Romans 8
Vincent's Word Studies
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Therefore now

Connecting with Romans 7:25. Being freed through Jesus Christ, there is therefore no condemnation now.

Condemnation (κατάκριμα)

As Romans 5:16, sentence of condemnation.

Who walk not, etc.

The best texts omit to the end of the verse.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
The law of the Spirit of life (ὁ νόμος τοῦ πνεύματος τῆς ζωῆς).

The law, the regulative principle; the Spirit, the divine Spirit who inspires the law (compare Romans 7:14). Of life, proceeding from the life of Jesus and producing and imparting life. Compare John 16:15.

In Christ Jesus

Construe with hath made me free. Compare John 8:36.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
What the law could not do (τὸ ἀδύνατον τοῦ νόμου)

Lit., the impossible (thing) of the law. An absolute nominative in apposition with the divine act - condemned sin. God condemned sin which condemnation was an impossible thing on the part of the law. The words stand first in the Greek order for emphasis.

In the likeness of sinful flesh

Lit., of the flesh of sin. The choice of words is especially noteworthy. Paul does not say simply, "He came in flesh" (1 John 4:2; 1 Timothy 3:16), for this would not have expressed the bond between Christ's manhood and sin. Not in the flesh of sin, which would have represented Him as partaking of sin. Not in the likeness of flesh, since He was really and entirely human; but, in the likeness of the flesh of sin: really human, conformed in appearance to the flesh whose characteristic is sin, yet sinless. "Christ appeared in a body which was like that of other men in so far as it consisted of flesh, and was unlike in so far as the flesh was not flesh of sin" (Dickson).

For sin (περὶ ἁμαρτίας)

The preposition expresses the whole relation of the mission of Christ to sin. The special relation is stated in condemned. For sin - to atone, to destroy, to save and sanctify its victims.


Deposed from its dominion, a thing impossible to the law, which could pronounce judgment and inflict penalty, but not dethrone. Christ's holy character was a condemnation of unholiness. Construe in the flesh with condemned.

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Righteousness (δικαίωμα)

Rev., ordinance. Primarily that which is deemed right, so as to have the force of law; hence an ordinance. Here collectively, of the moral precepts of the law: its righteous requirement. Compare Luke 1:6; Romans 2:26; Hebrews 9:1. See on Romans 5:16.

The Spirit (πνεῦμα)

From πνέω to breathe or blow. The primary conception is wind or breath. Breath being the sign and condition of life in man, it comes to signify life. In this sense, physiologically considered, it is frequent in the classics. In the psychological sense, never. In the Old Testament it is ordinarily the translation of ruach. It is also used to translate chai life, Isaiah 38:12; nshamah breath, 1 Kings 17:17.

In the New Testament it occurs in the sense of wind or breath, John 3:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Hebrews 1:7. Closely related to the physiological sense are such passages as Luke 8:55; James 2:26; Revelation 13:15.

Pauline Usage:

1. Breath, 2 Thessalonians 2:8.

2. The spirit or mind of man; the inward, self-conscious principle which feels and thinks and wills (1 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Corinthians 5:3; 1 Corinthians 7:34; Colossians 2:5).

In this sense it is distinguished from σῶμα body, or accompanied with a personal pronoun in the genitive, as my, our, his spirit (Romans 1:9; Romans 8:16; 1 Corinthians 5:4; 1 Corinthians 16:18, etc.). It is used as parallel with ψυχή soul, and καρδία heart. See 1 Corinthians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:17; and compare John 13:21 and John 12:27; Matthew 26:38 and Luke 1:46, Luke 1:47. But while ψυχή soul, is represented as the subject of life, πνεύμα spirit, represents the principle of life, having independent activity in all circumstances of the perceptive and emotional life, and never as the subject. Generally, πνεύμα spirit, may be described as the principle, ψυχή soul, as the subject, and καρδία heart, as the organ of life.

