Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 1st, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Romans 8

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

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Verses 1-13

Romans 8:1-13 . The New Man in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:1 . “ Therefore now”— sin’ s captive escapes! “ No condemnation” : Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20, Romans 7:14-24 was all condemnation! “ Those in Christ Jesus” ; see Romans 6:3-11.

Romans 8:2 . “ The law of the Spirit” ( cf. “ law of faith,” Romans 3:27 *) . . . “ emancipated me ( cf. Romans 6:18) from the law of sin and death” ( Romans 5:12-14 *, Romans 7:5; Romans 7:22; Romans 7:24).

Romans 8:3 f. “ Through the mission of Christ God has inflicted on sin the condemnation which the law, disabled by the flesh, endeavoured vainly,” and did it “ in that” very “ flesh” which was sin’ s stronghold ( Romans 6:6, Romans 7:18, etc.).—“ Likeness of sinful flesh” signifies a life incarnate but sinless; the elliptical “ (sacrifice) for sin” (see Lev., passim) adds the Atonement to the Incarnation (see Romans 4:25, Romans 5:6-11; also Hebrews 5:3; Hebrews 10:6, where the phrase reappears): together they wrought God’ s judgment upon sin, in such a way “ that the righteous demand of the law might be fulfilled in us,” etc. God’ s holy law, after all, gets its own ( cf. Romans 3:31); while our sin is condemned, we pass through justification into a new life of righteousness under the Spirit’ s rule.—“ The (Holy) Spirit” appeared incidentally in Romans 5:5; Romans 8 is the chapter of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 8:5-8 contrasts “ the spiritual with “ the carnal walk” in their respective “ temper” (mind), and their issue, “ death,” in contrast with “ life and peace” ( cf. Romans 6:23, Romans 5:1). Death results from “ the fleshly mind,” because it “ is enmity toward God, insubordination to His law,” and consequent “ incapacity to please Him” ( Romans 8:7 f.; Psalms 90:7-9; Psalms 92:9, etc.).

Romans 8:9 . Those in whom “ the Spirit of God dwells” ( cf. 1 Corinthians 3:16)— the vital element common to Head and members ( cf. Romans 9:6 with 1 Corinthians 6:17; 1 Corinthians 12:12 f., Ephesians 4:3-6)— have escaped this fatal condition.— In ch. 6 faith, here the Spirit, identifies men with Christ.

Romans 8:10 f. “ The body” too will share in this redemption. For the present, the “ living spirit” ( cf. Romans 6:10 f.) inhabits a “ moribund body; righteousness” characterises the one, while “ sin dooms the other. But the “ resurrection of Jesus” promises, “ the indwelling Spirit” guarantees, “ life” even to “ the mortal body” ( cf. Romans 8:23, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13 f.).— Read, in Romans 8:11, “ because of His Spirit” ( mg.) .

Romans 8:12 f.— On the above grounds, you recognise “ no obligation to the flesh,” but only “ to the Spirit,” by whose aid you “ must put to death” those “ doings of the body” ( cf. Romans 6:6, Romans 7:18-24, Colossians 3:5) the practice of which meant “ death” for you ( cf. Romans 2:6, Ephesians 2:1). See pp. 811 f.

Verses 14-17

Romans 8:14-17 . So Christian men stand toward life and death ( Romans 8:1-13); how toward God?

Romans 8:14 . “ Justified” ( Romans 8:3-5) and “ sanctified” ( Romans 8:6), they are Sons and Heirs of God, while they “ are led by God’ s Spirit.”

Romans 8:15 f. “ Christ’ s spirit of sonship” replaces “ the old spirit of servitude engendering fear” ( cf. Romans 2:8 f., also Hebrews 2:15; Hebrews 10:28; Hebrews 10:31, and 1 John 4:18). “ Adoption” (sonships with a different application in Romans 9:4) is borrowed from Roman and Greek law, denoting affiliation from another family or status—“ no longer a bondman but a son” ( Galatians 4:5, Ephesians 1:5). The cry of the adopted—“ Abba” = Father! in the mother-speech of Jesus ( Mark 14:36), caught, like Amen, from the lips of Palestinian believers— sounds as the voice of Another within as ( cf. Romans 8:9; Romans 8:26 f.). “ The Spirit Himself” sustains the testimony of consciousness ( cf. Romans 2:15, Romans 9:1) “ to the effect that we are children of God.” The witness of “ our spirit” lies in the knowledge of our spiritual transformation (see Romans 8:1-9, also Romans 5:1-11, and Romans 6).— Sons in rank and dignity, children in affinity and endearment ( cf. 1 John 3:1 f.).

Romans 8:17 . “ And consequently heirs, sharing the inheritance of Christ,” the Son of God—“ provided that we share His sufferings” (see Galatians 4:5-7, Ephesians 1:14; also John 15:18-21, 1 Peter 4:12 f.). Cf. p. 811 .

