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, 1 groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, 2 the redemption of our bodies. 3 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. 4
8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, 5 but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. 8:27 And he 6 who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit 7 intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will. 8:28 And we know that all things work together 8 for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose, 8:29 because those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that his Son 9 would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 10 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.
8:31 What then shall we say about these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 8:32 Indeed, he who 11 did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, freely give us all things?
1 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.
3 tn Grk “body.”
4 tn Or “perseverance.”
5 tn Or “for we do not know what we ought to pray for.”
6 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).
7 tn Grk “he,” or “it”; the referent (the Spirit) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
8 tc ὁ θεός (Jo qeos, “God”) is found after the verb συνεργεῖ (sunergei, “work”) in v. 28 by Ì46 A B 81 sa; the shorter reading is found in א C D F G Ψ 33 1739 1881 Ï latt sy bo. Although the inclusion is supported by a significant early papyrus, the alliance of significant Alexandrian and Western witnesses favors the shorter reading. As well, the longer reading is evidently motivated by a need for clarification. Since ὁ θεός is textually suspect, it is better to read the text without it. This leaves two good translational options: either “he works all things together for good” or “all things work together for good.” In the first instance the subject is embedded in the verb and “God” is clearly implied (as in v. 29). In the second instance, πάντα (panta) becomes the subject of an intransitive verb. In either case, “What is expressed is a truly biblical confidence in the sovereignty of God” (C. E. B. Cranfield, Romans [ICC], 1:427).
9 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God’s Son) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
11 tn Grk “[he] who.” The relative clause continues the question of v. 31 in a way that is awkward in English. The force of v. 32 is thus: “who indeed did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – How will he not also with him give us all things?”