S177P4 – Forward-looking faith: the adoption
[W]e know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.
We are being remade as we speak. We were born sinful and imperfect, and the Lord now is renewing us daily. This transformation is something in which we play an active role, and we are to be asking God to continue to change us over time. As this process unfolds, we become encouraged by the positive changes we see. The temptations which once ensnared us so easily become not so powerful and influential in our lives. The way we used to think and the things we used to chase change as our thoughts and desires conform to God’s. We go through this process having been added to God’s family as his children, but that adoption does not become complete in this life. There is more to come.
The adoption of which Paul speaks is the union of our spiritual rebirth and our physical rebirth. The spiritual rebirth has occurred already, and we continue to walk in that as long as we live these lives. We now carry the kingdom of God within us. God’s Holy Spirit also resides within us. The old has died, and the new has been given birth. However, we still are as physically flawed as we were previously. Yes, God provides healing and physical restoration in many ways, but these bodies are clunky and degrading. They are on their way out, and we see the evidence of that every day. Our full adoption will be here only once our physical bodies also have gone through rebirth and total transformation.
We were spiritually resurrected with Christ when we gave ourselves to that transformative process. We rose from the grave when He did, but that was only spiritual. Jesus now has received a glorified body, which was seen by many, but we have yet to receive ours. That is a process to be experienced by the saints in the future, but we will have it. It does not end with our spiritual transformation, with the renewal of our spirits, hearts and minds. Our physical bodies are still a real thing which will endure for eternity, and they must be made new as well. When we see ourselves clothed in physical perfection, we will know that the work is done. Father, we await our full adoption into your family with thankfulness and zeal.