Romans 8:12-25

Romans 8:12-25
Proper 11A


12 So then, brothersA and sisters, we are obligated,B not to the flesh,C to liveD according to the flesh— 

Notes on verse 12

A “brothers” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
B “obligated” = opheiletes. 7x in NT. From opheilo (to be indebted morally or legally – having an obligation one must meet; perhaps from the legal world, but then adopted in reference to morality; used to refer to humanity’s ethical responsibility); probably from ophelos (advantage, gain, profit); from ophello (heaped together, accumulate, increase). This is one who owes so it is a debtor or someone under obligation. Figuratively, it is a culprit, delinquent, or a sinner.
C “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
D “live” = zao. This is to live literally or figuratively. It is used for life including the vitality of humans, plants, and animals – it is life physical and spiritual and life everlasting.

13 for if you live according to the flesh, you willE die,F but if by the SpiritG

Notes on verse 13a

E “will” = melo. Perhaps from melo (to think about something, take an interest, to pay attention; to care or worry about something). This is to be about to act, ready, intend, linger, delay. It is something that is sure to happen.
F “die” = apothnesko. From apo (from, away from) + thnesko (to die, be dead). This is to die off. It is death with an emphasis on the way that death separates. It can also mean to wither or decay.
G “Spirit” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breathe, breathe hard). This is wind, breath, or ghost. A breeze or a blast or air, a breath. Figuratively used for a spirit, the human soul or part of us that is rational. It is also used supernaturally for angels, demons, God, and the Holy Spirit. This is where pneumonia comes from.

you put to deathH the deedsI of the body,J you will live. 

Notes on verse 13b

H “put to death” = thanatoo. Related to “die” in v13. 11x in NT. From thanatos (death, whether literal or spiritual; also something fatal); from thnesko (see note F above). This is to kill in a literal or figurative sense – subdue, mortify, be apart from.
I “deeds” = praxis. 6x in NT. From prasso (to do or practice – something done on an on-going basis or by habit; to accomplish, attend, or commit). This is an action, deed, business, practice, or function. It implies ongoing activity or responsibility.
J “body” = soma. Perhaps from sozo (to save, heal, rescue); from sos (safe, well, rescued). This is body or flesh. It can be body in a literal or figurative sense (as the body of Christ). This is where the word “somatic” comes from.

14 For all who are ledK by the Spirit of GodL are childrenM of God. 15 For you did not receiveN a spiritO

Notes on verses 14-15a

K “led” = ago. This is lead, bring, carry, guide, drive, go.
L “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
M “children” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
N “receive” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
O “spirit” = pneuma. Same as “Spirit” in v13. See note G above.

of slaveryP to fall back into fear,Q but you received a spirit of adoption.R

Notes on verse 15b

P “slavery” = douleia.  5x in NT. From douleo (to be a slave, be in bondage, to serve, obey, be devoted; it is to be a slave in a literal or figurative sense); from doulos (a servant or for a slave, enslaved; someone who belongs to someone else; could be voluntary (choosing to be enslaved to pay off debt) or involuntary (captured in war and enslaved)); from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is slavery, bondage, or enslavement in a literal or figurative sense.
Q “fear” = phobos. From phebomai (to flee, withdraw, be put to flight). This is panic flight, fear, fear being caused, terror, alarm, that which causes fear, reverence, respect.
R “adoption” = huiothesia. Related to “children” in v14. 5x in NT. From huios (see note M above) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position). This is making a son, adoption.

When we cry,S “Abba!T Father!”U 

Notes on verse 15c

S “cry” = krazo. This is to cry out, scream, shriek. It is onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call. Figuratively, this means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt.
T “Abba” = Abba. 3x in NT. From Aramaic ab (father); corresponding to Hebrew ab (father in a literal or figurative sense – grandfather, chief, ancestor). This is abba, which means father – not a diminutive daddy.
U “Father” = pater. This is father in a literal or figurative sense. Could be elder, senior, ancestor, originator, or patriarch.

16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness withV our spirit that we are childrenW of God, 17 and if children,X then heirs:Y

Notes on verses 16-17a

V “bearing witness with” = summartureo. 3x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + martureo (to bear witness, testify, give evidence; to testify in a literal or figurative sense); {from martus (a witness whether having heard or seen something; witness literally, judicially, or figuratively; by analogy, a martyr)}. This is to testify together with. It can also mean to corroborate.
W “children” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.
X “children” = teknon. Same as “children” in v16. See note W above.
Y “heirs” = kleronomos. 15x in NT. From kleros (lot, portion, heritage; that share assigned to you; also a lot used to determine something by fate, chance, or divine will); {perhaps from klero (casting a lot) or from klao (to break in pieces as one breaks bread)} + the same as nomos (what is assigned – usage, law, custom, principle; used for the law in general or of God’s law; sometimes used to refer to the first five books of the Bible or the entire Old Testament; also used to refer to theology or the practice and tradition of interpreting and implementing the law of God); {from nemo (to parcel out, assign)}}. This is heir, inheritor, or possessor – whether literal of figurative.

heirs of God andZ joint heirsAA with Christ,BB if we in fact suffer withCC him so that we may also be glorified withDD him.

