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Romans 8

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NTLuscombe's NT Commentary

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Man is a "triune" being. He is composed of three parts ( 1Th_5:23 ) - spirit, body, soul. Rom_8:1-39 deals with these three and their relationship to the Holy Spirit.

[NOTE: "Spirit" (with a capital "S") refers to the Holy Spirit, and "spirit" (with a small "s") refers to the human spirit. The Greek text does not tell us which is to be used. Sometimes the word is made to refer to the Holy Spirit when it should not (v. 26) and it is made to refer to the human spirit when the Holy Spirit is intended (v. 4).]


Verses 1 - 27

Spirit = Holy Spirit, third person of Godhead

flesh = physical body, carnal, sinful, lustful

carnal = fleshly, lustful, sinful

spirit = emotions, mind, human feelings, spiritual

law = rules, regulations, principles of conduct or operation

Verses 28 - 39

predestinate = to state a foreknowledge

foreknow = to have knowledge in advance of an event

purpose = God's plans, intentions

called = invite, urge, plead

justified = made just, brought up to minimum standards

glorified = made perfect, up to the level of Jesus

Questions of Philosophy

1. What is man? soul? body? spirit?

2. What is death?

3. Does anything stay alive through death? what?

4. Can we ever stop loving God?

5. Can God ever stop loving us?

Verses 1-10

1 Now - present tense no condemnation - conditional walk- multiple choice a] after Spirit b] after flesh

2 Two laws - Spirit of life, Sin and death

3 The law - (of sin and death) weak in the flesh

God responded by sending His Son - sinful flesh

Not: Jesus was a sinner.

But: Jesus was a human, could have sinned

4 The law - (of Spirit of life) righteous, follow Spirit

5 The fleshly - mind things of the flesh

The spiritual - mind the things of the Spirit

6 Carnal mind = death

Spiritual mind = life and peace

7 Carnal mind = Enmity

Not subject to God

Can not be subject

8 Flesh - can not please God

Cannot - A. Impossible B. Don't desire to C. Not in their nature

9 Christians - Not in the flesh But in the Spirit

Spirit - dwells in us

No dwelling Spirit? = Not a Christian!

10 Christ in you? Yes!

Dead in flesh because of sin

Alive in Spirt because of righteousness

Verse 11

11 Same Spirit - Raised Christ from the dead

Will raise us from the dead

Dwells in Christ and in us.

Verse 12

12 Debtors - not to the flesh, Owe flesh nothing.

Don't live after the fleshly nature.

Verse 13

13 Play - "What If ...?

Live after flesh Die

Mortify deeds of the body Live

Verses 14-17

14 Spirit - Leads us "guard, guide and direct"

Makes us sons of God

15 What do you have?

Spirit of bondage Fear

Spirit of adoption "Abba, Father"

16 Two spirits

A. The Spirit = Holy Spirit

B. Our spirit = human spirit

Witness = A. Eye B. Expert C. have knowledge

With each other - not TO, but WITH

Children of God

17 Children are heirs OF God

Joint-heirs WITH Christ

Heirs of all things - Good and Bad

Sufferings Glory

Verse 18

18 Compare This present time Will be

Sufferings Glory

Verses 19-23

19 Expectation - What do you expect?

Creature - humanity, people of the earth, creation

Wait - patience is waiting

20 All creation - animals and man

Frustrated - not by our choice

By the will of God - in hope

21 Creation - will be delivered from bondage

Corruption - death and the decay that follows

Liberty - in Christ, freedom - not bondage

22 The whole creation - of living things

Groans - moan, wail, gripe, holler

Travails - sharp, severe pain

Until now - still going on

23 Christians also - same as rest of the world

Groan inside - waiting for the adoption

Have we been adopted yet?

Verses 24-25

24 Hope = Desire AND Expectation

Desire only = Wish

Expectation only = Dread

Ends - in sight, Don't hope for what you have.

25 Two requirements:

1. Hope for what is not seen yet.

2. Wait patiently for it.

Verses 26-27

26 The human spirit - has a role in our life

In pain - we do not WHAT to pray for or HOW to pray

Our spirit - takes our groans - intercedes for us

NOTE: This is NOT the Holy Spirit because:

This spirit cannot express it self in words.

Holy Spirit can do this. 2Ti_4:1

NOTE: Who is groaning? Fleshly self

Who is interceeding? Our spirit

How does it do it? v. 27

QUOTES : "The "Spirit" of this passage that makes intercession with groans that cannot be uttered is the human spirit.

The context of the two verses indicates clearly that the groaning is done by the spirit of the one who is praying. The word ‘groanings' indicates ‘yearning' - - our own spirit groans with yearning which we cannot utter, which we cannot make vocal, or put into words: For we know not what we should pray for as we ought."

