ROMANS CHAPTER 2

OBSERVATION STAGE

The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of Romans. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.

Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.

Notice that 2:1 begins with 'You, therefore' as a continuation of what has come before. So we will begin at a strategic point in chapter one so as not to miss the context that chapter two continues and is a part of:

[Excerpt from chapter one below - or skip to verse 2:1 ]:

****** EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE *******

THE PHRASE "IS REVEALED" IN V. 18 HAS IN VIEW MAKING THE WRATH OF GOD FROM HEAVEN OBSERVABLE BY MANKIND IN TEMPORAL TIME. THIS CORROBORATES THE INTERPRETATION OF THE SAME PHRASE "IS REVEALED" IN V. 17 WHICH REFERS TO MAKING A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD EVIDENT TO MANKIND SO AS TO BE OBSERVABLE IN A BELIEVER BY MEN IN TEMPORAL TIME WHEN THAT BELIEVER IS FAITHFUL TO HIS BELIEF IN THE GOSPEL

(Ro 1:17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (Ro 1:18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" =

The phrase "is revealed" in Ro 1:18 has in view making the wrath of God observable by mankind in temporal time. This corroborates the interpretation of the same phrase "is revealed" in Ro 1:17 which refers to making a righteousness from God evident to mankind so as to be observable in a believer by men in temporal time when that believer is faithful to his belief in the gospel.

GODLESSNESS = THAT WHICH IS REBELLIOUS TOWARD GOD, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, HOLINESS & SOVEREIGNTY - NOT WORSHIPPING HIM, UNBELIEF

WICKEDNESS = THAT WHICH IS SINFUL, EVIL - MORE SPECIFICALLY IN THIS VERSE, THAT EVIL WHICH SUPPRESSES THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD: THAT HE EXISTS, IS RIGHTEOUS AND SOVEREIGN, AND REQUIRES MAN TO BE RIGHTEOUS. IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(Ro 1:18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" =

Godlessness is defined as anything that is rebellious against God, His righteousness, His holiness, His sovereignty, sinful behavior, not worshipping Him - unbelief. Wickedness is defined as that which is sinful, evil - more specifically in this verse: that evil which suppresses the truth about God: that He exists, is righteous, sovereign and requires man to be righteous. Hence the passage is addressing the lifestyle of immoral unbelievers, behavior which does not express worship or acceptance of God.

IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS WHO NEITHER WORSHIP NOR ACKNOWLEDGE GOD ARE IN VIEW, WHO BY THEIR GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS SUPPRESS THE TRUTH THAT GOD EXISTS, IS SOVEREIGN, RIGHTEOUS AND EXPECTS MAN TO BE RIGHTEOUS

(Ro 1:18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness =

Immoral unbelievers who neither worship nor acknowledge God are in view, who by their godlessness and wickedness suppress the truth that God exist, is sovereign, righteous and expects man to be righteous.

Suppress = to keep from public knowledge; to exclude from consciousness; to inhibit growth or development of.

The phrase "suppress the truth by their wickedness" refers to keeping from public knowledge and ones consciousness by virtue of being wicked, the truth about God, that He exists, is sovereign, righteous and expects man to be righteous. Since wickedness is defined as behavior which is evil and thus against the sovereignty of God, more specifically in this verse: evil which suppresses the truth about God that He exists, is sovereign, righteous and expects man to be righteous, then the phrase "suppress the truth by their wickedness" describes an activity which does not worship God nor acknowledge that He exists, i.e., immoral unbelievers.

JUST AS AN ABSOLUTELY PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD IS IMPUTED TO INDIVIDUALS WHEN THEY BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL AND IS REVEALED TO MANKIND AS PRESENT WITHIN THOSE INDIVIDUALS FOR THOSE MOMENTS WHEN THEY ARE FAITHFUL TO THEIR BELIEF IN THE GOSPEL; SO THE TEMPORAL WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED TO MANKIND FROM HEAVEN IN SOME MANNER AGAINST ALL THE GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS OF MEN WHO SUPPRESS THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD BY THEIR WICKEDNESS

(Ro 1:17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (Ro 1:18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" =

Just as an absolutely perfect righteousness from God is imputed to individuals when they believe in the gospel and is revealed to mankind as present within those individuals for those moments when they are faithful to their belief in the gospel; so the temporal wrath of God is revealed to mankind from heaven in some manner against all the godlessness and wickedness of men - unbelievers who suppress the truth by their wickedness. Hence we have a contrast of God revealing a righteousness from Himself vs. revealing His wrath from heaven: a temporal contrast.

So God reveals both His righteousness and His wrath from moment to moment in temporal time in response to man's behavior.

Whenever individuals persist in being godless and wicked, suppressing the truth about God via wicked behavior which is godless, then God's temporal wrath is revealed, i.e., exercised on the earth toward those individuals in some manner. In view is that group of individuals who are godless, i.e., immoral unbelievers who do not worship God. That this wrath is temporal and the manner of it's being expressed by God is stipulated in the verses which follow.

[Everett F. Harrison, The Expositors Bible Commentary, NIV, Vol 10, Zondervan Pub., Grand Rapids, Mich. 1976, p. 22]:

"At the outset it is important to observe the correlation between righteousness and wrath. Both are represented as being revealed [both are in the present tense]...

Wrath... is viewed here as parallel to the manifestation of righteousness, belonging to the present age. It is 'being revealed.' This means that the unfolding of history involves a disclosure of the wrath of God against sin, seen in the terrible corruption and perversion of human life..."

[BKC, NT, p. 442]:

"1:18. This verse serves as a topic sentence for this entire section. In addition, it stands in contrastive parallel to verse 17. The continuing revelation (the verb is being revealed is in the pres. tense) of the wrath of God is an expression of His personal righteousness (which also 'is being revealed,' Gr., v. 17) and its opposition to human sinfulness. Therefore people need the continuing revelation of 'a righteousness from God" (v. 17 NKJV) that He provides. God's wrath is directed against all godlessness (asebeian, 'lack of proper reverence for God') and wickedness (akikian,'unrighteousness') of men... (God's wrath will also be revealed in the future; cf. 2:5).'

THE WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED TO MEN AGAINST ALL THE GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS FROM HEAVEN, POINTING TO THE FACT THAT GOD IS ACTIVELY RESPONDING TO MAN'S GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS ON THE EARTH FROM MOMENT TO MOMENT FROM HEAVEN

"The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men" =

The wrath of God is stipulated as revealed from heaven, sending the message that God is active from moment to moment responding to the godlessness and wickedness of men on the earth with His temporal wrath.

ONE MUST HAVE THE TRUTH PLAINLY SET BEFORE THEM IN ORDER FOR THEM TO BE ABLE TO SUPPRESS IT BY THEIR WICKED, GODLESS BEHAVIOR

(Ro 1:18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness" =

Note that whenever there is godlessness and wickedness wherein truth is suppressed by that wickedness, it is as a result of the suppression of the truth about God, that He exists, is righteous, and that men were created by Him to be godly and righteous. In order for one to suppress these truths, one must have the truth plainly available to one in the first place. Verse 19 corroborates this:

1) [Compare Ro 1:19]:

(Ro 1:19) "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them."

[BKC, cont.]:

"Failure to give God His due inevitably results in failure to treat people, created by God in His image, the right way. Conversely, people (in their unrighteousness toward others) continue to suppress (katechontOn, lit., 'holding down') the truth (cf. 1:25; 2:8) concerning both God and man. People had God's truth but suppressed it, refusing to heed it. And these wicked ones did this in an attitude of wickedness (en adikia)."

THE KNOWLEDGE ABOUT GOD IS PLAIN TO MEN WHO SUPPRESS THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD, WHICH KNOWLEDGE DECLARES THAT HE EXISTS, IS THE SOVEREIGN CREATOR, IS RIGHTEOUS AND REQUIRES MAN TO BE RIGHTEOUS

"(Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' "

(Ro 1:18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Ro 1:19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them." =

The truth, i.e, the knowlege about God, that He exists, is the Sovereign Creator, is righteous and requires man to be righteous, has been made plain to men who suppress the truth about God by their godlessness and wickedness, i.e. such truth is plainly available to those who suppress the truth about God. This is why verse 18 can stipulate that men suppressed the truth by their wickedness, implying that they can plainly see the truth in the first place in order to suppress it. Verse 19 corroborates this by stipulating that this truth has been made plain to man by God.

Notice that God expresses His wrath against all godlessness and wickedness of men implying that He expects all men to be godly and righteous.

THE PHRASE "GOD HAS MADE IT PLAIN TO THEM" IMPLIES THAT GOD HAS PROVIDED INFORMATION TO MAN ABOUT HIMSELF IN A MANNER WHICH IS READILY DISCERNIBLE, I.E., NATURAL REVELATION

(Ro 1:19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.''' =

The phrase "God has made it plain to them" implies that God has provided information to man about Himself in a manner which is readily discernible, i.e., natural revelation.

[BKC, NT, p. 442]:

"These verses declare that knowledge concerning God is available to all. This knowledge is called natural revelation because it is seen in the created world, is accessible to the entire human race, and is not soteriological, dealing with salvation effected by Christ...

Paul called this knowledge plain (phaneron), which means visible or clear. This is true because God has made it plain..."

FOR SINCE THE CREATION OF THE WORLD GOD'S INVISIBLE QUALITIES - HIS ETERNAL POWER AND DIVINE NATURE - HAVE BEEN CLEARLY SEEN, BEING UNDERSTOOD FROM WHAT HAS BEEN MADE, SO THAT ALL MANKIND OF ALL AGES ARE WITHOUT EXCUSE - INCLUDING THOSE WHO DO NOT WORSHIP GOD AT ALL

(Ro 1:19) "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Ro 1:20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." =

The particular qualities of God - His eternal power and divine nature are stipulated as invisible yet they are declared here as clearly seen since the creation of the world. That one can clearly see God's invisibile qualities, His eternal power and divine nature through an observation of creation implies that creation testifies clearly to a Creator with a view to His eternal power and divine nature. So something in the qualities of creation sends a clear message to all mankind of all ages, including those that do not worship God at all, that an eternal power was responsible for its existence and that power has a divine nature: God.

The reason and purpose that "what may be known about God is plain as opposed to hidden to mankind even to those who are godless and wicked and suppress the truth about God, even that He exists, is that what has been made, i.e., all that exists including man himself, reflects information about God to the extent that it clearly portrays God's eternal power and divine nature for the purpose to show that all mankind of all ages are without excuse when they suppress the truth of the existence of God and suppress the truth that creation clearly shows his eternal power and divine nature and what may be known about Him.

Notice that the wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men of all ages who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Ro 1:18). In view of the context of Ro 1:20 which has all mankind of all ages in view, the occurrence of past tenses in later verses portrays specific examples of the pattern of God's wrath being revealed for all ages in response to man's godlessness and wickedness. So individuals of all ages are in view, not just a group from the past.

