How many people here have had the Egyptian flu? How many people here know what the  Egyptian flu is? Well, the Egyptian flu starts out with some symptoms very much like the flu  that many of us are familiar with, you feel very tired, your stomach feels kind of off,  sometimes even have nausea and vomiting. And as it progresses, it gets beyond those flu  symptoms. And you begin to swell and swell and swell. And then as the Egyptian flu reaches  its climax, you feel pain, worse than any pain you have ever felt. And then you become a  mummy. And the Egyptian flu, as some of you may recognize is simply being pregnant. It is  having nausea first, then this growth that seems very much like a tumor, and then this terribly intense pain. And then you're a mummy and you have your baby. And you forget all about the agony because of your joy that a child has been born into the world. That kind of flu has a bit  different experience and expectations associated with it, than your usual kind of flu, or your  usual growth of a tumor, or your usual extreme pain, because you're looking forward to  something the whole time, and you're very excited about it when you're looking forward to  the birth of that baby. When there is life inside you. Then even very unpleasant experiences  and suffering though they're troublesome. Sometimes they make you groan, they turn out to  be worth it. And expectation and life inside you, changes your experience of something. When you have that experience of pregnancy, Jesus himself said once that lady has given birth,  then the anguish is all behind her. And she is rejoicing that a child has been born into the  world. That's one of the comparisons that not only Jesus, but also the inspired apostle Paul  make of our experience in this present world already having the Holy Spirit. But then looking  forward with expectation to what God has promised. He compares it to a woman being  pregnant and giving birth. The apostle says I consider that our present suffering is not worth  comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation  for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its  own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be  liberated from its bondage to decay, and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of  God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning, as in the pains of childbirth, right  up to the present time. Not only so but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit,  groan inwardly, as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies, for in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all, who hopes for what he  already has. But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. This ends the reading of God's word, and God always blesses His Word to those who listen. When you read  Romans eight, it is one of the most concentrated passages in the whole Bible on the Holy  Spirit, and the ministry and work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We've already seen that he's  the spirit of freedom, who sets us free from the law of sin and death. He's the spirit of life and  the mind of the Spirit is life and peace, not the mind of death. He's the spirit of adoption, who  moves us in our hearts to cry Abba Father and testifies with our spirit that we are the children  of God. And today we want to focus on the fact that he is the spirit of expectation, the spirit of hope, and in the Bible, hope is not simply kind of a wish that something might come true. It is  anticipation expectations. Looking Forward confidently to what's coming. And the Holy Spirit is the one who gives us that expectation. And then another aspect of the Spirit's ministry that  Romans eight brings out is that he is the spirit of prayer, who moves in our spirit, and helps us to pray even when we don't know how we ought to pray. So today, we want to focus on the  Holy Spirit's Ministry of creating expectation in us, and what we are expecting because of the  spirit. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. Not only so  but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit. So that's another expectation word,  we have the first fruits, that means there's more coming. We groan inwardly as we wait  eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies, the Bible often speaks of the  Holy Spirit in terms of First Fruits, and as one whom God has given us with the expectation  that we're going to be receiving a lot more in the future. The spirit is sometimes spoken of as  God's down payment, or a deposit guaranteeing what is to come, depending on the  translation you read, or an earnest Ephesians one in him, you also were sealed with the  promised Holy Spirit, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and  when you believed, so when you believe in Christ and receive the gospel, then the Spirit seals on you, that you belong to God, and the Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance 