Verses 18-27

Romans 8:18-27 . The Birth-Pangs of Immortality.

Romans 8:18 . These “ present sufferings” are “ light beyond comparison, in view of the glory awaiting us at the coming revelation.” “ The destined glory” is hidden under a fleshly veil (see Romans 8:10, Php_3:21 , Colossians 3:3 f.; also 1 John 3:2).

Romans 8:19 ; Romans 8:22 . With this mystery “ all creation is pregnant, in strained expectancy awaiting the revelation of the sons of God, sighing and groaning in travail-pains.”

Romans 8:23 . Though “ sons of God,” having “ the Spirit as a first-fruit” of our estate, we “ await a” further “ adoption,” viz. “ the redemption of our body” ( cf. 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:14; Ephesians 4:30).

Romans 8:20 f. “ From no will of its own, the creation has been blighted and baulked— with hope, however, that it will be delivered from its bondage to decay,” to share “ the liberty” and shine in “ the glory of God’ s children.” This apocalypse brings the world of Nature, as Romans 5:12-21 brought the world of History, into the scope of Christ’ s redemption.

Romans 8:24 f. “ We are far from seeing” this “ emancipation” ( cf. Hebrews 2:8); but “ hope” forecasts “ the not-seen” and sustains endurance.

Romans 8:26 f. Meanwhile “ our weakness” is helped through “ prayer” prompted by “ the” indwelling Spirit.”—“ In like fashion moreover” : for “ the Spirit’ s speechless sighings” are in concert with the sighings of our hearts and of creation around us ( Romans 8:22 f.). Paul and his readers discern a Mind beneath their own consciousness ( cf. Romans 8:16), prompting inexpressible heavenward longings. God interprets “ the Spirit’ s pleadings on the saints’ behalf,” for He is their source. True prayer is the mystic utterance, Divinely prompted, of the soul of man and nature.

Verses 28-39

Romans 8:28-39 . The Christian Assurance.

Romans 8:28 . One thing “ we do know, that all goes well for those that love God”— including their worst sufferings ( Romans 8:18; cf. Romans 5:3-5).

Romans 8:29 f. This assurance rests on God’ s manifest purpose toward them— a “ purpose” disclosed in five successive steps: “ foreknowledge, pre-ordination, call, justification, glorification.” The foreknowledge covers everything about the persons concerned; God never acts by guess ( cf. Romans 3:3, Romans 11:29). The predestination aimed at “ the conforming” of the chosen “ to the image of God’ s Son, so that the Firstborn may be surrounded with many brothers” ; God designed that all those marked out for salvation should share His Son’ s likeness and be of His family. With this object “ He called them” into His Son’ s fellowship ( 1 Corinthians 1:9); on their obeying that call, “ He cleared them of past sin, and shed His glory on them.” “ Glorified” is past in tense (future in Romans 8:18): despite humiliation, it is glorious to be sons of God (see Romans 8:14-17; cf. 2 Corinthians 3:18, John 17:22, etc.): the father’ s kiss was justification for the Prodigal Son, the robe and ring were glorification.

Romans 8:31-34 . The believer’ s justification, the corner-stone of his security, supports the challenge of these verses. All goes to show that “ God is for us”— it matters nothing “ who is against us” ; cf. Psalms 118:6. That God is for us He showed by the sacrifice of “ His own Son”— having given Him, “ He can withhold nothing!” ( cf. 1 Corinthians 3:21). “ Who is going to impeach God’ s elect? when God justifies, will anyone dare to condemn?”— If any should, there stands “ Christ Jesus to speak for us, He that died— but, more than that, was raised from the dead and is now at God’ s right hand.”

Romans 8:35-37 . From his present security the Christian looks on to the eternal future: the Love that bled for him on the Cross, and pleads for him on the throne, is his in deathless union ( Romans 8:35; Romans 8:39; cf. Romans 5:5; cf. Romans 5:8; also Galatians 2:20, John 10:28 f.).—“ Affliction, distress,” etc., resembling the cruel martyrdom of OT saints, tend to “ separate” Christians now ( cf. Romans 8:18) “ from Christ’ s love,” suggesting doubts of His sympathy or power to aid. “ Nay, but in all these things we gain a surpassing victory,” etc.; God’ s assured love silences the contradictions of life.

Romans 8:38 f. Paul defies all conceivable separators: “ death” and “ life,” “ things present” and “ future,” “ height” and “ depth,” represent the opposites of condition, time, and space. “ Angels” are supernatural potencies, “ principalities” the highest angels, “ powers” being elsewhere coupled with these ( Ephesians 1:21, Colossians 1:16 *)— so here in AV; the exacter order of RV associates “ powers” with time and place; cf. 1 Corinthians 2:8, Ephesians 6:12.— The passage has the lilt of Hebrew poetry; it was penned in a rapture, like Romans 11:33-36.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Romans 8". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/romans-8.html. 1919.
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