8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not
to be compared with the glory which will be revealed toward us.
8:19 For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children
of God to be revealed.
8:20 For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its
but because of him who subjected it, in hope
8:21 that the creation itself also will be delivered
from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the
8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain
8:23 Not only so, but ourselves also, who have the first fruits of
even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body.
8:24 For we were saved in hope, but hope that is seen is
For who hopes for that which he sees?
8:25 But if we hope for that which we don't see,
we wait for it with patience.
The Spirit Helps Us to Pray
8:26 In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses,
for we don't know how to pray as we ought.
But the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which
can't be uttered.
8:27 He who searches the hearts knows what is on the Spirit's mind,
because he makes intercession for the saints according to God.
Because of God's Plan
8:28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love
to those who are called according to his purpose.
8:29 For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be
to the image of his Son,
that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
8:30 Whom he predestined, those he also called.
Whom he called, those he also justified.
Whom he justified, those he also glorified.
Secure from Condemnation
8:31 What then shall we say about these things?
If God is for us, who can be against us?
8:32 He who didn't spare his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how would he not also with him freely give us all things?
8:33 Who could bring a charge against God's chosen ones?
It is God who justifies.
8:34 Who is he who condemns?
It is Christ who died, yes rather, who was raised from the dead,
who is at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Secure from Separation
8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Could oppression, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness,
or peril, or sword?
8:36 Even as it is written,"For your sake we are killed all
day long. We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter." (Ps
8:37 No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him
8:38 For I am persuaded, that neither
death, nor life,
nor angels, nor principalities,
nor things present, nor things to come,
8:39 nor height, nor depth,
nor any other created thing,
will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
vs 18 What does it mean "the glory that will be revealed in us"?
What is the "hope" that dominates your perspective on the future?
vs 26-27 How does the Spirit help us to pray?
vs 28 Does God work for the good of those who do not love Him?
Can you think of a situation from which it is difficult to imagine
any good would come?
How confident are you of going to heaven?
What is your imagine of the day in which you will stand before God
How would you respond if God brought charges against you?
What can cause you to fall away from Christ and lose your salvation?
vs 37 In what way are we more than conquerors?
vs 18 is actually a "for"
statement. It should be "For I consider".
And as such it is logically connected to vs 17. In fact the
from vs 18-23 is related back to vs 14-17
18 I consider that our present sufferings
17 if indeed we share in his sufferings
19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the
God to be revealed.
14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons
21brought into the glorious freedom of the
16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that
we are God's
23 we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons,
"adoption as sons" = "huiothesia"in greek
15 you received the Spirit of sonship.
"sonship" = "huiothesia" in greek
Therefore if the emphasis in Romans 8 is the various roles of the
what role is emphasized here? It comes from vs 16 "The Spirit
with our spirit that we are God's children." The Spirit testifying
that we are children of God leads to the hope of glory that will be
in the future. This is how these fit in the general outline of Romans
Outline for Romans 8
If you belong to Christ, Then there is no condemnation for you because:
4You are justified 9 You have the Holy Spirit in you
9 Who is conforming you to the image of Christ in the inner
man 11 Who will transform the your physical body in the
resurrection 15 Who makes us children of God 16 Who testifies that we are children of God
18-25 which leads to the hope of glory that will be revealed
26-27 Who helps us to pray
28-39 You have Eternal Security28-30 Because of
31-34 You are secure from condemnation
35-39 You are secure from being separated from God's love
Rom 8:19-21The creation waits in eager expectation
for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to
frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who
subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from
its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the
children of God.
God intentionally created the present universe to be subject to decay,
disease, and death. There are creatures which have intentionally been
created to kill and live on the flesh of other creatures, and all are
subject to death. But this will end.
"The heavens will disappear with a
roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and
everything in it will be laid bare." 2Peter 3:10b Likewise John
foreseeing the future said, "I saw
a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth
had passed away" Rev 21:1a So
"in keeping with his promise we
are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of
With regards to nature: "The wolf
will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the
calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will
lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down
together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play
near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the
viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy
mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as
the waters cover the sea."Is
Rom 8:22,23We know that the whole creation has
been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present
time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the
Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the
redemption of our bodies.
Most of the time we think of pain associated with something being
wrong. But the pain of childbirth is indicative of something good about
to happen. Life is a pain. But God is glorified in weakness. As the
Lord said to Paul, "My grace is
sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2Cor 12:9a, so we are born into a
world of weakness, subject to temptations from the sinful nature, the
world and the devil, and physical corruptibility, and yet God's grace
is glorified in receiving those who trust in him as His children.