until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory. So he's a down payment on  a possession, that's still coming. In the future, when we cash it, you might say redemption of  the possession is kind of cashing in and getting the fullness, and the Holy Spirit is the first  down payment of that. Now, some of you who are a little younger, may not know what a down payment is, those of you who are older are pretty familiar with it, because you're required to  make one, if you can't pay for the whole thing. You want to buy a car and you make a down  payment. And the down payment is usually a pretty sizable amount. And it's kind of your  guarantee that you're going to keep on giving more and more, or when you buy a house, you  make a down payment. And then after that you're going to be paying more and more. And  that big down payment usually is a guarantee that you just don't want to let the house be  taken away, or the car be taken away. Because you've invested a lot in it through that  downpayment. And the Holy Spirit in giving him to us, God is making a downpayment, or  earnest money, showing that everything else he's promised, is also going to be given. If God  gives His own Son for us, and gives us the Holy Spirit to live in us, then there is nothing else  that he won't give, that he'll hold back. So there is this great picture of God's Holy Spirit as  the down payment, which is very real. The experience and the blessings that we have through the Holy Spirit are real, and very valuable. So that's one side of being a down payment, that  the presence of God Himself through the Spirit is very real and very precious. But the other  aspect of a down payment is it's not everything, yet. You have not yet received the complete  fullness of the Spirit that God has to give. And you have not certainly received all that comes  with the blessings of the Spirit that God has promised to those who love Him we receive the  down payment. The precious as that is. It's not everything. God anointed us, sealed us and  gave the downpayment of the Spirit in our hearts, or to take another text for we know that it's the earthly tents we live in is destroyed. our earthly tent is our current body. We have a  building from God an eternal dwelling in the heavens. Now, the one who prepared us for this  very purpose is God, who gave us the downpayment of the Spirit. So the spirit is the  downpayment, even while we're in this earthly tent, but there is an eternal house in the  heavens when the fullness is given. And another picture that the Bible uses besides that of a  down payment is that of an inheritance. When someone wealthy bestows on you a lot of  money, then you receive an inheritance. And the Bible says that Jews and Gentiles together  who believe in Jesus Christ, get this inheritance if you belong to Christ, then you are  Abraham's seed whether you're a Jew or Gentile, you're Abraham's seed, and heirs according  to the promise. Through the gospel. The Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members  together of one body and sharers together in the promise in Jesus Christ. So an heir is  somebody who inherits, we are heirs together whether we're Jew or Gentile. And then we  have our current passage Romans eight the Spirit himself testifies with our spirits that we're  God's children now if we're children, then we are heirs heirs of God, co heirs with Christ. So  we're heirs of our Father, and we're co heirs with our brother, the Lord Jesus Christ if indeed  we share in his sufferings, that we may also share in His glory. I consider that our present  sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. So when we  think about the down payment, and then what's coming, and about the inheritance, then Paul  says, I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. What are our present sufferings? Well, just to go through certain types of  suffering very quickly. One kind is persecution, when people are attacking you, and picking on you. Christians, certainly in Paul's time, and still, in our time, Christians faced persecution,  they're attacked by others, because they follow Jesus Christ. Another kind of suffering is  sacrifice, giving up something or paying a cost of serving others, or of serving God.  Sometimes in order to do the right thing, you have to give up something you would have  otherwise liked to have, but you lose it for the sake of the Gospel, you make one choice  instead of another, you go someplace where you might not have gone if God had not called  you, but you do it for the sake of Christ and of the gospel. So you make a sacrifice. Another  kind of suffering is, you hurt because somebody else does. You care about others. And when  they're in pain, it troubles you, and it causes you pain. Another kind of suffering is just being  upset about the things that are wrong with the world, or that are wrong with me. We're upset,  we're troubled by sin by what ought to be different. And it bothers us, and a kind of suffering. 

