Romans 8:23-33

23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have 1the firstfruits of the Spirit, 2groan inwardly as 3we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, 4the redemption of our bodies.
24 For 5in this hope we were saved. Now 6hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we 7wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For 8we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but 9the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
27 And 10he who searches hearts knows what is 11the mind of the Spirit, because[a] the Spirit 12intercedes for the saints 13according to the will of God.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together 14for good,[b] for 15those who are called according to his purpose.
29 For those whom he 16foreknew he also 17predestined 18to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be 19the firstborn among many brothers.
30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also 20justified, and those whom he justified he also 21glorified.

God's Everlasting Love

31 What then shall we say to these things? 22If God is for us, who can be[c] against us?
32 23He who did not spare his own Son but 24gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? 25It is God who justifies.

Images for Romans 8:23-33

Romans 8:23-33 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS 8

As the former chapter shows that sanctified ones are not free from the being of sin in them, which is a ground of general complaint and uneasiness; this chapter shows, that justified ones are freed from the guilt of sin, and secure from punishment for it; and have the utmost reason to rejoice and be glad, and even to triumph in a plerophory and full assurance of faith, on account of the various privileges they enjoy, through the grace of the Father, of the Son, and of the Spirit; and which are distinctly, largely, and severally mentioned: it begins, Ro 8:1, with taking notice of a particular privilege saints have in Christ, and, by virtue of union to him, security from all condemnation; and which is inferred from their sure and certain deliverance from sin by Christ, Ro 8:25, the persons sharing in this privilege are described by their being in Christ, and by their walking after the Spirit of Christ, in consequence of it: a reason confirming this privilege is given, Ro 8:2, taken either from the Gospel, declaring the saints' freedom from the law; or from the power and efficacy of the Spirit, delivering them from the tyranny and dominion of sin; or rather from the holiness of Christ's human nature, as a branch of their justification: this privilege is made more fully to appear, and the saints' interest in it by the mission of Christ, to bring in everlasting righteousness for them, which is the foundation of it, Ro 8:3, the occasion of which was the weakness of the law, or rather the impotency of man, through the corruption of nature, to fulfil the law: the sender, or the efficient cause of this mission, is God the Father; the person sent, his own Son; the manner in which he was sent, in human nature, which had the appearance of being sinful; what God did in it, he condemned sin in it; which is a reason, why there is no condemnation to them, that are in him; and the end of all this, Ro 8:4, was, that the law of righteousness might be perfectly fulfilled by Christ for them, or by them in him; who are described in part, as in Ro 8:1, upon the repetition of which part of the description, the apostle proceeds to show the difference between unregenerate and regenerate persons, Ro 8:5, partly by their characters; the one being carnal, or after the flesh, the other being spiritual, or after the Spirit; and by their different affections, the one minding the things of the flesh, the other the things of the Spirit; the different issue and effect of which, namely, a carnal and a spiritual mind are observed, Ro 8:6, death following upon the one, life and peace upon the other; the reasons of which, with respect to the former, are given, Ro 8:7, taken from the enmity of the carnal mind to God, and the non-subjection of it to the law of God, and the impossibility of its being subject to it; and therefore nothing but death can be expected; from whence this conclusion is made, Ro 8:8, that unregenerate men are not in a state, nor in a capacity to please God, or do what is acceptable to him, the above being the disposition and temper of their minds: and then in Ro 8:9, the apostle returns to the argument from whence be had digressed, and suggests, that though he had said the above things of unregenerate men, he had other thoughts of those to whom he writes; they were not in the flesh, nor minded the things of the flesh, and so were not liable to condemnation and death; and which he proves by the inhabitation of the Spirit of God in them; for such who have him not, have no proof nor evidence of their being Christ's, and so consequently have no proof of their security from condemnation; and partly by Christ's being in them, and which is the evidence of their being in Christ, and so of the above privilege, Ro 8:10, the consequence of which is, that though by reason of sin the body is mortal, and does die, yet the soul lives not only naturally, but spiritually, by faith in Christ now, and in glory hereafter, by virtue of Christ's righteousness imputed to it, and so is free from condemnation and death; besides, by virtue of the Spirit's dwelling in them, their mortal bodies will be quickened in the general resurrection, Ro 8:11, and from all these blessings of divine goodness, both in soul and body, the apostle infers, that the saints are under obligation, not to live in a carnal, but in a spiritual manner, Ro 8:12, and to which he exhorts, Ro 8:13, and presses by motives, taken from the different consequences of those things; death following by living after the flesh, and life through the mortification of sin, by the Spirit of God: and whereas the walking after the Spirit, by which he had described those that are safe from condemnation, is owing to their being led by him; and their being led by him, being an evidence of their divine sonship, Ro 8:14, from hence he passes to consider the privilege of adoption: and that these saints were interested in this privilege, he proves Ro 8:15, partly by their not having the spirit of bondage which belongs to servants; and partly by their having the spirit of adoption, who had made known this grace unto them, and their interest in it: and that they had received him as a spirit of adoption, was evident by their calling God their Father under his influence; and also by the witness he bore to their spirits, that they were the children of God, Ro 8:16, of which they were conscious: and from this privilege of adoption, the apostle concludes heirship, Ro 8:17, and which is of such a nature, that there is none like it; both with respect to the subject of it, God himself; with respect to him with whom they are heirs, Christ Jesus; and the way in which they come to share the glorious inheritance with him, is through suffering with him, and for him; and this they need not grudge to do, since there is no comparison between their sufferings, and the glory they shall enjoy, Ro 8:18, which both Jews and Gentiles were in the expectation of; the latter of which are described in Ro 8:19-22, by their name, the creature, the whole creation; and by their present condition, the Gospel being come among them to the conversion of many, which raised an expectation of many sons and daughters being born to God among them, Ro 8:19, and by their former state and condition, Ro 8:20, which is mentioned, to illustrate the grace of God in the present blessing bestowed upon them, in sending the Gospel to them; which state was a subjection to vanity, through the god of this world, who led them captive at his will, Ro 8:21, and then by the deliverance of them, they were in hope and expectation of, from bondage to liberty, Ro 8:21, and this groaning and travailing: in birth in a spiritual sense, for the bringing forth of many sons to God among the Gentiles, the apostle, and other ministers of the word, who had preached the Gospel among them, were witnesses of, Ro 8:22, yea, not only the Gentiles, but the Jews also, who are described as having the first fruits of the Spirit, Ro 8:23, were waiting for the manifestation of the children of God among the Gentiles, with them to complete at last the mystical body, who shall share together the glory before spoken of, which their sonship and heirship entitle them to; and for which there is encouragement to wait with patience and in hope, from the connection of salvation with the grace of hope; and from, the nature of the thing hoped for, which is unseen, but certain, Ro 8:24,25. From hence the apostle proceeds to consider another privilege which the saints have, who are in the Spirit, and walk after the Spirit, the Spirit helps their infirmities; particularly in prayer, the matter of which, in some cases, they are at a loss about, Ro 8:26, and this he does, by making intercession for them; the manner in which this is done in them, is with unutterable groans; and the rule according to which it is made, is the will of God, the mind of the Spirit being known by the searcher of hearts, Ro 8:27, in a word, such are the privileges of believers in Christ, that every thing in the whole world, in heaven, and in earth, in themselves and others, whether good or bad, prosperous or adverse, work together for their good, so that nothing can go wrong with them in the issue, Ro 8:28, who are described by their love to God, and by their effectual calling, according to his purpose; which being mentioned, leads the apostle to the source and spring of all these and other privileges, the everlasting love of God; signified by his foreknowledge of his people, Ro 8:29, which is the cause of their predestination to a conformity to the image of Christ, the firstborn among many brethren; with which predestination, calling, justification, and glorification, are inseparably connected, Ro 8:30, from all which blessings of grace it may be concluded, that God is on the side of such persons, who are interested in these favours; and nothing is to be feared, but every good thing is to be expected by them, Ro 8:31, which is confirmed by an argument from the greater to the lesser, that if God has given his Son for them, he will freely give all things to them, Ro 8:32, in a view of which, the apostle rises up in a triumph of faith, and challenges all the enemies of the saints, and denies that any charge can be brought against them of any avail, since God is the justifier of them, Ro 8:33, or that they shall ever enter into condemnation, being secured from it by the death of Christ; and which security is yet more strengthened by his resurrection, session at the right hand of God, and intercession for them, Ro 8:34, and then asks, since Christ has shown such love to them, by these instances of it, what can separate from it, Ro 8:35, and enumerates several things which befall the saints in this life, which, however mean and abject they may render them in the esteem of men, do not at all abate the love of Christ to them: that such is their case, that they are exposed to afflictions and sufferings, and even death itself, for the sake of Christ, is proved Ro 8:36, by a testimony out of Ps 44:22, and then an answer is returned to the above question in the negative, that none of the things mentioned could separate them from the love of Christ; so far from it, that by virtue of Christ who had loved them, they were conquerors, and more than conquerors in all these things, and over all their enemies, Ro 8:37, and the chapter is concluded in Ro 8:38,39, with the full and firm persuasion of the apostle, that nothing in the whole universe, in the whole compass of created beings, be they what they will, good or bad, or which are or shall be, an enumeration of many of which is made, should ever separate him, or any of the people of God from his love, which is in Christ Jesus: so that upon the whole, notwithstanding indwelling sin, notwithstanding the various afflictions which attend them in this world, yet in consideration of the many privileges they enjoy, and the glory they are heirs of, they have great reason to rejoice, and look upon themselves to be in the most safe and happy condition.

