Many accuse sound Bible study and teaching as "getting into the weeds." A young man once told me, "if you can't strike oil in twenty minutes, stop boring."
Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. Samuel Johnson
Mistaking sound exegesis for weeds is foolish. So is so-called knowledge without integrity. Those who justify their own lack of thirst for the Word of God are merely seeking to justify their own disobedience to their Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
The following is a reprint of a response to a question regarding Roman 8:17. This individual has proven to have a thirst for God's truth and the integrity to constantly study and seek it over many years. The actual question has been lost but what follows is given to exemplify interaction that has begun in the group title Bible Study Blog. This is a members only group for dialoging various questions regarding meaningful topics. If you or someone you know would like to participate and agreed to abide the grounds rules of the group your request for consideration to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for your last email. Rom 6-8 is one of my favorite section. It was this section that God used to provoke me to change (allow Him to change) my life from a "pagan Christian" to a spirit-led Christian. It appears that my tenure at North Creek Country Church will end at the end of Oct. This will give me more time to research passages like this and comment on them and/or reference other good resources. I plan to use the cloud technology to set up a directory of files that can be accessed by anyone. Those who find these articles profitable will become my network to spread the word regarding this directory and the files.
I am sending this response in a separate email so as not load up the message with too many bites for ease of transference. Here are some thoughts regarding this verse from some outstanding grammarians.
Daniel B. Wallace, in his up-to-date and cogent Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, comments regarding this verse several times because some aspects seem to lose meaning in translation and other aspects can only be answer by making careful educated choices regarding the exact meaning.
Regarding the first two clauses at the beginning of the verse, Wallace examines the grammar of these conditional clauses.
"The second relation the protasis [the "if" part of the condition] can have to the apodosis [the "then" part of the condition] is that of ground, or evidence, to inference. Here the speaker infers something (the apodosis) from some evidence. That is, he makes an induction about the implications that a piece of evidence suggests to him...Notice that the protasis is not the cause of the apodosis. In fact, it is often just the opposite: 'If she gets married, she will wear a ring on her left hand.' Thus, often, though not always the ground-inference condition will semantically be the converse of the cause-effect condition...Rom 8:17 'Now if [we are] children, then [we are] heirs.'" p. 683 (The first two brackets are mine)
Regarding the second conditional clause, "if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him," Wallace speaks to the point of your email.
Purpose-Result Hina Clause
"'...in many cases purpose and result cannot be clearly differentiated, and hence hina ["that" in English] is used for the result which follows according to the purpose of the subject or of God. As in Jewish and pagan thought, purpose and result are identical in declaration of the divine will.' [quoted from BAGD] Likewise, Moule points out that 'the Sematic mind was notoriously unwilling to draw a sharp dividing-line between purpose and consequence.' In other words, the NT writers employ the language to reflect their theology: what God purposes is what happens and consequently, hina is used to express both the divine purpose and the result." [C. F. D. Moule, An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek p. 142]
In words, "we are children of God...heirs of God...fellow heirs with Christ...so that when...we suffer with Him...we may also be glorified with Him." God has caused us to be born again AND at times allows us to suffer for the PURPOSE-RESULT of our being glorified with Him.
What I hope to accomplish in writing articles like this, is to assist in bring clarity and confidence to others regarding the Scriptures. Your assistance, both in critiquing and disseminating these articles will be critical to the success of my venture. I will send you information in how these articles can be accessed in OneDrive when I get it up and running. As always, I appreciate your keen insights and fervency in encouraging others to go deeper into God's Word. The Body of Christ desperately needs this in this troubled world today.