GOD'S ETERNAL POWER AND DIVINE NATURE AND WHAT CAN BE KNOWN ABOUT HIM HAS BEEN MADE PLAIN AND CAN CLEARLY BE SEEN IN CREATION

(Ro 1:19) "Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Ro 1:20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." =

What can be known about God is stipulated as being in plain view in creation. Furthermore, it is stipulated that God's eternal power and divine nature can clearly be seen in what has been made. This implies that the eternal power of God motivated by His divine nature, His holiness and His absolute righteousness created all things. The power it takes to create and maintain creation and its very nature reflects the eternal power and nature of God, Who only could have created and maintains such a creation. Evidently there is a magnificance in creation - a complexity, divine order and purpose which could only be from and clearly point to God and Who He is. This cannot be denied and when the truth of it is suppressed it is evident that those men that do that are godless, wicked and without excuse.

IF ONE SUPPRESSES THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD BY WICKEDNESS WHICH INCLUDES NEITHER GLORIFYING GOD NOR GIVING THANKS TO HIM, ONE DETERIORATES INTO FUTILE THINKING WHEREIN ONES FOOLISH HEART (MIND) BECOMES DARKENED (EVIL) - IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW

(Ro 1:18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness. (Ro 1:19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them... (Ro 1:21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Ro 1:22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools" =

When ones lifestyle becomes wicked and godless, one suppresses the truth of the evidence from creation which clearly testifies to what can be known about God, especially as to His invisible qualities, His eternal power, divine nature and righteousness; whereupon one becomes futile in ones thinking and ones foolish heart, (mind), becomes darkened (evil). Immoral unbelievers are in view. Futile thinking is defined as that kind of thinking that is without useful result, trifling and frivolous. Evidently when truth about God is rejected, over time ones thinking becomes futile, i.e., unable to be effective in recognizing and receiving what is true so that ones life can be righteous and effective.

Notice that the wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men of all ages who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Ro 1:18). In view of the context of vv. 18-20 which has all mankind of all ages in view, the occurrence of past tenses in later verses portrays specific examples of the pattern of God's wrath being revealed for all ages in response to man's godlessness and wickedness. So individuals who are immoral unbelievers, of all ages are in view, not just a group from the past.

So those that know God but do not glorify Him nor give thanks to Him but instead suppress the truth about God which is plain to all mankind, (vv 18-20), i.e., Who He is and the righteousness from man that He commands, (vv. 20-21), do this by their wickedness, i.e., their evil behavior which is contrary to the righteous behavior God commands of all mankind. They are ungodly and wicked in their behavior and by this behavior suppress the truth about God, (Ro 1:18). As a result they become futile in their thinking wherein their foolish hearts (= thinking, minds), become darkened, (Ro 1:21). Nevertheless, they claim to be wise yet they became fools in their attempt to refute evidence from creation which clearly testifies to what can be known about God, especially as to His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, (v. 19-22).

THE WICKED, UNGODLY BEHAVIOR OF IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS SUPPRESSES TRUTH ABOUT AND EXCHANGES THE GLORY OF THE IMMORTAL GOD FOR IMAGES MADE TO LOOK LIKE MORTAL MAN, BIRDS, ANIMALS AND REPTILES

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... (v. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (v. 22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (v. 23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." =

The wicked, ungodly behavior of immoral unbelievers supresses truth about and exchanges the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man, birds, animals and reptiles. So those that know God but do not glorify Him nor give thanks to Him but instead suppress the truth about God which is plain to all mankind, (vv 18-20), i.e., Who He is and the righteousness He expects from mankind, (vv. 17, 20-21), do this by their wickedness, i.e., their evil behavior. As immoral unbelievers they are ungodly and wicked in their behavior and by this behavior suppress the truth, (v. 18). As a result they become futile in their thinking wherein their foolish hearts (= minds), become darkened, (v. 21). Nevertheless, they claim to be wise yet they become fools in their attempt to refute evidence from creation which clearly testifies to what can be known about God, especially as to His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, (v. 19-22). In effect these godless, wicked immoral unbelievers have "exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator, (v. 25).

These wicked individuals exchange the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles - even today!

[BKC, p. 443]:

"When the true Source of wisdom is rejected... people's claim to be wise is an idle boast. Progressively they became fools (emOranthEsan, lit., 'became stupid'), a reality demonstrated by the worship as gods of idols in the forms of people and animals ... The ultimate irony in humanity's refusal to glorify the true God is the insanity or stupidity of idolatry... Man's refusal to acknowledge and glorify God leads to a downward path: first, worthless thinking; next, moral insensitivity; and then, religious stupidity (seen in idol-worship).

In a real sense the results of God's condemnation on rebellious humanity are nothing more than the natural consequences of suppressing truth, ignoring revelation, and perverting God's glory. However, God did more than simply let nature take its course. God acted to abandon (the thrice-mentioned 'gave them over' [vv. 24, 26, 28] is paredOken, 'abandoned') people to expressions of a corrupt lifestyle that deserved God's wrath and the sentence of death (v. 32)."

SEXUAL IMPURITY IS AN EXPECTED OUTGROWTH OF GODLESS AND WICKED BEHAVIOR WHEREIN GOD GIVES THE IMMORAL UNBELIEVER OVER TO SUCH DESIRES. THIS IS ONE WAY IN WHICH THE WRATH OF GOD IS REVEALED TO MEN THRU OBSERVING THE UNRESTRAINED LIFESTYLE OF IMMORAL BELIEVERS

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... (v. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened... (v. 23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (v. 24) Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another." =

The word "Therefore" which begins verse 24 concludes for the reader what was begun in verse 18 which has in view God's wrath being revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of all mankind of all ages, especially immoral unbelievers:

The godless and wicked behavior of all mankind, especially immoral unbelievers suppresses the truth about God leading to futile thinking, a darkened heart, (mind), and the exchange of the glory of the immortal God for images of idols; whereupon God gives them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies, one with another. Hence sexual impurity is an expected outgrowth of godless and wicked behavior which comes about because God gives the godless, wicked individual over to such sinful desires.

The wrath of God is thus revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men who are immoral unbelievers who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 18), in one way, as stipulated in v. 24, via God's giving such men over in the sinful desires for the degrading of their bodies with one another, (v. 24).

[BKC, p. 443]:

"One aspect of mankind's corruption (to which God actively let people go) was sexual profligacy. The frequency of live-in lovers, wife-swapping, and group sex parties today only confirms this result of God's abandonment. Sex within marriage is a holy gift from God, but otherwise sex is impurity (lit., 'uncleanness') and the degrading of ... bodies by using them contrary to God's intent."

GOD ACTS AS A RESTRAINER OF THE SINFUL DESIRES WITHIN MAN

(Ro 1:24) "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another." =

Notice the phrase "God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts" implies that God acts as a restrainer of the sinful desires within man. On the other hand He ceases to restrain sinful desires in those who lead godless and wicked lifestyles, i.e., immoral unbelievers.

TO KNOW GOD WHICH KNOWLEDGE IS MADE PLAIN TO ALL MEN, YET BE GODLESS AND WICKED IS TO SUPPRESS THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT GOD, TO BECOME FUTILE AND FOOLISH IN ONES THINKING UNTO A DARKENED MIND, AND TO EXCHANGE THE TRUTH OF GOD FOR A LIE AND WORSHIP AND SERVE CREATED THINGS RATHER THAN THE CREATOR

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... (v. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (v. 22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (v. 23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (v. 25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - Who is forever praised. Amen." =

So those that know God but do not glorify Him nor give thanks to Him but instead suppress the truth about God which is plain to all mankind, (vv 18-20), i.e., Who He is and the righteousness He expects from mankind, (vv. 17, 20-21), i.e, immoral unbelievers do this by their wickedness, i.e., their evil behavior. They are ungodly and wicked in their behavior and by this behavior suppress the truth, (v. 18). As a result they become futile in their thinking wherein their foolish hearts (minds = mentality which are already stipulated as foolish), become darkened, (v. 21). Nevertheless, they claim to be wise yet they become fools in their attempt to refute evidence from creation which clearly testifies to what can be known about God, especially as to His invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, (v. 19-22). In effect these godless, wicked unbelievers have "exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator", (v. 25).

REGARDLESS OF WHETHER OR NOT MEN WORSHIP GOD, HE IS DECLARED AS BEING FOREVER PRAISED

(v. 20) "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse... (v. 25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - Who is forever praised. Amen." =

Notice that regardless of whether or not men worship God, He is declared as being forever praised. Verse 20 indicates that all creation clearly shows God's invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature. In this regard all Creation praises God - even mankind who is wonderfully made. Paul's "Amen" at the end of verse 25 makes this emphatic.

FOR MEN TO KNOW GOD WHICH KNOWLEDGE IS MADE PLAIN TO ALL MEN, YET BE GODLESS AND WICKED IS TO SUPPRESS THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT GOD, TO BECOME A FUTILE, IMMORAL UNBELIEVER, FOOLISH IN HIS THINKING UNTO A DARKENED MIND, WHO EXCHANGES THE TRUTH OF GOD FOR A LIE AND WORSHIPS AND SERVES CREATED THINGS RATHER THAN THE CREATOR. BECAUSE OF THIS GOD GIVES THE IMMORAL UNBELIEVER OVER AS AN EXPRESSION OF HIS WRATH TO THE UNBELIEVER'S SINFUL DESIRES, EVEN SHAMEFUL HOMOSEXUAL LUSTS

(v. 18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.. (v. 21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (v. 25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - Who is forever praised. Amen. (v. 26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (v. 27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." =

To know God which knowledge is made plain to all men, yet be godless and wicked is to suppress the plain truth about God, to become a futile, immoral unbeliever who is foolish in his thinking unto a darkened mind, (v. 21), who exchanges the truth of God for a lie and worships and serves created things rather than the Creator, (v. 25). Because of this God gives the immoral unbeliever over as an expression of His wrath (v. 18), to the sinful desires of the unbeliever's heart, (v. 24), even to the shameful lusts of homosexuality that he himself entertains but was restrained by God, (vv. 26-27)

Notice that the wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men of all ages who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (v. 18), i.e., immoral unbelievers.

In view of the context of vv. 18-20 which has all mankind of all ages in view, the occurrence of past tenses in later verses portrays specific examples of the pattern of God's wrath being revealed for all ages in response to man's godlessness and wickedness. So all individuals of all ages are in view, not just a group from the past and no other.

[BKC, p. 443]:

"In a sense this verse (v. 25), repeats the truth of verse 23, but it expresses more. The truth of God is not only the truth concerning all things, including mankind. This truth is that people are creatures of God and can find true fulfillment only in worshiping and obediently serving God the Creator. A lie (lit., 'the lie') on the other hand says that the creature - angelic ... or human.. - can exist independently of God, self-sufficient, self-directing, and self-fulfilling. Mankind made himself his god in place of the true God. Because God the Creator is forever praised (in contrast with creatures who are undeserving of worship), Paul added Amen. This word transilterates in both Greek and English the Hebrew word meaning 'so let it be.' As an affirmation, not a wish, it places approval on what has just been said."

