Romans 8:18-25

Romans 8:18-25
Second Sunday of Advent – A Women’s Lectionary


18 I considerA that the sufferingsB of this present timeC are not worth comparingD

Notes on verse 18a

A “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.
B “sufferings” = pathema. 16x in NT. From pathos (passion, lust, suffering, something that happens to you, strong feelings); from 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 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.
C “time” = kairos. Perhaps related to 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.
D “worth comparing” = axios. From ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive, go). This is related to weight or worth – deserving, suitable, corresponding, due reward.

with the gloryE about to beF revealedG to us. 

Notes on verse 18b

E “glory” = doxa. From dokeo (to have an opinion, seem, appear, suppose; a personal judgment; to think); from dokos (opinion). This is literally something that evokes a good opinion – something that connects to our understanding of intrinsic worth. The ultimate expression of this is, of course, God and God’s manifestation. So, this is opinion, honor, and dignity, but also praise, glory, renown, and worship.
F “about to be” = 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.
G “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 creationH waitsI with eager longingJ for

Notes on verse 19a

H “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.
I “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.
J “eager longing” = apokaradokia. Related to “time” and “glory” in v18. 2x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + kara (see note C above) + dokeo (see note E above).  This is eager expectation or anxious longing. Properly, it is to think with one’s head stretched forward – in an eager or intense way or with anticipation.

the revealingK of the childrenL of God;M 

Notes on verse 19b

K “revealing” = apokalupsis. Related to “revealed” in v18. 18x in NT. From apakalupto (see note G above). This is uncovering, unveiling, appearing, manifestation, or revelation. This is where the word “apocalypse” comes from.
L “children” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
M “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

20 for the creation was subjectedN to futility,O not of its own willP but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hopeQ 

Notes on verse 20

N “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.
O “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.
P “of its own will” = hekon. 2x in NT. This is willing or voluntarily.
Q “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.

21 that the creation itself will be set freeR from its bondageS to decayT and will obtain the freedomU of the glory of the childrenV of God. 

Notes on verse 21

R “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.
S “bondage” = 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.
T “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.
U “freedom” = eleutheria. Related to “be set free” in v21. 11x in NT. From eleutheros (see note R above). This is liberty or freedom. Particularly, it would be release from slavery. It can also refer to moral freedom.
V “children” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.

22 We knowW that the wholeX creation has been groaningY in labor painsZ until now; 

Notes on verse 22

W “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.
X “whole” = pas. This is all or every.
Y “groaning” = sustenazo. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + stenazo (to groan inwardly, sigh, complain; groaning from the pressure of forward momentum as in childbirth); {from steno (to moan, groan, sigh) OR stenos (narrow, constricted, compressed; hemmed in from obstacles); probably from histemi (to stand, place, set up, establish, stand ready, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to moan or groan together – to lament. Figuratively, it is sharing in a tragedy.
Z “labor pains” = sunodino. 1x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + odino (to have labor pains, be in labor; it is having labor pains from a literal or figurative sense); {from odin (labor pain, intense agony, sorrow, the pain of a new endeavor); akin to odune (pain, distress, grief – physical or mental; anguish); from duno (to enter, sink into; can also be set like the sun)}. This is to suffer together as labor pains.

23 and not onlyAA the creation, but we ourselves, who haveBB the first fruitsCC of the Spirit,DD

Notes on verse 23a

AA “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.
BB “have” = echo. This is to have, hold, or possess.
CC “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.
DD “Spirit” = Pneuma. From pneo (to blow, breath, 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.

groanEE inwardly while we wait for adoption,FF the redemptionGG of our bodies.HH 

Notes on verse 23b

EE “groan” = stenazo. Related to “groaning” in v22. 6x in NT. See note Y above.
FF “adoption” = huiothesia. Related to “children” in v19. 5x in NT. From huios (see note L 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.
GG “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.
HH “bodies” = 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.

24 For in hope we were saved.II Now hope that is seenJJ is not hope. For who hopes forKK what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.LL

Notes on verses 24-25

II “saved” = sozo. Related to “bodies” in v23. See note HH above.
JJ “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.
KK “hopes for” = elpizo. Related to “hope” in v20. From elpis (see note Q above). This is to expect, trust, hope for, or to wait in an active way.
LL “patience” = hupomone. Related to “only” in v23. From hupo (by, under, about) + meno (see note AA above). This is properly to remain behind or remain under. It implies endurance, patience, steadfastness, and waiting in hope.

Image credit: “Up Go the Lights III” by by Mike McCune, 2010.

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