Romans Chapter 2
No Respect of
Chapter 2, Verses 5-11
"But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself
wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment
of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them
who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and
immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do
not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9
Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the
Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to
every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11 For there is no respect of persons with God."
Day of Wrath
The following verses speak to us about the
"day of wrath:"
1. Job 21:30
"That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be
brought forth to the day of wrath."
2. Prov 11:4
"Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth
3. Zep 1:15
"That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of
wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of
clouds and thick darkness."
Including our subject passage, there are
four verses that specificially use the phrase, "day of wrath." Three of
the four verses are speaking about the eternal wrathful judgment of God
against sin. The following verses also address the day of the wrath of
God's judgment against sin:
1. John 3:36 "He
that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth
not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
2. Rom 1:18 "For
the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;"
3. Eph 5:6 "Let
no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh
the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."
4. Col 3:6 "For
which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of
5. Rev 14:10
"The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured
out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be
tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels,
and in the presence of the Lamb:"
6. Rev 14:19
"And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the
vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of
Two Groups of
When Rom. 2:5-11 is compared to Rev.
20:11-15 we find two groups of people. We find those whose names are
written in the Lamb's book of life and those whose names are not written
in the Lamb's book of life. Those whose names are not in the Lamb's
book of life are judged according to their works under the law: Rev.
20: 11 "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from
whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no
place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before
God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is
the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which
were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave
up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead
which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their
works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is
the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of
life was cast into the lake of fire."
When we compare ourselves according to the
works of the law, we see ourselves among the group that are described as
those that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey
unrighteousness. The result is that they suffer eternal indignation and
wrath. In contrast, when we see ourselves as having the imputed
righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, then we see
ourselves among the group that are described as those "who by patient
continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality."
To these are rendered eternal life.
"For there is no respect of persons with
God." The teachings of Judaism began with the Jews, who thought that
God respected them because they are Jews. However, the scriptures
plainly teach us that God is no respecter of person. God's judgments
are not based on a person's nationality. What God respects is his
covenant. God loved Jacob and hated Esau. This is a respect based on
the covenant of redemption, not based on the person of Jacob or Esau.
The deeds and actions of the individual do not bring that individual
into eternal favor with God. In contrast, the deeds and actions of
Jesus Christ are what bring us (the elect) into eternal favor with God.
Chapter 2, Verses
Rom. 2:12 "For as many as have sinned
without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in
the law shall be judged by the law; 16 In the day when God shall judge
the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel."
I have left out the parenthetical
material in verses 13, 14, and 15. We will cover that in our next
Paul plainly sets forth the principle in
the above that the lack of knowledge of the law is no excuse to sin:
"For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law."
Furthermore, the penalty of the law is in full force even for those who
do not have knowledge of the law, i.e., they shall perish. A person who
does not know the law and yet violates the law is still guilty of
breaking the law and comes under the full wrathful judgment of God for
breaking the law.
Under Judaism, the belief is commonly held
that those ignorant of the law have no chance, but those who know the
law are therefore saved by their knowledge and acknowledgment of the
law. Some, however, believe that those who are ignorant of the law are
saved by their ignorance. Both of the above beliefs are faulty.
Ignorance of God's laws does not save us from the penalty of breaking
God's laws. Sin is the transgression of the law and it is still sin
even if we do not have knowledge of what the law says.
Likewise, we are not saved because we have
knowledge of the law. Sin is still the transgression of the law and we
are still judged based on the transgression of the law not based on our
knowledge of the law. Truly, all have sinned and come short of the
glory of God. Salvation from sin is by grace alone.
Chapter 2, Verses
Rom. 2:13 "(For not the hearers of the law are just
before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the
Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in
the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which
show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also
bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else
excusing one another;)"
The Jews who espoused Judaism thought they were just
because they had knowledge of the law and believed the law to be a
standard for getting eternal life. They also thought that the Gentiles
who had not the law were condemned because God had not given them the
law. One of the problems with this way of thinking is that many of the
Gentiles were living more upright lives than many of the Jews. Paul
points out to these Jews that according to the law, that it was not the
hearers of the law that were just before God, but the doers of the law
that were justified.
The Jews were speculating about what goes on in the
courtroom of glory. In their minds, God viewed them as being just
because they had been given the law, they had heard the law, and they
believed in the law. Likewise, in their minds, they believed that God
viewed the Gentiles as being unrighteous because they had not been given
the law and did not have knowledge of the law.
Paul, however, pointed out another courtroom that
explained why many of the Gentiles often lived more upright lives than
did many of the Jews. This is the courtroom of the heart and mind. God
sets up the courtroom of the heart and mind when he causes someone to be
born of the Spirit of God. In the above passage, most of the elements
of a courtroom are put forth:
1. The law is written in
2. The conscience acts as the courtroom witness.
3. The thoughts of the born-again child of God
serve as both the prosecuting attorney in this courtroom and the defense
According to 1 John 3:20 "For if our heart condemn us,
God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if
our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God." The
heart of the born-again child of God serves as the judge in this
courtroom of the heart and mind. In this courtroom of the heart and
mind, we are convicted and condemned for wicked actions measured against
the law written in our heart. Also, we are excused for right actions as
measured against the law written in our heart. This courtroom serves to
guide our actions. Thus, we show the works of the law written in our
hearts and minds and do by nature the things contained in the law.
Therefore, those Gentiles that had not the knowledge of the law of
Moses, did by nature the things contained in the law, and therefore,
were a law unto themselves.