Did you know the Bible says that the creation is eagerly waiting for the revealing of the sons (plural) of God? Look at Romans 8:19:
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.
Before we talk about what this verse means, let’s first look at what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say all of creation is eagerly waiting for the revealing of the Son of God. Unfortunately, that’s the only hope most of the church has given humanity because we have more faith in the return of Jesus than in the power of the gospel to change the world around us. This is a problem!
Before you call me a heretic, let me explain what I mean and make this concept applicable to everyday life. First, I absolutely believe Jesus is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world and He was and is the only one qualified to be the sin sacrifice for all of humanity. Jesus paid a price we couldn’t afford and He is the one and only Lord. No one will receive eternal life unless they put their faith in Him. Those who don’t believe in Him will spend eternity in hell.
Second, the day Jesus returns will be absolutely glorious and if that happens before you finish reading this blog it would be awesome! When I say, people have more faith in Jesus’s return than in the power of the gospel to change the world around them, I’m deliberately trying to be provocative. We need to think about the promises God has made us in His word. They provide solutions to humanity. Jesus will come back one day, but until He does, He wants us to fulfill our calling of discipling nations and spreading His kingdom throughout the world.
Hopefully, now that I have established that I’m not an apostate and pretty orthodox theologically, let’s explore why Romans 8:19 says that creation is eagerly awaiting for the revealing of the sons (plural) of God. The Greek word for son in this passage is huiŏs. Huiŏs means son by birthright, but it also means son by characteristic. A huiŏs is a child who’s been marked as someone’s son because of their the similarity between themself and their father. A huiŏs is a person who does like just like Jesus.
The word huiŏs is different from two other Greek words the Bible also uses for son or child. These words are teknon and nēpios. These words mean son or child, but they mean son or child by birthright and do not communicate the idea of maturity.
If you think about the day child is born, they are their parent’s child by birthright. There is nothing they do to earn that privilege. This is similar to salvation. Salvation is a free gift we receive by faith and there is nothing we can do to earn it. Once a child is born, the goal of any good parent is raise the child to a place of maturity. They want the child’s values, behaviors, and the way they respond to situations to reflect them. For example, my goal is for my two boys to treat people like I do. I want you to see me in them by the way they are kind and considerate. If they ever get in a crisis situation at school, I want them to respond like I would and bring a sense of calm and a solution to the crisis just like I would if I was there. If they did that, people would see me in them.
This is what God wants with each of us. He wants us to grow to a full place of maturity in Him. He wants others to see Him in us even if we never uttered the name, “Jesus.” How do they see Him in us? There are more ways people can see Jesus than I can list, but a few things that come to mind are our positive attitude, our godly character, the way we talk, the way we serve others, and the way we obtain answers to prayer. God wants us to come to this place of full blown maturity because when we do, He can position us to bring solutions to the problems of creation. I want to be clear that Christian maturity is a complete yieldedness to the Holy Spirit so when I say God wants to position us to answer the problems of creation, we are doing it with God’s ability and not our own.
Think about some of the problems creation is dealing with right now. These problems include COVID-19, poverty, racism, environmental problems, tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean, and much more. According Romans 8:19, creation is waiting for a revealing of the mature sons of God to bring solutions to these problems (the word son is gender neutral in this context and could also apply to daughters). These mature sons and daughters will be revealed by their yieldedness to the Holy Spirit and their maturity that causes the glory in them to shine. In other words, they don’t have to tell people they are a mature son or daughter, it will obvious.
Let’s keep reading a few more verses out of Romans 8 to see why this is so important:
20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
I don’t know about you, but when I read those verses, I feel like the world is groaning and laboring with birth pangs right now. The acceleration of problems is like the acceleration of contractions before a woman gives birth. With a pregnant woman, the acceleration of contractions means the baby is coming. With humanity, the acceleration of problems means Jesus is returning, which will be glorious. Until He returns, however, He wants to see us bringing solutions to the problems of humanity and preparing the way for our King.
I hope this article has enlightened you about what is possible and provoked you to pursue God like never before. Spend time in His words and in prayer crying out to Him so you can walk in a greater level of maturity. Creation is eagerly waiting on you to wake up to who you are in Christ!
If you’d like to learn more, check out this series I taught on Sonship: Maturing In Christ at Grace Life Church.