A Facebook friend challenged me to fact-check his exegeses and hermeneutics of Romans 8:19. In his post, he stated that many religions focus on the behavior of their followers. He said, "If we judge people by their behaviors, then the religions of (Buddhism, Islam, Catholics, Mormons, JW, etc.) are more saved than us!" He shared that behavior is less important than "Us [Christians] to manifest the promises of God!!!!" He then listed some "promises" (healings, miracles, wonders, prosperity, unconditional love, grace, peace, etc.) He said, "Jesus didn't come to change our behaviors; He came to make us sons and daughters who manifest the Father on Earth. This world needs to see God, not how well-behaved you are!!"
While this may sound wonderful to someone new to the faith or has little experience in Biblical interpretation, it is not correct. Much of the sentiment is true. We should show grace and peace to others, which is manifest in our behaviors and treatment of others. But it has nothing to do with the message of Romans 8:19. So let's explore this passage.
Read: Romans 8:18-25 Concerning Our Future
Romans 8:19 KJV says, "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God."
Paul shared that we are joint heirs with Christ of the coming glory of Heaven. As he's sharing this with the Romans, who have seen the suffering of Christians at the hand of Caesar, he shares that our sufferings on Earth are almost nothing compared to the glory of Heaven. Then Paul shares something a little odd but then explains himself. (Scripture interprets scripture.) "For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God." This prophetic verse shares that the Earth's creatures also await the final judgment. The sons of God [Christians] will be glorified, and the new Earth will also be glorified. Our future will no longer be cursed due to the sins of mankind.
The whole of creation was cursed, so the whole of creation will be released from its bonds of corruption. So, all of creation awaits the final redemption of everything. The first fruits of the spirit (humans) are redeemed and adopted into the eternal kingdom of God. We and all of creation are patiently waiting for the final judgment.
Matthew Henry wrote, "When man sinned, the ground was cursed for man's sake, and with it all the creatures." "There is a general outcry of the whole creation against the sin of man: 'the stone crieth out of the wall, the land cries,' Job 38." "That the creature, that is now thus burdened, shall, at the time of the restitution of all things, be delivered from this bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
John Calvin wrote "that there is no element and no part of the world which, being touched, as it were, with a sense of its present misery, does not intensely hope for a resurrection." "…all creatures, seized with great anxiety and held in suspense with great desire, look for that day which shall openly exhibit the glory of the children of God."
My Fact Check of My Friend
Romans 8:19 has nothing to do with Christians manifesting healings, miracles, wonders, prosperity, unconditional love, grace, or peace. To misinterpret this scripture, you must pluck it out of context and apply an apostate (divergent from sound doctrine) interpretation of the passage. Plucking verses out of context does egregious harm and benefits no one.
I'm not trying to be offensive to my friend. I'm trying to teach. I want everyone to know the true meaning of scripture – in context, using the accurate exegeses of scripture. I've dedicated my life to teaching scripture and sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I hope my friend will take the truth I've shared to heart and that his careful study of scripture continues and is reflected in his preaching and teaching.
My Hermeneutic of This Verse
As believers in today's world, we see almost everything falling apart. Our groundwater, rivers, and streams are polluted, weather catastrophes appear to be increasing, and critters are being forced out of existence. So, do I blame climate change? Certainly not! I blame sin!! Sin has gradually diminished this wonderful planet God gave us to rule over wisely. With the advent of Adam's sin, everything was cursed. The whole of creation longs for the final judgment and the return to perfection. Can mankind destroy this planet? Certainly not!! Only God can destroy Earth. We and the rest of creation are waiting patiently for God to obliterate what now exists and create the new Heaven and the new Earth.
Until then, we must continue being salt and light in this distasteful and dark world. We must continue teaching the Word of God in context and properly interpreted. Most importantly, we must continue sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. To learn more about the Gospel, visit my Salvation page. We need to show love, mercy, and grace to all we encounter so that they might ask us why we believe "…and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15.
The Everyone Interprets the Bible Differently Fallacy
There is only one way to interpret the Bible. The Bible means exactly what it says; the only way to come up with a different meaning is to pull verses out of context. For more information on this subject, please use this link to read my article, The Everyone Interprets the Bible Differently Fallacy.
 Matthew Henry: Commentary on the whole Bible Volume VI (Acts to Revelation) - Christian classics ethereal library. (n.d.). Home - Christian Classics Ethereal Library. https://ccel.org/ccel/henry/mhc6/mhc6.Rom.ix.html  John Calvin: Commentary on Romans - Christian classics ethereal library. (n.d.). Home - Christian Classics Ethereal Library. https://ccel.org/ccel/calvin/calcom38/calcom38.xii.vi.html