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Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Romans 8

 

 

Verse 1

Therefore now (αρα νυνara nun). Two particles. Points back to the triumphant note in Romans 7:25 after the preceding despair.

No condemnation (ουδεν κατακριμαouden katakrima). As sinners we deserved condemnation in our unregenerate state in spite of the struggle. But God offers pardon “to those in Christ Jesus (τοις εν Χριστωι Ιησουtois en Christōi Iēsou). This is Paul‘s Gospel. The fire has burned on and around the Cross of Christ. There and there alone is safety. Those in Christ Jesus can lead the consecrated, the crucified, the baptized life.

Verse 2

The law of the Spirit of life (ο νομος του πνευματος της ζωηςho nomos tou pneumatos tēs zōēs). The principle or authority exercised by the Holy Spirit which bestows life and which rests “in Christ Jesus.”

Made me free (ηλευτερωσεν μεēleutherōsen me). First aorist active indicative of the old verb ελευτεροωeleutheroō for which see note on Galatians 5:1. Aleph B have σεse (thee) instead of μεme It matters little. We are pardoned, we are free from the old law of sin and death (7:7-24), we are able by the help of the Holy Spirit to live the new life in Christ.

Verse 3

That the law could not do (το αδυνατον του νομουto adunaton tou nomou). Literally, “the impossibility of the law” as shown in 7:7-24, either nominative absolute or accusative of general reference. No syntactical connection with the rest of the sentence.

In that (εν ωιen hōi). “Wherein.”

It was weak (ηστενειēsthenei). Imperfect active, continued weak as already shown.

In the likeness of sinful flesh (εν ομοιωματι σαρκος αμαρτιαςen homoiōmati sarkos hamartias). For “likeness” see note on Philemon 2:7, a real man, but more than man for God‘s “own Son.” Two genitives “of flesh of sin” (marked by sin), that is the flesh of man is, but not the flesh of Jesus.

And for sin (και περι αμαρτιαςkai peri hamartias). Condensed phrase, God sent his Son also concerning sin (our sin).

Condemned sin in the flesh (κατεκρινε την αμαρτιαν εν τηι σαρκιkatekrine tēn hamartian en tēi sarki). First aorist active indicative of κατακρινωkatakrinō He condemned the sin of men and the condemnation took place in the flesh of Jesus. If the article τηνtēn had been repeated before εν τηι σαρκιen tēi sarki Paul would have affirmed sin in the flesh of Jesus, but he carefully avoided that (Robertson, Grammar, p. 784).

Verse 4

The ordinance of the law (το δικαιωμα του νομουto dikaiōma tou nomou). “The requirement of the law.”

Might be fulfilled (ινα πλερωτηιhina plerōthēi). Purpose of the death of Christ by ιναhina and first aorist passive subjunctive of πληροωplēroō Christ met it all in our stead (Romans 3:21-26).

Not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (μη κατα σαρκα αλλα κατα πνευμαmē kata sarka alla kata pneuma). The two laws of life (κατα σαρκαkata sarka in 7:7-24, κατα πνευμαkata pneuma Romans 8:1-11). Most likely the Holy Spirit or else the renewed spirit of man.

Verse 5

Do mind (προνουσινphronousin). Present active indicative of προνεωphroneō to think, to put the mind (πρηνphrēn) on. See note on Matthew 16:23; note on Romans 12:16. For the contrast between σαρχsarx and πνευμαpneuma see Galatians 5:16-24.

Verse 6

The mind (το προνημαto phronēma). The bent or will of the flesh is death as shown in 7:7-24.

Life (ζωηzōē). In contrast with “death.”

Peace (ειρηνηeirēnē). As seen in Romans 5:1-5.

Verse 7

Is not subject (ουχ υποτασσεταιouch hupotassetai). Present passive indicative of υποτασσωhupotassō late verb, military term for subjection to orders. Present tense here means continued insubordination.

Neither indeed can it be (ουδε γαρ δυναταιoude gar dunatai). “For it is not even able to do otherwise.” This helpless state of the unregenerate man Paul has shown above apart from Christ. Hope lies in Christ (Romans 7:25) and the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2).

Verse 8

Cannot please God (τεωι αρεσαι ου δυνανταιtheōi aresai ou dunantai). Because of the handicap of the lower self in bondage to sin. This does not mean that the sinner has no responsibility and cannot be saved. He is responsible and can be saved by the change of heart through the Holy Spirit.

