The groanings of our faith

By Gilbert Owens - Contributing columnist

I sincerely apologize to my readers for being away so long from my writings to the Sampson Independent. For so long in my life I have been anguishing with myself for not pursuing and completing various projects the Lord had placed on my life.

I am happy to report I have recently finished and published my first book with a few more to come. While doing so, I have been groaning over not being consistent with sending articles to the Sampson Independent even while recognizing the acceptance of my articles by SI played a vital role in me completing and publishing my first book. But there are more important types of groaning the Lord has brought to my attention that I want to share with you today.

Our Christian faith consist of three types of groans that are so important to our walk with Christ. A groan is voicing a deep, inarticulate sound of pain, grief or displeasure. In Romans chapter 8, the Lord, through Paul explains to us the significance of these three important groans.

In Romans 8:19-22 we are informed Creation is groaning. When Adam sinned all of creation was made subject to decay, (vanity). This decay or vanity came about due to God’s curse as stated in Genesis 3:14-19. It was of no fault of the earth that it is not in the condition it once was prior to Adam’s fall. Creation or should I say the earth, was absolutely perfect. There was no rain, sleet, snow, smog, etc.

There was not hurricanes, tornadoes, or any other kind of storms. The grass, flowers, trees were without thistles or thorns. It was never too hot or too cold because the weather was perfect everyday. Paul uses words like, suffering, bondage, vanity, decay and pain to describe the earth today. He also compared today’s earth with a woman in labor who experiences much pain, but the pain goes away when the child is born.

All of creation is in labor today because it is waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God. All of creation is groaning and experiencing labors pains until the full manifestation of who we are in Christ is revealed. That will not take place until the Millennium.

That is when all believers will reign with Christ on the earth for a thousand years. It is at that time when all of creation will be transformed back to its original Eden condition. But in the meantime, creation is groaning which really explains today’s current unusual weather patterns. It is not global warming as man has so proudly proclaim. It is simply the groaning of creation in anticipation of the coming of the Lord. The world is becoming more unstable because Christ is soon to come.

In Romans 8:23-25, we are informed every believer is groaning. Every believer has received the first fruit of the Spirit which took place when we were sealed by the Holy Spirit upon accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. (See Ephesians 1:13-14). The Holy Spirit given to us at salvation is the first installment of the glory yet to be completely revealed in every believer. (See Romans 8:18) Believers are groaning within themselves while waiting for Christ to deliver us by the resurrection and glorification of our bodies.

This is really what Paul was talking about at 2 Corinthians 5:8 when he said “we are willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” That will not happen until Jesus returns for us. But in the meantime we have to experience from time to time what Paul talked about in Romans chapter 7:19 when he said, ” For the good that I would , I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do.” We groan because we have gotten a taste of the glory to come that is in because of the work of the Holy Spirit inside of us. We also groan like a woman in labor as we wait for complete full adoption which is the redemption of our bodies when Christ comes to get us. See Philippians 3:20-21

All of creation is groaning, every believer is groaning but in addition, according to Romans 8:26-30, the holy spirit is groaning. Every believer has infirmities. Infirmities are the result of our sins and weaknesses. Our infirmities causes every believer not to be able to pray as he/she should. As a result, the Holy Spirit groans for us by praying to God for us, (intercession).

The Holy Sprit’s groans are words He says to God on our behalf that cannot be uttered. The Holy Spirits groans these words to God expressing to HIM our innermost feelings that we are incapable of expressing. The Holy Spirit prays for us in groans so that we might be led back into the will of God. After all, Jesus groaned for the believers who were with Him while he was here on earth. He gave us the Holy Spirit to replace Him as our Comforter until He returns.

The groanings of our faith is why Paul was able to say with full confidence these words in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” If this is you, then you have another reason to praise God by Faith…….the groanings.

By Gilbert Owens

Contributing columnist