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CMF eZine


The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.


Romans 2:18 - You know what is right

Romans 2:18

"and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law," (NASB)

"And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;" (KJV)

"You know what He wants; you know what is right because you have been taught His law." (NLT)

"and know his will and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law," (NET)

Ignorance of the law is no excuse! Not only has it been written upon our hearts, but the Hebrew had been instructed from childhood in its tenets. The keepers of the law. Are we not the same today when we put a Bible under each are and sin mightily? Do we expect that just by attending Church, singing songs and feeling good that we are benefactors of the promise?

"To rest in the law, with a rest of complacency and acquiescence, is good; but to rest in it with a rest of pride, and slothfulness, and carnal security, is the ruin of souls." Matthew Henry

But don't be fooled by those who promise you safety simply because the LORD's Temple is here. They chant, 'The LORD's Temple is here! The LORD's Temple is here!'" Jeremiah 7:4

"Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong." Hebrews 5:15 NLT

Romans 2:17 - To Whom Much is Given, Much is Expected

Romans 2:17

"But if you bear the name "Jew" and rely upon the Law and boast in God," (NASB)

"Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God," (KJV)

"You who call yourselves Jews are relying on God's law, and you boast about your special relationship with Him." (NLT)

"But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relationship to God" (NET)

Woes on the impenitent:

We can see here that Paul argues that the very privileges that the Jews boast of will hold them to a stricter standard.  If we extend this to all of God's people we could say that those who have grown up in Christian families may have learned what God's word says.  However, if our lives to not reflect this we are no better than the heathen.  Where is the boating then?  Is it not the attitude of our heart sometimes when we look at the world to click our tongue and point our finger.  But do we ache for the lost?  Are we ready to share the hope within us?

"Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ." 1 Peter 3:15-16 NLT

"What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse.  Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead." Luke 10:13-15 NLT

"And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes, but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few.  From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more."  Luke 12:47-48

Romans 2:16 - Judged According to the Gospel

Romans 2:16

"on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus." (NASB)

"In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel." (KJV)

"And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone's secret life." (NLT)

"on the day when God will judge the secrets of human hearts, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus." (NET)

The secrets of men.  The majority of our human lives lies hidden from our fellow-men, but when the judgment comes every secret shall be made known to all.  Christ Himself will be the instrument through which this judgment is delivered.  His judgment shall be according to the gospel which Paul preached.  This same Gospel will ultimately save or condemn.  By the very words of Christ shall everyone be judged.

"Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light." Matthew Henry

"here specially referring to the unfathomed depths of hypocrisy in the self-righteous whom the apostle had to deal with. (See Ecc 12:14; 1 Co 4:5).  A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown

"God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad." Ecclesiastes 12:14 NLT

"For He will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives.  Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due." 1 Corinthians 4:5b NLT

"But don't be afraid of those who threaten you.  For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all."  Matthew 10:26 NLT

"On secret circumstances depends the real quality of actions, frequently unknown to the actors themselves.  Men generally form their judgments, even of themselves merely from what is apparent." John Wesley

Romans 2:15 - Written Upon Our DNA

Romans 2:15

"in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them," (NASB)

"Which shew 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;)" (KJV)

"They demonstrate that God's law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right." (NLT)

"Rom 2:15 They show that the work of the law is written in their hearts, as their conscience bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or else defend them," (NET)

"But do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear. Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ." 1 Peter 3:16 NLT

One can contrast the work of our conscience with the work of our fallen nature.  We know of the doctrine of "original sin."  The perpetuation of our propensity to sin from generation to generation.  Medical science finds in our chromosomes various codes that sometimes bring with it a weakness toward specific diseases, maladies or the like.  But by demonstration in life and even in the external literature of the time where phrases like "the conclave," "tribunal," "judgment of conscience," are written gives credence that even the unbeliever has the law written upon the heart, DNA, perhaps even our molecules.  We are certainly without excuse but rather betrayed by the existence of our own conscience.  The place where we try to justify our fallen actions with our fallen nature.