Verse 9

Not in the flesh (ουκ εν σαρκιouk en sarki). Not sold under sin (Romans 7:14) any more.

But in the spirit (αλλα εν πνευματιalla en pneumati). Probably, “in the Holy Spirit.” It is not Pantheism or Buddhism that Paul here teaches, but the mystical union of the believer with Christ in the Holy Spirit.

If so be that (ειπερeiper). “If as is the fact” (cf. Romans 3:30).

The Spirit of Christ (πνευμα Χριστουpneuma Christou). The same as “the Spirit of God” just before. See also Philemon 1:19; 1 Peter 1:11. Incidental argument for the Deity of Christ and probably the meaning of 2 Corinthians 3:18 “the Spirit of the Lord.” Condition of first class, assumed as true.

Verse 10

The body is dead (το μεν σωμα νεκρονto men sōma nekron). Has the seeds of death in it and will die “because of sin.”

The spirit is life (το δε πνευμα ζωηto de pneuma zōē). The redeemed human spirit. He uses ζωηzōē (life) instead of ζωσαzōsa (living), “God-begotten, God-sustained life” (Denney), if Christ is in you.

Verse 11

Shall quicken (ζωοποιησειzōopoiēsei). Future active indicative of ζωοποιεωzōopoieō late verb from ζωοποιοςzōopoios making alive. See note on 1 Corinthians 15:22.

Through his Spirit (dia tou pneumatos). B D L have dia to pneuma (because of the Spirit). Both ideas are true, though the genitive is slightly more probably correct.

Verse 12

We are debtors (οπειλεται εσμενopheiletai esmen). See note on Galatians 5:3; Romans 1:14.

Not to the flesh (ου τηι σαρκιou tēi sarki). Negative ουou goes with preceding verb and τηι σαρκιtēi sarki not with the infinitive του ζηινtou zēin f0).

Verse 13

Ye must die (μελλετε αποτνησκεινmellete apothnēskein). Present indicative of μελλωmellō to be about to do and present active infinitive of αποτνησκωapothnēskō to die. “Ye are on the point of dying.” Eternal death.

By the spirit (πνευματιpneumati). Holy Spirit, instrumental case.

Ye shall live (ζησεστεzēsesthe). Future active indicative of ζαωzaō Eternal life.

Verse 14

Sons of God (υιοι τεουhuioi theou). In the full sense of this term. In Romans 8:16 we have τεκνα τεουtekna theou (children of God). Hence no great distinction can be drawn between υιοςhuios and τεκνονteknon The truth is that υιοςhuios is used in various ways in the New Testament. In the highest sense, not true of any one else, Jesus Christ is God‘s Son (Romans 8:3). But in the widest sense all men are “the offspring” (γενοςgenos) of God as shown in Acts 17:28 by Paul. But in the special sense here only those are “sons of God” who are led by the Spirit of God, those born again (the second birth) both Jews and Gentiles, “the sons of Abraham” (υιοι Αβρααμhuioi Abraam Galatians 3:7), the children of faith.

Verse 15

The spirit of adoption (πνευμα υιοτεσιαςpneuma huiothesias). See note on this term υιοτεσιαhuiothesia on Galatians 4:4. Also see Galatians 4:5. Both Jews and Gentiles receive this “adoption” into the family of God with all its privileges. “

Whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (εν ηι κραζομεν Αββα ο πατηρen hēi krazomen Abbā ho patēr). See note on Galatians 4:6 for discussion of this double use of Father as the child‘s privilege.

Verse 16

The Spirit himself (αυτο το πνευμαauto to pneuma). The grammatical gender of πνευμαpneuma is neuter as here, but the Greek used also the natural gender as we do exclusively as in John 16:13 εκεινοςekeinos (masculine he), το πνευμαto pneuma (neuter). See also John 16:26 (οεκεινοςhȯ̇ekeinos). It is a grave mistake to use the neuter “it” or “itself” when referring to the Holy Spirit.

Beareth witness with our spirit (συμμαρτυρει τωι πνευματι ημωνsummarturei tōi pneumati hēmōn). See note on Romans 2:15 for this verb with associative instrumental case. See 1 John 5:10. for this double witness.

Verse 17

Joint-heirs with Christ (συνκληρονομοι Χριστουsunklēronomoi Christou). A late rare double compound, in Philo, an Ephesian inscription of the imperial period (Deissmann, Light from the Ancient East, p. 92), papyri of the Byzantine period. See note on Romans 8:29 for this idea expanded. Paul is fond of compounds of συνsun three in this verse (συνκληρονομοι συνπασχωμεν συνδοχαστωμενsunklēronomoiσυνδοχαζωsunpaschōmenιναsundoxasthōmen). The last (first aorist passive subjunctive of sundoxazō with hina (purpose), late and rare, here only in N.T.

