This part deals with the Christian's deliverance from condemnation, which is the penalty of death because of the sin people are living under, by virtue of believers' union with Christ (Romans 5:12-21).
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
The discourse in the previous chapter continues in Romans 8:1 with the illative word Greek: (ara), generally translated as so or therefore, or consequently in Thayer's Greek Lexicon. The vocabulary and the content of verse 1 point back to the end of chapter 5 as the basis of the conclusion which Paul starts with therefore. Paul argues that Christians are set free from the condemnation (katakrima, cf. verses 16 and 18) caused by Adam because they have been joined to Jesus Christ. This he iterates after his digression in chapters 6-7.
I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin .
Buls explains that Paul's "real self" serving God is his mind and not his flesh.
Meyer goes on to distinguish between two alternative readings of There is ... now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus:
now, after Christ (as deliverer from the law of sin, ), has interposed, there is no condemnation ...
one must be in Christ, in order to get rid of every condemnation.
He prefers the former reading "as a matter of fact that has become historical" rather than the latter reading, attributed to Lutheran theologian Johann Hofmann.
The Spirit of adoption (8:14-17)
Continuing the theme of 'life' in verses 1-13, the following paragraph (verses 14-17) deals with 'sonship', describing 'the wonderful and comforting truth that Christians have been adopted into God's own family, so God's Spirit can confer life on us (13-14) and we can be heirs with a glorious prospect for the future (17-18). Thus, this short passage provides a transition between the previous and the next part.
The Spirit of glory (8:18-30)
In this part Paul further develops his whole theme of Christian assurance, which he started in chapter 5, elaborating on the Christian's hope of glory, based on the knowledge that 'God has determined to bring us though to our inheritance (18-22, 29-30), providentially working on behalf of his children (verse 28) and having given his Spirit as the guarantee for their final redemption (verse 30).
"These things" (Greek: tauta): The Living Bible translates as "these wonderful things". By "these things", according to William Reed Newell, "Paul evidently indicates not only the whole process of our salvation by Christ, from chapter three onward, with that great deliverance by the help of the Holy Spirit set forth in this eighth chapter ... but also ... what he has been telling us of the purpose of God: "Whom He foreknew, foreordained, called, justified, glorified!"
"If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Si deus nobiscum, quis contra nos?) became widespread as a motto.
It is an aria for Soprano in Handel's Messiah (1741).
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
Hill regards this verse 32 'especially poignant' as it borrows the language from the account of the binding of Isaac in Genesis 22 (22:12: you have not withheld your son, your only son), but God made the sacrifice, that even Abraham was spared.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
The first part of this verse, either in its full form (Latin: Quis ergo nos separabit a caritate Christi?) or shortened as Quis separabit?, is often used as a motto. The list of hardship (KJV: "tribulation")... or sword recalls the real afflictions that the people of Israel experienced in history, as summarized in the quote in verse 36.
As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
"We are more than conquerors" translated from a single Greek word , hypernik?men, a word probably coined by Paul himself, 'who loves compounds with ?'. The Vulgate renders it in Latin as superamus, but Cyprian supervincimus. Later Greek writers distinguish and , and justify the current rendering. To define in what the "more" consists, the answer must be sought on the line indicated in the note on ("for your sake") in verse 36, that is, these trials not only do not cut the believers off from Christ's love, but actually give them 'more intimate and thrilling experiences' from it.
A hymn to God's love
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The New Jerusalem Bible suggests that the "principalities", "like 'angels' and 'princes' are among the mysterious cosmic or elemental forces which to the mind of antiquity were in general hostile to humanity. The 'heights' and 'depths' represent Heaven and Hell, also conceived as powers."