Lesson 35—Romans 8:19-27

The Coming Deliverance of Creation

Thy sympathies and hopes are ours:
We long, O Lord, to see
Creation, all below, above,
Redeemed and blest by Thee.

Thus we sing and thus we long for a deliverance that will soon be realized. We have glowing pictures of this coming redeemed creation in the book of Isaiah. One of the most beautiful we find in Isa. 11. Isaiah dips his brush in heaven and paints creation with all the bright colors of glory.

It is another picture Paul paints in vs. 19. The word he uses here suggests it. That word is “expectation.” It means “waiting with outstretched head.” Creation’s head is raised, her eye is fixed upon the horizon, she waits expectantly looking for a deliverance from a bondage to which she has been made subject by her former master, man. And through man will come her deliverance. That point on the horizon from which help comes is the “manifestation of the sons of God.” Then the joy of the new creation will be accompanied by the entrance of the heirs into their inheritance and the “old groans” will be hushed forever. Meanwhile creation groans.

We listen to the “groanings” in our lesson, and it finds an echo in our hearts. We read of a groaning creation, of the groaning saints and of the Holy Spirit groaning within us.

1. The Groaning Creation vs. 22

All creation groans. Without her consent she has been brought into bondage (vs. 20) and creation maintains a protest to the monster who wronged her, as she sends forth noxious weeds and sharp thorns. The moans of the tempests and the shrieks of the storms and the cold blasts of winter all tell the story of the fall while even the songs of the birds are all in the minor key, and the fairest flowers bloom where we have buried our loved ones. “Until now” earth weeps, but the birth pangs precede a glorious deliverance (vs 21). The night of sorrow will be followed by the day of glory.

2. The Groaning Saints vs. 23-25

All children of God belong to the new creation. We have within us the Holy Spirit. He is the firstfruits of the new creation. He brings into our hearts its blessings and makes them real to faith. But our bodies are of this earth and link us with this groaning creation; we are in sympathy with it and we groan. This groaning is not for our sins. Thank God they are gone. It is for earth’s sorrow and for the redemption of our bodies. Think of all the suffering of this present time, and then think of having bodies free from all pain and sorrow. This is what we hope for, vs. 24. When Jesus comes it will be enjoyed.

He’ll give these bodies vile.
A fashion like His own:
He’ll bid the whole creation smile
And hush its groan.

3. The Groaning Spirit, vs. 26.

When we think of the Divine Visitor Who has taken His abode within these bodies of ours, we are not surprised that He longs for the time of deliverance as well as we. The Holy Spirit is here in this groaning creation and He lives in a body of humiliation and He longs for the fulfillment of God’s purpose. He enters into all our sorrows and prays for us. All the sorrow round us drives us to prayer but we don’t know how to pray as we ought. The Holy Spirit prays within us.


1. Find a picture of the redeemed creation in Isaiah (not chapter 11).

2. Why does the whole creation groan?

3. Why do believers groan?

4. Find a verse in John 11 speaking of a groaning Saviour.