Romans 2:1-7 (KJV)

2:1-4 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Paul’s epistle to the Romans is expository in nature, meaning he intends to explain something. In Romans 1:18, Paul explains that the wrath of God is revealed against all men (men being an inclusive term for all humanity). With this fact present, no one was excluded from his wrath, particularly because of the original sin nature instilled in all humanity (we will further discuss depravity shortly). 

Recognize this fact as we now home in on a sub-division of humanity, although it is a rather large deviance. The “therefore” which inaugurates Romans 2, is consequential to the attributes described in Romans 1:16-32. This is the passage addressing all who knew God but did not retain Him in His knowledge. Paul explains that there are none without excuse. 

Much of these early Romans chapters will be preliminary to Paul’s dissertation and examination of salvation, which truly is a rather simple one (Romans 10:9). 

With this mind, we must remember that in order to understand why Paul is saying what he is saying, we must remember who he is speaking to. The Apostle is speaking to a predominantly Gentile audience. 

Therefore, the perverted actions described in chapter 1 are something that the Roman church would be familiar with. Being a church and called out as separate, it would be easy to judge the lost brethren but in itself, this would be a sin for those within the church that did likewise (Romans 14:10-11). 

The judgment of God is according to truth. There is a popular misconception that God is constantly angry and waiting to assault humanity to perhaps blow off some steam. This is not so.

Indeed, God has the attribute of love and indeed He has the attribute of wrath. But His wrath is consequent to His holiness and humanities assault on His truth (1 Samuel 2:2) [2]. As we shall read, God provided all means to ascertain holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1). Even within an Old Testament context, God gave the Israelite people means to provisionally appease His wrath, all though countlessly violated (Leviticus 17:11). 

With Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and resurrection, we now can live in truth and grace by the Holy Spirit pursuing holy living (Ephesians 1:13; Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Thessalonians 4:7). Spiritual life is the result of God’s goodness and grace [4]. His righteousness is imputed (put on) to us making us “right with” God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Continuing on, Paul’s letter aims to establish a church that he did not plant. As Romans 14 and other select passages show, there were spiritually weaker believers within the church, who needed edifying guidance without over-critical commentary. 

Coinciding this, Paul “hits to birds with one stone,” as there was obviously a Jewish lot within the Roman church. To a Jew reading this, their pride may be lifted up, until they see the coming passages and turn their attention to them where they are asked if they have any better hope by zealous dedication to the Law of Moses or the circumcision (Romans 3:1).

The scene is set within this letter to show that every person born is in desperate need of the salvation provided by Christ Jesus with no exceptions: Jew or Gentile. 

2:5-7 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

These are the two routes that can be taken by humanity. There are no other two. Paul, up to this point, has not fully laid out the intricacies of each route but Gentile and Jew are being prepared to see what has been on their behalf, and what their response should be in order to ascertain eternal life. 

That being said, one note should be made regarding sanctification, which shall also read about in depth. Whether saved, or unfortunately not, this does not negate the fact that all people will be held accountable for their deeds. 

All will give an account of themselves to God (Matthew 12:36; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). This is inevitable. Therefore, as we soon explore the topic of sanctification, I would like to prep you by offering that sanctification parallels justification. 

However, like justification is an eternal matter, so is sanctification. Sanctification’s primary end is also to our refinement as vessels for good works, but unto Heaven where we will receive just reward, not a superficial title or ranking in this world (1 Corinthians 3:12-15; 2 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Timothy 2:19-21).

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