HOMOSEXUALITY IS STIPULATED AS A SHAMEFUL, UNNATURAL, INDECENT, PERVERSE LUST THAT BECOMES PREVALENT IN WOMEN AND MEN DUE TO THEIR GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS

Notice that same sex sexual relations, i.e., homosexuality is stipulated as a shameful, unnatural, indecent, perverse lust. Men and women are in view. Evidently this shameful, unnatural, indecent, perverse lust is an inherent sinful desire within individuals. At a certain point of their expressing this kind of godlessness and wickedness, God no longer restrains it, but turns them over to it. Thus it is revealed all the more to mankind as evidence of God's wrath.

SEXUAL RELATIONS BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN ARE NATURAL, I.E., ORDAINED BY GOD AS HIS NATURAL ORDER. ALL SAME SEX SEXUAL ACTIVITY IS CONDEMNED AS WICKED AND GODLESS

(v. 26) "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (v. 27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. =

Notice that sexual relations between a man and a woman are stipulated in v. 27 as natural, i.e., ordained by God as His natural order; hence men with men and women with women is unnatural. So all same sex sexual activity is condemned as wicked and godless, including those who claim to be 'born' homosexuals. No one is thus created to be a homosexual, such activity is unnatural, ungodly and wicked.

THE WORD "FURTHERMORE" IN V. 28 CONTINUES TO PORTRAY THE DOWNSLIDE OF HUMAN DEPRAVITY IN IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS RESULTING FROM NOT THINKING IT WORTHWHILE TO RETAIN THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND GOD'S WRATH TURNING THEM OVER TO THEIR OWN CHOICE OF EVERY INCREASING SELF-DESTRUCTIVE SIN LEADING TO PREMATURE PHYSICAL DEATH

SO A DELIBERATELY GODLESS AND WICKED LIFESTYLE PATTERN IS THUS FILLED UP WITH EVERY KIND OF WICKEDNESS, EVIL, GREED AND DEPRAVITY. ONE BECOMES FULL OF ENVY, MURDER, STRIFE, DECEIT AND MALICE. SUCH INDIVIDUALS ARE GOSSIPS, SLANDERERS, GOD-HATERS, INSOLENT, ARROGANT, BOASTFUL, DISOBEDIENT TO PARENTS, SENSELESS, FAITHLESS, HEARTLESS, RUTHLESS

(v. 28) "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (v. 29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (v. 30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (v. 31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless." =

The word "Furthermore" in v. 28 continues to portray the downslide of human depravity in immoral unbelievers resulting from not thinking it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God and God's wrath of turning them over to their choice of ever increasing self-destructive sin leading to premature physical death.

So a deliberately godless and wicked lifestyle pattern is thus filled up with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. One becomes full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. Such individuals are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful, disobedient to parents, senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Note that the descriptive terms just listed are not just idle words or dramatic expressions to motivate an individual to repent of wickedness and godlessness. The words actually reflect the thoughts, words and deeds of individuals whose lifestyle continually suppresses the truth of God, Who He is and the righteousness He expects from mankind.

GOD IS CONCERNED FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS. HE RESTRAINS SINFUL BEHAVIOR IN THEM FOR THEIR BENEFIT; FOR SIN IS ALWAYS HARMFUL. HE DOES THIS UNTIL THEY REJECT HIS EFFORTS BY THEIR GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS, (UNBELIEF AND IMMORALITY)

(v. 28) "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (v. 29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (v. 30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (v. 31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless." (cont.) =

It is implied in these verses that God restrains sinful behavior in mankind until individuals rebel against God and become godless and wicked, immoral unbelievers, suppressing the truth about God by their wickedness. Then He gives "them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done," which has self-destructive effects on individuals even to the extent of premature physical death. So God is concerned for individuals, and restrains sinful behavior which is harmful to them for their benefit until immoral unbelievers reject His efforts by their godlessness, wickedness and suppression of the truth about God, (unbelief).

ALL MEN ARE PROVIDED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUS DECREE THAT ALL WHO DO SUCH THINGS AS LISTED IN VV. 29-31 DESERVE DEATH, PREMATURE PHYSICAL DEATH AS A RESULT OF BEING TURNED OVER BY GOD TO THE DEADLY DESTRUCTIVE RESULTS OF EVER INCREASING SIN

(v. 17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 18) The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness... (v. 20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse... (v. 29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (v. 30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (v. 31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (v. 32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." =

Since salvation unto eternal life by faith apart from human doing is in view, (vv. 16-17) and eternal death is a result of not receiving justification by faith apart from human doing; then the word "death" in v. 32 which is caused by being turned over by God to the deadly destructive results of the evil human doing of immoral unbelievers refers in this case to the another kind of death, premature physical death as a result of being turned over by God in their mortal lives to ever increasing sin.

Since all mankind in general is in view in v. 20 which sets the context of v. 32, then all men in general are in view in v. 32; hence all men are stipulated as knowing God's righteous decree that all who do such things as listed in vv. 29-31 deserve physical death, i.e., premature physical death, (cf. vv. 17-18) Note that other passages deal with the subject of eternal death being caused by sin.

Notice that all men are stipulated as being provided with the knowledge of God such that all are without excuse, (v. 20). Such knowledge of God includes Who He is and the righteousness He expects from mankind, (vv. 17-32).

NOT ONLY DO MEN DO SUCH THINGS AS IN VV. 30-31 WHICH DESERVES PHYSICAL DEATH AS A RESULT OF UNRESTRAINED EVIL, BUT THEY APPROVE OF THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH EVIL THINGS, JUSTIFYING THEIR CONDEMNATION ALL THE MORE

(v. 32) "Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." =

Not only do immoral unbelievers do such things as in vv. 30-31 which deserves physical death, but they approve of those who practice such evil things, justifying their condemnation all the more.

********* END OF EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER ONE **********

I) [Ro 2:1]:

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things."

A) SELF-RIGHTEOUS MORAL UNBELIEVERS ARE IN VIEW WHO PASS CONDEMNATORY JUDGMENT ON IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS YET DO THE SAME THINGS. THEIR RELATIVELY MORAL BEHAVIOR IS NOT AN INDICATOR OF ESCAPING GOD'S ETERNAL CONDEMNATION

(Ro 1:18) "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Ro 1:19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Ro 1:20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Ro 1:21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Ro 1:22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (Ro 1:23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (Ro 1:24) Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (Ro 1:25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen. (Ro 1:26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (Ro 1:27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. (Ro 1:28) Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (Ro 1:29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (Ro 1:30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (Ro 1:31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (Ro 1:32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Ro 2:1) You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." =

(Ro 2:1 Greek) "dio .............anapologEtos ei ..........w .anthrOpe pas ....

..........................."Therefore, inexcusable ....you are O .man .........every one

ho krinOn en hO ...gar krineis .....ton heteron seauton

.....judging in what for .you judge the other .....yourself

katakrineis ...ta ..gar auta ............prasseis ..................ho ........krinOn

you condemn the for .same things you are practicing the one judging

The Greek words "krinOn", "krineis" and "katakrineis" mean to give judgment against, condemn. So condemnatory judgment is in view.

Ro 2:1 indicates that moral unbelievers - Jews and Gentiles alike, (cf. Ro 1:18-32), falsely consider themselves to be above reproach because of their higher standard of moral behavior. They consequently pass condemnatory judgment upon those that act less moral than they do. The phrase rendered "at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things," implies that they are blinded to the fact that they do the same things as others whom they condemn do. They suppress the truth about God as all unbelievers do, (Ro 1:18-32). Hence they are not without sin, and certainly not above God's temporal and eternal condemnation.

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Victor Books, USA, 1988, Walvoor & Zuck, Eds, pp. 444-5]:

"Some pagans had high ethical standards and moral lifestyles and condemned the widespread moral corruption of their contemporaries. In addition the Jews morally stood in sharp contrast with the pagan world around them and freely condemned the Gentiles. Both groups of moralists might conclude that God's condemnation did not apply to them because of their higher planes of living. But Paul insisted that they also stood condemned because they were doing the same things for which they judged others.

Therefore, Paul declared, at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself. Everyone in the entire human race has turned away from God and commits sins even though there are differences of frequency, extent, and degree. In addition the entire human race, especially moral pagans and the Jews, stood condemned before God."

B) GOD RESTRAINS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE SINFUL BEHAVIOR IN THOSE WHO LEAD RELATIVELY MORAL LIFESTYLES - PRESERVING THE QUALITY AND DURATION OF THEIR TEMPORAL LIVES; BUT THIS DOES NOT RULE OUT ETERNAL CONDEMNATION FOR THEM

(Ro 1:18) "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Ro 1:19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Ro 1:20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Ro 1:21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Ro 1:22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (Ro 1:23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (Ro 1:24) Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (Ro 1:25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen. (Ro 1:26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (Ro 1:27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. (Ro 1:28) Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (Ro 1:29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (Ro 1:30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (Ro 1:31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (Ro 1:32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Ro 2:1) You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." =

1) [Compare Ro 1:24, 26, 28]:

(Ro 1:24) "Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another... (Ro 1:26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones... (Ro 1:28) Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done."

Notice the phrases underlined above which indicate that God gave unbelievers over to their sinful desires to commit further self-destructive depravity. This implies that God acts as a restrainer of the sinful desires within man but ceases to restrain those desires in those who lead godless and wicked lifestyles, i.e., immoral unbelievers.

So as an unbeliever resists a godless and wicked lifestyle; and lives a relatively moral life by God's precepts, it can be concluded that God restrains self-destructive sinful behavior within that unbeliever enabling his lifestyle to be relatively preserved in quality and duration; but this does not mean that the unbeliever is without sin nor that he will escape God's eternal condemnatory judgment in the future.

C) SINCE ALL MEN BEGIN LIFE AS UNBELIEVERS; AND SINCE ALL UNBELIEVERS, EVEN THOSE WHO LEAD RELATIVELY MORAL LIVES, DO THE SAME THINGS AS GODLESS MEN DO, THEN THERE IS NO ONE RIGHTEOUS ENOUGH TO ESCAPE GOD'S JUDGMENT / CONDEMNATION WHO HAS NOT TRUSTED ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE FOR THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(Ro 1:17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (Ro 1:18) The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Ro 1:19) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. (Ro 1:20) For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. (Ro 1:21) For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Ro 1:22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (Ro 1:23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (Ro 1:24) Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (Ro 1:25) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. (Ro 1:26) Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (Ro 1:27) In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women a nd were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. (Ro 1:28) Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (Ro 1:29) They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, (Ro 1:30) slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; (Ro 1:31) they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (Ro 1:32) Although they know God's righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (v. 2:1) You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." (cont.) =

Since all men begin life as unbelievers; and since all unbelievers, even those who lead relatively moral lives do the same things as godless men do, then there is no one righteous enough to escape God's judgment / condemnation who has not trusted alone in Christ alone for eternal life.