3. The spiritual nature of Christ. Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 Timothy 3:16.

4. The divine power or influence belonging to God, and communicated in Christ to men, in virtue of which they become πνευματικοί spiritual - recipients and organs of the Spirit. This is Paul's most common use of the word. Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 2:13; Galatians 4:6; Galatians 6:1; 1 Thessalonians 4:8. In this sense it appears as: a. Spirit of God. Romans 8:9, Romans 8:11, Romans 8:14; 1 Corinthians 2:10, 1 Corinthians 2:11, 1 Corinthians 2:12, 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 6:11; 1 Corinthians 7:40; 2 Corinthians 3:3; Ephesians 3:16. b. Spirit of Christ. Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 3:17, 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 4:6; Philippians 1:19. c. Holy Spirit. Romans 5:5; 1 Corinthians 6:19; 1 Corinthians 12:3; Ephesians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 4:8, etc. d. Spirit. With or without the article, but with its reference to the Spirit of God or Holy Spirit indicated by the context. Romans 8:16, Romans 8:23, Romans 8:26, Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 2:4, 1 Corinthians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:8, 1 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 4:3; 2 Thessalonians 2:13, etc.

5. A power or influence, the character, manifestations, or results of which are more peculiarly defined by qualifying genitives. Thus spirit of meekness, faith, power, wisdom. Romans 8:2, Romans 8:15; 1 Corinthians 4:21; 2 Corinthians 4:13; Galatians 6:1; Ephesians 1:17; 2 Timothy 1:7, etc.

These combinations with the genitives are not mere periphrases for a faculty or disposition of man. By the spirit of meekness or wisdom, for instance, is not meant merely a meek or wise spirit; but that meekness, wisdom, power, etc., are gifts of the Spirit of God. This usage is according to Old Testament analogy. Compare Exodus 28:3; Exodus 31:3; Exodus 35:31; Isaiah 11:2.

6. In the plural, used of spiritual gifts or of those who profess to be under spiritual influence, 1 Corinthians 12:10; 1 Corinthians 14:12.

7. Powers or influences alien or averse from the divine Spirit, but with some qualifying word. Thus, the spirit of the world; another spirit; spirit of slumber. Romans 11:8; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 11:4; Ephesians 2:2; 2 Timothy 1:7. Where these expressions are in negative form they are framed after the analogy of the positive counterpart with which they are placed in contrast. Thus Romans 8:15 : "Ye have not received the spirit of bondage, but of adoption. In other cases, as Ephesians 2:2, where the expression is positive, the conception is shaped according to Old-Testament usage, where spirits of evil are conceived as issuing from, and dependent upon, God, so far as He permits their operation and makes them subservient to His own ends. See Judges 9:23; 1 Samuel 16:14-16, 1 Samuel 16:23; 1 Samuel 18:10; 1 Kings 22:21 sqq.; Isaiah 19:4.

Spirit is found contrasted with letter, Romans 2:29; Romans 7:6; 2 Corinthians 3:6. With flesh, Romans 8:1-13; Galatians 5:16, Galatians 5:24.

It is frequently associated with the idea of power (Romans 1:4; Romans 15:13, Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 2:4; Galatians 3:5; Ephesians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:7); and the verb ἐνεργεῖν, denoting to work efficaciously, is used to mark its special operation (1 Corinthians 12:11; Ephesians 3:20; Philippians 2:13; Colossians 1:29). It is also closely associated with life, Romans 8:2, Romans 8:6, Romans 8:11, Romans 8:13; 1 Corinthians 15:4, 1 Corinthians 15:5; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 5:25; Galatians 6:8.

It is the common possession of the Church and its members; not an occasional gift, but an essential element and mark of the christian life; not appearing merely or mainly in exceptional, marvelous, ecstatic demonstrations, but as the motive and mainspring of all christian action and feeling. It reveals itself in confession (1 Corinthians 12:3); in the consciousness of sonship (Romans 8:16); in the knowledge of the love of God (Romans 5:5); in the peace and joy of faith (Romans 14:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6); in hope (Romans 5:5; Romans 15:13). It leads believers (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18): they serve in newness of the Spirit (Romans 7:6) They walk after the Spirit (Romans 8:4, Romans 8:5; Galatians 5:16-25). Through the Spirit they are sanctified (2 Thessalonians 2:13). It manifests itself in the diversity of forms and operations, appearing under two main aspects: a difference of gifts, and a difference of functions. See Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 1 Corinthians 5:1, 1 Corinthians 5:11; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 4:3, Ephesians 4:4, Ephesians 4:30; Philippians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:11.