Verse 18

To us-ward (εις ημαςeis hēmās). We shall be included in the radiance of the coming glory which will put in the shadow the present sufferings. Precisely the same idiom here with μελλουσαν δοχανmellousan doxan (aorist passive infinitive of αποκαλυπτηναιapokaluphthēnai) occurs in Galatians 3:23 with μελλουσαν πιστινmellousan pistin which see.

Verse 19

The earnest expectation of creation (η αποκαραδοκια της κτισεωςhē apokaradokia tēs ktiseōs). This substantive has so far been found nowhere save here and Philemon 1:20, though the verb αποκαραδοκεωapokaradokeō is common in Polybius and Plutarch. Milligan (Vocabulary) thinks that Paul may have made the substantive from the verb. It is a double compound (αποapo off from, καραkara head, δοκεωdokeō Ionic verb, to watch), hence to watch eagerly with outstretched head.

Waiteth for (απεκδεχεταιapekdechetai). See note on 1 Corinthians 1:7; Galatians 5:5 for this rare word (possibly formed by Paul, Milligan). “To wait it out” (Thayer).

The revealing of the sons of God (την αποκαλυπσιν των υιων του τεουtēn apokalupsin tōn huiōn tou theou). Cf. 1 John 3:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Colossians 3:4. This mystical sympathy of physical nature with the work of grace is beyond the comprehension of most of us. But who can disprove it?

Verse 20

Was subjected (υπεταγηhupetagē). Second aorist passive indicative of υπατασσωhupatassō (cf. Romans 8:7).

To vanity (τηι ματαιοτητιtēi mataiotēti). Dative case. Rare and late word, common in lxx. From ματαιοςmataios empty, vain. Ephesians 4:17; 2 Peter 2:18.

Not of its own will (ουχ εκουσαouch hekousa). Common adjective, in N.T. only here and 1 Corinthians 9:27. It was due to the effect of man‘s sin.

But by reason of him (αλλα δια τονalla dia ton). Because of God.

In hope that (επ ελπιδι οτιEphesians' helpidi hoti). Note the form ελπιδιhelpidi rather than the usual ελπιδιelpidi and so επEphesians' οτιHoti can be causal “because” instead of declarative “that.”

Verse 21

The creation itself (αυτη η κτισιςautē hē ktisis). It is the hope of creation, not of the Creator. Nature “possesses in the feeling of her unmerited suffering a sort of presentiment of her future deliverance” (Godet).

Verse 22

Groaneth and travaileth in pain (συνστεναζει και συνωδινειsunstenazei kai sunōdinei). Two more compounds with συνsun Both rare and both here alone in N.T. Nature is pictured in the pangs of childbirth.

Verse 23

The first fruits (την απαρχηνtēn aparchēn). Old and common metaphor.

Of the Spirit (του πνευματοςtou pneumatos). The genitive of apposition. The Holy Spirit came on the great Pentecost and his blessings continue as seen in the “gifts” in 1 Corinthians 12-14, in the moral and spiritual gifts of Galatians 5:22. And greater ones are to come (1 Corinthians 15:44.).

Even we ourselves (και αυτοιkai autoi). He repeats for emphasis. We have our “groaning” (στεναζομενstenazomen) as well as nature.

Waiting for (απεκδεχομενοιapekdechomenoi). The same verb used of nature in Romans 8:19.

Our adoption (υιοτεσιανhuiothesian). Our full “adoption” (see Romans 8:15), “the redemption of our body” (την απολυτρωσιν του σωματος ημωνtēn apolutrōsin tou sōmatos hēmōn). That is to come also. Then we shall have complete redemption of both soul and body.

Verse 24

For by hope were we saved (τηι γαρ ελπιδι εσωτημενtēi gar elpidi esōthēmen). First aorist passive indicative of σωζωsōzō The case of ελπιδιelpidi is not certain, the form being the same for locative, instrumental and dative. Curiously enough either makes good sense in this context: “We were saved in hope, by hope, for hope” (of the redemption of the body).

Verse 25

With patience (δι υπομονηςdi' hupomonēs). Paul repeats the verb απεκδεχομαιapekdechomai of Romans 8:23.

