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Romans 8:23 – Waiting for sonship

26-05-2021 - Posted by Hans

Yet not only so, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruit of the spirit, we ourselves also, are groaning in ourselves, awaiting the sonship, the deliverance of our body.

Not only the whole of creation groans under “the slavery of corruption”, but “we ourselves also”. Paul’s phrasing this indicates that he views believers as an essentially different category. Not necessarily part of “all creation”. The reason is that we “have the firstfruit of the spirit.” That is “the spirit of life” (: 2), or the spirit that raised Christ as firstfruits from the dead (: 11) and is therefore also called “the spirit of Christ” (: 9). That this spirit dwells in us means that we belong to a new creation. Out of the reach of “the slavery of corruption”.

Nevertheless, we also groan within ourselves. We may have “the firstfruit of the spirit”, but “the deliverance of our body” is still waiting. Because based on the body, we are still part of this old creation. And that is why we also share in the groaning of that creation. Waiting for the sonship. We have received “the spirit of sonship” (8:15) but the sonship itself takes place when our bodies are delivered. So we groan in joyful anticipation!