As compared with the Old-Testament conception, Paul's πνεῦμα "is the ruach of the Old Testament, conceived as manifesting itself after a manner analogous to, but transcending, its earlier forms. It bears the same characteristic marks of divine origin, of supernatural power, of motive energy in active exercise - standing in intimate relation to the fuller religious life and distinctive character and action of its recipients. But while in the Old Testament it is partial, occasional, intermittent, here it is general, constant, pervading. While in the Old Testament, as well as in the New, its forms of manifestation are diverse, they are expressly referred under the New to one and the same Spirit. While in the Old Testament they contemplate mainly the official equipment of men for special work given them to perform, they include under the New the inward energy of moral action in the individual, no less than the gifts requisite for the edification of the Church; they embrace the whole domain of the religious life in the believer, and in the community to which he belongs. The πνεῦμα of the apostle is not the life-breath of man as originally constituted a creature of God; but it is the life-spirit of "the new creation" in which all things have become new" (Dickson).

With the relation of this word to ψυχή soul is bound up the complicated question whether Paul recognizes in the human personality a trichotomy, or threefold division into body, soul, and spirit. On the one side it is claimed that Paul regards man as consisting of body, the material element and physical basis of his being; soul, the principle of animal life; and spirit, the higher principle of the intellectual nature. On the other side, that spirit and soul represent different sides or functions of the one inner man; the former embracing the higher powers more especially distinctive of man, the latter the feelings and appetites. The threefold distinction is maintained chiefly on the basis of 1 Thessalonians 5:23. Compare Hebrews 4:12. On the distinction from ψυχή soul, see, further, on Romans 11:3.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
They that are (οἱ ὄντες)

Wider in meaning than walk, which expresses the manifestation of the condition expressed by are.

Do mind (φρονοῦσιν)

The verb primarily means to have understanding; then to feel or think (1 Corinthians 13:11); to have an opinion (Romans 12:3). Hence to judge (Acts 28:22; Galatians 5:10; Philippians 3:15). To direct the mind to something, and so to seek or strive for (Matthew 16:23, note; Philippians 3:19; Colossians 3:2). So here. The object of their thinking and striving is fleshly.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
To be carnally minded (τὸ φρόνημα τῆς σαρκὸς)

Lit., as Rev., the mind of the flesh. Fleshly thinking and striving. Similarly the mind of the Spirit for to be spiritually minded.

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Is not subject (οὐχ ὑποτάσσεται)

See on James 4:7. Originally to arrange under. Possibly with a shade of military meaning suggested by enmity. It is marshaled under a hostile banner.

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
The body

The believer's natural body.

The spirit

The believer's human spirit.

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Ye shall die (μέλλετε ἀποθνήσκειν)

The expression is stronger than the simple future of the verb. It indicates a necessary consequence. So Rev., ye must.

Mortify (θανατοῦτε)

Put to death.

Deeds (πράξεις)

Habitual practices. See on Romans 7:15; see on John 3:21.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Sons (υἱοί)

See on John 1:12; see on Matthew 1:1. There is an implied contrast with the Jewish idea of sonship by physical descent.

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Spirit of bondage (πνεῦμα δουλείας)

The Holy Spirit, as in Spirit of adoption. The Spirit which ye received was not a spirit of bondage. See Romans 8:4, under πνεῦμα, 7.