Paul cries, oh, wretched man that I am. When he thinks about his own sinfulness. When he  thinks about the unbelief of Israel. He says, My I'm just filled with agony, over the unbelief of  so many of my fellow Israelites, it just bothers him, that people are in sin, it bothers him that  he himself still sins. Another aspect of suffering is just the fact that we endure damage,  because we're part of a broken creation. And so our physical illnesses, the problems that we  have in our own bodies, our mental illnesses, the things that trouble us, the depressions, that  hit us, the kinds of things that that hurt us, because we're part we're damaged parts of a  damaged world. Those are part of the suffering our present sufferings. And those sufferings,  too, are not just made to go away instantly, simply because Christ has come and simply  because the Holy Spirit has been given, because you've only received the down payment. And all the sufferings are taken away, only when all things are made new. And then a sixth kind of  suffering is what you might call discipline. And discipline can take the shape of punishment,  direct consequences, negative consequences, painful ones, for doing wrong things. But  there's also kinds of discipline that aren't necessarily a punishment, or a negative  consequence for something you did wrong. But God still lets you face some difficulties or  hardships to train you. And the Bible speaks of that kind of disciplinary training, to toughen us up, those who are into coaching. You don't know the model, no pain, no gain, kids don't like  running suicides. They don't like some of the drills that they do. But you put them through  them, to develop them, and God too will put us through certain things to develop us. And just  looking at the list very briefly notice that punishment is one part of one kind of suffering.  There are many other kinds of suffering that believers go through that are not punishment at  all, but they are still painful. And so it's not wise, anytime something negative happens in  your life to say, Oh, what did I do to bring that on me? Sometimes it's wise to ask that  question. But don't be too quick to say, well, I know for sure I must be doing something  wrong. Because there's pain in my life. Sometimes you're gonna have pain in your life when  you're doing everything right. Sometimes you're gonna be persecuted for doing right, not for  doing wrong. And so, you know, it's important to realize these different dimensions of  suffering, but whatever kind of suffering that believers go through in this life, one of the most  important things to know is this. It's not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed  in us. The apostle Paul says, though, outwardly we're wasting away yet inwardly. We're being  renewed day by day for our lives and momentary sufferings are achieving for us an eternal  glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is  unseen. For the things that are seen are temporary, the things that are unseen are eternal. So in both of those passages in Romans eight and in II Corinthians Four the Apostle Paul makes a  comparison. And he says there is no comparison. The sufferings we go through aren't worth  comparing they are light and momentary compared to the glory that will be revealed in us.  And when you read a passage like that, or when you hear something mentioned like that in a  sermon, you might say to yourself, Well, yeah, that's the kind of thing preachers are paid to  say, but they don't know what I'm going through. How can anybody say that our troubles are  light and momentary? Well, let us consider the person who said that Five times I received  from the Jews the 40 lashes minus one, three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned Three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been in  danger. And he goes on in a list of the dangers rivers and bandits and travels and this and  that I've been in danger over and over again. I have labored and toiled and have often gone  without sleep, I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food. I've been  cold and naked, we know from reading other passages of the Bible that the apostle Paul spent years at a time unjustly in prison, and finally had his head chopped off, you know, just a few  of these little light momentary things. That's what he says. Now, how can a man say that?  Well, the next chapter, actually, of the Bible, right after he talks about these things, explains it pretty well. He says that, whether in the body or outside of the body, he was taken up to  heaven, and there saw things that nobody is permitted to tell. He had been to Heaven and  back, and having been to Heaven and back, he looked at his earthly sufferings, and he said,  light and momentary, very small. So even though there were many things, he was not  permitted to tell, just the fact that he tells us this one thing, it's not worth comparing, tells us  an awful lot, because he had been through a lot of suffering in his life. And he said, The glory 

