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Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.(A)

For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.

For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [[a]the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [[b]subdued, overcame, [c]deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],(B)

So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and [d]pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and [e]seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.

Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that [f]comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].

[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.

So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.

But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God].(C)

10 But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you].

11 And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.

12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh.

13 For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

15 For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!

16 The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.

17 And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

18 [But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and [g]for us and [h]conferred on us!

19 For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship].

20 For the creation (nature) was subjected to [i]frailty (to futility, condemned to frustration), not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it—[yet] with the hope(D)

21 That nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God’s children.

22 We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now.(E)

23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the firstfruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as God’s sons).

24 For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope. For how can one hope for what he already sees?

25 But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure.

26 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

27 And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.(F)

28 We are assured and know that [[j]God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was [k]aware and [l]loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.

30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].

31 What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?](G)

32 He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?

33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who acquits us?]

34 Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?

35 Who shall ever separate us from Christ’s love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?

36 Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.(H)

37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors [m]and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things [n]impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,

39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Footnotes

  1. Romans 8:3 Philip Melanchthon, cited by Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  2. Romans 8:3 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  3. Romans 8:3 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  4. Romans 8:5 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  5. Romans 8:5 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  6. Romans 8:6 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  7. Romans 8:18 Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People.
  8. Romans 8:18 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  9. Romans 8:20 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  10. Romans 8:28 Some manuscripts read, “God works all things with them.”
  11. Romans 8:29 H.A.W. Meyer, cited by Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  12. Romans 8:29 John Murray, The Sovereignty of God.
  13. Romans 8:37 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon.
  14. Romans 8:38 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies. The literal translation is “standing in sight.”

Living by the Power of the Holy Spirit

So now the case is closed. There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus, the Anointed One.[a] For the “law” of the Spirit of life flowing through the anointing of Jesus has liberated us[b] from the “law” of sin and death. For God achieved what the law was unable to accomplish, because the law was limited by the weakness of human nature.[c]

Yet God sent us his Son in human form to identify with human weakness. Clothed with humanity, God’s Son gave his body to be the sin-offering so that God could once and for all condemn the guilt and power of sin. So now every righteous requirement of the law can be fulfilled through the Anointed One living his life in us. And we are free to live, not according to our flesh, but by the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit![d]

Those who are motivated by the flesh only pursue what benefits themselves. But those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities.[e] For the sense and reason of the flesh is death, but the mind-set controlled by the Spirit finds life and peace.

In fact, the mind-set focused on the flesh fights God’s plan and refuses to submit to his direction,[f] because it cannot! For no matter how hard they try, God finds no pleasure with those who are controlled by the flesh. But when the Spirit of Christ empowers your life,[g] you are not dominated by the flesh but by the Spirit. And if you are not joined to the Spirit of the Anointed One, you are not of him.[h]

10 Now Christ lives his life in you! And even though your body may be dead because of the effects of sin, his life-giving Spirit imparts life to you because you are fully accepted by God.[i] 11 Yes, God raised Jesus to life! And since God’s Spirit of Resurrection lives in you, he will also raise your dying body to life by the same Spirit that breathes life into you!

12 So then, beloved ones, the flesh has no claims on us at all, and we have no further obligation to live in obedience to it. 13 For when you live controlled by the flesh, you are about to die. But if the life of the Spirit puts to death the corrupt ways of the flesh, we then taste his abundant life.

Sons and Daughters Destined for Glory

14 The mature children of God are those[j] who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit. 15 And you did not receive the “spirit of religious duty,”[k] leading you back into the fear of never being good enough.[l] But you have received the “Spirit of full acceptance,”[m] enfolding you into the family of God. And you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the words of tender affection, “Beloved Father!”[n] 16 For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”

17 And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has.[o] We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings[p] as our own.[q]

A Glorious Destiny

18 I am convinced that any suffering we endure is less than nothing compared to the magnitude of glory[r] that is about to be unveiled within us.[s] 19 The entire universe is standing on tiptoe,[t] yearning to see the unveiling of God’s glorious[u] sons and daughters! 20 For against its will the universe itself has had to endure the empty futility[v] resulting from the consequences of human sin. But now, with eager expectation, 21 all creation longs for freedom from its slavery to decay and to experience with us the wonderful freedom coming to God’s children. 22 To this day we are aware of the universal agony and groaning of creation, as if it were in the contractions of labor for childbirth. 23 And it’s not just creation. We who have already experienced the firstfruits of the Spirit[w] also inwardly groan as we passionately long to experience our full status as God’s sons and daughters—including our physical bodies being transformed. 24 For this is the hope of our salvation.