Spirit of adoption (πνεῦμα υἱοθεσίας)

The Spirit of God, producing the condition of adoption. Ὑιοθεσία adoption, is from υἱός son, and θέσις a setting or placing: the placing one in the position of a son. Mr. Merivale, illustrating Paul's acquaintance with Roman law, says: "The process of legal adoption by which the chosen heir became entitled not only to the reversion of the property but to the civil status, to the burdens as well as the rights of the adopter - became, as it were, his other self, one with him... this too is a Roman principle, peculiar at this time to the Romans, unknown, I believe, to the Greeks, unknown, to all appearance, to the Jews, as it certainly is not found in the legislation of Moses, nor mentioned anywhere as a usage among the children of the covenant. We have but a faint conception of the force with which such an illustration would speak to one familiar with the Roman practice; how it would serve to impress upon him the assurance that the adopted son of God becomes, in a peculiar and intimate sense, one with the heavenly Father" ("Conversion of the Roman Empire").

We cry (κράζομεν)

Of a loud cry or vociferation; expressing deep emotion.

Abba (Ἁββᾶ)

Compare Mark 14:36. A Syrian term, to which Paul adds the Greek Father. The repetition is probably from a liturgical formula which may have originated among the Hellenistic Jews who retained the consecrated word Abba. Some find here a hint of the union of Jew and Gentile in God.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Beareth witness with our spirit (συμμαρτυρεῖ τῶ πνεύματι ἡμῶν)

This rendering assumes the concurrent testimony of the human spirit with that of the divine Spirit. Others, however, prefer to render to our spirit, urging that the human spirit can give no testimony until acted upon by the Spirit of God.

Children (τέκνα)

See on John 1:12.

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Roman law made all children, including adopted ones, equal heritors. Jewish law gave a double portion to the eldest son. The Roman law was naturally in Paul's mind, and suits the context, where adoption is the basis of inheritance.

If so be that (εἴπερ)

The conditional particle with the indicative mood assumes the fact. If so be, as is really the case.

Suffer with Him

Mere suffering does not fulfill the condition. It is suffering with Christ. Compare with Him - all things, Romans 8:32.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
I reckon (λογίζομαι)

See on 1 Peter 5:12. It implies reasoning. "I judge after calculation made" (Godet). Compare Romans 3:28; 2 Corinthians 11:5; Philippians 3:13.

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Earnest expectation (ἀποκαραδοκία)

Only here and Philippians 1:20. From ἀπό away κάρα the head, δοκεῖν to watch. A watching with the head erect or outstretched. Hence a waiting in suspense. Ἀπό from, implies abstraction, the attention turned from other objects. The classical student will recall the watchman in the opening of Aeschylus' "Agamemnon," awaiting the beacon which is to announce the capture of Troy.

Creature (κτίσεως)

The word may signify either the creative act (as Romans 1:20), or the thing created (Mark 10:6; Mark 13:19; Mark 16:15; Colossians 1:23; Hebrews 4:13). See on 1 Peter 2:13. Here in the latter sense. The interpretations vary: 1. The whole unredeemed creation, rational and irrational. 2. All creation, except humanity. The point of difference is the inclusion or exclusion of humanity. The second explanation is preferable, the non-rational creation viewed collectively, animate and inanimate. Equivalent to all nature.

Waiteth (ἀπεκδέχεται)

Only in Paul and Hebrews 9:28. The whole passage, with the expressions waiting, sighing, hoping, bondage, is poetical and prophetic. Compare Psalm 19:2; Isaiah 11:6; Isaiah 14:8; Isaiah 55:12; Isaiah 65:17; Ezekiel 31:15; 37.; Habakkuk 2:11.

For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Vanity (ματαιότητι)

Only here, Ephesians 4:17; 2 Peter 2:18. Compare the kindred verb became vain (Romans 1:21 note), and the adjective vain (1 Corinthians 3:20; 1 Peter 1:18). Vain is also used to render κενός (1 Corinthians 15:14, 1 Corinthians 15:58; Ephesians 5:6; James 2:20). Κενός signifies empty; μάταιος idle, resultless. Κενός, used of persons, implies not merely the absence of good, but the presence of evil. So James 2:20. The Greek proverb runs. "The empty think empty things." Μάταιος expresses aimlessness. All which has not God for the true end of its being is μάταιος. Pindar describes the vain man as one who hunts bootless things with fruitless hopes. Plato ("Laws," 735) of labor to no purpose. Ezekiel 13:6, "prophesying vain things (μάταια)," things which God will not bring to pass. Compare Titus 3:9. Here, therefore, the reference is to a perishable and decaying condition, separate from God, and pursuing false ends.