Notes on verse 17b

Z {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.
AA “joint heirs” = sugkleronomos. Related to “heirs” in v17. 4x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + kleronomos (see note Y above). This is joint heir or participant.
BB “Christ” = Christos. From chrio (consecrate by anointing with oil; often done for prophets, priests, or kings). Literally, the anointed one, Christ. The Greek word for Messiah.
CC “suffer with” = sumpascho. 2x in NT. From sun (with, together) + pascho (to be acted on for good or ill; often used for negative treatment; properly, feeling strong emotions – especially suffering; can also be the ability to feel suffering). This is to suffer together or sympathize. It is sharing pain. It can refer to persecution in particular.
DD “be glorified with” = sundoxazo. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + doxazo (to render or hold something as glorious, to glorify, honor, magnify, or celebrate; ascribe weight to something by recognizing its true value or essence); {from doxa (glory, opinion, praise, honor, renown; particularly used as a quality of God or manifestation of God – splendor); from dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion)}. This is to glorify or praise together.

18 I considerEE that the sufferingsFF of this present timeGG

Notes on verse 18a

EE “consider” = logizomai. From logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; here, word as an account or accounting; can also be a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); from lego (to speak, tell, mention). This is this is to compute or reckon up, to count; figuratively, it is coming to a conclusion or decision using logic; taking an inventory in a literal or figurative sense.
FF “sufferings” = pathema. Related to “suffer with” in v17. 16x in NT. From pathos (passion, lust, suffering, something that happens to you, strong feelings); from pascho (see note CC above). This is something that happens to you such as suffering, affliction, passion, or emotion. It can also be one’s capacity for deep feelings or enduring. Further, it can be hardship or pain.
GG “time” = kairos. From kara (head). This is season, opportunity, occasion. The word chronos is used for chronological time. Kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time.

are not worth comparingHH with the gloryII about to beJJ revealedKK to us. 

Notes on verse 18b

HH “worth comparing” = axios. Related to “led” in v14. From ago (see note K above). This is related to weight or worth – deserving, suitable, corresponding, due reward.
II “glory” = doxa. Related to “be glorified with” in v17. See note DD above.
JJ “about to be” = melo. Same as “will” in v13. See note E above.
KK “revealed” = apokalupto. From apo (from, away from) + kalupto (to cover, hide, conceal; figuratively, to keep hidden or secret) {related to kalube (hut, cabin)}. This is properly to uncover so it means revealing something that was hidden or obstructed. It particularly refers to revealing the essence of something. This is to make plain or manifest. This is the root verb that “apocalypse” comes from.

19 For the creationLL waitsMM with eager longingNN

Notes on verse 19a

LL “creation” = ktisis. 19x in NT. From ktizo (to build, create, form, shape; God’s acts of creation); probably akin to ktaomai (to get, purchase, possess). This is creation, creature, or ordinance. It is also used for when a city is founded and creation as origin.
MM “waits” = apekdechomai. 8x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + ekdechomai (to take or receive, expect, await; to welcome someone from your heart; focusing on the goal of waiting or the outcome); {from ek (from, from out of) + dechomai (to warmly receive, be ready for what is offered, take, accept, or welcome; to receive in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is eager awaiting or fully expecting something.
NN “eager longing” = apokaradokia. Related to “be glorified with” in v17 & “glory” in v18 & to “time” in v18. 2x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + kara (see note GG above) + dokeo (see note DD above). This is strained expectation. It literally refers to one’s head stretching ahead, being forward thinking. So, it is eager or anxious anticipation.

for the revealingOO of the childrenPP of God, 20 for the creation was subjectedQQ to futility,RR

Notes on verses 19b-20a

OO “revealing” = apokalupsis. Related to “revealed” in v18. 18x in NT. From apokalupto (properly to uncover; revealing something that was hidden or obstructed; particularly refers to revealing the essence of something; to make plain or manifest); {from apo (from, away from) + kalupto (see note KK above)}. This is uncovering, unveiling, appearing, manifestation, or revelation. This is where the word “apocalypse” comes from.
PP “children” = huios. Same as “children” in v14. See note M above.
QQ “was subjected” = hupotasso. From hupo (by, under, about, under one’s authority) + tasso (to arrange, appoint, determine). This is to place under. So it is to subject, submit, obey, or subordinate.
RR “futility” = mataiotes. 3x in NT. From mataios (vain, useless, worthless, unproductive, or purposeless; figuratively fleeting or idols); from the same as maten (in vain, aimlessly, pointless, fruitless); from mate (a folly) or from massaomai (to chew, gnaw); {from masso (to kneed, squeeze). This is vanity, aimlessness, emptiness, unreality, instability, futility, false religion. It can also mean moral depravity.

