When will our "adoption" be complete? (Romans 8:23)

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:23

ESV - 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 17 2020 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Since Paul indicates in the verse cited in the question that he is speaking specifically of the redemption of our bodies, I would say that, even for those Christians who subscribe to a conscious afterlife of the soul in God's presence immediately following death, their redemption would not be complete until the resurrection of the dead in their glorified bodies at the time of the return of Christ at the close of the age.

One reference that I have found to address this issue satisfactorily from a Christian perspective (and that I have previously mentioned on this site) is the book Journey Out of Time by the late Dr. Arthur C. Custance, which is fully viewable for free online at https://custance.org/Library/Journey/index.html

Briefly, Dr. Custance maintains that, once a Christian dies, he or she is outside of time. There is thus no time interval in which a disembodied soul can exist. Instead, the Christian will immediately find himself or herself in his or her resurrected, glorified body in the resurrection at Christ's return, along with all the rest of the redeemed from eternity past to eternity future, who all "arrive" at the same time.

A primary strength of this viewpoint in my opinion is that it refutes unscriptural attempts to communicate with the souls or spirits of the dead, which leaves individuals who attempt it vulnerable to deception by demonic spiritual forces.

As I have previously indicated, when I first encountered Dr. Custance's writings, I immediately thought of scriptural passages that seemed to pose issues with his conclusions. However, Dr. Custance addressed these issues from a scriptural standpoint in a manner that I found accurate and convincing.

May 18 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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