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Future Glory

18 I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. 19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; 20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; 23and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.


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18. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us—that is, "True, we must suffer with Christ, if we would partake of His glory; but what of that? For if such sufferings are set over against the coming glory, they sink into insignificance."

19-22. For, &c.—"The apostle, fired with the thought of the future glory of the saints, pours forth this splendid passage, in which he represents the whole creation groaning under its present degradation, and looking and longing for the revelation of this glory as the end and consummation of its existence" [Hodge].

the earnest expectation—(compare Php 1:20).

of the creature—rather, "the creation."

waiteth for the manifestation—"is waiting for the revelation"

of the sons of God—that is, "for the redemption of their bodies" from the grave (Ro 8:23), which will reveal their sonship, now hidden (compare Lu 20:36; Re 21:7).

20. For the creature—"the creation."

was made subject to vanity, not willingly—that is, through no natural principle of decay. The apostle, personifying creation, represents it as only submitting to the vanity with which it was smitten, on man's account, in obedience to that superior power which had mysteriously linked its destinies with man's. And so he adds

but by reason of him who hath subjected the same—"who subjected it."

in hope—or "in hope that."

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.).

22. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now—If for man's sake alone the earth was cursed, it cannot surprise us that it should share in his recovery. And if so, to represent it as sympathizing with man's miseries, and as looking forward to his complete redemption as the period of its own emancipation from its present sin-blighted condition, is a beautiful thought, and in harmony with the general teaching of Scripture on the subject. (See on 2Pe 3:13).

23. And not only they, but ourselves also—or "not only [so], but even we ourselves"—that is, besides the inanimate creation.

which have the first-fruits of the Spirit—or, "the Spirit as the first-fruits" of our full redemption (compare 2Co 1:22), moulding the heart to a heavenly frame and attempering it to its future element.

even we ourselves—though we have so much of heaven already within us.

groan within ourselves—under this "body of sin and death," and under the manifold "vanity and vexation of spirit" that are written upon every object and every pursuit and every enjoyment under the sun.

waiting for the—manifestation of our

adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body—from the grave: "not (be it observed) the deliverance of ourselves from the body, but the redemption of the body itself from the grave" [Bengel].




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