Dear God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. Each day your Grace grows larger in realization of the fullness of my sinful nature. Thank you for the gift of your Son who makes life with you possible. I entrust to you this day, this hour, this minute knowing that a within me lies no good thing. I wish to be under your perfect yoke and burden.

"For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."  Matthew 11:30 NLT

Romans 2:14 - We know Intinctively

Romans 2:14

"For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves," (NASB)

"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:" (KJV)

"Even Gentiles, who do not have God's written law, show that they know His law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it." (NLT)

"For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things required by the law, these who do not have the law are a law to themselves." (NET)

So even though the Gentiles were not the possessors of the law (didn't have a God's written word) they knew in their innermost being its very precepts. Yet in Acts we have the warning:

"God overlooked people's ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now He commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him. For He has set a day for judging the world with justice by the Man He has appointed, and He proved to everyone who this is by raising Him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31 NLT)

For the Gentiles did not obey the law perfectly any more that the Jews. So neither are justified by the law. No one can escape the judgment of sin! Yet God displays His goodness by giving opportunity to repent.

Romans 2:13 - hearing only doesn't get it done

Romans 2:13

"for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified." (NASB)
"For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." (KJV)
"For merely listening to the law doesn't make us right with God.  It is obeying the law that makes us right in His sight." (NLT)
"For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous before God, but those who do the law will be declared righteous." (NET)

Here is the refute for those who are mere possessors of the law.  This sentiment is reflected in James' words: "But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves" (James 1:22 NLT)  Jesus reminded us of this when He said: "Not everyone who calls out to Me, 'Lord! Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those who actually do the will of My Father in heaven will enter" (Matthew 7:21 NLT)

I suspect that we, like Israel, become fooled into thinking that because we own a Bible, read it, and perhaps even study it, that we have somehow become something!  The reality is that we have merely turned our Bible into a seven-day deodorant pad.  The secret then in Christ in us, "to will and to work for His good pleasure."  It is the "doing" that reveals the attitude of our heart!  Joyful obedience for having been saved from the eternal separation from God that we deserve.

Romans 2:12 - Judged and Destroyed

Romans 2:12

"For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;" (NASB)

"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;" (KJV)

"When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God's written law. And the Jews, who do have God's law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it." (NLT)

"For all who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law." (NET)

This verse becomes the logical extension of the previous verse referring to God's impartiality.  There is much debate by the Biblical scholars as to the exact intention of the word "law."  The Greek word used here "anomos" and translated "without the" or "apart from" the law is the first occurrence of this word in Romans.  The root word, nomos, has a broad definition that would lead to different "senses" among which are: figurative (principle); generic (a law); reference to the OT; reference to the Mosaic law. (NET notes)  Therefore, context becomes ever important in determining the intent of the author.  In verse 15 Paul refers to the written upon the heart.  Nomos is used in Matthew 12:5, Luke 2:23-25, Luke 10:26, John 8:5, and John 8:17 to express the written law as the NLT conveys.  Then the written law is the standard and perishing (apollumi) is the result! Destruction not because of ignorance, but because of what we know!

G460
ανο?μως
anomo?s
Thayer Definition:
1) without the law, without the knowledge of the law
2) to sin in ignorance of the Mosaic law
3) live ignorant of law and discipline
Part of Speech: adverb

G3551
νο?μος
nomos
Thayer Definition:
1) anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command
1a) of any law whatsoever
1a1) a law or rule producing a state approved of God
1a1a) by the observance of which is approved of God
1a2) a precept or injunction
1a3) the rule of action prescribed by reason
1b) of the Mosaic law, and referring, acc. to the context. either to the volume of the law or to its contents
1c) the Christian religion: the law demanding faith, the moral instruction given by Christ, especially the precept concerning love
1d) the name of the more important part (the Pentateuch), is put for the entire collection of the sacred books of the OT
Part of Speech: noun masculine

