The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 193 of 207
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culmination in the new heavens and earth. Its longing is bound up with the believer's
longing and hope.
"Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits 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"
(viii.23-25, N.I.V.).
The "firstfruits of the Spirit" can mean the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or His gift of
the new nature. This is a present experience for the believer and is, as it were, a pledge or
the first installment of the coming glory in resurrection. Now is the groaning and travail.
II Cor. 5: 2 concurs with Romans, "for in this tabernacle (i.e. body) we groan, earnestly
desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven (i.e. the resurrection
body)"; then will be the glorious release.
In order to sustain us at the present time we have the help and strengthening of the
Holy Spirit specially in regard to our prayers:
"We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with
groans that words cannot express. And He Who searches our hearts knows the mind of
the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will"
(8: 26, 27, N.I.V.).
What Christian has not felt the inadequacy of his prayer life? And what a comfort to
know that our deepest longings which often we cannot express in words, the indwelling
Holy Spirit interprets and intercedes for us to the Father. After all it is our attitude of
mind which is of first importance and this is what God is continually looking at "for man
looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (I Sam. 16: 7).
8: 28 - 39.
pp. 170 - 174
After dealing with the strengthening of the interceding Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who
have been called according to His purpose" (Rom. 8: 28, N.I.V.).
We should realize that "all things" include the dark and difficult experiences of life
which God can overrule and turn to our good and this should encourage us when we go
through such experiences. All is under His control and nothing can happen to us that is
outside of His will. Even when we suffer through our own foolishness there are lessons
that can be learned to our profit. Behind everything is a plan and purpose of God and this
is where election and predestination come in.  There are links in the divine chain
embodying this plan and these the Apostle now enumerates: