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Romans 8:1-27

Context
The Believer’s Relationship to the Holy Spirit

8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 1  8:2 For the law of the life-giving Spirit 2  in Christ Jesus has set you 3  free from the law of sin and death. 8:3 For God achieved what the law could not do because 4  it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 8:4 so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

8:5 For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by 5  the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For the outlook 6  of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 8:7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8:8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 8:9 You, however, are not in 7  the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. 8:10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but 8  the Spirit is your life 9  because of righteousness. 8:11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one 10  who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ 11  from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you. 12 

8:12 So then, 13  brothers and sisters, 14  we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 8:13 (for if you live according to the flesh, you will 15  die), 16  but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live. 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are 17  the sons of God. 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, 18  but you received the Spirit of adoption, 19  by whom 20  we cry, “Abba, Father.” 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness to 21  our spirit that we are God’s children. 8:17 And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ) 22  – if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.

8:18 For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared 23  to the glory that will be revealed to us. 8:19 For the creation eagerly waits for the revelation of the sons of God. 8:20 For the creation was subjected to futility – not willingly but because of God 24  who subjected it – in hope 8:21 that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers together until now. 8:23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, 25  groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, 26  the redemption of our bodies. 27  8:24 For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance. 28 

8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, 29  but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. 8:27 And he 30  who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit 31  intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will.

1 tc The earliest and best witnesses of the Alexandrian and Western texts, as well as a few others (א* B D* F G 6 1506 1739 1881 pc co), have no additional words for v. 1. Later scribes (A D1 Ψ 81 365 629 pc vg) added the words μὴ κατὰ σάρκα περιπατοῦσιν (mh kata sarka peripatousin, “who do not walk according to the flesh”), while even later ones (א2 D2 33vid Ï) added ἀλλὰ κατὰ πνεῦμα (alla kata pneuma, “but [who do walk] according to the Spirit”). Both the external evidence and the internal evidence are compelling for the shortest reading. The scribes were evidently motivated to add such qualifications (interpolated from v. 4) to insulate Paul’s gospel from charges that it was characterized too much by grace. The KJV follows the longest reading found in Ï.

2 tn Grk “for the law of the Spirit of life.”

3 tc Most mss read the first person singular pronoun με (me) here (A D 1739c 1881 Ï lat sa). The second person singular pronoun σε (se) is superior because of external support (א B {F which reads σαι} G 1506* 1739*) and internal support (it is the harder reading since ch. 7 was narrated in the first person). At the same time, it could have arisen via dittography from the final syllable of the verb preceding it (ἠλευθέρωσεν, hleuqerwsen; “has set free”). But for this to happen in such early and diverse witnesses is unlikely, especially as it depends on various scribes repeatedly overlooking either the nu or the nu-bar at the end of the verb.

4 tn Grk “in that.”

5 tn Grk “think on” or “are intent on” (twice in this verse). What is in view here is not primarily preoccupation, however, but worldview. Translations like “set their mind on” could be misunderstood by the typical English reader to refer exclusively to preoccupation.

6 tn Or “mindset,” “way of thinking” (twice in this verse and once in v. 7). The Greek term φρόνημα does not refer to one’s mind, but to one’s outlook or mindset.

7 tn Or “are not controlled by the flesh but by the Spirit.”

8 tn Greek emphasizes the contrast between these two clauses more than can be easily expressed in English.

9 tn Or “life-giving.” Grk “the Spirit is life.”

10 sn The one who raised Jesus from the dead refers to God (also in the following clause).

11 tc Several mss read ᾿Ιησοῦν (Ihsoun, “Jesus”) after Χριστόν (Criston, “Christ”; א* A D* 630 1506 1739 1881 pc bo); C 81 104 lat have ᾿Ιησοῦν Χριστόν. The shorter reading is more likely to be original, though, both because of external evidence (א2 B D2 F G Ψ 33 Ï sa) and internal evidence (scribes were much more likely to add the name “Jesus” if it were lacking than to remove it if it were already present in the text, especially to harmonize with the earlier mention of Jesus in the verse).