G622
απο?λλυμι
apollumi
Thayer Definition:
1) to destroy
1a) to put out of the way entirely, abolish, put an end to ruin
1b) render useless
1c) to kill
1d) to declare that one must be put to death
1e) metaphorically to devote or give over to eternal misery in hell
1f) to perish, to be lost, ruined, destroyed
2) to destroy
2a) to lose
Part of Speech: verb

Romans 2:11 - God's Justice is Impartial

Romans 2:11

"For there is no partiality with God." (NASB)
"For there is no respect of persons with God." (KJV)
"For God does not show favoritism." (NLT)
"For there is no partiality with God." (NET)

It would be easy to take this verse out of context and ascribe to it many attributes that, although laudable, may not be fitting.  This verse finds its definition in those the precede and antecede. For these verses speak of the attributes of God and the sin of humankind contrasted.  Most markedly of all I see that there is orderliness even in the wrath of God.  His justice respects no person. Rather we are judged according to the light that we see.  Notice the word that begins this verse and the three that follow is "for."  There is agreement in the translations because the key repeated word in the Greek text is "gar."  Therefore in whatever circumstance I find myself, I am judged by a perfect and holy God according to those circumstances and the result remains the same and the conclusion final.  "All have sinned!"  The Good News is that "All" have been invited to partake of the pardon offered in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ who paid the debt of my sin in full with His own blood, not as a result of anything that I did, could, or would do. Rather because of His mercy so that "none" could boast. So we are left to do like the grand old song, "I will glory in the Cross!"  May it ever be.

G1063
γα?ρ
gar
Thayer Definition:
1) for
Part of Speech: conjunction

Romans 2:10 - Glory, Honor and Peace

Romans 2:10

Rom 2:1-29

Two things are presented here with respect to God; His judgment against evil — the evil-doer shall not escape (the real difference of right and wrong would be maintained by judgment); and His mercy, patience, and long-suffering with regard to the evil-doer — His goodness inviting him to repentance. He who continued in evil deceived himself by trying to forget the sure judgment of God and by despising His goodness.  The consequences, both of a life opposed to God and to His truth on the one hand, and of the search after that which is pleasing to Him, and thereby for eternal life on the other, were sure — tribulation and anguish in the one case, in the other glory and Honor; and that without more respect to the Jews than to the Gentiles.

God judged things according to their true moral character, and according to the advantages which the guilty one had enjoyed.  [9] Those who had sinned without law should perish without law, and those who had sinned under the law should be judged according to the law, in the day when God should judge the secrets of the heart according to the gospel which Paul preached.  This character of the judgment is very important. It is not the government of the world by an earthly and outward judgment, as the Jew understood it, but that of the individual according to God's knowledge of the heart.

Also God would have realities.  The Gentile who fulfilled the law was better than a Jew who broke it. If he called himself a Jew and acted ill (Rom_2:17), he only dishonored God, and caused His name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles whilst boasting in his privileges.  He then enlarges on the point that God requires moral reality, and that a Gentile who did that which the law demanded was better worth than a Jew who disobeyed it, and that the real Jew was he who had the law in his heart, being circumcised also in the spirit, and not he who had only outward circumcision.  This was a condition which God could praise, and not man only.

Note #9
How strikingly this also brings out what so breaks everywhere through the doctrine of this epistle that everything is according to its reality before God, God being revealed through Christ and the cross.  All must take its true character and result according to what He was. Note moreover that the terms suppose gospel knowledge — "seek for glory, Honor, and incorruptibility." These are known by Christianity. 

"but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." NASB

"But glory, Honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:" KJV

"But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile." NLT

"but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, for the Jew first and also the Greek." NET

What a stark contrast to the previous verse.  From affliction and distress to blessing. Peace as opposed to tribulation.  Approbation to honor.  No wonder our hearts give thanks with every breath!  No wonder an eternal melody plays within our soul!  No wonder we can "walk and not faint."  What blessings abound in our lives that we can see and even more the blessings we cannot see nor even understand.  But even if there are no warm feelings of bliss the truth of God remains forever. All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are His.