not of its own will,SS but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hopeTT 21 that the creation itself will be set freeUU from its enslavementVV

Notes on verses 20b-21a

SS “of its own will” = hekon. 2x in NT. This is freely or voluntarily.
TT “hope” = elpis. From elpo (to anticipate, welcome, expect; usually to anticipate positively). This is expectation, hope, trust, confidence faith. The expectation can be abstract or concrete.
UU “be set free” = eleutheroo. 7x in NT.  From eleutheros (a free person, at liberty, not a slave; properly, unshackled – figuratively, it is one who has the freedom to choose their destiny. Also, it is one who does not have obligation or liability); probably from erchomai (to come or go). This is to liberate, set free, release from bondage. It can mean to clear someone from liability. Figuratively, it is freeing someone from bondage to sin.
VV “enslavement” = douleia. Same as “slavery” in v15. See note P above.

to decayWW and will obtain the freedomXX of the glory of the childrenYY of God. 

Notes on verse 21b

WW “decay” = phthora. 9x in NT. From phtheiro (to destroy, corrupt, perish, waste away; figuratively, moral decay). This is destruction, corruption, or something perishable. It can be spontaneous decay or corruption inflicted on another in a literal or figurative sense.
XX “freedom” = eleutheria. Related to “be set free” in v21. 11x in NT. From eleutheros (see note UU above). This is liberty or freedom. Particularly, it would be release from slavery. It can also refer to moral freedom.
YY “children” = teknon. Same as “children” in v16. See note W above.

22 We knowZZ that the wholeAAA creation has been groaning togetherBBB as it suffers together the pains of labor,CCC 

Notes on verse 22

ZZ “know” = eido. This is to know, consider perceive, appreciate, behold, or remember. It means seeing with one’s eyes, but also figuratively, it means perceiving – seeing that becomes understanding. So, by implication, this means knowing or being aware.
AAA “whole” = pas. This is all or every.
BBB “groaning together” = sustenazo. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + stenazo (to sigh deeply, complain; to express feelings that are accompanied by pressure of what comes next; it can be lament, anger, or longing); {from steno (to sigh, groan) or stenos (narrow, confined, constricted; confined because of obstacles); {probably from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast)}}. This is to moan or lament – to share calamity.
CCC “pains of labor” = sunodino. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + odino (to experience labor pain; figuratively, other processes that bear a similar experience); {from odin (severe agony, a snare, the pain from childbirth; figuratively, pain and difficulty that comes from ushering in something new); related to odune pain, distress, or anguish, whether physical or mental; from duno (to enter, sink into; can also be set like the sun); from duo (to sink)}. This is suffer pain together. Literally, it refers to labor pains. Figuratively, it is sympathy that anticipates an end to the suffering in question.

23 and not onlyDDD the creation, but we ourselves, who haveEEE the first fruitsFFF of the Spirit,

Notes on verse 23a

DDD “only” = monon. From monos (alone, single, remaining, mere, desolate); from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is merely, only, simply, sole. It can also imply alone.
EEE “have” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
FFF “first fruits” = aparche. 8x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + arche (origin, beginning, rule; can refer to the power of a magistrate or a king; it is the first thing as being the starting point or the most important); {from archomai (to begin or rule); from archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power)}. This is first fruit or gift. It is the beginning of sacrifice – so the first crops of the season. It is also used figuratively of early converts in a specific location.

groanGGG inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemptionHHH of our bodies. 24 For in hope we were saved.III

Notes on verses 23b-24a

GGG “groan” = stenazo. Related to “groaning” in v22. 6x in NT. See note BBB above.
HHH “redemption” = apolutrosis. 10x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + lutroo (to redeem, liberate, release because ransom was paid in full; figuratively, returning something or someone to their rightful owner) [from lutron (ransom, the money used to free slaves; also a sacrifice of expiation; figurative for atonement); from luo (to loose, release, untie; figuratively, to break, destroy, or annul; releasing what had been withheld)]. This is redemption, deliverance, or release particularly with the notion of ransom paid – a buying back what had been lost.
III “saved” = sozo. Related to “body” in v13. See note J above.

Now hope that is seenJJJ is not hope, for who hopes forKKK what one already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.LLL

Notes on verses 24b-25

JJJ “seen” = blepo. This is literally to see – it is primarily used in the physical sense. However, figuratively it can be seeing, which includes attention and so to watchfulness, being observant, perceiving, and acting on the visual information. It can also mean beware.
KKK “hopes for” = elpizo. Related to “hope” in v20. From elpis (see note TT above). This is to expect, trust, hope for, or to wait in an active way.
LLL “patience” = hupomone. Related to “only” in v23. From hupo (by, under, about) + meno (see note DDD above). This is properly to remain behind or remain under. It implies endurance, patience, steadfastness, and waiting in hope.

Image credit: “Adam and Eve” by Albert Kohler, circa 1920.

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