But hope means that we must trust and wait for what is still unseen. For why would we need to hope for something we already have? 25 So because our hope is set on what is yet to be seen, we patiently keep on waiting for its fulfillment.

26 And in a similar way, the Holy Spirit takes hold of us in our human frailty to empower us in our weakness. For example, at times we don’t even know how to pray, or know the best things to ask for. But the Holy Spirit rises up within us to super-intercede[x] on our behalf, pleading to God with emotional sighs[y] too deep for words.

27 God, the searcher of the heart, knows fully our longings,[z] yet he also understands the desires of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit passionately pleads before God for us, his holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny.

28 So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together for good,[aa] for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. 29 For he knew all about us before we were born and he destined us[ab] from the beginning to share the likeness of his Son. This means the Son is the oldest among a vast family of brothers and sisters who will become just like him.

30 Having determined our destiny ahead of time, he called us to himself and transferred his perfect righteousness to everyone he called. And those who possess his perfect righteousness he co-glorified with his Son![ac]

The Triumph of God’s Love

31 So, what does all this mean? If God has determined to stand with us, tell me, who then could ever stand against us? 32 For God has proved his love by giving us his greatest treasure, the gift of his Son. And since God freely offered him up as the sacrifice for us all,[ad] he certainly won’t withhold from us anything else he has to give.

33 Who then would dare to accuse those whom God has chosen in love to be his? God himself is the judge who has issued his final verdict over them—“Not guilty!”[ae]

34 Who then is left to condemn us? Certainly not Jesus, the Anointed One! For he gave his life for us, and even more than that, he has conquered death and is now risen, exalted, and enthroned by God at his right hand. So how could he possibly condemn us since he is continually praying for our triumph?[af]

35 Who could ever divorce us from the endless love of God’s Anointed One? Absolutely no one! For nothing in the universe has the power to diminish his love toward us. Troubles, pressures, and problems are unable to come between us and heaven’s love. What about persecutions, deprivations,[ag] dangers, and death threats? No, for they are all impotent to hinder omnipotent love, 36 even though it is written:

All day long we face death threats for your sake, God.
    We are considered to be nothing more
    than sheep to be slaughtered![ah]

37 Yet even in the midst of all these things, we triumph over them all, for God has made us to be more than conquerors,[ai] and his demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything![aj]

38 So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles,[ak] fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. 39 There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!