1) [Compare Ro 3:10-12]:

(Ro 3:10) "As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one;

(Ro 3:11) there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

(Ro 3:12) All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.' "

II) [Ro 2:2-3]:

(Ro 2:2 NKJV) "But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.

(Ro 2:3 NKJV) And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?"

A) GOD'S JUDGMENT IS BASED ON TRUTH, I.E., FACTS AND REALITY; MAN'S JUDGMENT APART FROM GOD IS BASED ON HYPOCRISY AND SELF-DECEPTION. HENCE GOD'S JUDGMENT IS VALID, MAN'S INVALID

(Ro 2:1) "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Ro 2:2 NKJV) But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. (Ro 2:3 NKJV) And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?" =

God's judgment is "against those who do such things", i.e., that which is godless and wicked and by their wickedness suppress the truth about God: that He exists, is righteous, sovereign and requires man to be righteous. Romans 2:2 stipulates that God's judgment is based on turth. , i.e., facts and reality. On the other hand, man's judgment apart from God, it is implied, is based on untruth, i.e., hypocrisy and self-deception. Hence God's judgment is superior and valid as opposed to man's apart from God, which is inferior and invalid.

So the moral unbeliever who passes judgment on those who do the same things he does is asked by author Paul, the rhetorical question, "Do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?" Answer implied: No!

[Expositors, p. 28 cont.]:

"True judgment rests on the ability to discern the facts in a given case. If one is able to see the sin and hopelessness of the Gentile, he should logically be able to see himself as being in the same predicament. But he is so taken up with the faults of others that he does not consider his own failures.... The charge that he who passes judgment does the same things he sees in others is enlarged in 2:17-24. There is a real sting in the allegation "you... do the same things," for the word "do" is the term used in 1:32 for the practices of the benighted Gentile. Paul repeats it in v. 2. As he moves to state the first of the principles of divine judgment, he carries the observer with him. Surely this man will agree ("we know") that when God pronounces judgment on those who make a practice of indulging in sin, his judgment is based on truth. This has no reference to the truth of the gospel, but simply means that the judgment is reached on the basis of reality, on the facts of the case, not on the basis of appearances or of a man's pretensions. "Do you think you will escape God's judgment?" Two words are emphatic here, "think" and "you." Paul is reading the inmost thoughts of the Jew, whom he understands thoroughly from his own pre-Christian experience."

[BKC, cont., p. 444-5]:

"2:2-3. The first divine standard of judgment is truth... Truth - absolute, infinite truth - is unquestionably one of God's essential attributes. As a result when God's judgment of people is declared to be based on (lit. 'according to') 'truth,' no escape from that judgment is possible for anyone. All are without 'excuse' (Rom 2:1) and without 'escape.' One may be moral and he may even judge his contemporaries as totally enmeshed in a depraved lifestyle, but yet he is judged by God because he does the same things (cf. v. 1)."

B) THE MORAL UNBELIEVER'S CONDEMNATORY JUDGMENT OF OTHERS FOR THINGS THEY DO THEMSELVES IMPLIES THAT THEY THINK THAT THEY WILL NOT BE JUDGED BY GOD - BUT SUCH WILL NOT BE THE CASE

(Ro 2:1) "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Ro 2:2 NKJV) "But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. (Ro 2:3 NKJV) And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?" =

The moral unbeliever's condemnatory judgment of others for things they do themselves implies that they think they will not be judged by God, but such will not be the case. Evidently unbelievers that lead relatively moral lives do not receive God's temporal, condemnatory judgment to the extent that immoral unbelievers do; but that does not mean that they will escape God's judgment of eternal condemnation in the future.

III) [Ro 2:4]:

(v. 4) "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?"

A) MORAL UNBELIEVERS WHO BY VIRTUE OF THEIR MORAL LIFESTYLE DO NOT EXPERIENCE GOD'S TEMPORAL WRATH OF UNRESTRAINED SELF-DESTRUCTIVE SIN, CONDEMN IMMORAL UNBELIEVERS FOR THEIR GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS. THEY EVIDENCE CONTEMPT FOR THE RICHES OF GOD'S KINDNESS WHICH LEADS THEM TOWARD REPENTANCE FROM THEIR OWN GODLESSNESS AND WICKEDNESS TOWARD UNBELIEF IN GOD AND THE GOSPEL

(v. 1) "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (v. 2) Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. (v. 3 NKJV) So when you, O man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? (v. 4) Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" =

Repentance = "metanoian" = a change of mind. In this passage, it signifies a change of mind toward acknowledging that one is accountable for "doing the same things" as the immoral unbelievers, (v. 2:1), i.e., godlessness (unbelief), wickedness (sin), (v. 1:18) with a view to escaping God's temporal and eternal judgment. Hence the repentance here is toward becoming a believer in the gospel, (1:16-17), and not toward a change of behavior in order to receive a righteousness from God by human doing.

Moral unbelievers who by virtue of their moral lifestyles do not experience God's temporal wrath of unrestrained self-destructive sin, condemn immoral unbelievers for their relatively more godless and wicked lifestyles. The moral unbelievers evidence contempt for the riches of God's kindness which leads them toward repentance from their own godlessness and wickedness and unbelief in their accountability to belief in God and the gospel.

Moral unbelievers condemn others for things they do themselves to some degree. They have concluded that since they are relatively more moral than others, (hence they are not undergoing God's temporal wrath of ever increasing self-destructive sin leading to premature physical death and temporal destruction to which it can be observed happening to immoral unbelievers), they will not undergo God's future and eternal wrath. Hence their attitude is one of contempt for the riches of His kindness, tolerance and patience. They do not realize that God's kindness by being tolerant and patient with them by exercising His mercy and not His temporal wrath on them is purposed to lead them toward repentance = a change of mind from unbelief and godlessness to belief in the gospel unto eternal life and living by faith in Him.

[Expositors, cont.]:

"Paul carries the probing deeper still (v. 4), suggesting that in addition to self-righteousness with its accompanying false security there is an ignoring and despising of the fact that God, to be true to Himself, must bring sin into judgment. There is even a scornful attitude toward God's forbearance with his people Israel, as though that forbearance were but a confirmation of their security, if not a sign of weakness on God's part...

In this passage 'tolerance' and 'patience' seem to be explanatory of 'kindness,' which is repeated as the governing thought. The word rendered 'tolerance' has the idea of self-restraint. In classical Greek it is used of a temporary truce. 'Patience' is literally 'longspiritedness.' The intent of the kindness is to give opportunity for repentance..."

[BKC, cont.]:

"2:4. By not exacting His divine penalty on sinful humanity immediately, God is displaying the riches of His kindness (chrEstolEtos, 'benevolence in action,' ... tolerance, and patience... God's purpose is to lead people toward repentance - a return to Him - through His kindness. (This word for 'kindness' is chrEstos, a synonym of chrEstotEtos, also trans,. 'kindness,' used earlier in the verse.) Both words mean 'what is suitable or fitting to a need.'... Not realizing (lit., 'being ignorant of') God's purpose, people showed contempt for (kataphroneis, 'you thought down on') God's attributes and actions (cf. 'suppress the truth', Rom 1:18). People knew of God's Being through natural revelation (1:19-21, 28), but did not know the purpose of His kindness..."

IV) [Ro 2:5]:

(Ro 2:5) "But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed."

A) SO LONG AS MORAL UNBELIEVERS REMAIN STUBBORN AND UNREPENTANT RELATIVE TO ACKNOWLEDGING THEIR SINS AND UNBELIEF IN GOD AND THE GOSPEL, THEY ARE STORING UP WRATH AGAINST THEMSELVES FOR THE DAY OF GOD'S WRATH, WHEN HIS RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT TOWARD THEM WILL BE REVEALED

(v. 1:18) "The wrath of God is revealed [to men] from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness"... (Ro 2:1) You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Ro 2:2 NKJV) But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. (Ro 2:3 NKJV) And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (Ro 2:4) Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? (Ro 2:5) But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed." =

So long as moral unbelievers remain stubborn and unrepentant relative to acknowledging their sins and their unbelief in God and the gospel, they "are storing up wrath against themselves for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgment toward them will be revealed." The phrase 'day of God's wrath' refers to a time, (not necessarily the only time), in the future, and not necessarily a 24 hour day, when God's wrath will be exercised toward moral unbelievers as an expression of His righteous judgment. Although a time, (day), of temporal wrath is already here relative to God's temporal wrath being revealed / exercised upon moral unbelievers during their current physical lifetimes, (Ro 1:18); there will be a future time of God's wrath when His righteous judgment will be revealed specifically to unbelievers with eternal consequences.

V) [Ro 2:6]:

(v. 2:6) "God will give to each person according to what he has done."

A) IN THE LIGHT OF THE KEY THEME OF ROMANS WHICH HAS ALREADY BEEN PRESENTED: A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE COMES AS A FREE GIFT THROUGH A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE, THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO HAVE OPTED NOT TO ACCEPT ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH FAITH MUST FACE GOD'S FUTURE JUDGMENT IN WHICH GOD WILL GIVE EACH ACCORDING TO WHAT HE HAS DONE WHICH WILL INEVITABLY BE ETERNAL WRATH, FOR NO ONE HAS THE CAPACITY TO LEAD A LIFE OF GODLY GOOD

(Ro 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (Ro 2:5) But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. (Ro 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done." =

In the light of the key theme of the book of Romans which has already been presented: a Righteousness from God unto eternal life comes as a free gift through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, (Ro 1:2-4, 16-17); those individuals who have opted not to accept eternal life through faith, i.e., unbelievers must face God's future judgment of them in which God will give each of them according to what he has done, moral and immoral unbelievers alike, (Jn 2:6). This verse immediately follows Ro 2:5 which has in view the moral unbeliever who stores up wrath against himself for that day of judgment because of his stubborness and unrepentant heart which is implied as characteristic. Notice the phrase "according to what he has done" implies a result of eternal life or eternal wrath, which for any unbeliever will only be eternal wrath. For no one has the capacity to lead a perfect godly life.