By reason of Him who hath subjected (διὰ τὸν ὑποτάξαντα)

God, not Adam nor Satan. Paul does not use the grammatical form which would express the direct agency of God, by Him who hath subjected, but that which makes God's will the occasion rather than the worker - on account of Him. Adam's sin and not God's will was the direct and special cause of the subjection to vanity. The supreme will of God is thus removed "to a wider distance from corruption and vanity" (Alford).

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
In hope because (ἐπ' ἐλπίδι ὅτι)

The best texts transfer these words from the preceding verse, and construe with was made subject, rendering ὅτι that instead of because. "The creation was subjected in the hope that," etc. In hope is literally on hope, as a foundation. The hope is that of the subjected, not of the subjector. Nature "possesses in the feeling of her unmerited suffering, a sort of presentiment of her future deliverance" (Godet). Some adopt a very suggestive connection of in hope with waiteth for the manifestation.

Glorious liberty (ἐλευθερίαν τῆς δόξης)

Better, and more literally, as Rev., liberty of the glory. Liberty is one of the elements of the glorious state and is dependent upon it. The glory is that in Romans 8:18. The Greek student will note the accumulation of genitives, giving solemnity to the passage.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

Introducing the proof of the hope, not of the bondage.

Groaneth - travaileth together (συστενάζει - συνωδίνει)

Both only here in the New Testament. The simple verb ὠδίνω to travail, occurs Galatians 4:19, Galatians 4:27; Revelation 12:2; and the kindred noun ὠδίν birth-pang, in Matthew and Mark, Acts, and 1 Thessalonians 5:3. See on Mark 13:9; see on Acts 2:24. Together refers to the common longing of all the elements of the creation, not to its longing in common with God's children. "Nature, with its melancholy charm, resembles a bride who, at the very moment when she was fully attired for marriage, saw the bridegroom die. She still stands with her fresh crown and in her bridal dress, but her eyes are full of tears" (Schelling, cited by Godet).

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
By hope (τῇ ἐλπίδι)

Better in hope. We are saved by faith. See on 1 Peter 1:3.

Hope - not hope

Here the word is used of the object of hope. See Colossians 1:5; 1 Timothy 1:1; Hebrews 6:18.

But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Helpeth (συναντιλαμβάνεται)

Only here and Luke 10:40, on which see note. "Λαμβάνεται taketh. Precisely the same verb in precisely the same phrase, which is translated 'took our infirmities'," Matthew 8:17 (Bushnell).

As we ought (καθὸ δεῖ)

Not with reference to the form of prayer, but to the circumstances: in proportion to the need. Compare 2 Corinthians 8:12; 1 Peter 4:13.

Maketh intercession for (ὑπερεντυγχάνει)

Only here in the New Testament. The verb ἐντυγχάνω means to light upon or fall in with; to go to meet for consultation, conversation, or supplication. So Acts 25:24, "dealt with," Rev., "made suit." Compare Romans 8:34; Romans 11:2; Hebrews 7:25.

Which cannot be uttered (ἀλαλήτοις)

This may mean either unutterable or unuttered.

And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Work together (συνεργεῖ)

Or, are working together, now, while the creation is in travail. Together refers to the common working of all the elements included in πάντα all things.

For good

Jacob cried, all these things are against me. Paul, all things are working together for good.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Did foreknow (προέγνω)

Five times in the New Testament. In all cases it means foreknow. Acts 26:5; 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 3:17; Romans 11:2. It does not mean foreordain. It signifies prescience, not preelection. "It is God's being aware in His plan, by means of which, before the subjects are destined by Him to salvation, He knows whom He has to destine thereto" (Meyer).

