestar, the blessed hope of the Lord’s return. The One who died for you on the cross is coming again, and He is coming to receive you to be with Himself. He could not have you there in the glory as you now are. “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” So in order that you might be suited for the place to which He is going to take you, He will give you a new body, a glorified body; and when you receive that, you will be fit for a place in the Father’s house.
He said before He went away, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” And we learn from other Scriptures what will take place in order to prepare us for the Father’s house. The first Epistle of the Thessalonians, chapter 4, is a wonderful passage as to this. It says:
“The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.”
That is the time when the body will be changed, and our redemption will be complete. Already we have the redemption of the soul; we have been redeemed from judgment. We are experiencing day by day, as we walk in obedience to the Lord, practical redemption, redemption from the power of sin. When our blessed Savior returns, our redemption will be complete—spirit and soul and body will be fully conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.
[I hope you’ve enjoyed this chapter. I very much did so. Oh, and I found this chapter posted on the Lighthouse Trails website, where you will find many other excellent articles and references to other articles available on the web.]
Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .