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  • ROBERTSON'S NT WORD STUDIES
    & BIBLE COMMENTARY - ROMANS 8

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    8:1 {Therefore now} (ara nun). Two particles. Points back to the triumphant note in #7:25 after the preceding despair. {No condemnation} (ouden katakrima). As sinners we deserved condemnation in our unregenerate state in spite of the struggle. But God offers pardon "to those in Christ Jesus (tois en Christ"i iesou). 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.

    8:2 {The law of the Spirit of life} (ho nomos tou pneumatos tes zwes). The principle or authority exercised by the Holy Spirit which bestows life and which rests "in Christ Jesus." {Made me free} (eleuqerwsen me). First aorist active indicative of the old verb eleuqerow for which see #Ga 5:1. Aleph B have se (thee) instead of me. 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.

    8:3 {That the law could not do} (to 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} (en hwi). "Wherein." {It was weak} (esqenei). Imperfect active, continued weak as already shown. {In the likeness of sinful flesh} (en homoiwmati sarkos hamartias). For "likeness" see #Php 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} (kai peri hamartias). Condensed phrase, God sent his Son also concerning Sin (our Sin). {Condemned Sin in the flesh} (katekrine tˆn hamartian en tˆi sarki). First aorist active indicative of katakrinw. He condemned the Sin of men and the condemnation took place in the flesh of Jesus. If the article tˆn had been repeated before en tˆi sarki Paul would have affirmed Sin in the flesh of Jesus, but he carefully avoided that (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 784).

    8:4 {The ordinance of the law} (to dikai"ma tou nomou). "The requirement of the law." {Might be fulfilled} (hina plerwqei). Purpose of the death of Christ by hina and first aorist passive subjunctive of plerow. Christ met it all in our stead (#3:21-26). {Not after the flesh, but after the Spirit} (mˆ kata sarka alla kata pneuma). The two laws of life (kata sarka in #7:7-24, kata pneuma #8:1-11). Most likely the Holy Spirit or else the renewed spirit of man.

    8:5 {Do mind} (fronousin). Present active indicative of fronew, to think, to put the mind (fren) on. See #Mt 16:23; Ro 12:16. For the contrast between sarx and pneuma, see #Ga 5:16-24.

    8:6 {The mind} (to phronˆma). The bent or will of the flesh is death as shown in #7:7-24. {Life} (zwe). In contrast with "death." {Peace} (eirene). As seen in #5:1-5.

    8:7 {Is not subject} (ouch hupotassetai). Present passive indicative of hupotassw, late verb, military term for subjection to orders. Present tense here means continued insubordination. {Neither indeed can it be} (oude 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 (#7:25) and the Spirit of life (#8:2).

    8:8 {Cannot please God} (qewi 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.

    8:9 {Not in the flesh} (ouk en sarki). Not sold under Sin (#7:14) any more. {But in the spirit} (alla 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} (eiper). "If as is the fact" (cf. #3:30). {The Spirit of Christ} (pneuma cristou). The same as "the Spirit of God" just before. See also #Php 1:19; 1Pe 1:11. Incidental argument for the Deity of Christ and probably the meaning of #2Co 3:18 "the Spirit of the Lord." Condition of first class, assumed as true.

    8:10 {The body is dead} (to men swma nekron). Has the seeds of death in it and will die "because of Sin." {The spirit is life} (to de pneuma zwe). The redeemed human spirit. He uses zwe (life) instead of z"sa (living), "God-begotten, God-sustained life" (Denney), if Christ is in you.

    8:11 {Shall quicken} (z"opoiˆsei). Future active indicative of zwopoiew, late verb from zwopoios, making alive. See on ¯1Co 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.

    8:12 {We are debtors} (opheiletai esmen). See on ¯Ga 5:3; Ro 1:14. {Not to the flesh} (ou tei sarki). Negative ou goes with preceding verb and tˆi sarki, not with the infinitive tou zein.

    8:13 {Ye must die} (mellete apothnˆskein). Present indicative of mellw, to be about to do and present active infinitive of apoqneskw, to die. "Ye are on the point of dying." Eternal death. {By the spirit} (pneumati). Holy Spirit, instrumental case. {Ye shall live} (zˆsesthe). Future active indicative of zaw. Eternal life.

    8:14 {Sons of God} (huioi qeou). In the full sense of this term. In verse #16 we have tekna qeou (children of God). Hence no great distinction can be drawn between huios and teknon. The truth is that huios 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 (#8:3). But in the widest sense all men are "the offspring" (genos) of God as shown in #Ac 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" (huioi Abraam, #Ga 3:7), the children of faith.

    8:15 {The spirit of adoption} (pneuma huiothesias). See on this term huiothesia, #Ga 4:5. Both Jews and Gentiles receive this "adoption" into the family of God with all its privileges. "{Whereby we cry, Abba, Father}" (en hei krazomen abba ho pater). See #Ga 4:6 for discussion of this double use of Father as the child's privilege.

    8:16 {The Spirit himself} (auto to pneuma). The grammatical gender of pneuma is neuter as here, but the Greek used also the natural gender as we do exclusively as in #Joh 16:13 ekeinos (masculine {he}), to pneuma (neuter). See also #Joh 16:26 (ho--ekeinos). It is a grave mistake to use the neuter "it" or "itself" when referring to the Holy Spirit. {Beareth witness with our spirit} (summarturei t"i pneumati hemwn). See on ¯Ro 2:15 for this verb with associative instrumental case. See #1Jo 5:10f. for this double witness.

    8:17 {Joint-heirs with Christ} (sunkleronomoi cristou). 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 #8:29 for this idea expanded. Paul is fond of compounds of sun, three in this verse (sunklˆronomoi, sunpasch"men, sundoxasth"men). The last (first aorist passive subjunctive of sundoxaz" with hina (purpose), late and rare, here only in N.T.

    8:18 {To us-ward} (eis hemas). 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 mellousan doxan (aorist passive infinitive of apokaluphthˆnai) occurs in #Ga 3:23 with mellousan pistin, which see.

    8:19 {The earnest expectation of creation} (he apokaradokia tes ktisews). this substantive has so far been found nowhere save here and #Php 1:20, though the verb apokaradoke" is common in Polybius and Plutarch. Milligan (_Vocabulary_) thinks that Paul may have made the substantive from the verb. It is a double compound (apo, off from, kara, head, dokew, Ionic verb, to watch), hence to watch eagerly with outstretched head. {Waiteth for} (apekdechetai). See on ¯1Co 1:7; Ga 5:5 for this rare word (possibly formed by Paul, Milligan). "To wait it out" (Thayer). {The revealing of the sons of God} (tˆn apokaluyin t"n hui"n tou qeou). Cf. #1Jo 3:2; 2Th 2:8; Col 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?

    8:20 {Was subjected} (hupetagˆ). Second aorist passive indicative of hupatassw (cf. verse #7). {To vanity} (tˆi mataiotˆti). Dative case. Rare and late word, common in LXX. From mataios, empty, vain. #Eph 4:17; 2Pe 2:18. {Not of its own will} (ouch hekousa). Common adjective, in N.T. only here and #1Co 9:27. It was due to the effect of man's Sin. {But by reason of him} (alla dia ton). Because of God. {In hope that} (eph' helpidi hoti). Note the form helpidi rather than the usual elpidi and so eph'. hoti can be causal "because" instead of declarative "that."

    8:21 {The creation itself} (aute he 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).

    8:22 {Groaneth and travaileth in pain} (sunstenazei kai sunwdinei). Two more compounds with sun. Both rare and both here alone in N.T. Nature is pictured in the pangs of childbirth.

    8:23 {The first fruits} (tˆn aparcen). Old and common metaphor. {Of the Spirit} (tou pneumatos). The genitive of apposition. The Holy Spirit came on the great Pentecost and his blessings continue as seen in the "gifts" in #1Co 12-14, in the moral and spiritual gifts of #Ga 5:22f. And greater ones are to come (#1Co 15:44ff.). {Even we ourselves} (kai autoi). He repeats for emphasis. We have our "groaning" (stenazomen) as well as nature. {Waiting for} (apekdechomenoi). The same verb used of nature in verse #19. {Our adoption} (huioqesian). Our full "adoption" (see verse #15), "the redemption of our body" (tˆn apolutrwsin tou swmatos hemwn). That is to come also. qen we shall have complete redemption of both soul and body.

    8:24 {For by hope were we saved} (tei gar elpidi eswqemen). First aorist passive indicative of swzw. The case of elpidi 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).

    8:25 {With patience} (di' hupomones). Paul repeats the verb apekdecomai of verse #23.

    8:26 {Helpeth our infirmity} (sunantilambanetai tei asqeneiai hemwn). Present middle indicative of sunantilambanomai, 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 #Lu 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} (to ti proseux"metha). Articular clause object of oidamen (we know) and indirect question with the deliberative aorist middle subjunctive proseux"metha, retained in the indirect question. {As we ought} (katho dei). "As it is necessary." How true this is of all of us in our praying. {Maketh intercession} (huperentugchanei). Present active indicative of late double compound, found only here and in later ecclesiastical writers, but entugcanw occurs in verse #27 (a common verb). It is a picturesque word of rescue by one who "happens on" (entugcanei) one who is in trouble and "in his behalf" (huper) pleads "with unuttered groanings" (instrumental case) or with "sighs that baffle words" (Denney). this is work of our Helper, the Spirit himself.

    8:27 {He that searcheth} (ho eraun"n). God (#1Sa 16:7). {According to the will of God} (kata qeon). See #2Co 7:9-11 for this phrase kata qeon (according to God). The Holy Spirit is the "other Paraclete" (#Joh 14:16) who pleads God's cause with us as Christ is our Paraclete with the Father (#1Jo 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."

    8:28 {All things work together} (panta sunergei). A B have ho qeos as the subject of sunergei (old verb, see on ¯1Co 16:16; 2Co 6:1). That is the idea anyhow. It is God who makes "all things work together" in our lives "for good" (eis agaqon), ultimate good. {According to his purpose} (kata proqesin). Old word, seen already in #Ac 27:13 and for "shewbread" in #Mt 12:4. The verb protiqemi Paul uses in #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 (#9:11; 3:11; 2Ti 1:9).

    8:29 {Foreknew} (proegn"). Second aorist active indicative of proginwskw, old verb as in #Ac 26:5. See #Ps 1:6 (LXX) and #Mt 7:23. this fore-knowledge and choice is placed in eternity in #Eph 1:4. {He foreordained} (prowrisen). First aorist active indicative of proorizw, late verb to appoint beforehand as in #Ac 4:28; 1Co 2:7. Another compound with pro- (for eternity). {Conformed to the image} (summorphous tˆs eikonos). Late adjective from sun and morfe and so an inward and not merely superficial conformity. eikwn is used of Christ as the very image of the Father (#2Co 4:4; Col 1:15). See #Php 2:6f. for morfe. Here we have both morfe and eikwn 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} (eis to einai auton). Common idiom for purpose. {First born among many brethren} (pr"totokon en pollois adelphois). Christ is "first born" of all creation (#Col 1:15), but here he is "first born from the dead" (#Col 1:18), the Eldest Brother in this family of God's sons, though "Son" in a sense not true of us.

    8:30 {Called} (ekalesen) {--Justified} (edikai"sen) {--Glorified} (edoxasen). All first aorist active indicatives of common verbs (kalew, dikaiow, doxazw). 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).

    8:31 {For these things} (pros tauta). From #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 (edoxasen in verse #30). But Paul lets the objector have his say as he usually does so that in verses #31-39 he considers the objections. {If God is for us, who is against us?} (ei ho qeos huper hemwn, tis kaq' hemwn?). 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 (huper, over, kata, down or against).

    8:32 {He that} (hos ge). "Who as much as this " (ge here magnifying the deed, intensive particle). {Spared not} (ouk efeisato). First aorist middle of feidomai, old verb used about the offering of Isaac in #Ge 22:16. See #Ac 20:29. {Also with him} (kai sun autwi). The gift of "his own son" is the promise and the pledge of the all things for good of verse #28. Christ is all and carries all with him.

    8:33 {Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect?} (tis egkalesei kata eklekt"n qeou?). Future active indicative of egkalew, old verb, to come forward as accuser (forensic term) in case in court, to impeach, as in #Ac 19:40; 23:29; 26:2, the only N.T. examples. Satan is the great Accuser of the brethren. {It is God that justifieth} (qeos ho dikaiwn). God is the Judge who sets us right according to his plan for justification (#3:21-31). The Accuser must face the Judge with his charges.

    8:34 {Shall condemn} (katakrinwn). 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 (#1Jo 2:1), "who is at the right hand of God" (hos estin en dexiai tou qeou) "who also maketh intercession for us" (hos kai entugchanei huper hemwn). Our Advocate paid the debt for our sins with his blood. The score is settled. We are free (#8:1).

    8:35 {Shall separate} (cwrisei). Future active of old verb corizw from adverb cwris and that from cwra, 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" (tis) to "what" (ti). The items mentioned will not make Christ love us less. Paul here glories in tribulations as in #5:3ff.

    8:36 {Even as it is written} (kaqws gegraptai). He quotes #Ps 44:23. {We are killed} (thanatoumetha). Present passive indicative of qanatow for which see on ¯7:4. Same idea of continuous martyrdom in #1Co 15:31. {As sheep for the slaughter} (hws probata sfages). Objective genitive (sfages).

    8:37 {Nay} (alla). On the contrary, we shall not be separated. {We are more than conquerors} (hupernikwmen). Late and rare compound. Here only in N.T. "We gain a surpassing victory through the one who loved us."

    8:38 {For I am persuaded} (pepeismai gar). Perfect passive participle of peiqw, "I stand convinced." The items mentioned are those that people dread (life, death, supernatural powers, above, below, any creature to cover any omissions).

    8:39 {To separate us} (hemas cwrisai). Aorist active infinitive of corizw (same verb as in #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).

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