Presently the believers experience the firstfruits of the Spirit. But
there are fruits yet to come such as the redemption of our body, the
removal of the sinful nature and physically corruptibility. "The body that is sown is perishable,
it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in
glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a
natural body, it is raised a spiritual body"1Cor
Rom 8:24,25 For in this hope we were saved. But
hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Christian hope is not wishful thinking, but rather a feeling of
anticipation of that which one believes will occur. And one thing we
anticipate is the redemption of our body. Thus as our body decays and
as we experience temptation due to our sinful nature, it reminds us of
the hope we have, the hope of the resurrection. Such hope is indicative
of the faith we have. For "faith
is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Heb 11:1 Thus the Christian hopes
with certainty, "being fully
persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised."Rom 4:21"Therefore, since we have such a hope,
we are very bold."2Cor 3:12 And
"after waiting patiently,
Abraham received what was promised" Heb 6:15, so we wait patiently for
what was promised. For "if only
for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all
men. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits
of those who have fallen asleep."1Cor 15:19,20
Rom 8:26,27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us
in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the
Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because
the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
"For who among men knows the
thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way
no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not
received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that
we may understand what God has freely given us."1Cor 2:11,12
To pray for the kinds of things we should pray for is contrary to our
human nature. Compare the kinds of prayers most
prevalent in the New Testament to that which dominate the prayers
of Christians today. What dominates prayer today are issues of health
and material concern, which is what our human nature obsesses about.
But much as those are legitimate things to pray about, to
pray spiritually we must first realize that we don't know what we ought
to pray for. And thus we shouldn't so much ask as to what we want to
pray for, but rather what God would have us pray for. "Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding"Pr
Nonetheless, though we neglect to pray for what we ought, the Spirit
compensates for our deficiencies. For in living the Christian life we
are never alone. But God wants us to walk in understanding. Thus Paul
says, "I will pray with my
spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit,
but I will also sing with my mind."1Cor 14:15
All Things Work Out for Our
Rom 8:28And we know that in all things God
works for the good of those who love him, who have been called
according to his purpose.
It is not that God works for the good of those who don't love him.
Though God "wants all men to be
saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth." 1Tim 2:4 But with respect to those
who love Him, God makes all things work together for our good. "Work
together" is the word "sunergeo" used only 5 times in the NT, all
implying a partnership, such as "they
with them"Mr 16:20a or "We then, as workers together with Him"2Cor 6:1a Thus God partners
with us in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. But it's not that
he works for our purpose, but rather for his purpose. But then again
those who love God have relinquished their own will. Even Jesus said, "I have come down from heaven, not to
do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me."John 6:38 And he said, "Whoever has my commands and obeys
them, he is the one who loves me."John 14:21
Every believer in Christ has been called to this end. But none of us
are alone in this calling. God works with us. Why do "bad" things
happen to believers? "Bad" things happen to believers for our good.
Consider for example Paul who was afflicted with a thorn in the flesh. "To keep me from becoming conceited
because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a
thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me."2Cor 12:7 Here God used Satan for
good. God used torment for good. Consequently, do "bad" things really
ever happen to those who love God?
The Foreknown are Predestined
Rom 8:29For whom He foreknew, He also
predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be
the firstborn among many brethren.
God, obviously, has foreknowledge of the elect. "Foreknew" is in the aorist tense,
typically used of historic events, and is literally "to know beforehand". For example
concerning prophecy of which Christians are aware Peter uses the same
word writing, "You therefore,
beloved, since you know this
Those who come to faith in Christ, of whom God foreknew, can have
confidence that their fate is secure, being predestined. Predestination
is not only about eternal security, for part of the whole salvation
package is a destiny of being conformed to the image of Christ. For
example concerning our resurrection Paul writes, "And just as we have borne the likeness
of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from
heaven." 1Cor 15:49
Likewise with regards to behavior and moral character he writes, "But now you must rid yourselves of all
such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language
from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your
old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is
being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator." Col 3:8-10 Thus "we, who with unveiled faces all
reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with
ever-increasing glory" 2Cor
3:18a And Christ "is the
image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." Col 1:15
Called, Justified, Glorified
Rom 8:30 And those he predestined, he also
called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also
All of these verbs are in the aorist tense indicating a past point in
time event. For while there is a future fulfillment of these, such
fulfillment is so inevitable, so certain for the elect that one can
speak of such as a fulfilled event, much as Jesus spoke of death and
judgment saying, "He who hears My
word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall
not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life."John 5:24
God foreknew those who would come to faith. Such people he predestined
a glorious fate. And such fate is certain. At some point he called
these people through the gospel, just as Paul writes earlier, "Through him and for his name’s sake,
we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the
Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are
called to belong to Jesus Christ."Rom 1:5,6 "And you also were included in Christ
when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having
believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,
who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of
those who are God’s possession— to the praise of his glory." Eph 1:13,14
If you have heard and believed the gospel, then you are predestined for
eternal glory. You are elect of God for such a destiny.