Footnotes

  1. 8:1 Or “Those who are in Christ Jesus cannot be condemned.” Although there are some manuscripts that add to this verse, “for those who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit,” the addition is not supported by the oldest and most reliable Greek manuscripts.
  2. 8:2 Some Greek manuscripts have “sets me free” or “sets you [singular] free.”
  3. 8:3 Or “weakness of the flesh.”
  4. 8:4 What joyous truths are found in Rom. 8! All that God requires of us has been satisfied by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The life of Jesus in us is enough to satisfy God. The power of our new life is not the works of our weak humanity, but the dynamic power of the Holy Spirit released in us.
  5. 8:5 Or “the things of the [Holy] Spirit”; that is, doing what pleases God. The Aramaic can be translated “Those who are in the flesh see him only in the flesh, but those who are in the Spirit see him in the Spirit.”
  6. 8:7 Or “refuses to submit to his law.”
  7. 8:9 Or “makes his home in you.”
  8. 8:9 This is an unusual Greek clause that can be translated “If anyone is not joined to the Spirit of Christ, he cannot be himself.” A similar construction is used in Luke 15:17: “The prodigal son came to himself.”
  9. 8:10 The Aramaic can be translated “for the cause of righteousness.”
  10. 8:14 The Greek is quite emphatic: “those and only those.”
  11. 8:15 Or “spirit of slavery.”
  12. 8:15 Implied in both the text and the greater context of finding our true life in the “Spirit of full acceptance.” It can also refer to the fear of judgment that has been removed from us through Christ.
  13. 8:15 Or “spirit of adult [complete] sonship.” The Aramaic can be translated “the spirit of consecrated children.”
  14. 8:15 Abba is not a Greek word, but an Aramaic word transliterated into Greek letters. Abba is the Aramaic word for “father.” It is also found in Mark 14:36 and Gal. 4:6. Abba is also a word used for devotion, a term of endearment. This is why some have concluded that Abba could be translated as “Daddy” or “Papa.” It is hard to imagine a closer relationship to have with God than to call him “Abba, our Beloved Father.”
  15. 8:17 Or “we are joint-heirs with Christ.” Nothing in the Bible could be more amazing than this. Grace has made former rebels into princes and princesses, royal ones that share in the inheritance of Christ.
  16. 8:17 Or “accept his feelings” (of pain), or “things” (he experiences). By implication, “sufferings.”
  17. 8:17 Or “if we suffer jointly we will enjoy glory jointly.”
  18. 8:18 The Greek word doxa can also be translated “radiant beauty,” “splendor,” “perfection.”
  19. 8:18 The Aramaic can be translated “with the glory which is to be perfected in us.” The Greek participle eis can be translated “into us,” “upon us,” or “to us.”
  20. 8:19 The Greek word used here means “intense anticipation,” or “anxiously anticipating what is about to happen” (with an outstretched neck).
  21. 8:19 Or “the manifestation of the sons of God.” Interestingly, the Greek word used for “unveiling” (apokalypsis) is the same word for the full title of the last book of the Bible, “The Revelation [Unveiling] of Jesus Christ.” The created universe is but the backdrop for the dramatic appearing of God’s sons and daughters unveiled with the glory of Jesus Christ upon them. The verb tense in the Greek text is clear that this “unveiling” is imminent, soon to happen, and destined to take place. Christ’s glory will come to us, enter us, fill us, envelop us, and then be revealed through us as partakers of the glory. Although God will not share his glory with any other, we are no longer “another,” for we are one with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit through faith in Christ. See John 17:21–23.
  22. 8:20 Or “the purposelessness” or “the frustration” (or “chaos”).
  23. 8:23 The “firstfruits of the Spirit” would include his indwelling presence, his gifts, his wisdom, and his transforming power. Imagine what the full harvest of the Spirit will bring to us! The Aramaic can be translated “the awakening of the Spirit.”
  24. 8:26 The Greek word hupererentugkhano is best translated “super [or hyper]-intercede for us.” We can only imagine how many blessings have poured into our lives because of the hyper-intercession of the Holy Spirit for us!
  25. 8:26 Or “groanings.” We find three groanings in this chapter. Creation groans for the glorious freedom of God’s children (v. 22), we groan to experience the fullness of our status as God’s children (v. 23), and the Holy Spirit groans for our complete destiny to be fulfilled (here).
  26. 8:27 Or “God, the heart-searcher.” God searches our hearts not just to uncover what is wrong, but to fulfill the true desire of our hearts to be fully his. Grace triumphs over judgment.
  27. 8:28 The Aramaic is “harmony.” God works all things together harmoniously.
  28. 8:29 The Aramaic can be translated “sealed us” (with God’s mark upon us). See also Col. 3:4; Heb. 2:11.
  29. 8:30 Notice that all the verbs are past tense. The same faith that justifies us is the faith that glorifies us. This verse gives us four golden links in the chain of our salvation: (1) predestination, (2) vocation, (3) justification, and (4) glorification.
  30. 8:32 This is an intentional echo of Gen. 22:16. Although God spared Abraham’s son, Isaac, he would not spare his own Son, Jesus Christ.
  31. 8:33 See Isa. 50:8.
  32. 8:34 Not only does the Holy Spirit pray for us, so does Jesus Christ. Two divine intercessors are praying for you each day. Two-thirds of the Trinity are actively engaged in intercession for us. This is typified by the incident of Moses interceding on the mountain for Israel’s victory with one hand held high by Aaron (the high priest, a type of Jesus, our High Priest) and Hur (or “light,” a metaphor for the Holy Spirit, who prays with divine illumination for our good). See Ex. 17:9–13; Heb. 7:25; 9:24.
  33. 8:35 Or “hunger and nakedness.”
  34. 8:36 See Ps. 44:22.
  35. 8:37 Love has made us more than conquerors in four ways: (1) No situation in life can defeat us or dilute God’s love. (2) We know that divine love and power work for us to triumph over all things. (3) We share in the victory spoils of every enemy we face (Isa. 53:12). (4) We have conquered the Conqueror with merely a glance of our worshiping eyes. We have won his heart (Song. 4:9; 6:5).
  36. 8:37 Clearly implied in the text with the Greek word hupernikao. The love of God gives us “a glorious hyper-victory,” more than can be described or contained in one word. God’s love and grace has made us hyper-conquerors, empowered to be unrivaled, more than a match for any foe!
  37. 8:38 Or “life”; by implication, the troubles and pressures life may bring.