Romans 8

Romans 8:1

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

In Christ Jesus. The gift of no condemnation is one of many blessings that are experienced as a result of being in union with Christ. See entry for Philemon 1:6.

Romans 8:10

If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

The body… the spirit. The division between the body (dead) and the spirit (alive) in this verse lead to all sorts of theological gymnastics. Some say, “Your spirit is saved but your body is not saved.” Which makes it sound like you are both saved and unsaved. Yet Paul exhorts us to present our bodies as holy, living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1). Is your body living? Then it is holy. Other say, “Your body is a temple of sin.” Yet Paul says our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19).

You are not your body. Rather, your spirit inhabits your body or earthsuit. Our body is not inherently sinful, but it is the battleground where we encounter sin. Paul is saying that on account of sin, our bodies age and die. But you won’t die because you are one with the Lord.

Further reading: “Why do people still die?

Romans 8:13

for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

(a) According to the flesh. We walk after the flesh when we look to ourselves or the world to supply our needs. This applies to those who try to keep the law in their own strength.

(b) You must die. The selfish life is a dead-end street because self-preservation leads to destruction (Rom. 8:6).

Romans 8:15

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

Abba is the Aramaic word for father. Abba is a word of familial intimacy, not unlike Papa (which is how the Message Bible translates it). It is a word uniquely associated with prayer. On each of the three occasions Abba appears in the Bible, it is in the context of crying out to God in prayer (Mark 14:36, Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6).

Romans 8:16

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

Children of God. Although God is the Father of all (Acts 17:29, 1 Cor. 8:6, Eph. 3:15), the phrase “children of God” usually refers to believers. See entry for Children of God.

Romans 8:17

and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

With Christ. What a wonderful affirmation of our unbreakable union with the Lord. The believer has been crucified with Christ (Rom. 6:8, Gal. 2:20, Col. 2:20, 3:3), been raised and made alive with Christ (Rom. 6:8, Eph. 2:5, Col. 3:1), is heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17), clothed with Christ (Gal. 3:27), and hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). See entry for Union.

Romans 8:21

that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

The children of God; see entry for Children of God.

Romans 8:23

And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

Waiting eagerly. In his eschatological parables Jesus told stories of masters, noblemen, and bridegrooms being gone “a long time” (Matt. 24:48, 25:5, 25:19). Since Jesus has been gone a long time, he exhorts us to “be like servants waiting for their master” (Luke 12:36). The need to wait is echoed by the epistle writers. “Wait eagerly for our adoption as sons” (Rom 8:23); “We hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it” (Rom 8:25); “We eagerly await a Savior” (Php. 3:20); “Be patient brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits…” (Jas. 5:7); “Wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:21).

Jesus and every New Testament writer spoke of the need to wait patiently and eagerly for the Lord’s return. We are to be watchful and ready, but we are not to put life on hold. Plant trees and raise families, and do whatever God put you on this earth to do. Invest, build, dig deep and go long. Let your light shine so others may praise your Father in heaven.

Romans 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

We wait eagerly; see entry for Rom. 8:23.

Romans 8:30

and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

(a) Predestined means predetermined. It does not mean that God chooses some and rejects others. See entry for Eph. 1:5.

(b) Justified. To be justified, is to be made right with God. See entry for Rom. 3:28.

Romans 8:31

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

(a) What then shall we say to these things? In other words, what does this mean?

The good news makes a number of amazing claims: God sets us free from sin and death (Rom. 8 2), raises us from the dead (Rom. 8:11), adopts us as sons and makes us his heirs (Rom. 8:17) – but what does all this mean? What is the takeaway?

(b) God is for us. Paul unpacks the significance of the gospel with the greatest set of rhetorical questions ever asked. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Well, no one, obviously. This is not to say we won’t encounter opposition, but those who set themselves against God’s kids are picking a fight they cannot win.

The Message Bible puts it like this: “With God on our side like this, how can we lose?” When you know you can’t lose, you’ll have the confidence to take great risks. You’ll walk into the lion’s den with a holy swagger and face the furnace without fear. “God is with me. I will not be burned” (Is. 43:2).

Sons and daughters who are supercharged by their Father’s favor shine like stars (Php. 2:15). Elevated by his love they mount up with wings like eagles and they race against horses. They are living testimonies of the affirming power of divine acceptance.

Further reading: “Acceptance elevates us

(c) Who is against us? Satan and his minions cannot undo what God has done. Nor can your sins diminish your Father’s great grace (Rom. 5:20). Nothing in life or death can separate you from the love of God (Rom. 8:39).

Romans 8:32

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

(a) Freely give. The original word (charizomai) means to show favor or kindness. It’s closely related to the word that means grace (charis). All of God’s gifts come to us freely by grace.

(b) All things. Paul’s letter to the Romans could be called the Christmas Epistle, because it’s full of gifts. In this letter we learn that righteousness is a gift (Rom. 5:17), eternal life is a gift (Rom. 6:23, 8:11), and God’s favor is a gift (Rom. 5:16). Everything you will ever need your Father generously provides.

In this world we talk about work and wages but in the kingdom of God it’s all grace and gifts. In this world you have to work for everything, but in the kingdom Jesus has done the work and your part is to receive the reward.

Romans 8:34

who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

Who is the one who condemns? Since God is for you, no one can condemn you (Rom. 8:1).

Who also intercedes for us. Jesus is our great high priest who intercedes or speaks to God on our behalf (Heb. 4:15, 7:25).

Jesus is the Good Shepherd who deals gently with his straying sheep (Heb. 5:2). But when those sheep come under accusation, our Lord reveals himself as our Righteous Advocate and defender (see entry for 1 John 2:1).

Romans 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 Jesus our Lord.

Which is in Christ Jesus. The grace, kindness and love of God are all experienced in Christ Jesus (1 Cor. 1:4, Eph. 2:7). See entry for Philemon 1:6.

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