It is to be remarked:

1. That προέγνω foreknew is used by the apostle as distinct and different from predestinated (προώρισεν).

2. That, strictly speaking, it is coordinate with foreordained. "In God is no before." All the past, present, and future are simultaneously present to Him. In presenting the two phases, the operation of God's knowledge and of His decretory will, the succession of time is introduced, not as metaphysically true, but in concession to human limitations of thought. Hence the coordinating force of καὶ also.

3. That a predetermination of God is clearly stated as accompanying or (humanly speaking) succeeding, and grounded upon the foreknowledge.

4. That this predetermination is to the end of conformity to the image of the Son of God, and that this is the vital point of the passage.

5. That, therefore, the relation between foreknowledge and predestination is incidental, and is not contemplated as a special point of discussion. God's foreknowledge and His decree are alike aimed at holy character and final salvation.

"O thou predestination, how remote

Thy root is from the aspect of all those

Who the First Cause do not behold entire!

And you, O mortals! hold yourselves restrained

In judging; for ourselves, who look on God,

We do not known as yet all the elect;

And sweet to us is such a deprivation,

Because our good in this good is made perfect,

That whatsoe'er God wills, we also will"

Dante, "Paradiso," xx., 130-138.

To be conformed (συμμόρφους)

With an inner and essential conformity. See on transfigured, Matthew 17:2.

To the image (τῆς εἰκόνος)

See on Romans 1:23. In all respects, sufferings and moral character no less than glory. Compare Romans 8:18, Romans 8:28, Romans 8:31, and see Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:49; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2, 1 John 3:3. "There is another kind of life of which science as yet has taken little cognizance. It obeys the same laws. It builds up an organism into its own form. It is the Christ-life. As the bird-life builds up a bird, the image of itself, so the Christ-life builds up a Christ, the image of Himself, in the inward nature of man.... According to the great law of conformity to type, this fashioning takes a specific form. It is that of the Artist who fashions. And all through life this wonderful, mystical, glorious, yet perfectly definite process goes on 'until Christ be formed' in it" (Drummond, "Natural Law in the Spiritual World").

First-born (πρωτότοκον)

See on Revelation 1:5. Compare Colossians 1:15, Colossians 1:18, note.

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Spared (ἐφείσατο)

Mostly in Paul. Elsewhere only Acts 20:29; 2 Peter 2:4, 2 Peter 2:5. Compare Genesis 22:16, which Paul may have had in mind.

His own (ἰδίου)

See on Acts 1:7; see on 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Peter 1:20.

With Him

Not merely in addition to Him, but all gifts of God are to be received, held, and enjoyed in communion with Christ.

Freely give

In contrast with spared.

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
Shall lay - to the charge (ἐγκαλέσει)

Only here by Paul. Frequent in Acts. See Acts 19:38, Acts 19:40; Acts 23:28, Acts 23:29; Acts 26:2, Acts 26:7. Lit., "to call something in one." Hence call to account; bring a charge against.

The following clauses are differently arranged by expositors. I prefer the succession of four interrogatives: Who shall lay? etc. Is it God? etc. Who is He that condemneth? Is it Christ? etc.

Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
Rather (μᾶλλον)

"Our faith should rest on Christ's death. but it should rather also so far progress as to lean on His resurrection, dominion, and second coming" (Bengel). "From the representations of the dead Christ the early believers shrank as from an impiety. To them He was the living, not the dead Christ - the triumphant, the glorified, the infinite, - not the agonized Christ in that one brief hour and power of darkness which was but the spasm of an eternal glorification" (Farrar, "Lives of the Fathers," i. 14).

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
We are more than conquerors (ὑπερνικῶμεν)

A victory which is more than a victory. "A holy arrogance of victory in the might of Christ" (Meyer).

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Powers (ἀρχαί)

Angelic, higher than mere angels.

Things present (ἐνεστῶτα)

Only in Paul and Hebrews 9:9. The verb literally means to stand in sight. Hence to impend or threaten. So 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Timothy 3:1; 1 Corinthians 7:26. Used of something that has set in or begun. So some render here. Bengel says: "Things past are not mentioned, not even sins, for they have passed away."

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Vincent's Word Studies, by Marvin R. Vincent [1886].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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