Studies in Romans 8:18-30
18- For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
** This is a fact that we should keep in mind when times are hard because of our Christianity. The magnitude of the glory to come outweighs the magnitude of suffering on earth.
19- For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.
** Even things that are not human await the end of the age.
20- For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope
** Christ subjected the creation to futility as a punishment to Adam.
** Think about plant life before and after the fall. Before, The Lord God caused the trees to grow without rain. The trees had meaning and seemed to have some benefit to our souls - because when Adam and Eve ate from the tree, their thinking changed. After the fall, God cursed the ground. It now grows thorns and thistles. It now takes effort to cultivate the land. And the fruit from trees is no longer beneficial to our souls. The creation is now futile.
21- that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
** Eventually the curse put upon creation will be removed and it will return back to its state before the curse.
** It's interesting that Paul says that not only people (Rom. 6), but creation in general is enslaved to corruption.
22- For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
23- And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.
** Remember the question back in Rom. 7:24 - who will set us free from this body of death? Paul had already described how we can defeat the desires of the spiritually dead fleshly body we have until we die physically. But here, he speaks of the new body we will receive in eternity.
24- For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?
** In hope, we await our redeemed bodies. The fullness of our salvation has not completely materialized.
25- But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
26- And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;
** "In the same way" refers back to Rom. 8:16 where Paul said the Spirit testifies with our spirit. Here, the Spirit also helps our weaknesses and intercedes on our behalf.
** We do not know how to pray.
27- and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
** "He" is Christ.
** Heb. 7:25 and Rom 8:34 mentions Christ's intercession for us to God.
** The Spirit and Christ perform intercession for us, I believe it's different in its scope. The Spirit intercedes as a Helper for us. Christ intercedes more as a representative or lawyer.
28- And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
** This verse is used by Paul for comfort to the Roman Christians as they go through their suffering and persecution. Sometimes this verse is hard to accept because we don't always see the good in bad situations.
** This fact is what Christians today should "know" and keep to heart so that when bad times come, we are spiritually on solid foundation.
29- For whom He forknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first born among many brethren;
** In case they didn't know who the "called" (v. 28) were, Paul uses this path in the next two verses to explain who are the "called". This also gives certain hope that those who are called will eventually be glorified.
30- and whom He predestined, these He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
** Notice that in the last few verses, Paul soothes their suffering hearts by describing how each member of the Godhead takes part in the lives of the saints. The Spirit reminds us of our salvation and helps us in our weaknesses. Jesus intercedes for us as our representative in heaven - and the Father definitely won't deny the Son's requests. The Father causes everything to work for good to those who love Him.