The entire context is based on the initial statement: "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought." The ‘infirmity' mentioned is the inability of the mind to put into works our yearnings and our own spirit ‘helpeth our infirmities' by making intercession through the groaning, and Christ who searches the heart knows the mind of the one who is praying - - who know the yearnings and the desires which the spirit of the supplicant is unable to express - - he (Christ, our mediator) bears the intercession of our own spirit to God "because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." There is but one divine Intercessor, one Mediator - - Jesus Christ, not the Holy Spirit." A Review of the New Versions , Foy E. Wallace, Jr., pages 416-417

"Now if we exercise this patience in our corporeal sufferings, the spirit helps us sustain these bodily infirmities; for we do not know when oppressed with bodily pains and infirmities, what we should pray for as suitable to our condition. I, Paul, when groaning under these infirmities, have repeatedly prayed to be delivered from some trials, but the Lord did not deliver me as I expected, or as I prayed, but in a way which I did not expect. I say, then, the spirit itself speaks for us to God; it intercedes for our deliverance by groans which cannot be expressed in words. For although our spirit groans under these bodily afflictions and infirmities, and cannot give utterance to its own desires; yet when patiently bearing these trials, its groans have a meaning which is understood." Millennial Harbinger , Alexander Campbell, Vol. 1, page 111

27 Our spirit - Searches our heart (soul)

Knows the mind (intellect)

Makes intercession (see also v. 34)

According to the will of God

Verse 28

28 V ERY



We know - understand, have the information

All things - not some, but ALL

Work together - two bad things can work together

Salt = Sodium and Chloride

Water = Hydrogen and Oxygen


Not: what I like, brings me pleasure

But: what glorifies God, pleases God

TEST: Is a raise (promotion) good?

Is fishing good?

Is a heart attack good?

Is cancer good?

To them - Love God

Called by His purpose

Verse 29

29 Foreknowledge - to know before - in reference to people

Predestinate - to know before - in reference to events

A. Before foundation of world Eph_1:4-6

B. Two kinds - 1] Personal 2] Class or group

Firstborn - two kinds

A. The first in order of arrival

B. First in importance and prominance

Isaac was the "firstborn" of Abraham

Verse 30

30 Called - How? Were you called? Preachers called?

Justified - pronounce as righteous, aquittal

Glorified - brought up to standard of Jesus

Verse 31

31 God and a Christian = a majority

Who could be against us?

Verse 32

32 Think how much God loves us.

Will he not also take care of us? give us things?

Verses 33-34

33 Who dares to:

A. Blame God for our problems?

B. Charge God with neglect? abandonment?

Job charged not God foolishly. Neither should we.

34 Would you blame Christ?

A. He DIED for you.

B. He was raised from the dead.

C. He is sitting on the throne of heaven.

D. He makes intercession for us.

NOTE: Mediator ( 1Ti_2:5 ) = message carrier

Intecessor = plead our case, on our side

Verse 35

35 Get the question down first.

NOT: Will God abandon us? stop loving us?

BUT: Will we abandon the love God offers us?


Tribulation = a pressure, a pressing, anything that burdens the spirit

Distress = a necessity imposed by external circumstances, lack of material things

Persecution = put to flight, drive away, to be pursued

Famine = hunger, a lack of food supply

Nakedness = lack of sufficient clothing

Peril = a risk, a danger, jeopardy

Sword = short sword, dagger, violence,

Greek "machaira" = machete, jungle knife

See Rom_8:38

Verse 36

36 Here is a statement from Scripture.

Do you believe it?

"We are killed all day long."

"We are like sheep headed for the slaughter."

Verse 37

37 In all of the things listed above:


All a conqueror can do is take over.

Through Christ we control, own, judge, create, destroy, manage, tear down, re-build


Not on our own.

But, because JESUS LOVES ME.

Verses 38-39

38 Here are some more things to add to the list of v. 35

Death = spearation of the soul from the body

Life = Greek "Zoe" and "Bios" (Zoe used here.)

Bios = alive vs. dead. Biologically alive

Zoe = lifestyle, manner of life Life includes all the best that God has to offer us.

Angels = a messenger, one delivering a message

Principalities = area or territory under rule

Powers = of things or people with power or might

Things present = to stand in, to be present

Things to come = what is to happen is certain, sure

39 Height = barrier, obstacle to overcome

Depth = contrast with above, water barriers

Any other creature = any created thing

I love God. Nothing else matters.

Nothing can change my relationship to God (except my own decision) to stop loving God.

Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Romans 8". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mlc/romans-8.html. 2021.
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