What does Romans 8:25 mean?
ESV: But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
NIV: But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
NASB: But if we hope for what we do not see, through perseverance we wait eagerly for it.
CSB: Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.
NLT: But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
KJV: But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Paul has been describing both our current state of being and our future as Christians. Our future is glory, when all will be made right, our faith will be vindicated to the world, and our redeemed bodies will allow us to be with our Father forever.
Our current state, though, is one of longing for that day. For now, we have to suffer through the realities of life and all the consequences of sin on this side of eternity. Our hope is sure, but by definition it has not arrived yet.
Now Paul describes us, Christians, as people who wait with patience for a hope we do not see with our eyes. We might not always feel the longing as intensely, or always as patiently. Still, to be a Christian in this life means to wait for the best possible reality anyone can imagine, with patience. We can trust our Father to bring it about at just the right time.
Romans 8:18–30 talks about the participation of Christians in the everyday suffering experienced by all of creation. We all groan together as a woman in labor while we wait for God to reveal His children. As His children, we are waiting for the Father to complete our adoption by redeeming our bodies so that we can be with Him. God's Spirit helps us in the season of waiting by taking our unformed prayers to God. We trust that God uses every circumstance in our lives for His purposes and that He has chosen us long ago to be His children.
Romans 8 begins and ends with declarations of the Christian's absolute security before God. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His love. Having believed the gospel, we now live in the Spirit of God. That allows us to call God Abba Father. We suffer with Christ, and we suffer along with all creation while we wait for God to reveal us as His sons. With the help of the Spirit, we are confident that God is for us and loves us in Christ.
In Romans 7, Paul revealed his frustration of trying to do good only to be thwarted by his sin. He begins Romans 8, though, with the triumphant statement that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. We live in the Spirit, and we relate to God as a child does to a father. The Spirit helps us in this season of suffering along with all of creation while we wait for our adoption to be complete with the redemption of our bodies. We are confident, though, that God is for us and nothing can separate us from His love.
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
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