Verse 26

Helpeth our infirmity (συναντιλαμβανεται τηι αστενειαι ημωνsunantilambanetai tēi astheneiāi hēmōn). Present middle indicative of συναντιλαμβανομαιsunantilambanomai late and striking double compound (Diodorus, lxx, Josephus, frequent in inscriptions, Deissmann, Light, etc., p. 87), to lend a hand together with, at the same time with one. Only twice in N.T., here and Luke 10:40 in Martha‘s plea for Mary‘s help. Here beautifully Paul pictures the Holy Spirit taking hold at our side at the very time of our weakness (associative instrumental case) and before too late.

How to pray (το τι προσευχωμεταto ti proseuxōmetha). Articular clause object of οιδαμενoidamen (we know) and indirect question with the deliberative aorist middle subjunctive προσευχωμεταproseuxōmetha retained in the indirect question.

As we ought (κατο δειkatho dei). “As it is necessary.” How true this is of all of us in our praying.

Maketh intercession (υπερεντυγχανειhuperentugchanei). Present active indicative of late double compound, found only here and in later ecclesiastical writers, but εντυγχανωentugchanō occurs in Romans 8:27 (a common verb). It is a picturesque word of rescue by one who “happens on” (εντυγχανειentugchanei) one who is in trouble and “in his behalf” (υπερhuper) pleads “with unuttered groanings” (instrumental case) or with “sighs that baffle words” (Denney). This is work of our Helper, the Spirit himself.

Verse 27

He that searcheth (ο εραυνωνho eraunōn). God (1 Samuel 16:7).

According to the will of God (κατα τεονkata theon). See note on 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 for this phrase κατα τεονkata theon (according to God). The Holy Spirit is the “other Paraclete” (John 14:16) who pleads God‘s cause with us as Christ is our Paraclete with the Father (1 John 2:1). But more is true as here, for the Holy Spirit interprets our prayers to God and “makes intercession for us in accord with God‘s will.”

Verse 28

All things work together (παντα συνεργειpanta sunergei). A B have ο τεοςho theos as the subject of συνεργειsunergei (old verb, see 1 Corinthians 16:16; 2 Corinthians 6:1). That is the idea anyhow. It is God who makes “all things work together” in our lives “for good” (εις αγατονeis agathon), ultimate good.

According to his purpose (κατα προτεσινkata prothesin). Old word, seen already in Acts 27:13 and for “shewbread” in Matthew 12:4. The verb προτιτημιprotithēmi Paul uses in Romans 3:24 for God‘s purpose. Paul accepts fully human free agency but behind it all and through it all runs God‘s sovereignty as here and on its gracious side (Romans 9:11; Romans 3:11; 2 Timothy 1:9).

Verse 29

Foreknew (προεγνωproegnō). Second aorist active indicative of προγινωσκωproginōskō old verb as in Acts 26:5. See Psalms 1:6 (lxx) and Matthew 7:23. This fore-knowledge and choice is placed in eternity in Ephesians 1:4.

He foreordained (προωρισενproōrisen). First aorist active indicative of προοριζωproorizō late verb to appoint beforehand as in Acts 4:28; 1 Corinthians 2:7. Another compound with προprȯ (for eternity).

Conformed to the image (συμμορπους της εικονοςsummorphous tēs eikonos). Late adjective from συνsun and μορπηmorphē and so an inward and not merely superficial conformity. ΕικωνEikōn is used of Christ as the very image of the Father (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15). See note on Philemon 2:6. for μορπηmorphē Here we have both μορπηmorphē and εικωνeikōn to express the gradual change in us till we acquire the likeness of Christ the Son of God so that we ourselves shall ultimately have the family likeness of sons of God. Glorious destiny.

That he might be (εις το ειναι αυτονeis to einai auton). Common idiom for purpose.

First born among many brethren (πρωτοτοκον εν πολλοις αδελποιςprōtotokon en pollois adelphois). Christ is “first born” of all creation (Colossians 1:15), but here he is “first born from the dead” (Colossians 1:18), the Eldest Brother in this family of God‘s sons, though “Son” in a sense not true of us.

Verse 30

Called (εκαλεσενekalesen)

- Justified (εδικαιωσενedikaiōsen)

- Glorified (εδοχασενedoxasen). All first aorist active indicatives of common verbs (καλεω δικαιοω δοχαζωkaleōεδοχασενdikaioōdoxazō). But the glorification is stated as already consummated (constative aorists, all of them), though still in the future in the fullest sense. “The step implied in edoxasen is both complete and certain in the Divine counsels” (Sanday and Headlam).