But glory, honor, and peace - While the finally impenitent Jew and Gentile shall experience the fullest effects of the righteous indignation of the supreme Judge, even man that worketh good - that lives in a conscientious obedience to the known will of God, whether he be Jew or Gentile, shall have glory, honor, and peace; i.e. eternal blessedness.  Dr. Adam Clarke

But glory, Honor, and peace,.... Which are so many words for the everlasting happiness of the saints; which is a "crown of glory that fadeth not away" 1Peter 5:4); an Honor exceeding that of the greatest potentates upon earth, since such that enjoy it will be kings and priests, and sit with Christ on his throne to all eternity; and is a peace that passes all understanding: all which will be rendered

to every man that doth good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile; which none without Christ, and his grace, and by the strength of nature, does, or can do; not that good works are causes of salvation, but are testimonies of faith, and fruits of grace, with which salvation is connected, whether they be found in Jews or Gentiles; for neither grace nor salvation are peculiar to any nation, or set of people.  Dr. John Gill

But glory - Just opposite to "wrath," from the divine approbation. Honor - Opposite to "indignation," by the divine appointment; and peace now and for ever, opposed to tribulation and anguish.  John Wesley

Romans 2:09 - Calamity, evil's reward

Romans 2:9

Rom 2:1-29  Dr. John Darby
Two things are presented here with respect to God; His judgment against evil — the evil-doer shall not escape (the real difference of right and wrong would be maintained by judgment); and His mercy, patience, and long-suffering with regard to the evil-doer — His goodness inviting him to repentance.  He who continued in evil deceived himself by trying to forget the sure judgment of God and by despising His goodness.  The consequences, both of a life opposed to God and to His truth on the one hand, and of the search after that which is pleasing to Him, and thereby for eternal life on the other, were sure — tribulation and anguish in the one case, in the other glory and honour; and that without more respect to the Jews than to the Gentiles.

God judged things according to their true moral character, and according to the advantages which the guilty one had enjoyed.  [9] Those who had sinned without law should perish without law, and those who had sinned under the law should be judged according to the law, in the day when God should judge the secrets of the heart according to the gospel which Paul preached.  This character of the judgment is very important. It is not the government of the world by an earthly and outward judgment, as the Jew understood it, but that of the individual according to God's knowledge of the heart.

Also God would have realities.  The Gentile who fulfilled the law was better than a Jew who broke it.  If he called himself a Jew and acted ill (Rom 2:17), he only dishonoured God, and caused His name to be blasphemed among the Gentiles whilst boasting in his privileges.  He then enlarges on the point that God requires moral reality, and that a Gentile who did that which the law demanded was better worth than a Jew who disobeyed it, and that the real Jew was he who had the law in his heart, being circumcised also in the spirit, and not he who had only outward circumcision.  This was a condition which God could praise, and not man only.

Note #9
How strikingly this also brings out what so breaks everywhere through the doctrine of this epistle that everything is according to its reality before God, God being revealed through Christ and the cross.  All must take its true character and result according to what He was. Note moreover that the terms suppose gospel knowledge — "seek for glory, honour, and incorruptibility."  These are known by Christianity.

"There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek," (NASB)

"Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;" (KJV)

"There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile." (NLT)

"There will be affliction and distress on everyone who does evil, on the Jew first and also the Greek," (NET)

Stenocho?ria: the pressed on every side kind of anguish.  This is a result of our contentious attitude toward God from verse 8.  This calamity is reaped by EVERYONE who does evil!  ALL inclusive!  Me included!  If you wonder about the source of the tribulation in this world, look no further than your own angry heart.  Saint Augustine says that with our enmity we wound our own soul!  Oh how wondrous is the Salvation that delivers us from God's wrath and our won enmity that kills us from within!

The recompense for sin is clearly given upon everyone. Sin has and effect that cannot be thwarted just like gravity. We might think we have eluded its effects but nevertheless it holds us fast. The first instance of the Jew mentioned in this chapter heads the list since they were blessed with greater privileges by knowing God's law having abused greater mercies.


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