“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”
“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed…”
The Greek term that is here translated “earnest expectation” is only used these two times in the New Testament.
This term carries with it a great deal of meaning. It describes the way that a person looks forward to a future event in certainty that is shall come to pass. There is an implication here of having no doubt of what is to take place at some future point in time. Earnest expectation pictures one who is on tip toe with outstretched neck and squinted eye searching the horizon for the person or event that he is waiting for.
I believe one very important lesson that is being missed in our day is the ability of God to take care of our needs here and now.
When God promised “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” He did say “Never”.
Consider the permanence of this word when it is spoken by God.
Paul is teaching us here not to become overly distracted by the cares of this life. That God is not gone and whatever happens as we live for Him is going to be for His Glory. (verse 20)
“Christ shall be magnified”
Though we suffer…
Look at some of the things that God is going to deliver us from. Though we suffer some things we can have an earnest expectation of God’s deliverance.
I. Though we suffer the bondage of corruption…(decay, ruin)
A. as long as we live here on earth we are still bound to the bodies in which we live until the Lord grants us sweet release to be in His presence.
1. The whole creation (Romans 8:22)
We know that heaven and earth shall pass away
This world is bound to corruption because of sin
2. And so are we (Romans 8:23)
Though we have been sealed with the earnest of the spirit (2Corinthians 1:22) we know that our bodies are going to pass away, back to the dust.
And in these verses we see that we, as well as all of creation “groan” for, we long for the day that creation is made new again, free of sin, corruption, decay and death.
II. Though we suffer Religious Persecution…
I want us to turn our attention now to Philippians 1:14-18
A. Paul is speaking of two distinct groups of people here.
1. those who are truly saved, truly brethren, and preaching Christ for the right reason.
2. those who profess to be brethren and whose life and attitude makes their testimony questionable, though we may not be sure.
Still Paul rejoices because Christ is preached. Notice what he says in verse 19, and he tells that he is prepared to suffer to that end.
Notice also what he says in verse 19…
He knows that whether the faith is being represented in truth or in the energy of the flesh that it shall be to his benefit.
WHAT DO I MEAN?
ROME RULED THE WORLD, and Rome was dedicated to allowing it’s tributaries freedom to practice their own religion.
Paul knew that the religious freedom of one would mean freedom for himself and that it would be the means of his release from the prison that had him bound. (Paul was not writing here of his regeneration but of physical freedom from prison)
In verses 22-26 we see that Paul knew that he was not going to die, he speaks of physical salvation from imprisonment.
This is also our salvation, religious freedom. (Not the salvation of our souls but the security of our physical freedom in this world system)
Though we suffer religious persecution, we have our freedom to worship in America because all have freedom to worship in America.
III. Though we suffer at the hands of the world…
A. Paul was in prison when he wrote this
We know that he thought little of his suffering,
Look at 2Corinthians 11:25-30
This is the same man that wrote in 2Corinthians 4:17 about our “light affliction”
In light of all that we suffer, in light of all that we face, we must remember,
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus”
We must learn to earnestly expect that God will deliver, He will see to our needs, He will be here, He will never leave us nor forsake us,
Things seem dark now but look toward that horizon and hang on
“Be still and know that I am God:”
It is not carelessness nor is it a lack of respect to expect our Father to earnestly expect His help in our hour of need.