For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.
Thoughts for Today:When we first believed and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, we were "born again". As Jesus explained to Nicodemus, this new birth is essential in order to enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:3-5: Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.")
Just as we did not accomplish our own physical birth, we cannot produce a spiritual rebirth on our own. We are incapable of saving ourselves, therefore we need a Savior. When we place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and are saved -- faith is the only condition (Romans 10:6-9). From that moment, all of us who have been "born again" became righteous in our new born-again spirits. (2 Corinthians 2:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!") However, we are not only spirit, we also have bodies and souls that are longing to be changed. (Romans 8:23: "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.")
Salvation is not a reformation, but rather a regeneration -- a new birth and a new creation -- that can only be accomplished by a creative miracle of the Holy Spirit. However, there is still a "hope" (i.e., future event) attached to our righteousness. In our passage today, Paul is speaking about the hope that will only be fully realized when we receive our glorified bodies. (2 Corinthians 5:12: "For while we are in this tent [our earthly bodies], we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.")
Questions to Ponder:God gave us His Spirit as a deposit to guarantee what is to come. Are you living by the joy of His Spirit or the limitations of the physical world? Who or what is the source of your hope? How can the realization of this truth change your perspective on a current problem?