VI) [Ro 2:7]:

(Ro 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life"

A) THOSE WHO HAVE NEVER CHOSEN TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST TO RECEIVE A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD UNTO ETERNAL LIFE, HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY BY HUMAN DOING - BY PERSISTENCE IN DOING GOOD WHERE SIN IS ABSENT, SEEKING GLORY, HONOR AND IMMORTALITY TO RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE. BUT THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH MAN

(Ro 1:1) "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-- (Ro 1:2) the gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (Ro 1:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (Ro 1:4) and Who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord (Ro 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (Ro 2:1) You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Ro 2:2 NKJV) But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. (Ro 2:3 NKJV) And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (Ro 2:4) Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance? (Ro 2:5) But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. (Ro 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (Ro 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life" =

So long as moral unbelievers remain stubborn and unrepentant relative to continued unbelief in God, they "are storing up wrath against themselves for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgment toward them will be revealed," despite their relatively moral behavior, (Ro 1:18-2:6) (Ro 2:5). The phrase 'day of God's wrath' refers to a future time of God's judgment, when God's righteous judgment of those in view in this passage, i.e., unbelievers, will be revealed - portending to be an expression of the wrath that they have stored up against themselves by their stubbornness and unrepentant hearts. This particular judgment of God will be exercised toward them according to what each has done - with eternal consequences at stake, (Ro 2:6). Since unbelievers not believers are in view, (Ro 1:18-2:6), because believers have already been judged by God to be justified unto eternal life when they expressed a moment of faith alone in Christ alone to obtain a perfect righteousness from God to be given only as a gift, (Ro 1:2-4, 16-17). Since all individuals in this judgment are unbelievers, then God has not credited them with His righteousness, so they have an opportunity to provide their own, by being absolutely persistent in doing godly good, seeking godly glory, honor and immortality - a persistent godly lifestyle wherein sin is absent in order to receive eternal life. Since this is impossible with man, then all unbelievers will be judged to receive eternal wrath.

1) [Compare Ro 2:1]:

"You, [unbelievers in God, (Ro 1:18-32)] therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things."

Notice that all unbelievers commit ungodly acts and will be held accountable by God.

Consider the next section in the book of Romans:

2) [Compare Ro 3:10-12, 20]:

(Ro 3:10) "As it is written: 'There is no one righteous, not even one;

(Ro 3:11) there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.

(Ro 3:12) All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.'

(Ro 3:20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law; rather through the Law we become conscious of sin."

Relative to human doing, no one can be declared perfectly righteous in God's sight - a perfect righteousness being implied. Hence no one can "by persistence in doing good, seek glory, honor and immortality," (Ro 2:7) and thereby receive eternal life.

VII) [Ro 2:8]:

(v. 8) "But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger."

A) GOD'S WRATH AND ANGER IN THIS LIFE AND IN ETERNITY IS DUE TO THOSE WHO ARE SELF-SEEKING AND WHO REJECT THE TRUTH AND FOLLOW EVIL WHICH IS ALL MEN. ON THE OTHER HAND, GOD'S STANDARD OF DOING GOOD - SINLESSNESS - AS OPPOSED TO MAN'S IS AFFIRMED AS TO WHAT IS NEEDED TO RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE - WHICH IS UNATTAINABLE BY MAN

(Ro 1:16) "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (Ro 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (Ro 2:5) But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed. (Ro 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (Ro 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality He will give eternal life. (v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger." =

The word "But" which begins Ro 2:8 introduces the standard of behavior which receives God's wrath and anger, the opposite of eternal life: "But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger." So eternal life won't result in those individuals "who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil" - things which all men do at one time or another, especially the stubborn, unrepentant hearted unbeliever who is in view in this passage. Hence to seek eternal life via ones own efforts is futile. On the other hand, the opposite of this kind of behavior is seeking God, living by the truth and being without sin, God's standard of receiving eternal life which is what is described in verse 7 as "persistence in doing good, seek [ing] glory, honor and immortality." This has been implied in this passage as unattainable by man except through faith alone in Christ alone, the gospel, (vv. 1:2-4, 16-17).

VIII) [Ro 2:9]:

(v. 2:9) "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile"

A) GOD'S WRATH WILL BE UPON EVERY INDIVIDUAL WHO COMMITS ANY ACT OF EVIL WHICH INCLUDES ALL INDIVIDUALS. HENCE THIS RULES OUT ANY INDIVIDUAL EARNING ETERNAL LIFE BY PERSISTENCE IN DOING GOOD

(v. 7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life (v. 8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (v. 9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile" =

Verse 9 affirms verse 8's "for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil.... (v. 9): "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil". Hence God's wrath will cause trouble and distress for every individual who commits any act of evil, evidently in this life and eternity. Since God's wrath is the opposite of God's eternal life, then any sin - which all individuals commit at least once in their lifetimes - will rule out the reception of eternal life via "persistence in doing good", (v. 2:7).

B) GOD'S WRATH AND ANGER IN THE FORM OF TROUBLE AND DISTRESS WILL BESET ALL INDIVIDUALS, FOR ALL ARE SELF-SEEKING, REJECT THE TRUTH AND FOLLOW EVIL, THE JEW FIRST, THEN THE GENTILE. THIS IMPLIES THAT THE JEW IS HELD MORE ACCOUNTABLE BECAUSE HE HAS BEEN GIVEN SPECIAL ATTENTION BY GOD TOWARD THE END OF PERSISTENCE IN DOING GOOD WHICH LATER VERSES INDICATE AMONG OTHER THINGS: THE MOSAIC LAW

(v. 2:9) "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile" =

God's wrath and anger in the form of trouble and distress will beset all individuals who are self-seeking, reject the truth and follow evil, which includes all individuals at times in their lives, the Jew first, then the Gentile. This implies that the Jew is held more accountable because he has evidently been given special attention by God toward the end of persistence in doing good which later verses indicate among other things: the Mosaic Law.

Notice that all men are in view in the phrase "every human being who does evil," hence all man are due God's wrath of trouble and distress without exception.

IX) [Ro 2:10]:

(v. 2:6) "God will give to each person according to what he has done.

(v. 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life

(v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.

(v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile;

(v. 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile."

A) ETERNAL LIFE'S GLORY, HONOR AND PEACE IS GIVEN TO THOSE WHO HAVE LED A PERFECT GODLY LIFESTYLE - BUT THIS IS ONLY ATTAINABLE BY FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE, THE GOSPEL AND NOT BY MAN'S OWN EFFORTS -

(v. 1:2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 1:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 1:4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. (v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (v. 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. (v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile." =

The phrase "To those who by persistence in doing good", (v. 2:7), is an impossible task for man which is corroborated by the next verse, "But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil", (v. 2:8), which points to every single man, for no one can live a life completely free of rejection of truth and free of evil. Finally, verse 2:10: "But [eternal] glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good" implies the kind of good in the context which one must do to gain eternal life - a continuous godly and perfect lifestyle as implied in verse 7: "To those who by persistence in doing good seek[s] glory, honor and immortality He will give eternal life."

The "glory, honor and peace" which one receives for doing such good is that glory, honor and peace which is associated with the reception of eternal life as stipulated in verse 7, evidently both in ones mortal and eternal life.

An example of Someone Who persisted in doing 'eternal good' is Jesus Christ, the One in Whom an individual trusts in order to receive eternal life. He is the standard of perfect good an individual must persistently match without fault in order to receive eternal life. Of course, it has already been established that God's perfect standard of righteousness and eternal life are received solely upon a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, the gospel, (vv. 1:2-4), wherein a perfect righteousness from God is revealed in the believer unto eternal life, not through anything the individual does, (vv. 1:16-17).

X) [Ro 2:11-13]:

(v. 11) "For God does not show favoritism.

(v. 12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law.

(v. 13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous."

A) THE LAW IS A RULE OF LIFE WHICH STANDARD IS GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS BECAUSE WHEN ONE OBSERVES IT ONE IS DECLARED RIGHTEOUS BY GOD. HENCE THE LAW EMBODIES THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD

(v. 13) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous." =

The Law is a rule of life which standard is God's righeousness because when one observes it one is declared righteous by God. Hence the Law embodies the righteousness of God.

B) THERE IS NEITHER FAVORITISM GIVEN TO THOSE UNDER THE LAW NOR TO THOSE APART FROM THE LAW. EACH INDIVIDUAL WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE RULE OF LIFE GOD HAS PLACED HIM UNDER WHICH POINTS TOWARD GOD'S ABSOLUTE RIGHTEOUSNESS REQUIRED FOR ETERNAL LIFE RESULTING IN MAKING MEN AWARE OF SIN AND THEIR INABILITY TO ATTAIN THAT GOAL BY THEIR DEEDS

(v. 9) "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law." =

There is neither favoritism given to those under the Law nor to those apart from the Law. All men have sinned and will perish without the righteousness which is solely by faith alone in Christ alone - the gospel, (vv. 1:2-4, 16-17).

Each individual will be held accountable for the rule of life God has placed him under which points together with his conscience toward the rights and wrongs of God's absolute righteousness required for eternal life resulting in making men aware of sin and their inability to attain that goal by their deeds.

C) SINCE NO ONE CAN CLAIM TO BE WITHOUT SIN, ALL WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR ONES SINS AND WILL PERISH IN A FUTURE DAY OF JUDGMENT IF THOSE SINS ARE NOT ACCOUNTED FOR

(v. 9) "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law," =

A future day of judgment is in view with future tense phrases such as "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil," (v. 9) and "All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law," (v. 12).

In view is an accounting of the lives of individuals under the Law and apart from the Law which amounts to every one who has ever lived. Since no one can claim to be without sin, evidently all will be held accountable for ones sins and will perish if those sins are not accounted for. Several verses after this is a verse which confirms that a future day of judgment is in view:

1) [Compare Ro 2:16]:

"This will take place on the day when God will judge men's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares."

D) RELATIVE TO HUMAN DOING, ONLY THROUGH PERFECT OBEDIENCE TO THE PRECEPTS OF THE LAW, WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR MAN, CAN ONE BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS IN GOD'S SIGHT, OTHERWISE A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD CAN ONLY BE RECEIVED BY FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE - THE GOSPEL

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 9) "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 12) All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. (v. 13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous." =

Since "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil", (v. 2:9a), then to be righteous in God's sight by human doing is to demonstrate an absolute, perfect and godly obedience to the Law; something that is not attainable by man's own efforts except through a moment of faith in the gospel as this passage has previously indicated, (vv. 1:2-4, 16-17). Notice that not just hearing but an absolutely perfect obedience to the Law, i.e., perfect godly living by the Law's standard of behavior, is required in order to be declared righteous in God's sight, implying a perfect righteousness, via human doing, to avoid perishing and receive eternal life.

E) A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE - THE GOSPEL - IS TANTAMOUNT TO MEETING THE PERFECT STANDARD OF UNFAULTING PERSISTENCE IN DOING GOOD, SEEKING GLORY, HONOR AND IMMORTALITY VIA OBEDIENCE TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW REQUIRED TO RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 1:2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 1:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 1:4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. (v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' (v. 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (v. 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life. (v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous." =

Since a moment of faith alone in Christ alone - the gospel - results in a righteousness from God imputed to the individual, the standard to receive eternal life, (vv. 1:2-4, 16-17),

likewise since unfaulting persistence in doing good, seeking glory, honor and immortality is stipulated as the standard of righteousness one must have for receiving eternal life, (v. 2:6-9);

moreover since perfect obedience to the requirments of the Law is also stipulated as the standard for an individual to be declared righteous unto eternal life, (vv. 2:13);

then a moment of faith alone in Christ alone - the gospel - is tantamount to meeting the standard of unfaulting persistence in doing good, seeking glory, honor and immortality via perfect obedience to the requirements of the Law in order to receive eternal life.

