Romans 8:19, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”
Several weeks ago, I visited a Church in South Georgia where the Pastor had invited me to come and try to preach. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and the time the Lord blessed me to spend with the congregation. When I arrived, a brother of the Church was setting up the Church building sound system. Part of the setup was a radio transmitter being connected to the sound system so anyone who had Covid symptoms, contact, or concerns could stay outside in their vehicle to participate in the Worship Service. During the soundcheck, the pastor of the Church told me a heart cheering story. While setting up the system one Sunday, the brother did a soundcheck by reading Romans chapter eight. While doing the soundcheck he said, “We are reading from Romans chapter eight, because that’s what Primitive Baptist do.” There’s a lot of truth to those words. Even though I’ve heard many preaching sermons from throughout the Bible, I’ve heard more than a few from Romans chapter eight. After hearing the story, my mind was stirred to try and preach from Romans chapter eight. How did it go, you ask? Well, the congregation could tell you better than I, but I always enjoy trying to preach from this precious portion of scripture.
Our study verse, which is right in the middle of the chapter, tells us about the “earnest expectation of the creature.” The creature in this verse is the born again child of grace (see 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Galatians 6:15). The phrase “earnest expectation” is synonymous with the word hope. In Philippians 1:20 the Apostle Paul said, “According to my earnest expectation and my hope…” In this verse, the Apostle is saying the same thing in two different ways. The phrase “earnest expectation” is referring to an intense watching and anticipation. The word hope refers to a confident expectation. These two, which are interchangeable within the context, refer to the child of grace assurance in waiting to be with their Savior in glory.
Many times in my life I’ve read Romans 8:19. Each time, I’m reminded of the confidence the Apostle had in the Lord and the preservation of the saints in grace. You may be asking, “How did he have such a high level of confidence in the Lord and Salvation?” The chapter reveals the answer to this question. Romans chapter eight begins by teaching us that there is “now” (which means right now and from now on) “no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” Romans chapter eight starts off by telling us that the Lord Jesus Christ has satisfied the eternal judgment seat of the Father in your room and stead for sins. No one can lay anything to the charge of God’s people. Why? Because Jesus died for all (not some but all) of their sins. Romans chapter eight ends by teaching us that nothing can separate one of God’s little sheep from His eternal love. Paul was persuaded that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” As we examine the chapter, we can see why the Apostle was able to write 8:19 with such confidence. His trust was in the Lord Who had saved him by dying for him on the Cross of Calvary, and in the Lord’s power that would keep him saved.
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, do you long for more assurance in salvation? True assurance is found in the Lord. The more we fellowship with Him in His House (the Church), the more we pray, and the more we read His word, the more assurance we will experience. The hymn writer, Franny J Crosby, experienced this confidence when she penned:
Blessed assurance Jesus is mine! O what a fore-taste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.
Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight; Angels descending, bring from above, Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Savior am happy and blest; Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.