12 tc Most mss (B D F G Ψ 33 1739 1881 Ï lat) have διά (dia) followed by the accusative: “because of his Spirit who lives in you.” The genitive “through his Spirit” is supported by א A C(*) 81 104 1505 1506 al, and is slightly preferred.

13 tn There is a double connective here that cannot be easily preserved in English: “consequently therefore,” emphasizing the conclusion of what he has been arguing.

14 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13.

15 tn Grk “are about to, are certainly going to.”

16 sn This remark is parenthetical to Paul’s argument.

17 tn Grk “For as many as are being led by the Spirit of God, these are.”

18 tn Grk “slavery again to fear.”

19 tn The Greek term υἱοθεσία (Juioqesia) was originally a legal technical term for adoption as a son with full rights of inheritance. BDAG 1024 s.v. notes, “a legal t.t. of ‘adoption’ of children, in our lit., i.e. in Paul, only in a transferred sense of a transcendent filial relationship between God and humans (with the legal aspect, not gender specificity, as major semantic component).”

20 tn Or “in that.”

21 tn Or possibly “with.” ExSyn 160-61, however, notes the following: “At issue, grammatically, is whether the Spirit testifies alongside of our spirit (dat. of association), or whether he testifies to our spirit (indirect object) that we are God’s children. If the former, the one receiving this testimony is unstated (is it God? or believers?). If the latter, the believer receives the testimony and hence is assured of salvation via the inner witness of the Spirit. The first view has the advantage of a σύν- (sun-) prefixed verb, which might be expected to take an accompanying dat. of association (and is supported by NEB, JB, etc.). But there are three reasons why πνεύματι (pneumati) should not be taken as association: (1) Grammatically, a dat. with a σύν- prefixed verb does not necessarily indicate association. This, of course, does not preclude such here, but this fact at least opens up the alternatives in this text. (2) Lexically, though συμμαρτυρέω (summarturew) originally bore an associative idea, it developed in the direction of merely intensifying μαρτυρέω (marturew). This is surely the case in the only other NT text with a dat. (Rom 9:1). (3) Contextually, a dat. of association does not seem to support Paul’s argument: ‘What standing has our spirit in this matter? Of itself it surely has no right at all to testify to our being sons of God’ [C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:403]. In sum, Rom 8:16 seems to be secure as a text in which the believer’s assurance of salvation is based on the inner witness of the Spirit. The implications of this for one’s soteriology are profound: The objective data, as helpful as they are, cannot by themselves provide assurance of salvation; the believer also needs (and receives) an existential, ongoing encounter with God’s Spirit in order to gain that familial comfort.”

22 tn Grk “on the one hand, heirs of God; on the other hand, fellow heirs with Christ.” Some prefer to render v. 17 as follows: “And if children, then heirs – that is, heirs of God. Also fellow heirs with Christ if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him.” Such a translation suggests two distinct inheritances, one coming to all of God’s children, the other coming only to those who suffer with Christ. The difficulty of this view, however, is that it ignores the correlative conjunctions μένδέ (mende, “on the one hand…on the other hand”): The construction strongly suggests that the inheritances cannot be separated since both explain “then heirs.” For this reason, the preferred translation puts this explanation in parentheses.

23 tn Grk “are not worthy [to be compared].”

24 tn Grk “because of the one”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

25 tn Or “who have the Spirit as firstfruits.” The genitive πνεύματος (pneumatos) can be understood here as possessive (“the firstfruits belonging to the Spirit”) although it is much more likely that this is a genitive of apposition (“the firstfruits, namely, the Spirit”); cf. TEV, NLT.

26 tn See the note on “adoption” in v. 15.

27 tn Grk “body.”

28 tn Or “perseverance.”

29 tn Or “for we do not know what we ought to pray for.”

30 sn He refers to God here; Paul has not specifically identified him for the sake of rhetorical power (for by leaving the subject slightly ambiguous, he draws his audience into seeing God’s hand in places where he is not explicitly mentioned).

31 tn Grk “he,” or “it”; the referent (the Spirit) has been specified in the translation for clarity.



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