Romans 8:12-25

Romans 8:12-25
Ordinary A34


12 So then, brothersA and sisters, we are debtors,B not to the flesh,C to live 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 “debtors” = 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).

13 for if you live according to the flesh, you willD die;E but if by the SpiritF you put to death the deedsG of the body,H you will live. 

Notes on verse 13

D “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.
E “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.
F “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.
G “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.
H “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 led by the Spirit of GodI are childrenJ of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slaveryK to fall back into fear,L but you have received a spirit of adoption.M When we cry,N “Abba!O Father!” 

Notes on verses 14-15

I “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
J “children” = huios. Literally “sons.”
K “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.
L “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.
M “adoption” = huiothesia. Related to “children” in v14. 5x in NT. From huios (son, descendant; a son whether natural born or adopted; also used figuratively for other forms of kinship) + 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.
N “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.
O “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.

16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness withP our spirit that we are childrenQ of God, 17 and if children, then heirs,R heirsS of God

Notes on verses 16-17a

P “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)}.
Q “children” = teknon. From tikto (to beget, bring forth, produce). This is a child, descendant, or inhabitant.
R “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.
S {untranslated} = men. This is truly, indeed, even, in fact. Often, it is not translated, but used to emphasize affirmation.

and joint heirsT with ChristU—if, in fact, we suffer withV him so that we may also be glorified withW him.

Notes on verse 17b

T “joint heirs” = sugkleronomos. Related to “heirs” in v17. 4x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + kleronomos (see note R above). This is a joint heir, participant, or co-inheritor.
U “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.
V “suffer with” = sumpascho. 2x in NT. From sun (with, together with) + 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 with or sympathize – it is shared pain or can be used specifically to refer to persecution.
W “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; ascribing 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 glorified together, shared approval, exalting in joint dignity.

18 I considerX that the sufferingsY of this present timeZ are not worth comparingAA with the gloryBB about to beCC revealedDD to us. 

Notes on verse 18

X “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.
Y “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.
Z “time” = kairos. 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.
AA “worth comparing” = axios. From ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive, go). This is related to weight or worth – deserving, suitable, corresponding, due reward.
BB “glory” = doxa. Related to “be glorified with” in v17. See note W above.
CC “about to be” = melo. Same as “will” in v13. See note D above.
DD “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 creationEE waitsFF with eager longingGG for the revealingHH of the childrenII of God; 

Notes on verse 19

EE “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.
FF “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.
GG “eager longing” = apokaradokia. Related to “be glorified with” in v17 & “glory” in v18. 2x in NT. From apo (from, away from) + kara (the head) + dokeo (see note W 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.
HH “revealing” = apokalupsis. Related to “revealed” in v18. 18x in NT. From apokalupto (see note DD above). This is uncovering, unveiling, appearing, manifestation, or revelation. This is where the word “apocalypse” comes from.
II “children” = huios. Literally “sons.” Same as “children” in v14. See note J above.

20 for the creation was subjectedJJ to futility,KK not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hopeLL 

Notes on verse 20

JJ “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.
KK “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.
LL “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 freeMM from its bondageNN to decayOO and will obtain the freedomPP of the glory of the childrenQQ of God. 

Notes on verse 21

MM “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.
NN “bondage” = douleia. Same as “slavery” in v15. See note K above.
OO “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.
PP “freedom” = eleutheria. Related to “be set free” in v21. 11x in NT. From eleutheros (see note MM above). This is liberty or freedom – particularly freedom from slavery. It can also refer to misuse of freedom for licentious behavior.
QQ “children” = teknon. Same as “children” in v16. See note Q above.

22 We knowRR that the whole creation has been groaningSS in labor painsTT until now; 23 and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruitsUU of the Spirit, groanVV inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemptionWW of our bodies.XX 

Notes on verses 22-23

RR “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.
SS “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.
TT “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.
UU “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.
VV “groan” = stenazo. 6x in NT. Related to “groaning” in v22. See note SS above.
WW “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.
XX “bodies” = soma. Same as “body” in v13. See note H above. This is singular in Greek.

24 For in hope we were saved.YY Now hope that is seenZZ is not hope. For who hopes forAAA what is seen? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.BBB

Notes on verses 24-25

YY “saved” = sozo. From sos (safe, rescued, well). This is to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively. This is the root that “savior” and “salvation” come from in Greek.
ZZ “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.
AAA “hopes for” = elpizo. Related to “hope” in v20. From elpis (see note LL above). This is to expect, trust, hope for, or to wait in an active way.
BBB “patience” = hupomone. From hupo (by, under, about) + meno (to stay, remain, wait, await, continue, abide). This is properly to remain behind or remain under. It implies endurance, patience, steadfastness, and waiting in hope.

Image credit: “Overflow with Hope” by Rick and Brenda Beerhorst, 2010.

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