Romans 8:21
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
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(21) Because the creature.—The reason for the hope which survives through the degradation of nature; what creation is to be.

Because.—Perhaps rather “that,” to be joined on to the end of the last verse, “in hope that creation, also,” &c. So Meyer and Ellicott.

Delivered from the bondage of corruption.—The state of decay and ruin into which the world by nature has fallen, is regarded as a servitude opposed to the state of liberty into which it will be ushered at the Coming of Christ.

Glorious liberty of the children of God.—Translate rather, into the liberty of the glory of the children of Godi.e., into the state of liberty or emancipation which will attend the appearance of the Messiah and His redeemed. Their state will be one of liberty, and in that liberty the whole creation hopes to share.

8:18-25 The sufferings of the saints strike no deeper than the things of time, last no longer than the present time, are light afflictions, and but for a moment. How vastly different are the sentence of the word and the sentiment of the world, concerning the sufferings of this present time! Indeed the whole creation seems to wait with earnest expectation for the period when the children of God shall be manifested in the glory prepared for them. There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which has come upon the creature by the fall of man. There is an enmity of one creature to another. And they are used, or abused rather, by men as instruments of sin. Yet this deplorable state of the creation is in hope. God will deliver it from thus being held in bondage to man's depravity. The miseries of the human race, through their own and each other's wickedness, declare that the world is not always to continue as it is. Our having received the first-fruits of the Spirit, quickens our desires, encourages our hopes, and raises our expectations. Sin has been, and is, the guilty cause of all the suffering that exists in the creation of God. It has brought on the woes of earth; it has kindled the flames of hell. As to man, not a tear has been shed, not a groan has been uttered, not a pang has been felt, in body or mind, that has not come from sin. This is not all; sin is to be looked at as it affects the glory of God. Of this how fearfully regardless are the bulk of mankind! Believers have been brought into a state of safety; but their comfort consists rather in hope than in enjoyment. From this hope they cannot be turned by the vain expectation of finding satisfaction in the things of time and sense. We need patience, our way is rough and long; but He that shall come, will come, though he seems to tarry.Because - This is the ground of his hope, and this sustains him now. It is the purpose of God that deliverance shall be granted, and this supports the Christian amidst the trials to which he is subjected here. The hope is, that this same renewed man shall be delivered from all the toils, and cares, and sins of this state.

The creature itself - The very soul that is renewed; the ransomed man without essential change. It will be the same being, though purified; the same man, possessed of the same body and soul, though freed from all the corruptions of humanity, and elevated above all the degradations of the present condition. The idea is everywhere presented, that the identical person shall be admitted to heaven without essential change, 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 1 Corinthians 15:42-44. That this is the hope of all Christians, see 2 Peter 3:13.

From the bondage of corruption - This does not differ materially from "vanity," Romans 8:20. It implies that this state is not a willing state, or not a condition of choice, but is one of bondage or servitude (see Romans 7:15-24); and that it is a corrupt, imperfect, perishing condition. It is one that leads to sin, and temptation, and conflict and anxiety. It is a condition often which destroys the peace, mars the happiness, dims the hope, enfeebles the faith, and weakens the love of Christians, and this is called the bondage of corruption. It is also one in which temporal death has dominion, and in the bondage of which, believers as well as unbelievers shall be held. Yet from all this bondage the children of God shall be delivered.

The glorious liberty - Greek, The freedom of the glory of the children of God. This is,

(1) "Liberty." It is freedom from the bondage under which the Christian groans. It will be freedom from sin; from corruption; from evil desires; from calamity; from death. The highest "freedom "in the universe is that which is enjoyed in heaven, where the redeemed are under the sovereignty and government of their king, but where they do that, and that only, which they desire. All is slavery but the service of God; all is bondage but that law which accords with the supreme wish of the soul, and where commands accord with the perfect desires of the heart.

(2) this is glorious liberty. It is encompassed with majesty; attended with honor; crowned with splendor. The heavenly world is often described as a state of glory; Note, Romans 2:10.

Of the children of God - That the children of God shall enjoy.

21. Because the creature itself also—"even the creation itself."

shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption—its bondage to the principle of decay.

into the glorious liberty—rather, "the liberty of the glory."

of the children of God—that is, the creation itself shall, in a glorious sense, be delivered into that freedom from debility and decay in which the children of God, when raised up in glory, shall expatiate: into this freedom from corruptibility the creation itself shall, in a glorious sense, be delivered (So Calvin, Beza, Bengel, Tholuck, Olshausen, De Wette, Meyer, Philippi, Hodge, Alford, &c.).

If this verse be understood of the heavens and the earth, and the things therein, the meaning is, that the creatures, in their kind, and according to their capacity, shall be partakers of that liberty and freedom, which in the children of God is accompanied with unspeakable glory; they shall not partake with the saints in glory, but of that liberty, which in the saints hath great glory attending it, and superadded to it. The creature, at the day of judgment, shall be restored (as before) to that condition of liberty which it had in its first creation; as, when it was made at first, it was free from all vanity, bondage, and corruption, so it shall be again at the time of the general resurrection: see Acts 3:19,21 2 Peter 3:13. Those that by the creature would understand the Gentile world, give the sense of this verse: That the very heathens also shall, by the gospel and grace of Christ, be rescued from those courses of sin and corruption, to which they have been long enslaved, into that glorious condition not only of free-men, redeemed by Christ out of their bondage to sin and Satan, but even of the sons of God, to have right to his favour, and that never fading inheritance.

Because the creature itself also,.... The phrase in hope, which stands in our version, at the end of the preceding verse, should be placed in the beginning of this, and be read in connection with Romans 8:19 being a parenthesis, thus: "the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God, in hope that the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption"; and so it is placed in some copies, and in the Syriac version: that is, "the Gentiles" earnestly wait and expect a larger number of converts among them, in hopes that ere long the whole Gentile world will be freed from

the bondage of corruption, under which it at present groaned; by which is meant, the bondage they were in, not only to their sinful lusts, but to Satan the god of this world; and particularly to their idols, by which they corrupted themselves, and to which they were enslaved: they hope for a deliverance from hence,

into the glorious liberty of the children of God; which designs either the liberty of grace the children of God have here; and which consists in a freedom from the dominion of sin and Satan, from the law and bondage of it, in the free use of Gospel ordinances, in liberty of access to God, and a freedom from the fear of death, and a glorious liberty it is; or the liberty of glory the saints shall enjoy in the other world, which will lies in a freedom from the prison of the flesh, from the body of sin and death, from all sorrows and afflictions, from all reproaches and persecutions, from the temptations of Satan, from doubts, fears, and unbelief, and in the full vision of God through Christ, and in a free conversation with angels and saints.

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the {b} bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

(b) From the corruption which they are now subject to, they will be delivered and changed into the blessed state of incorruption, which will be revealed when the sons of God will be advanced to glory.

Romans 8:21. Contents of the hope. It makes no difference in meaning, whether we read ὅτι or διότι. αὐτὴ ἡ κτίσις: creation as well as man. ἡ δουλεία τῆς φθορᾶς: a system in which nothing continues in one stay, in which death claims everything, in which there is not even an analogy to immortality, is a system of slavery—in subjection to “vanity,” with no high eternal worth of its own. From such a condition creation is to be emancipated; it is to share in the liberty which belongs to the glory of the children of God. When man’s redemption is complete, he will find himself in a new world matching with his new condition (Isaiah 65:17, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1): this is Paul’s faith, and the sighing of creation attests it.

21. because] Better than “that,” as in some translations. St Paul justifies the “hope,” by stating the fact in which it will be realized.

itself also] As well as the children of God; though in other modes from theirs.

the bondage of corruption] “Corruption” here (as in 1 Corinthians 15:42; 1 Corinthians 15:50,) is probably decay; physical, not moral, detriment. This, to creation, is “bondage,” in that it represses and foils its fulness of peace and splendour.

the glorious liberty] Lit., and better, the liberty of the glory; i.e. connected with the glory; attendant on it, involved in it. The period of that glory is to be (not only for the saints, but, in another mode, for the new heavens and earth,) a period of “liberty;” of developement in undecaying power and bliss.

Romans 8:21. Ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι [super spe: resting on hope], in hope) It is construed with, was made subject, so, in hope [super spe], is put absolutely, Acts 2:26; and comp. by hope [spe], Romans 8:24.—αὐτὴ ἡ κτίσις) itself, to wit, the creature.—ἐλευθερωθήσεται, shall be delivered [set free]) Deliverance is not accomplished by means of complete destruction; otherwise quadrupeds, when they are butchered, would fall with pleasure.[95]—ἈΠῸ Τῆς ΔΟΥΛΕΊΑς Τῆς ΦΘΟΡᾶς ΕἸς ΤῊΝ ἘΛΕΥΘΕΡΊΑΝ Τῆς ΔΌΞΗς, from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty) Ἀπὸ, from, and εἰς, into, are opposed to each other. From denotes the point, from which we set out; into, the point at which we arrive. Bondage and liberty belong to the creature; corruption and glory to men, even believers [the latter, glory to believers alone: the former, corruption, to men in general]. Vanity, Romans 8:20, is something more subtle than φθορὰ, corruption. Not only deliverance, but also liberty, is that goal, to which the creature in its own way is directing its course.—εἰς τὴν ἐλευθερίαν, into the liberty) In order that they may in freedom be subservient to the glory of the sons [of God].—Cluverus.

[95] i.e., were death and annihilation a deliverance. Therefore the coming restoration of the creature and its deliverance will not consist in their destruction and annihilation.—ED.

Romans 8:21In hope because (ἐπ' ἐλπίδι ὅτι)

The best texts transfer these words from the preceding verse, and construe with was made subject, rendering ὅτι that instead of because. "The creation was subjected in the hope that," etc. In hope is literally on hope, as a foundation. The hope is that of the subjected, not of the subjector. Nature "possesses in the feeling of her unmerited suffering, a sort of presentiment of her future deliverance" (Godet). Some adopt a very suggestive connection of in hope with waiteth for the manifestation.

Glorious liberty (ἐλευθερίαν τῆς δόξης)

Better, and more literally, as Rev., liberty of the glory. Liberty is one of the elements of the glorious state and is dependent upon it. The glory is that in Romans 8:18. The Greek student will note the accumulation of genitives, giving solemnity to the passage.

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