18 For I reckon - This verse gives the reason why he but now
mentioned sufferings and glory. When that glory "shall be revealed in us,"
then the sons of God will be revealed also.
19 For the earnest expectation - The word denotes a lively hope of something
drawing near, and a vehement longing after it. Of the creation - Of all
visible creatures, believers excepted, who are spoken of apart; each kind,
according as it is capable. All these have been sufferers through sin;
and to all these (the finally impenitent excepted) shall refreshment redound
from the glory of the children of God. Upright heathens are by no means
to be excluded from this earnest expectation: nay, perhaps something of
it may at some times be found even in the vainest of men; who (although
in the hurry of life they mistake vanity for liberty, and partly stifle.
partly dissemble, their groans, yet) in their sober, quiet, sleepless,
afflicted hours, pour forth many sighs in the ear of God.
20 The creation was made subject to vanity - Abuse, misery, and corruption.
By him who subjected it - Namely, God, Gen 3:17, 5:29. Adam only made it
liable to the sentence which God pronounced; yet not without hope.
21 The creation itself shall be delivered - Destruction is not deliverance:
therefore whatsoever is destroyed, or ceases to be, is not delivered at
all. Will, then, any part of the creation be destroyed? Into the glorious
liberty - The excellent state wherein they were created.
22 For the whole creation groaneth together - With joint groans, as
it were with one voice. And travaileth - Literally, is in the pains of
childbirth, to be delivered of the burden of the curse. Until now - To
this very hour; and so on till the time of deliverance.
23 And even we, who have the first - fruits of the Spirit - That is,
the Spirit, who is the first - fruits of our inheritance. The adoption
- Persons who had been privately adopted among the Romans were often brought
forth into the forum, and there publicly owned as their sons by those who
adopted them. So at the general resurrection, when the body itself is redeemed
from death, the sons of God shall be publicly owned by him in the great
assembly of men and angels. The redemption of our body - From corruption
to glory and immortality.