Romans Chapter 2
This chapter begins by continuing on the “you have no excuse” theme.
It jumps right into those people who are hypocrites. Paul is referencing those who judge others and then turn around and do the same thing. It’s like he’s saying, ”Wake up people! God see’s everything and you are not fooling Him!”
Which of course is completely true. Paul is reminding them that they are storing up wrath for the day of judgment.
Verse 4 I like. It is Paul coming across as almost sarcastic.
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
The way this works is that the more kindness and tolerance and patience God showers upon you, the more thankful and grateful and humble you should be, knowing you sooo do not deserve it. Yes, it leads to repentance.
But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation
These verses support the idea that each person will be judged individually, not by some black and white, fit in a box criteria.
Verse 6 may be confusing when considering salvation by faith alone but it really isn’t confusing. Salvation is by faith alone but faith may be proved by works (or deeds). So they really go hand in hand though these verses aren’t speaking specifically to Salvation. They are speaking of the Day of Wrath and Revelation of the righteous judgment of God. When I think of “righteous judgment of God” it brings up images that I’d rather never witness…ever. And Paul is addressing these statements to those who are stubborn with unrepentant hearts.
Verse 7 speaks to “those” who by perseverance in doing good….eternal life. To me this means that if a believer is growing in the faith, with their hearts and minds for God and what comes next. Paul doesn’t say the person has to be perfect and without sin. He is addressing those who are persevering in the faith. Paul is using the saved believer as a contrast to the stubborn unrepentant person.
9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
Verse 9 It’s interesting that Paul uses the word “tribulation” here. It is the same word that is used in Revelation 7:14 talking about the great tribulation. I won’t get into Pre-Tribulation Rapture too much here but I think this is one supportive verse for the case of Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Paul specifically states that there will be tribulation and distress for “every soul of man who does evil”. After he just got done contrasting the stubborn and unrepentant with those persevering in the faith… I think this verse supports the theory that believers won’t go through the Tribulation.
Of course, you can read it to mean that all mankind will go through Tribulation because we are all sinners and therefore “evil”. I just don’t like to read it that way and moving on to verse 10 negates this reading.
The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon
10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
So going on to verse 10, it looks like those believers who do good, will not have to go through the tribulation. Paul is again contrasting what the unrepentant have to look forward to vs. what the believer has to look forward to.
For there is no partiality with God. 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
These next verses is Paul illustrating how judgment will be. Not everyone will be judged by the same criteria. We like that huh?
God is not partial to Gentiles or Greeks or what have you. We are all the same in His eyes.
Those who have never heard the Law but instinctively do it, are judged one way.
Those who don’t have the Law and sin, are still judged.
Those who have heard the Law but don’t do it, are judged.
Basically, Paul is telling us that everyone will face judgment in front of Christ Jesus. Everyone. No excuses. If you are a saved believer you will be able to face Christ Jesus in joy!
If you are not a saved believer, you will still face Christ Jesus for judgment.
17 But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, 18 and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth, 21 you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? 24 For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written.
These verses are Paul being very blunt and harsh. He is pointing fingers right now. He is angry. The Law was given through Moses to the Jews. With the Law they had and have a huge responsibility. Paul is pointing fingers at the teachers of the Law. They are held to a higher standard if you will. And because of hypocritical teachers, the NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES.
Strong condemnation from Paul.
Stronger conviction from God.
Paul goes on to talk about how circumcision on the outside isn’t what counts, but circumcision on the inside.
For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly , nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29 But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
Paul is relating to then what Jesus said … we are to go by the Spirit of the Law, not the letter of the Law.
We do good and try to be good not for the glory of other men, but from a thankful and grateful heart to God.