Verse 31

For these things (προς ταυταpros tauta). From Romans 8:12 on Paul has made a triumphant presentation of the reasons for the certainty of final sanctification of the sons of God. He has reached the climax with glorification (εδοχασενedoxasen in Romans 8:30). But Paul lets the objector have his say as he usually does so that in Romans 8:31-39 he considers the objections.

If God is for us, who is against us? (ει ο τεος υπερ ημων τις κατ ημωνei ho theos huper hēmōnclass="greek-hebrew">υπερ tis kath' hēmōṅ). This condition of the first class carries Paul‘s challenge to all doubters. There is no one on a par with God. Note the two prepositions in contrast (καταhuper over, kata down or against).

Verse 32

He that (ος γεhos ge). “Who as much as this” (γεge here magnifying the deed, intensive particle).

Spared not (ουκ επεισατοouk epheisato). First aorist middle of πειδομαιpheidomai old verb used about the offering of Isaac in Genesis 22:16. See note on Acts 20:29.

Also with him (και συν αυτωιkai sun autōi). The gift of “his own son” is the promise and the pledge of the all things for good of Romans 8:28. Christ is all and carries all with him.

Verse 33

Who shall lay anything to the charge of God‘s elect? (τις εγκαλεσει κατα εκλεκτων τεουtis egkalesei kata eklektōn theou̇). Future active indicative of εγκαλεωegkaleō old verb, to come forward as accuser (forensic term) in case in court, to impeach, as in Acts 19:40; Acts 23:29; Acts 26:2, the only N.T. examples. Satan is the great Accuser of the brethren.

It is God that justifieth (τεος ο δικαιωνtheos ho dikaiōn). God is the Judge who sets us right according to his plan for justification (Romans 3:21-31). The Accuser must face the Judge with his charges.

Verse 34

Shall condemn (κατακρινωνkatakrinōn). Can be either present active participle (condemns) or the future (shall condemn). It is a bold accuser who can face God with false charges or with true ones for that matter for we have an “Advocate” at God‘s Court (1 John 2:1), “who is at the right hand of God” (ος εστιν εν δεχιαι του τεουhos estin en dexiāi tou theou) “who also maketh intercession for us” (ος και εντυγχανει υπερ ημωνhos kai entugchanei huper hēmōn). Our Advocate paid the debt for our sins with his blood. The score is settled. We are free (Romans 8:1).

Verse 35

Shall separate (χωρισειchōrisei). Future active of old verb χοριζωchorizō from adverb χωριςchōris and that from χωραchōra space. Can any one put a distance between Christ‘s love and us (objective genitive)? Can any one lead Christ to cease loving us? Such things do happen between husband and wife, alas. Paul changes the figure from “who” (τιςtis) to “what” (τιti). The items mentioned will not make Christ love us less. Paul here glories in tribulations as in Romans 5:3.

Verse 36

Even as it is written (κατως γεγραπταιkathōs gegraptai). He quotes Psalm 44:23.

We are killed (τανατουμεταthanatoumetha). Present passive indicative of τανατοωthanatoō for which see note on Romans 7:4. Same idea of continuous martyrdom in 1 Corinthians 15:31.

As sheep for the slaughter (ως προβατα σπαγηςhōs probata sphagēs). Objective genitive (σπαγηςsphagēs).

Verse 37

Nay (αλλαalla). On the contrary, we shall not be separated.

We are more than conquerors (υπερνικωμενhupernikōmen). Late and rare compound. Here only in N.T. “We gain a surpassing victory through the one who loved us.”

Verse 38

For I am persuaded (πεπεισμαι γαρpepeismai gar). Perfect passive participle of πειτωpeithō “I stand convinced.” The items mentioned are those that people dread (life, death, supernatural powers, above, below, any creature to cover any omissions).

Verse 39

To separate us (ημας χωρισαιhēmās chōrisai). Aorist active infinitive of χοριζωchorizō (same verb as in Romans 8:35). God‘s love is victor over all possible foes, “God‘s love that is in Christ Jesus.” Paul has reached the mountain top. He has really completed his great argument concerning the God-kind of righteousness save for its bearing on some special problems. The first of these concerns the fact that the Jews (God‘s chosen people) have so largely rejected the gospel (chapters 9-11).

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 8:7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". "http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/view.cgi?book=ro&chapter=8&verse=7". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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