by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 3 Study # 7 November 27, 2007 Lincolnton, N.C.
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
1901 ASV Translation:
21 that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God.
A. Paul's definition of "vanity" (for 8:20) is given in this text: "the bondage of corruption".
B. The "deliverance" is first from "the bondage of corruption" [See also 2 Peter 1:4].
1. The issue of "corruption" is the issue of some form of disintegration (whether rapid or incremental and time-consuming) in which those items which provide sustaining connections between elements are broken down so that there is no more "flow" of sustenance between the individual parts.
2. The "bondage" of such corruption is being unable to escape the process (2 Peter 2:19).
a. According to Peter's assessment of this issue, the reason people cannot escape this process is that they cannot escape their own "lusts" (potent desires) -- 2 Peter 1:4 -- and are "overcome by them" -- 2 Peter 2:19.
b. According to Paul's assessment of this issue, the reason people cannot escape this process is that they are operating "under the Law" -- Romans 7:9-23 -- in conjunction with a "mind set upon the flesh" -- Romans 8:7.
c. Both Peter and Paul are essentially saying the same thing and both agree that the process of deliverance is brought into play by "the promises of God" (2 Peter 1:4) in conjunction with "the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2). In other words, when "faith" in the promises is exercised, the Spirit produces an effective freedom from the potent lusts of the flesh.
3. The inevitable result of such "bondage" is death as the parts become separated and isolated from what nourishes them in life.
4. Paul's focus is upon the final deliverance of the creation; not the current deliverance of the believer. But, the current deliverance is made possible when that believer understands that "deliverance" is such an integralaspect of God'sprogram that even the creation is going to be delivered. If that is true, I should be able to find deliverance from this corruption in this present time at every level except that of the physical body, an aspect of my being that has been subjected to "vanity" until the resurrection.
C. The "deliverance" is then into "the glorious liberty".
1. Taking our cue from the essential makeup of "corruption", we can say that the "glorious liberty" is being established in a setting where there is no breakdown of the connections.
2. Paul calls this "the freedom of the glory of the children of the God".
a. The translators of the AV call it "the glorious liberty", but the translators of the ASV call it "the liberty of the glory". The former tends to hide the reality. The issue is that the "glory" that we are to "inherit" (8:17) and the "glory" that is incomparable in respect to the suffering" is a reality that involves being exalted into the experience of the Life of God. It is not a glory that depends upon being exalted into a position of being served (as all of the glory concepts of the Gentiles maintain -- Matthew 20:25- 26), but is a glory that depends upon a dynamic and uninterrupted "flow" between the God of Life and His creatures of Love. "Glory" is to be found in being held in high esteem, not in being able to dominate others. When God loves, the objects of His love are held in high esteem. They do not have to have the ability to "boss others around" in order to possess this divine estimation of them.
b. As a "glory" the concept is that of a "characteristic of": to "glorify" means to make known the characteristics or attributes of that person/thing being "glorified". But, this manifestation of the characteristics is designed to elevate the opinion of the one(s) beholding the glory of the one being glorified. Thus, the elevation of opinion is, ultimately, what is involved and "glory" has to do with being "beloved".
c. This means that "the liberty of the glory" is a "freedom" that arises out of the attributes of God astheyaresharedwithouthindrance with the children. The "fellowship" of persons opens the gates of "the flow" that provides Life. This is the underpinning of Paul's determination to "live in the flow" by keeping a conscience "void of offence toward God and men" (Acts 24:16).