F) OBEYING THE LAW PERFECTLY, NOT JUST POSSESSING IT OR HEARING IT AS JEWS HAVE FALSELY CLAIMED, RESULTS IN BEING DECLARED RIGHTEOUS IN GOD'S SIGHT, IMPLYING A PERFECT RIGHTEOUSNESS

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 9) "There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 12) All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. (v. 13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous." =

A distinction is made between hearing the Law and obeying it. A point is made which has in view those who are under the Law, Israelites, who have a history of hearing the Law, which is to say, understanding its precepts, but not obeying those precepts. The Israelites are portrayed in this passage as viewing that possession and understanding, (hearing), of the Law gave them a special standing with God over Gentiles. But being declared as having a righteousness from God would only be done by human doing if they obeyed the Law perfectly, which they did not characteristically do.

XI) [Ro 2:14-15]:

(v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law,

(v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)"

A) ALTHOUGH GENTILES DO NOT HAVE THE LAW - EVIDENTLY THE LAW BEING EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE JEWS, THEY DO HAVE THE CAPACITY TO DO BY NATURE, I.E., OUT OF THEIR CONSCIENCES, THINGS REQUIRED BY THE LAW

(v. 2:13) "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)" =

Paul provides a perspective of Gentiles - those who do not have the Law, for it was instituted exclusively for Jews, yet they have the capacity to do by nature, i.e., out of their consciences, things required by the Law. So when a Gentile obeys something in the content of the Law simply out of following his conscience, the conscience does the same thing as the Law for them.

This verse does not say that some Gentiles will obey their consciences in such a manner that their lifestyles are always in obedience to God's precepts in the Law. It has already been established in this passage that no one is capable of a lifestyle of perfect obedience to the precepts of the Law wherein they earn eternal life.

B) ONES CONSCIENCE HAS THE CAPACITY TO BEAR WITNESS TO ONES ACTIONS ACCUSING WHEN ONE IS NOT RIGHTEOUS AND DEFENDING WHEN ONE IS

(v. 13) "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (v. 14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, (v. 15) since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)" =

Notice that ones conscience has the capacity to bear witness to ones actions, accusing when one is not righteous and defending when one is. Conscience is herein defined as the thoughts one has which point to God's requirement of righteousness and that any righteousness comes from God.

XII) [Ro 2:16]:

(v. 2:16) "This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares."

A) A DAY OR PERIOD OF TIME DEDICATED TO JUDGMENT OF ALL MEN BY GOD IN THE FUTURE IS IN VIEW

(v. 2:11) "For God does not show favoritism. (v. 2:12) All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)" (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares." =

The future tense with the word "judgment" or words to that future effect prevail throughout chapter 2 from the beginning, pointing to a future day of judgment of all mankind, in this case God's judgment.

The word 'day' in verse 2:16 is not to be limited to a 24 hour day, for its usage permits the definition of a period of time dedicated to some end:

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, Mass, U.S.A., 1980, p. 287]:

"Day...

1 a: the time of light between one night and the next...

5: a specified time or period: AGE

6: The conflict or contention of the day...

8: a period of existence or prominence of a person or thing. [Such as the period of time of God's judgment]"

B) THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL ARE JUDGED AS HAVING THE RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD. THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE THEIR SINS JUDGED, FALL SHORT OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ARE DUE GOD'S ETERNAL WRATH

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 2:12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)" (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares." =

God's judgment of men's secrets is stipulated as being done through Jesus Christ relative to the declaration of the gospel. Hence the gospel of faith alone in Christ alone unto the reception of righteousness from God and eternal life is the basis of God's judgment of all individuals wherein those who believe in this gospel are judged as having a righteousness from God and those who don't have their own lives and sins judged, fall short and are due God's eternal wrath. Inherent in the gospel message then is the fact that all men's secrets which includes their sins will be judged. This judgment may be covered by a moment of faith alone in Jesus Christ alone unto the reception of righteousness from God wherein one is now judged as righteous through their faith in Christ. Since everyone is self-seeking, rejects the truth, follows evil to some extent then outside of faith in the gospel ones secrets will be judged unto the eternal wrath of God; for no one in their own doing is righteous in God's sight.

XIII) [Ro 2:17-24]:

(v. 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God;

(v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law;

(v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark,

(v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth -

(v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal?

(v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

(v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law?

(v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' "

A) JEWS ARE IN VIEW WHO HAVE AND ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INSTRUCTED IN THE LAW, A SUPERIOR INSTRUCTION. THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO REPRESENT HIM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD THROUGH THE PRECEPTS OF THE LAW AS GOD'S STANDARD OF CONDUCT

(v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law... (v. 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law" =

Notice that the passage now focuses intently on Jews who have the Law and are supposed to be instructed in the Law - a superior instruction (in righteousness) to what is available to Gentiles is implied, (v. 2:14); and they have a unique relationship with God as His chosen people to represent Him and His righteousness to the world through the precepts of the Law as God's standard of conduct. Notice that verse 2:14 states that if Gentiles do by nature things required by the Law, they are declared as a law unto themselves, implying that the Law is the standard of righteousness for all to go by. It is implied the Jews brag about having the Law, (v. 2:17). Evidently the Israelites are a people chosen specially by God to represent Him and His righteousness through obedience to the Law which was uniquely given to them to obey as part of this mission.

B) THE LAW IS THE EMBODIMENT OF KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH IN THE SENSE THAT IT IS THE SOURCE UPON WHICH KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH IS MADE CONCRETE AND PERCEPTIBLE. HENCE THE LAW IS ALSO THE EMBODIMENT OF GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

(2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" =

Notice that it is stipulated in v. 2:20, "You have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth!".

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 368 provides this applicable meaning of 'embody']:

"Embody... 1 b. To make concrete and perceptible"

This is not to say that the Mosaic Law contains all knowledge and truth. The most applicable definition of the word 'embodiment' here is that the Law makes all knowledge and truth concrete and perceptible, implying that it is the source upon which knowledge and truth is built. Since God is righteous and knowledge and truth and the Law comes from God, then the knowledge and truth which the Law embodies is righteous, hence the Law is the embodiment of God's righteousness.

C) THE LAW WAS GIVEN FOR THE JEW TO BE PART OF HIS SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD; TO PROVIDE THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD'S WILL; TO BE A SUPERIOR WAY OF LIFE; TO OBEY IN ORDER TO BE DECLARED RIGHTEOUS; TO BE A GUIDE FOR THE BLIND AND A LIGHT FOR THOSE IN THE DARK; TO BE AN INSTRUCTOR OF THE FOOLISH AND A TEACHER OF INFANTS

(v. 2:13) "For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law; (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth - (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' "

The Law evidently was provided for the Jew to rely on as part of his special relationship with God, (2:17). Notice that verse 2:14 indicates that the Gentiles do not have the Law. The Law gave the Jew the knowledge of God's will and what is superior, among other things, relative to a way of life, (2:18). While one obeys the Law it results in being declared righteous, (2:13). The Law evidently provides information which enables a Jew to be a guide for the [spiritually] blind and a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish and a teacher of [spiritual] infants, (vv. 2:19-20).

D) THE JEWS WERE GIVEN THE LAW BY GOD IN ORDER TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD. THEY FALSELY CLAIMED TO RELY ON IT, WILLFULLY MISCONSTRUED IT AND CONSTANTLY VIOLATED IT CAUSING GOD'S NAME TO BE BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (v. 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life (v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 2:11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 2:12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law. (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' " (cont.) =

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, USA, 1980, p. 116 provides an applicable definition for blasphemy]:

"blasphemy...1 a the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for God."

Notice that the Jews so willfully misconstrued and violated the Mosaic Law that God's name was blasphemed among the Gentiles who viewed the behavior of the Jews and their willful misperception and violation of the Law as evil and hypocritical.

The Jews were given the Law by God in order to represent Him to the world. They misconstrued it, falsely claimed to rely on it and constantly violated it causing God's name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles. So the Jews evidently are to represent God relative to the Law being given to them by God and their obedience to it as God's chosen people. But their bragging about being given the Law by God as His chosen people and their relationship with God, (v. 2:17); knowing God's will and approving of what is superior because of being instructed by the Law, (v. 2:18); and being convinced that they are a guide and instructor of others, (vv. 2:19-20); their willful misconstruing and violations of the Law, (vv. 2:21-23) in the face of their utter failure to do any of this misrepresents God to the point of blasphemy.

E) GOD'S NAME IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE THE JEWS DISHONOR GOD BY CONSTANTLY BREAKING THE LAW YET HOLD THEMSELVES UP AS SUPERIOR TO THE GENTILES. THEY HAVE A UNIQUE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW, THEIR UNIQUE POSSESSION. THEY CLAIM THEY RELY ON IT FAITHFULLY

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:6) God will give to each person according to what he has done. (v. 2:7) To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life (v. 2:8) But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. (v. 2:9) There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; (v. 2:10) but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 2:11) For God does not show favoritism. (v. 2:12) All who sin apart from the Law will also perish apart from the Law, and all who sin under the Law will be judged by the Law. (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) (v. 2:16) This will take place on the day when God will judge man's secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares. (v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth" (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'" =

God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because the Jews dishonor God by constantly breaking the Law yet hold themselves up as superior to the Gentiles. They have a unique relationship with God as His chosen people to represent God and His righteousness to the world through obedience to the law, their unique possession. They claim they rely on it faithfully.

Verse 2:17 begins in the negative: "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew" which implies a Jew who may have fallen short of some standard. The next phrase corroborates this: "If you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God," which implies a certain self-righteousness and false sense of security with God and a false sense of superiority over non-Jews. Then verses 18-20 provide the possibility ("If..."), of a Jew knowing the will of God and approving of what is superior all of which is attributed to learning from the Law.

Verses 19 & 20 continues the context of: 'If you are convinced because of being instructed by the Law and relying on it' and 'If you are convinced that "you are a guide to the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth." ' which suggests that what they are convinced of is not true.

Verses 2:21b-23 then deal the blow of reality: that the Jew by and large has not permitted himself to actually be taught to rely on the Law; he holds a self-righteous opinion which causes him to "brag about his relationship to God" and falsely think he is a "guide to the blind" and "a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of infants." This corroborates that obeying the Law was not a way for man to achieve eternal life, but to make one conscious of sin because it embodies the perfect righteousness from God which is beyond man's capacity, (v. 2:13). The passage goes further to ask questions that implicate Jews for a number of specific things "do you steal?", "do you commit adultery?", "do you rob temples?", "do you dishonor God by breaking the Law?" which each of these questions are answered in the affirmative by verse 24: "God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

F) JEWS HAVE A SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITY TO REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS TO THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY THROUGH OBEDIENCE TO THE LAW WHICH WAS GIVEN TO THEM AS GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE WHICH THEY HAVE LARGELY FAILED TO LIVE UP TO

(v. 2:17) Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God; (v. 2:18) if you know His will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the Law." (v. 2:19) if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, (v. 2:20) an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and truth (v. 2:21) you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? (v. 2:22) You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'" =

Verses 2:17 through 24 imply that Jews have a special responsibility to represent God and His righteousness to the world, especially through obedience to the Law which was given to them as God's chosen people which they have largely failed to live up to.