Romans 8:23-33 In-Context

21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.
23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.
34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

Cross References 25

  • 1. [2 Corinthians 5:5; James 1:18]
  • 2. 2 Corinthians 5:2, 4
  • 3. ver. 19, 25; Isaiah 25:9; Galatians 5:5
  • 4. See Romans 7:24; Luke 21:28
  • 5. [1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:8]
  • 6. 2 Corinthians 4:18; Hebrews 11:1
  • 7. [1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:8]
  • 8. [Matthew 20:22; James 4:3]
  • 9. Zechariah 12:10; Ephesians 6:18; See John 14:16
  • 10. 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Chronicles 28:9; Proverbs 15:11; Proverbs 17:3; Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 17:10; Luke 16:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:4
  • 11. See ver. 6
  • 12. [ver. 34]
  • 13. [1 John 5:14]
  • 14. Ezra 8:22; [Ecclesiastes 8:12]
  • 15. Romans 9:24; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 7:15, 17; Galatians 1:15; Galatians 5:8; Ephesians 4:1, 4; 2 Timothy 1:9
  • 16. Romans 11:2; 1 Peter 1:2
  • 17. 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 1:5, 11; [Romans 9:23]
  • 18. Philippians 3:21; [1 Corinthians 15:49; Colossians 3:10]; See 1 John 3:2
  • 19. Colossians 1:15, 18; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 1:5
  • 20. 1 Corinthians 6:11
  • 21. John 17:22; [Hebrews 2:10]
  • 22. Numbers 14:9; 2 Kings 6:16; Psalms 118:6; 1 John 4:4
  • 23. John 3:16
  • 24. See Romans 4:25
  • 25. Isaiah 50:8, 9; [Revelation 12:10, 11]

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Or that
  • [b]. Some manuscripts God works all things together for good, or God works in all things for the good
  • [c]. Or who is
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.