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12 My dear friends, we must not live to satisfy our desires. 13 If you do, you will die. But you will live, if by the help of God’s Spirit you say “No” to your desires. 14 Only those people who are led by God’s Spirit are his children. 15 God’s Spirit doesn’t make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father.[a] 16 God’s Spirit makes us sure that we are his children. 17 His Spirit lets us know that together with Christ we will be given what God has promised. We will also share in the glory of Christ, because we have suffered with him.

A Wonderful Future for God’s People

18 I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us. 19 In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are. 20 Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope 21 that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children. 22 We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth.

23 The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children.[b] This means that our bodies will also be set free. 24 And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. 25 However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it.

26 In certain ways we are weak, but the Spirit is here to help us. For example, when we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words. 27 All of our thoughts are known to God. He can understand what is in the mind of the Spirit, as the Spirit prays for God’s people.

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Footnotes

  1. 8.15 our Father: The Greek text uses the Aramaic word “Abba” (meaning “father”), which shows the close relation between the children and their father.
  2. 8.23 to show that we are his children: These words are not in some manuscripts. The translation of the remainder of the verse would then read, “while we wait for God to set our bodies free.”