XIV) [Ro 2:25]:

(v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised."

A) THE CIRCUMCISION IN VIEW IN THIS PASSAGE HISTORICALLY BEGAN AFTER ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD'S PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE AND GOD ACCOUNTED IT TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' ... (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

1) God Promises That Abram Will Be Father Of A Great Nation Leading To Blessings To Abram And All People Through Abram And His Seed, Who Is Christ

a) [Compare Gen 12:1-7]:

(v. 1) '''The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave you country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.'

(v. 2) 'I [God] will make you [Abram] into a great nation and I will bless you;

I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

[God's promise to Abraham to make him into a great nation and to be a blessing was a promise which was not fulfilled in Abraham's physical lifetime. It could only be fulfilled if Abraham is resurrected and permitted into the kingdom of God living eternally so as to continue to experience seeing his uncountable offspring and actually be a blessing to people of all nations as he lived on in the eternal kingdom of God]:

(v. 3) I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.'

(v. 4) So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran.

(v. 5) He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

(v. 6) Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.

(v. 7) The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your seed I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.'''

i) The Seed Is Christ

"To your Seed I will give this land." =

Paul further defines the meaning of the word "Seed" in Gen 12:7, 13:15 & 24:7 as Jesus Christ Himself:

[Compare Gal 3:16]:

"The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his Seed. The Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is Christ."

ii) God Promises Eternal Life To Abram

[Compare Gen 12:3]:

"and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." =

God is promising Abram that even after he dies, all peoples - all nations - from now on will be blessed "through" him. This is saying that through Abram's procreation - which has not had one child born to him yet - the nations of the world will be forever blessed. Abram soon thereafter understood this as the ultimate blessing - eternal life in the kingdom of God through his seed, a Savior, (Who is Jesus Christ):

[Compare John 8:56]:

[Jesus said]:"Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad."

Abram could not be a blessing to the nations of the world unless God was going to bring a Savior from Abram's line to provide for the sins of the world, so when Abram followed God's instructions indicated in Gen 12:1 by leaving his home, his business, the highly developed civilization in Ur and even his people including his family and set out to an unknown, wilderness land, [remember that Abraham was a wealthy man, (v 5)], this was tantamount to expressing his faith in God's promises of future blessing for himself and the nations of the world through a coming Savior. Therefore, Abram's believing in God's promises of the future would include his personal salvation. Abram would be justified, i.e., become a born again man upon his trusting in God's provision of a future Savior through his line which Scripture records occurred later on when God reiterated His promise to Abram in Gen 15:1-6.

At that time Abram would trust in God's promises, which is tantamount to trusting in God's promise of the blessing of salvation through a coming Man, the Messiah, Jesus Christ. God then would credit Abraham with His divine righteousness unto eternal life. For God promised that Abraham would find that the number of his offspring would be beyond counting and only through Abraham's seeing the kingdom of God, i.e., having eternal life, could God fulfill this promise to bless Abram by seeing his countless offspring in the kingdom.

2) God Repeats His Promise To Abram

a) [Compare Gen 13:14-15]:

(v. 14) "And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, 'Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;

(v. 15) for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your Seed [Jesus Christ, (Gal 3:16)] forever."

3) Abram Believes In God's Promise And God Credits It To Abram As Righteousness Unto Eternal Life

(v. 1:16) "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' "

Notice that being declared by God as having a righteousness from Him is unto salvation unto eternal life. The righteousness which Abram received when he believed in God's plan for him confirmed God's promise of eternal life.

a) [Compare Gen 15:1-6]:

(v. 1) "After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

'Do not be afraid, Abram.

I am your shield,

your very great reward.'

(v. 2) But Abram said, 'O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?'

(v. 3) And Abram said, 'You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.'

(v. 4) Then the word of the Lord came to him: 'This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.'

(v. 5) He took him outside and said, 'Look up at the heavens and count the stars - if indeed you can count them.' Then he said to him, 'So shall your offspring [lit. your Seed"] be.'

[" 'So shall your offspring ([lit. your Seed") be.' " =

In order for Abram to have countless offspring and be blessed by it in his own life he would have to have eternal life. The next verse indicates that God credited His perfect righteousness to Abram which is to say that Abram was granted entry into the kingdom of heaven, i.e., eternal life when he died]:

(v. 6) Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness."

So God presents a picture to Abraham to affirm His promise of an heir - an actual physical heir who was to come through the loins of Abraham, (Gen 15:4). This picture was 'painted' by God across the star studded night time heavens. An uncountable number of stars were visible to Abraham. God promised that just as the universe contained such an innumerable number of stars, so would be numbered the descendants of Abraham. This picture gave to Abraham the concept of him seeing countless numbers of descendants - a picture of his having eternal life in order for this to be possible. And so, Abraham was promised by God to have an infinite number of descendants evidently over an infinitely long lifetime, i.e., eternal life. When Abraham believed in God's promise of eternal life, God acounted to Abraham His righteousness. That is to say that Abraham was credited with God's perfect righteousness in conjunction with God's promise to Abraham of eternal life which evidently is required in order to have eternal life. This is the definition of justification unto eternal life: to be declared righteous by God. And note that it was received by a moment of faith alone. This cannot be misconstrued to mean that Abraham did or was expected to do anything in order to be perfectly righteous in his lifestyle. There is no stipulation to that effect in the passage.

So Gen 15:5-6 is not just a picture of Abraham's countless descendants living long after he died and had gone into the Lake of Fire. What would be the purpose of that if Abraham would never see them - being condemned to the Lake of Fire? Why would God make such a promise to Abraham if Abraham had no chance of ever seeing them in person, i.e., having eternal life? So this indeed was a picture of God's promise to Abraham of eternal life - eternal life with countless descendants over an eternity of time.

Since a moment of faith in the gospel results in the reception of a righteousness from God and eternal life, (Ro 1:16-17), then Abram's moment of faith in what God promised to him, which resulted in God declaring Abram to have a righteousness from God, similarly provides eternal life for him.

So Abraham was now qualified to have eternal life by being credited by God with the absolutely perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ as a result of his faith alone in God's plan alone of eternal life. And this eternal life would be through God's promise of providing a physical heir to Abraham whose descendancy would lead to the Messiah/Savior through Whom all the promises would be fulfilled.

B) AFTER ABRAHAM BELIEVED IN GOD'S COVENANT FOR ABRAHAM AND HIS SEED OF ETERNAL LIFE AND TEMPORAL BLESSINGS, GOD COMMANDED CIRCUMCISION OF ABRAHAM AND ALL IN HIS HOUSEHOLD TO AFFIRM THIS EVERLASTING COVENANT WHICH SYMBOLLICALLY REPRESENTS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD RECKONED TO ABRAHAM AND ALL WHO BELIEVE IN THE GOSPEL AS ABRAHAM DID

(v. 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

[Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, G & C Merriam Co, Springfield, Mass, U.S.A., 1980, p. 200 provides an applicable definition for the word 'circumcision']:

"Circumcision... 1 ... a Jewish rite performed on male infants as a sign of inclusion in the Jewish religious community"

1) [Compare Gen 17:1-14]:

(v. 1) "When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, 'I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.

(v. 2) I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.'

(v. 3) Abram fell facedown, and God said to him,

(v. 4) 'As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations.

(v. 5) No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.

(v. 6) I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

(v. 7) I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

(v. 8) The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.'

(v. 9) Then God said to Abraham, 'As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.

(v. 10) This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.

(v. 11) You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

(v. 12) For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner--those who are not your offspring.

(v. 13) Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant.

(v. 14) Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

Circumcision is first mentioned in the Bible as a confirmation of God's everlasting covenant with Abram to be his God and the God of his descendants; greatly increase Abram's numbers so that he would be a "father of many nations" wherein kings will come from his descendants, i.e., implying an uncountable number; and providing the whole land of Canaan for him and his descendants as an everlasting possession - all of this implying the reception of eternal life for Abram, now named Abraham by God which means 'father of many nations'. As a sign of the covenant, Abraham and every male in his household including his slaves were commanded by God to be circumcised as an everlasting covenant in their flesh. Those who were not circumcised were to be 'cut off' from Abraham and his people and thus be exempt from temporal blessings God might provide for Abraham and his household.

2) [Compare Ro 2:29]:

"No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God."

In the same way that a physically circumcised Jew is not a true Jew [in God's sight] unless he is spiritually circumcised implying that he has expressed the faith of Abraham in God's promise of eternal life and has been declared righteous, so it was with Abraham and his household. Hence physical circumcision is a symbolic representation of the righteousness of God which is received by an individual when he expresses a moment of faith in the gospel of Abraham, the gospel of all mankind.

C) ABRAHAM'S CIRCUMCISION WAS INCORPORATED INTO THE MOSAIC LAW AS A RULE OF LIFE FOR JEWS TO RECEIVE TEMPORAL BLESSINGS - ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO EXERCISED THE FAITH OF ABRAHAM; AND IT WAS A DEMONSTRATION TO THE WORLD OF AN ISRAELITE WHO WAS TO REPRESENT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD THROUGH FAITH IN GOD'S PROMISE TO ABRAHAM, THE GOSPEL, UNTO ETERNAL LIFE

(v. 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

Abraham's circumcision is incorporated into the Mosaic Law as a rule of life for Jews to receive temporal blessings - especially for those who exercised the faith of Abraham in the gospel; and it was a demonstration to the world of the righteousness of God through faith in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel unto eternal life.

1) [Compare Lev 12:2-3]:

(v. 1) '''The LORD said to Moses,

(v. 2) "Say to the Israelites: 'A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period.

(v. 3) On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised.' " '''

Circumcision became a requirement of the Law of Moses. Male circumcision of the Jew during the Mosaic Law period was performed in order to enter the same Abrahamic covenant blessing - both temporal and eternal based on the same faith of Abraham. So, circumcision enabled the Jewish man, a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to come under all the blessings promised to Abraham and his descendants. For when Abraham believed in God's plan of salvation through Abraham's seed, the gospel, (Gen 15:6; Ro1:16-17), God declared Abraham righteous and later made a covenant with Him with reference to eternal life and temporal blessings for himself and his seed - his progeny.

Even non-Israelite men who wanted to be part of the Israelite people were to be circumcised (Gen 34.21-24).

The rite of circumcision was commanded to be given to a male Jew eight days after physical birth. It is a physical manifestation symbolic of a Jew having a righteousness from God which is actually received if and when, at accountability, he expresses a moment of faith in the gospel which provided Abraham justification unto eternal life when he believed. It is also a male's identification with Israel affording the opportunity to receive blessings under the Covenant of Abraham and the Law of Moses as the individual obeys the Law. Note that many of the temporal blessings under the Law are only available to those who have trusted in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel, for these blessings predicate themselves upon having been declared righteous by God.

