Romans 8:23 meaning

Even though believers have been gifted with the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, we continue to struggle in this world. We eagerly await the finalization of our adoption by God, when He will fully raise us up as sons and give us new bodies that are freed from sin and pain. This is Glorification Salvation. The word “groan” expresses a deep, powerful, inherent desire for relief and restoration.

This second mention of “adoption” again recalls the first of two stages of Roman adoption, being placed as a son at age fourteen, with voting rights. Every believer will gain a new, resurrected body. Some believers will also receive the reward of the inheritance of sharing Christ’s reign, those who suffer with Him (Romans 8:17b).

Paul is telling his audience, the believers in Rome at the time, that we (believers) also groan and eagerly wait for the redemption of our bodies in a similar way that creation does. That longing is within us, if we listen to the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given to believers once they believe on Jesus (Ephesians 1:3). We have the first fruits of the Spirit, the Holy Spirit is our first fruits, the first tangible benefit resulting from putting our faith in Christ. Yet, even as believers who have the Holy Spirit, we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body (when God gives us new bodies). Even with the Spirit and the hope we have in Christ, we are still trapped with our old, sinful, mortal flesh for the time being. We desire to one day be fully restored to God’s design, where we will be free of sin and pain, and live in perfect harmony with each other and God. This is what Paul is referring to when he says our adoption as sons, when we become heirs of God as we enter into His presence and are given new bodies. As believers, we are children of God, and unconditionally are also heirs of God and will receive new bodies.

Every believer has been saved from Hell to Heaven, and will receive a new body free of sin nature. And some believers will also receive additional rewards, as we saw in verse 17.

Biblical Text

23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

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