is so much greater, so much heavier, if you put them on the scale, the one outweighs the  other vastly. So what do we expect? Well, we expect just some of the phrases in Romans  eight, it speaks of the glory that will be revealed in us the creation waits in eager expectation  for the sons of God to be revealed, the creation itself to be liberated from its bondage to  decay, and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We ourselves, who have  the first fruits of the Spirit, wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our  bodies. That's a list of some of the expectations. And so when we when we look at those, we  see that there are a number of them, we have adoption confirmed and our bodies redeemed.  We have glory and freedom of God's children. And we have creation, flourishing, and free  from decay. Now, what does it mean to have the glory of the children of God? There are three  things really, that we can emphasize about the glory, and one is simply that our bodies are  redeemed, and it's displayed who we really are. When you say we wait eagerly for our  adoption as sons, you might, if you remember the earlier part of the passage, you say, Well,  what's he talking about? I thought we were already adopted. What are we waiting for? If it  says we're waiting for our adoption as sons, anyone since we are already adopted, but the  adoption has been not been made completely public. And our status has not been made  known to everybody think of the Lord Jesus Christ. When you think of Christ, it says he was  declared to be the Son of God in power, according to the spirit of holiness, by His resurrection  from the dead. What happened there when Jesus was raised, it says he was declared to be the Son of God in power, but he didn't start to be the Son of God, when He was raised from the  dead. That's just when God raised Him, and made it clear that Jesus had been his son all  along. And so when our adoption is made evident, it is when God does the same thing with us when he raises us to life, and makes it clear that we're already adopted as his children, but  now the public status is given. So we're God's children in the present, but that revelation is  still coming in the future dear friends, now we are children of God. And what we will be has  not yet been made known, but we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we  shall see Him as He is. So you see the sequence that are, we are children of God right now.  But it's not yet seen what we're going to be. But when He appears, then it's going to be seen  who we really are. And we're going to be seen to be like Him. And when it speaks of being like him, the apostle says, Jesus will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body. And  that's always an interesting thing to meditate on a little bit as you think about Jesus  resurrection body, about his glorified body. For one thing, a new body, and our renewed  capacities will undoubtedly, include the ability to perceive angels and God in a manner in  which we don't fully do right now we don't see God, we don't detect the presence of angels  very readily, unless angels choose to take on a visible form, or unless God chooses to make  himself known in more of a physical manner. But in some way or another, we're going to have the ability to perceive either senses we have now, or are going to be greatly sharpened, or  senses that we can hardly imagine are going to be given to us, you can imagine a little bit of  what that might be like, trying to explain a rainbow to a person born blind, or trying to convey what music is to somebody who was born deaf. There is almost no way to convey what a  totally different sense will reveal to you until you have that sense, but we can be sure that we are going to have however God brings that about a way of perceiving and immediately  knowing angels and God in a manner that we don't yet those bodies will have new capacities  Jesus body walked on water, and for that matter, so did Peter, we kind of echo that incident in the song that we just saying, I walked in sank not on the storm-vexed sea we're talking about  God doing that through our in our spirit by faith. But there's a time in which that will not just  be a spiritual reality, but a physical one, where we're no longer subject to the laws of nature,  as we call them. But instead, when our bodies can walk on water, or like Jesus resurrection  body, move through unopened doors or walls, or move instantly from this place. To that the  Bible says that when Christ comes again, his believers will rise up in the air to meet him. So  there's going to be certain capacities that our bodies will have then that they do not have  now. But those physical abilities are not as important as another thing the Bible says about  about our body, it says it is sown a natural body, but it is raised a spiritual body. That does not mean that it won't be physical, or you know, you know, just a mere spirit. When it says a  spiritual body, it is a body. But it's a body ruled and controlled by the Holy Spirit, and a body 

in which our own spirit is able to manage the body. Once again, one of our challenges and  problems let's face it in this life is body management. Our spirit wants something, and then  our body wants something else. And so you head for the refrigerator, or you had for the  pornography channel, because your spirit is not good at managing your body. And so it can  lead to sins like lust and gluttony, and a whole bunch of other body management issues. So to be raised a spiritual body is to have a body that is under the operation completely, the  purified spirit, and that is under the operation indeed of the Holy Spirit. So the redemption of  our bodies is to have that eternal resurrection body, but then also to have that body glorified.  