God is For Us
Rom 8:31-34 What, then, shall we say in response
to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare
his own Son, but gave him up for us all— how will he not also, along
with him, graciously give us all things? Who shall bring a charge
against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns?
It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at
the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.
Note first that using "us" Paul eliminates the idea that there is some
identifying the elect. For his purpose in this section is not to
confuse but to impart confidence to believers, confidence of a destiny
secured for us. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ,
despite imperfect behavior. For the gospel makes salvation not
contingent upon one's behavior and as such there is no basis for the
condemnation of the elect as Christ has atoned for sin. "If anybody does sin, we have one who
speaks to the Father in our defense— Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins"1John 2:1-2a Jesus justifies us, as
such there is no charge which can be brought against the elect. "For if when we were enemies we were
reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been
reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."Rom 5:10 "Therefore He is also able to save to
the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives
to make intercession for them." Heb
But justification and eternal security is just the beginning of the
salvation package. For, having been justified, one is born of God, made
children of God and given an inheritance. "Blessed be the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us
again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from
the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does
not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of
God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."1Peter 1:3-5
Separation Not Possible
Rom 8:35-37 Who shall separate us from the love of
Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness
or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all
day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." (Ps 44:22) No, in all these things we are more
than conquerors through him who loved us.
It's a rhetorical question as to who shall separate us from the love of
Christ. It just doesn't happen. And much as he starts with "who"
speaking of persons, he goes on to speak of events. For neither persons
nor events can change one's status in the sight of God, despite
troubles and persecutions being characteristic of the Christian life. "In fact, everyone who wants to live a
godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted"2Tim 3:12 And thus "we must through many tribulations
enter the kingdom of God." Acts
Those born of God are conquerors and more. "This is love for God: to obey his
commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God
overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world,
even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who
believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1John 5:3-5 Thus for example those
born of God characteristically continue in the faith. Endurance is so
indicative of those born of God that John says of others, "They went out from us, but they
did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would
have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them
belonged to us."1John 2:19
But while victory and overcoming obstacles implies effort, those elect
are more than conquerors in that such behavior comes naturally as a
result of being born of God. "No
one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains
in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God."1John 3:9
"Now to Him who is able to keep
you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of
His glory with exceeding joy,To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be
glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen." Jude 1:24,25
Rom 8:38,39For I am convinced that neither death
nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the
future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in
all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Our salvation is secure
regardless of circumstances
regardless of what authority figures say and do to us
regardless of time (present and future). For if we have been saved,
that fact will never change.
regardless of any created thing (which includes ourself since we
ourselves have been created)
Now in particular there those who would say that while no one nor
anything can change our salvation status, we can decide to depart from
the faith and thus lose our salvation status. In fact that never
actually occurs in that perseverance is one of the effects of being
born of God and thus John could say what he did in 1John 2:19 and 1John 3:9. But even here in this
passage the doctrine of Eternal Security is validated. For notice the
phrase "neither present nor future".
status of the elect is independent of time, which is
the "eternal" in "eternal security". Once saved, always saved, because
nothing in the present nor in the future can separate such a person
from the love of God. Furthermore it says "nor anything else in
all creation". Well isn't the individual themself part of the
creation? This again validates the point that even the individual
themself, having been saved, cannot do anything that would cause them
to lose that salvation status.
By analogy some Christians view their relationship with Christ as an
Old Testament marriage in which divorce annuls the marriage. But not
according to the New Testament, which says, "A woman is bound to her husband as
long as he lives." 1Cor 7:39 And
"by law a married woman is
bound to her husband as long as he is alive."Rom 7:2 And thus the vow of the
Christian marriage is "till death do
us part", not "till divorce
do us part." And thus even if the elect hypothetically wanted to
divorce Christ, they don't have the legal right to do so. There is no
way for the elect to annul their marriage to Christ, even if they
wanted to. And thus our glorious destiny is certain. For God makes the
rules and has eliminated any possibility that those who are have been
saved should be lost. "This is the
will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should
lose nothing." John 6:39a