Great expectations

Romans 8.18-30

This note was originally published on Wednesday 10 March 2021.

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship …


‘Patience is a virtue, seldom found in women, never found in Ben…’ Thus spake my mother years ago, and she’s right! But what are you like when you are waiting or queueing (for something you care about)?


Romans 8.18-30


There’s a lot of groaning in today’s reading: creation (v 22); God’s children (v 23); the Holy Spirit (v 26). But Paul is not picturing a bunch of people moaning in a queue! He is talking about longing in confident hope.

Creation longs to be ‘liberated’ from the cycle of ‘decay’ (v 21). In these days of climate emergency this is more obvious than ever – how do you pray for creation? Do you pray for what Paul says it wants?

God’s children long to be adopted (v 23) – but what about verse 15? Aren’t we already adopted? Yes, but we have not yet received it in full. The Holy Spirit is the ‘firstfruits’ of that promise, a taste and guarantee of the fullness to come.

The Holy Spirit longs for God’s will to be done in us (vs 26,27). Even when you are not, the Holy Spirit is interceding – for you. This is a precious truth, sometimes overlooked. We’ll find out more about God’s will for us tomorrow… (although notice the answer today in verse 29!).


We must wait eagerly (v 23) yet patiently (v 25). Write a sentence that might help you maintain that difficult balance. You may even want to include a ‘groan’ – but make sure it is a longing groan rather than a moan!