And when we have that body, we ourselves who have the first fruits of the Spirit, wait eagerly. And so the first thing that we're talking about is that our adoption is confirmed that our bodies are redeemed. The second thing that we find out is that we experience the glory, and the  freedom of the children of God. Now, what does it mean to have glory from God? Well, the  Scripture says, to those who seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life  Romans two verse seven. And there are other passages which speak of a glory of glory, that is praise from God. The apostle Paul says, wait till the Lord comes at that time each will receive  His praise from God. This is one of the greatest things that can be said about the glory that's  going to be coming, that God will praise us. That may sound strange to your ears. You say I  thought we were supposed to praise God. Well, we are, but God will also praise us. Well done  good and faithful servant Jesus will say Enter into the joy of your master. The Bible speaks of  the Lord and says he will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love. He will  rejoice over you with singing. We sing praises to Him. But He also will rejoice over us with  singing, and take great delight in us. This is one of the deepest desires of the human spirit, to  be recognized and honored and praised by God. And this desire can get warped. That's one of the things sin does. sin always takes a legitimate thing, and then messes it up. But very  seldom does anything from scratch. It always has to take something God made something  that's good, and then twist it. But we have a legitimate desire to be honored to be praised.  And the Bible says the big mistake is when you start loving the praise of men more than the  praise of God, when you want to please others, and you're not worried about pleasing God.  But if you're looking forward to that day, and knowing that God didn't just, you know,  sometimes our, our theology and rightly so emphasizes how sinful we are, how we didn't do  anything to deserve it, or to merit God's salvation. But then we can kind of get carrying that  thought along and get into a rut where we almost say, Well, yeah, God decided saving us as a dirty, filthy job, but somebody's got to do it. And we ain't worth nothing. But he decided to do  it anyway. And so now he's decided to put up with us lowly worms. And, you know, it's, we  could just be glad that a nice God decided to yank us from ruin. And there is an element of  truth in that. But that's not the whole truth. We need to know that God loves us not just with  that saving love when we hadn't earned it, but also with a love of affection, and even a love of delight, and a love of approval, of praise even of what he's done with with us and what he's  worked in us. And so when we come to the Lord, on that day, one of the greatest blessings  will be to be praised by him, complimented, well done, and hear him singing over us. Another  aspect of glory, besides the praise that comes from God is what the Bible describes as as a  splendor. Daniel 12 says, Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above,  and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars, forever and ever. And Jesus himself  echoes those words, and says the righteous will shine like the sun, in their father's kingdom.  Now, you know, at one level, if you're just thinking in very low terms, I don't really care if I  light up like a light bulb, or not what's so thrilling about that, but we need to understand the  Bible may be speaking in in terms that go beyond what we can understand. But at the same  time, just think again about Jesus Himself. When his disciples Peter, James, and John were with him up on a mountain, the Bible says that he suddenly become dazzlingly radiant, and was  shining with God's glory. And they were just astounded and overwhelmed by that glory  shining from him. And in Revelation chapter one, Jesus in His glorious state from Heaven  appears to the Apostle John and John says, I fell at his feet, as though dead. And this shining  of Jesus is somehow imparted to us too where we become dazzling, and splendid. And Jesus  says, I will give the one who overcomes the morning star. So to think of that, that shining a  sharing in the splendor of the Lord Jesus Christ, and sharing in the beauties and splendor that 

you see in the creation all around you. Sometimes when you look at a fantastic starlit night, or when you look at a majestic mountain, or or some other site of splendor and beauty, a  gigantic waterfall, you're amazed and almost awestruck by it. And and yet that feeling is  something you can't capture in a bottle. And you wish that that would last all the time. And  not only last, but that you could not just see it, but be it to to be awesome, to be beautiful,  and amazing. And the promise is that a day is coming when you indeed will not only see it,  you will be it. You will be radiant with the splendor and glory of God. And along with this  understanding of God's praise and of God's splendor glory also includes a throne of authority.  And this is something that Jesus speaks of when he talks To the churches of Revelation,  speaking from heaven, I will give the one who overcomes authority over the nations just as I  received authority from my father, I will acknowledge his name before My Father and His  angels, to him who overcomes I will give the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I  overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. So this is one of the most stunning  things that you can read in the entire Bible that Jesus will give you a place on his throne, just  as the Father gave Christ, a place on the Father's throne. And that throne includes judging the world with Christ. And judging even the angels and governing angels with Christ, the apostle  Paul says, Don't you know that the saints will judge the world, don't you know that we will  judge the angels. And if they have, he didn't make that up himself. It comes from the mouth  of Jesus Christ Himself. And again, we need to be a little cautious, right now about, you know,  getting too full of ourselves. And when we think of the glory that's coming, but we also are in  danger if we neglect these things. For one thing, don't just think of it as applying to yourself.  