by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 3 Study # 4 November 6, 2007 Lincolnton, N.C.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
1901 ASV Translation:
19 For the earnest expectation of the creation waiteth for the revealing of the sons of God.
I. The Anticipated Event.
A. The entire creation "expects" a time of "revelation". This is the removal of the things that hide a matter from clear perception. It is during the present time, when suffering is a "given" along with an illegitimate experience (a present evil), that that perception is clouded. Once that evil is removed and the "revelation" occurs there will be a clarity of understanding that will make everything fall into its proper place.
1. In a perfect world, where understanding has its roots and fruits in a legitimate "love", there can be no "evil". Thus, the elimination of evil must be a real eventuality. Because this present world is not perfect, there are "problems" for "understanding" that primarily relate to the character of the God Whose "goodness" was originally brought into question by the original "sinner". That there was "an original sinner" is where the problems of understanding begin: why did the Creator "plan" or "permit" the existence of "an original sinner"? Does the existence of such a "person" automatically impugn the character of the Creator? The answer to this question lies entirely upon a more basic question: Is there any kind of scenario in which there is a real legitimacy to the challenge to a Creator's character by the creature? Paul's way of raising this question was his questions in Romans 9:20-21, and they are merely an echo of Isaiah's words in Isaiah 29:16. These New Testament/Old Testament spokesmen for God make this case: it is impossible that an uncreated God can legitimately be subjected to a created angel or man. A case can be made that there are some things that involve an infinity of knowledge and reason that simply cannot be "understood" by anyone who has less than that infinity of knowledge and reason. If this case can stand, it cannot be put forward that there is ever any legitimacy to any challenge of the infinite by the finite.
2. The biblical case for a "revelation" that will provide clarity is not ultimately in the arena of "knowledge"; it is ultimately in the arena of "love". It is not what a person knows that makes the final difference; it is who he loves. An ignorant slug whose "love" is properly fixed upon its Creator is far better off than a brilliant angel whose "knowledge" is being used to attempt to usurp that Creator's status over creation.
B. That "revelation" is, according to Paul, "of the sons of God".
1. This means that there are those "children of men" who, by dint of their subjection to the sufferings of this present time, have become the "sons of God".
2. To be a "son" of God is to be His "adult heir", given charge over His possessions for administrative purposes...this is the point of the "Spirit of Adoption as Sons" (8:15).
3. To be "revealed" as a "son" means to be shown to be qualified and to have the results put into place. A "revealed son" is one who has been judged and found faithful and, as a consequence, has been placed into the administration of the Kingdom in a particular place that everyone can behold. This boils down to the "revelation" of the glorious Kingdom with a focus upon the people of privilege within it. Once the "sanctified bureaucracy" of Messiah's Kingdom is visibly in place and it is as clear as it can be that a Righteous Love reigns, the "manifestation of the sons of God" will have taken place.