2) [Compare Ro 2:29]:

"No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God."

In the same way that a physically circumcised Jew is not a true Jew [in God's sight] unless he is spiritually circumcised implying that he has expressed the faith of Abraham in God's promise of eternal life and has been declared righteous, so it was with Abraham and his household. Hence physical circumcision is symbolic of the righteousness of God which is received by an individual when he expresses a moment of faith in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel. Furthermore, it denoted the putting aside of human works in order to qualify for entrance into the Kingdom of God.

Finally, circumcision has a certain temporal value:

While one observes the Law which embodies God's righteousness, circumcision is a testimony to the world that it represents one being an Israelite, one of God's chosen people, a descendant of Abraham, Issac and Jacob who is to represent to the world, God's righteousness.

On the other hand, while a Jew is breaking the Law, he is not representing the righteousness of God which circumcision symbollically and the Law actually stand for. Breaking the Law also puts the Jew outside of receiving temporal blessings of the Law. During that time it is as if one had not been circumcised relative to ones testimony as an Israelite of God's righteousness to the world. Notice that the phrase "you have become as though you had not been circumcised," in the context of its passage in Romans 2:25, does not cancel the reality of the physical circumcision nor the reality of having received a righteousness from God if the Jew had expressed a moment of faith in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel. Breaking the Law causes the circumcised Israelite to not reflect the temporal message of his physical circumcision to the world of his representation of Israel, God's chosen people who are to representt God's righteousness to the world. It is "as though [he] had not been circumcised"

D) CIRCUMCISION IS CONNECTED WITH OBSERVING THE LAW WHICH THE LAW EMBODIES AND REPRESENTS GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS

(v. 1:17 NKJV) "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'... (v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous... (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

Circumcision is symbolically connected with observing the requirements of the Law. The Law is an embodiment of God's righteousness, (v. 2:13). The reception of God's righteousness via human doing, which requires an absolute persistence in doing good, (vv. 2:6-11), has already been implied as impossible via human doing except via a moment of faith alone in Christ alone, the gospel, (vv. 1:2-4, 16-17).

On the other hand, during the times when a Jew observes the Law, he actively participates in the blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant and the Law, and represents the righteousness of God in the Law by his actions, all of which are symbolically represented by the Jew's physical circumcisions.

E) CIRCUMCISION HAS CERTAIN TEMPORAL VALUE AS A TESTIMONY TO THE WORLD OF WHAT IT SYMBOLICALLY REPRESENTS WHILE A JEW OBSERVES THE LAW WHICH THE LAW EMBODIES GOD'S RIGHTEOUSNESS. WHILE A JEW IS NOT OBEYING THE LAW HE IS UNRIGHTEOUS AND DURING THAT TIME IT IS AS IF HE HAD NOT BEEN CIRCUMCISED

(v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous.... (v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.' (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised." =

Circumcision has certain temporal value as a testimony to the world of what it symbolically represents while a Jew observes the Law, which the Law embodies God's righteousness. Notice that "It is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous" by God, therefore the requirements of the Law must be righteous, (v. 2:13). On the other hand, while a Jew is not obeying the Law he is unrighteous and during that time it is "as though you had not been circumcised" because circumcision is supposed to be a symbol of one of God's chosen people representing God and His righteousness to the world, "for God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you:"

(v. 2:23) You who brag about the Law, do you dishonor God by breaking the Law? (v. 2:24) As it is written: 'God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'

peritomE ......men ....gar Ophelei ean ........nomon prassEs .......ean de

Circumcision indeed for .profits ..if ...[the] Law ....you practice if ....but [= but if] [you are a]

..................................................................................V_PAS2S

parabatEs ....nomou .........Es ..........hE peritomE ......sou ..akrobustia ........gegonen

transgressor of [the] Law you are ..the circumcision your .uncircumcision .has become

........................................V_PAS2S ..your circumcision has become uncircumcision,

........................................................."it has become as though you have not been circumcised.

Although the definite article does not appear before "nomon" = law, the particular law in view considering that circumcision and Jews are in view is the Mosaic Law. The two verbs "prassEs" and "Es" are in the subjunctive mood following the conjunction "ean" = "if", signifying a third class "if-then" statement wherein the action is objectively possible, i.e., 'maybe you will break the Law, maybe you won't'. In view then is a temporal condition wherein one who is circumcised may not be observing the Law in a particular segment of time whereupon the conclusion during that time is that "your circumcision has become your uncircumcision", i.e., you have become as though you have not been circumcised.

Since circumcision represents the righteousness of God, then when a Jew who is circumcised is not faithful to the Law for the moment, his lifestyle is not demonstrating the righteousness of God and it is as if he had not been circumcised. The physical circumcision does not disappear with an infraction of the Law, nor does any infraction of the Law negate the righteous standing an individual has before God received when he believed in God's promise to Abraham, the gospel. When a Jew acts for the moment in accordance with the righteousness he has been declared as his possession by keeping the righteous requirements of the Law, he is representative of what that circumcision represents: the righteousness from God.

XV) [Ro 2:26-27]:

(v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?

(v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker."

A) DURING THOSE TIMES UNCIRCUMSIZED GENTILES ARE KEEPING THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW, THEY ARE A LAW FOR THEMSELVES AND ARE REGARDED AS BEING CIRCUMCISED IN THE SENSE THAT THEY REPRESENT GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS WHICH IS EMBODIED IN THE LAW

(v. 2:13) For it is not those who hear the Law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the Law who will be declared righteous. (v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them....(v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? =

During those times uncircumsized Gentiles are keeping the righteous requirements of the Law, "they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the Law" in the sense of demonstrating behavior that represents the righteousness of God. They are thus regarded as being circumcised in the sense that they represent God and His righteousness which is embodied in the Law. Just as for the Jew, circumcision has temporal value as a testimony to the world of what it symbolically represents while the Jew observes the Law which the Law represents God's righteousness; so while "Those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements" exemplifying for the moment the righteousness of God, "will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised" in the sense of being representative to the world of God's righteousness?

B) DURING THOSE TIMES UNCIRCUMSIZED GENTILES ARE KEEPING THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENTS OF THE LAW THEY WILL CONDEMN BEFORE GOD THE JEW WHILE HE IS A LAWBREAKER WHO CLAIMS SUPERIORITY HAVING THE WRITTEN CODE AND PHYSICAL CIRCUMCISION BUT ACTING AS IF HE HAS NOT BEEN CIRCUMCISED

(v. 2:14) (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the Law, do by nature things required by the Law, they are a Law for themselves, even though they do not have the Law, (v. 2:15) since they show that the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them....(v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker." =

During those times uncircumsized Gentiles are keeping the righteous requirements of the Law they will condemn before God the Jew while he is a lawbreaker who claims superiority, having the written code and physical circumcision but acting as if he has not been circumcised.

XVI) [Ro 2:28-29]:

(v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.

(v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God.

A) AN OUTWARD, (PHYSICAL), JEW MUST BE A JEW IN ANOTHER SENSE: AN INWARD ONE VIA CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART BY THE SPIRIT - BY FAITH IN THE GOSPEL, NOT BY THE LAW, IN ORDER TO BE DECLARED A JEW IN GOD'S SIGHT. GENTILES AND CHRISTIANS ARE NOT IN VIEW IN THIS VERSE

(v. 2:17) "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the Law and brag about your relationship to God. (v. 2:25) Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" =

In view in verse 2:28 is an outward Jew, i.e., a man who is a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is not viewed by God as a Jew inwardly. Verse 2:29 then stipulates that an outward, (physical), Jew must be a Jew in another sense: an inward one via circumcision of the heart by the Spirit - by the faith of Abraham in a Messiah-Savior, Abraham's Seed, (Jesus Christ), not by the Law, in order to be declared a Jew in God's sight.

Being a Jew inwardly, (v. 2:29), is defined as having a "circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code", i.e., not by keeping the commandments of the Mosaic Law or any human doing. Note that Gentiles and Christians are NOT in view in this verse. Although all individuals of all ages, Jew and Gentile alike, are given the opportunity to express a moment of faith alone in Christ alone to receive circumcision of the heart, (a declaration of having God's righteousness unto eternal life), this does not make them Jewish unless they are also physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

B) CIRCUMCISION OF THE HEART (MIND) BY THE SPIRIT IS A SPIRITUAL OPERATION, A REMOVAL OF ONES ACCOUNTABILITY FOR SINS AT THE POINT OF A MOMENT OF FAITH ALONE IN CHRIST ALONE - THE GOSPEL - UNTO THE IMPUTATION OF A RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD

(v. 1:2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 1:3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 1:4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord... (v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.' ... (v. 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" (cont.) =

Circumcision of the heart is stipulated as a circumcision by the Spirit evidently in the spiritual realm. The word "heart" refers in Scripture to the center of thinking, the mind . Since circumcision is a removal of something by definition; and the phrase "by the Spirit" refers to a spiritual condition that is removed by the Spirit of God; and since author Paul has previously referred to a righteousness from God being imputed to the individual, (1:17; 2:13), then that which is removed is accountability of sins unto a righteousness from God. This righteousness from God is imputed by God the Holy Spirit at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone unto eternal life, (vv. 1:2-4, 16-17). Notice that this inward, spiritual circumcision- removal of accountability for ones sins by the Spirit unto an imputation of a righteousness from God is NOT accomplished by the written code through obedience to it, i.e., by any human doing.

C) SUCH A MAN'S PRAISE OF ANOTHER FOR BEING A GODLY JEW, WHICH IMPLIES HAVING AN IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS FROM GOD, COMES NOT AS A RESULT OF HUMAN DOING BUT AS A RESULT OF THE WORK OF GOD

(v. 2) "The gospel He promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures (v. 3) regarding His Son, Who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, (v. 4) and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord.

(v. 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. (v. 1:17 NKJV) For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed [in one to mankind] from faith to faith, [i.e., out of ones belief in the gospel to faithfulness in ones life to that belief] just as it is written: 'The righteous will live [out the length of their lives] by faith.'

(v. 2:25) "Circumcision has value if you observe the Law, but if you break the Law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. (v. 2:26) If those who are not circumcised keep the Law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? (v. 2:27) The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the Law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a Lawbreaker. (v. 2:28) A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. (v. 2:29) No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man's praise is not from men, but from God" =

Such a man's praise of another for being a godly Jew, which implies having an imputed righteousness from God, comes not as a result of human doing, but as a result of the work of God. Human doing via keeping the "written code" did not accomplish becoming a Jew inwardly wherein a righteousness from God is evident as having been imputed to him; rather it came by the "circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit" Hence such praise is from, i.e., sourced in God alone.

Continue to Romans chapter 3