Think of it as applying to the person sitting in front of you, or down the road from you or the  people that you live with every day, when you think of people as those who will someday be  praised by God, who will be so splendid, that if you could see them, now, you will be tempted  to worship them? Who will be sitting on thrones with Christ, if you look at people in that light,  you will treat them differently now. If there were a kid here, and you could see your crystal  ball, and see that 30 years from now, they would be one of the most important people in the  world, perhaps the president, or perhaps a great inventor, or perhaps a billionaire. And if you  just knew that one of these kids here in church was going to be that in 30 years, what impact  would it have on the way you treat them right now, you wouldn't ignore them, or wrong them  quite as readily, would you. And if we learn not just to see the splendor, and the glory, of our  own coming, glorification, but learn to see others that way, then even if they don't look that  way, just yet, we can wait with eager expectation for it to happen. And we can start looking  for signs of the Holy Spirit at work in them right now. So what is glory involve? Glory, involves  the praise of God, the splendor of God, the throne of authority that God shares with his  people. And along with that glory comes freedom. And again, just to mention a few of the  dimensions of that freedom, one of the great things of thinking about the new creation is not  just what's going to be there, but what's not going to be there. No more sin, no more Satan,  no more demons, no more hospitals, no more funeral parlors, no more army bases, no more of all the things that are involved in the conflict and the sin and the powers of this world and no  more hospitals, no more sickness, no more pain, no more death, no more tears, to be free  from those things, and to be free from them. And indeed, to be free for something else, free  to be fully in tune with God, free to be truly ourselves, who we were designed to be, and  meant to be. And once you're free, to follow God's design for you, well, then you're free to do  whatever you want. Wouldn't you like to just be able to do whatever you want, right now, that would be a terribly dangerous thing, because we have too many wants that are really messed  up. But when you are made into who God meant you to be you can do whatever you want, for all eternity, because what you want will be perfect. So that's the that's the freedom of being  God's children. So again, the spirit of expectation is that we our adoption is confirmed, our  bodies are redeemed, we have the glory and freedom of God's children. And then finally, the  whole creation is flourishing, and free from decay. The creation itself will be liberated from its  bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God, much of  creation is already very splendid, beautiful, wonderful to enjoy, whether it's the animal life or  the plant life, or just the splendor of mountains and other physically majestic things that God  has made, but there's also a lot that is messed up and even the beauties are not what they're 

going to be one day. And so we look forward to the day when the whole creation, not just the  people part of it, but the whole creation is brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God once we're made free and splendid, then everything else will be made splendid too. right  

now it's in bondage to decay. And the apostle explains that and he's just echoing Genesis  Chapter Three when God curses the ground because of you. A curse came on the rest of  creation when Adam and Eve brought themselves under a curse, because we were meant to  be the rulers and representatives of the earth. And when we blew it, it cost the earth. And so  when we're made perfect, it benefits the earth when we are set free. The Earth itself is  brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. And again, we need to understand  that we don't just go to heaven to live as souls. That's not our final destiny. It is the destiny of  people when they die, until all things are made new, and it is indeed a great blessing. But it's  not the final destiny, the final destiny is to live on the renewed earth in our renewed and  resurrected bodies. The Bible says Abraham and his offspring receive the promise that he  would be heir of the world. He is our Father in the sight of God, Romans four verse 13, so the  apostle did say, Abraham was going to inherit the world. And since Abraham is our Father,  and we're part of his offspring, whether Jew or Gentile, we inherit the world as well. Jesus said, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit, what they shall inherit the earth, they shall reign  on where the earth. So we need to think of the the earth God's creation, as being redeemed,  that's part of our expectation that we look forward to. Now there is a, there's an approach to  interpreting the Bible which says there's going to be a reign of Christ on earth. And primarily  Jewish people are going to be participating in that and benefiting from that. But that's not how I understand the apostle when he's talking here. He's saying that whether Jew or Gentile we're heirs of Abraham, where we will inherit the earth. And that's our final destiny, not just 1000  year interval. But the final destiny of the Earth is to be completely renewed, and made  perfect, and God's people will reign on the earth. So when we think of creation, flourishing, we inherit the Earth and the Earth benefits from our wise reign under God, heaven comes down  to earth. That's the vision of revelation 21 and 22, the New Jerusalem comes down out of  heaven from God, it comes down to earth, and our final home is the flourishing renewed  earth. So that means that God's original creation is not just something that's doomed. And  that's the last word on it, it will not just be wiped out and replaced with something that had no connection to the first creation. This world, like our own bodies, is going to be resurrected, it's  going to be renewed and what that might mean for various forms of animal life. You know,  some people say, well, animals have no soul. So obviously, they won't and can't be  resurrected. I don't know about that. What does the Bible mean when it speaks of the  resurrection, or the renewal of all creation? We'll leave that up to God. But we often think only of the redemption of individual persons, when the Bible speaks of the redemption of the entire creation. And even on this earth, there's a lot of enjoyment of the relationship with animals.  