New American Standard Bible
For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
King James Bible
For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Darby Bible Translation
for the creature has been made subject to vanity, not of its will, but by reason of him who has subjected the same, in hope
World English Bible
For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope
Young's Literal Translation
for to vanity was the creation made subject -- not of its will, but because of Him who did subject it -- in hope,
Romans 8:20 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For the creature - The renewed creature; the Christian mind. This is given as a reason for its aspiring to the full privileges of adoption, that the present state is not one of choice, or one which is preferred, but one to which it has been subjected for wise reasons by God.
Subject to vanity - The word "subject to" means placed in such a state; subjected to it by the appointment of another, as a soldier has his rank and place assigned him in an army. The word "vanity" here ματαιότης mataiotēs is descriptive of the present condition of the Christian, as frail and dying; as exposed to trials, temptations, and cares; as in the midst of conflicts, and of a world which may be emphatically pronounced vanity. More or less, the Christian is brought under this influence; his joys are marred; his peace is discomposed; his affections wander; his life is a life of vanity and vexation.
Not willingly - Not voluntarily. It is not a matter of choice. It is not what is congenial to his renewed nature. That would aspire to perfect holiness and peace. But this subjection is one that is contrary to it, and from which he desires to be delivered. This describes substantially the same condition as Romans 7:15-24.
But by reason - By him διά dia. It is the appointment of God, who has chosen to place his people in this condition; and who for wise purposes retains them in it.
Who hath subjected the same - Who has appointed his people to this condition. It is his wise arrangement. Here we may observe,
(1) That the instinctive feelings of Christians lead them to desire a purer and a happier world, Philippians 1:23.
(2) that it is not what they desire, to be subjected to the toils of this life, and to the temptations and vanities of this world. They sigh for deliverance.
(3) their lot in life; their being subjected to this state of vanity, is the arrangement of God. Why it is, he has not seen fit to inform us fully. He might have taken his people at once to heaven as soon as they are converted. But though we know not all the reasons why they are continued here in this state of vanity, we can see some of them:
(a) Christians are subjected to this state to do good to their fellow sinners. They remain on earth for this purpose: and this should be their leading aim.
(b) By their remaining here the power of the gospel is shown in overcoming their sin; in meeting their temptations; in sustaining them in trial; and in thus furnishing living evidence to the world of the power and excellency of that gospel. This could not be attained if they were removed at once to heaven.
(c) It furnishes occasion for some interesting exhibitions of character - for hope, and faith, and love, and for increasing and progressive excellence.
(d) It is a proper training for heaven. It brings out the Christian character, and fits it for the skies. There may be inestimable advantages, all of which we may not see, in subjecting the Christian to a process of training in overcoming his sins, and in producing confidence in God, before he is admitted to his state of final rest.
(e) It is fit and proper that he should engage here in the service of Him who has redeemed him. He has been ransomed by the blood of Christ, and God has the highest claim on him in all the conflicts and toils, in all the labors and services to which he may be subjected in this life.
In hope - See the note at Romans 5:4. Hope has reference to the future; and in this state of the Christian, he sighs for deliverance, and expects it.
LibraryAugust 6. "As Many as are Led by the Spirit of God they are the Sons of God" (Rom. viii. 14).
"As many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God" (Rom. viii. 14). The blessed Holy Spirit is our Guide, our Leader, and our Resting-place. There are times when He presses us forward into prayer, into service, into suffering, into new experiences, new duties, new claims of faith, and hope, and love, but there are times when He arrests us in our activity, and rests us under His overshadowing wing, and quiets us in the secret place of the Most High, teaching us some new lessons, breathing …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
September 27. "The Glorious Liberty of the Children of God" (Rom. viii. 21).
The Intercession of Christ
Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life.
Now he called his name Noah, saying, "This one will give us rest from our work and from the toil of our hands arising from the ground which the LORD has cursed."
"Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, And my lifetime as nothing in Your sight; Surely every man at his best is a mere breath. Selah.
"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity."
For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?
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