And if you're someone who has a well trained dog, or just a dog that you like, a lot, you know  what, how, what kind of intelligence some of those animals have, or if you're somebody who  loves horses, the bond between a horse and a rider and the the ways that humans and  animals can enjoy each other's company and cooperate together that was that still kind of a  leftover from the way it was meant to be in the original creation, when people and animals  could bless and enjoy one another. I know some people I know. on their honeymoon,  Jacqueline and Dan, were riding the dolphins. And that's an exciting thing for people to do.  What's that going to be like in a new creation? When, when there is that kind of  communication and, and, and, and just working together? Dolphins, by the way, seem to be  able to communicate pretty well. Also, I'm not going to fall over in shock if animals can talk in  the new creation. If you say, oh, that's ridiculous, maybe you should just go watch my brother give orders to his dog sometimes, because they do whatever he says. They know there's  some language going on there. I'll guarantee you, dolphins and others too there. There's  language already in some of the animals that we see. So I'm not one of the animal rights  people in the sense that I am exalting animals to the same level as people people are created uniquely in the image of God to rule over the creation. But hey, the Bible says that the  righteous man cares for the life of his beast. The righteous man is better to his animals than  the wicked man is to people. So part of the renewed creation is a tremendous renewal of the 

whole animal creation. Basically, it's paradise regained and made even better, the Garden of  Eden made better than ever before. For when we reign, then we will bring out the best in  everything. God gave us tremendous glory and honor when he originally made us. And when  he restores that glory and honor, then all the earth will show how excellent is his name, the  wilderness will rejoice and blossom, new wine will drip from the mountains and flow from the  hills. You read Psalm 96, Let the heavens be glad. Let the earth rejoice. Let the sea roar and  all that fills it, let the field exalt and everything in it, then we'll all the trees in the forest sing  for joy before the Lord for he comes. When he comes, the sea is singing, the fields are  singing, the forest is singing, the whole creation is set into song that's how the Bible  envisioned for these things. And that is what we wait for, with the spirit of expectation. All  things are yours says the Bible you are Christ's and Christ is God's at the renewal of all things. Just think about that phrase, at the renewal of all things when the Son of Man sits on his  glorious throne. Jesus does not intend to just pluck one or two souls here or there from the  fire. He intends to save the creation and renew all things. Behold, I am making all things new.  That is God's tremendous promise. And that is what the Holy Spirit gives us the downpayment of already now, we taste something of God's love. Already now we experienced something of  God's transforming work in us already now we experience something of good communion with fellow believers. And we can get taste in the beauties that still remain in the creation of better things to come. But it's all just the downpayment. And so we have more coming, and in the  meantime, we groan and the creation groans. Because we got a case of the Egyptian flu,  something better is coming. And there is a life already beginning to grow and develop. But it's not fully here yet. And sometimes we suffer. But even in the midst of that suffering, we do not curse God, we do not give up because we know that the fullness is still to come, and the down payment has been given. And the first fruits of the Spirit is telling us there's more, much more to come. Praise God. Dear Lord, we do pray for the day when all things are made new. And we thank You that You've begun your work in us. And we pray that even now we'll be  ambassadors of your peace even now that something of your splendor will be conveyed in the way that we live and regard others, that even now something of that throne will be displayed  in the way that we govern the small domains that we have now in obedience to you that even now we may really treat others as princes and princesses in your kingdom, that we as  righteous people may have regard to the life of animals and be good stewards of your  creation. And we may long for the day, when we see you face to face and the entire creation  is singing and rejoicing and made new in Christ. And until then, sustain us by your spirit. Help  us Holy Spirit, to be faithful in times of suffering, and to know that our present sufferings are  not worth comparing to the glory to be revealed in us through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Last modified: Monday, January 3, 2022, 6:51 AM