CMF eZine

The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.

Romans 2:08 - Selfish Ambition

Romans 2:8

Rom 2:1-16
The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled to their privileges by right, while they were unthankful, rebellious, and unrighteous.  But all who act thus, of every nation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgment of God will be according to their real character.  The case is so plain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In every wilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God.  And though the branches of man's disobedience are very various, all spring from the same root.  But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil.  It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being.  The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart.  Their sinful doings are expressed by the strong words, “treasuring up wrath.”  In the description of the just man, notice the full demand of the law.  It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects all actions from earthly ambition or ends.  In the description of the unrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of all evil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God.  Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature.  Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness.  As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them.  Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge.  Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light.  Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

"but to those who are selfishly ambitious2052 and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation." (NASB)

"But unto them that are contentious2052, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath," (KJV)

"But He will pour out His anger and wrath on those who live for themselves2052, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. (NLT)

"but wrath and anger to those who live in selfish ambition2052 and do not obey the truth but follow unrighteousness." (NET)

"I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark.  I will not judge those who hear Me but don't obey Me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.  But all who reject Me and My message will be judged on the day of judgment by the truth I have spoken." John 12:46-48

"And I saw a great white throne and the One sitting on it.  The earth and sky fled from His presence, but they found no place to hide.  I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne.  And the books were opened, including the Book of Life.  And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.  The sea gave up its dead, and death and the grave gave up their dead.  And all were judged according to their deeds.  Then death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire.  This lake of fire is the second death.  And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire." Rev 20:11-15 NLT

"Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth." 2 Th 2:12 NLT

Dr. John Gill give us some interesting insight into the description of this first phrase wherein he describes those who would be disrupters within the church!  "But unto them that are contentious,.... This is a description of the other sort of persons to whom God will render according to their deeds, "who are of the contention"; who contend for victory, and not truth; strive about words to no profit; are quarrelsome, and sow discord among men, and in churches;" Once again the warning words of Jonathan Edwards ring in my ears where the resident terrorist walks freely within the body of Christ and delivers a great harm.

"For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition2052, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind." James 3:16 NLT

"The former proclaim Christ from selfish ambition2052, not sincerely, because they think they can cause trouble for me in my imprisonment." Phil 1:17 NET

"For I am afraid that somehow when I come I will not find you what I wish, and you will find me not what you wish. I am afraid that somehow there may be quarreling, jealousy, intense anger, selfish ambition2052, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder." 2 Cor 12:20 NET

What then is the attitude of my heart?  Do I serve Christ for all the wrong reasons?  Is my heart moved by the mercies of Christ?  Am I really in fellowship with Him?  Real fellowship with Christ is always the answer!  Yet the natural man is quarrelsome against the very person of God and chooses instead to obey unrighteousness. 

"Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose.  Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition2052 or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself." Phil 2:1-3 NET

2052 Thayer
Thayer Definition:
1) electioneering or intriguing for office
1a) apparently, in the NT a courting distinction, a desire to put one’s self forward, a partisan and fractious spirit which does not disdain low arts
1b) partisanship, fractiousness

G2052 Strong
Perhaps from the same as G2042; properly intrigue, that is, (by implication) faction: - contention (-ious), strife.

A person’s habitual conduct, whether good or evil, reveals the condition of his heart.  Eternal life is not rewarded for good living; that would contradict many other Scriptures which clearly state that salvation is not by works, but is all of God’s grace to those who believe (e.g., Rom. 6:23; 10:9-10; 11:6; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). A person’s doing good shows that his heart is regenerate.  Such a person, redeemed by God, has eternal life. Conversely a person who continually does evil and rejects the truth shows that he is unregenerate, and therefore will be an object of God’s wrath.

e.g. exempli gratia, for example
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ro 2:7). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Romans 2:07 - Patient Continuence

Romans 2:7

"to those who by perseverance5281 in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;" (NASB)

"To them who by patient continuance5281 in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:" (KJV)

"He will give eternal life to those who keep on5281 doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers." (NLT)

"eternal life to those who by perseverance5281 in good works seek glory and honor and immortality," (NET)

Thayer Definition:
1) steadfastness, constancy, endurance
1a) in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
1b) patiently, and steadfastly
2) a patient, steadfast waiting for
3) a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance

Occurs 33 times in the NT: The KJV translates it 29-patience; 2-patient, 1 patient continuance; 1 enduring. It is associated with patience with circumstances as opposed to makrothumia that is associated with patience with people.

Thayer Definition:
1) patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance
2) patience, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs

Patient continuance - Who by perseverance in well doing, or in a good work.  It means that they who so continue, or persevere, in good works as to evince that they are disposed to obey the Law of God.  It does not mean those who perform one single act, but those who so live as to show that this is their character to obey God.  It is the uniform doctrine of the Bible that none will be saved but those who persevere in a life of holiness, Rev 2:10; Mat 10:22; Heb 10:38-39.  No other conduct gives evidence of piety but what continues in the ways of righteousness.  Nor has God ever promised eternal life to people unless they so persevere in a life of holiness as to show that this is their character, their settled and firm rule of action.  The words well doing here denote such conduct as shall be conformed to the Law of God; not merely external conduct, but that which proceeds from a heart attached to God and his cause.  Dr. Albert Barnes

"Don't be afraid of what you are about to suffer.  The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days.  But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life." Rev 2:10 NLT

"And all nations will hate you because you are My followers.  But everyone who endures to the end will be saved." Mat 10:22 NLT

"And My righteous ones will live by faith.  But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away.  But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction.  We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved." Heb 10:38-39 NLT

Romans 2:06 - Deeds

Romans 2:6

As I ponder the righteous judgment of God that could have been rendered deservedly toward me, His magnificent Grace looms large and thankfulness soars in my heart!  Where would I be without Christ?  Forever lost!  Not one thing could I offer but a sin-stained life.  Grace is truly a love that stoops!

No matter who we are, God judges us by the light that has been given us.  When He looks at me, He sees the crimson flood that flows from the foot of the Calvary Cross where His only begotten Son suffered and died for my sins (for no reason, lest any man boast).

Tit 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, NASB


"Who will render591 to every man according to his deeds:" (KJV)

"He will judge591 everyone according to what they have done" (NLT)

"He will reward591 each one according to his works:" (NET)

G591 (Thayer)
Thayer Definition:
1) to deliver, to give away for one’s own profit what is one’s own, to sell
2) to pay off, discharge what is due
2a) a debt, wages, tribute, taxes, produce due
2b) things promised under oath
2c) conjugal duty
2d) to render account
3) to give back, restore
4) to requite, recompense in a good or a bad sense

G591 (Strong)
From G575 and G1325; to give away, that is, up, over, back, etc. (in various applications): - deliver (again), give (again), (re-) pay (-ment be made), perform, recompense, render, requite, restore, reward, sell, yield,

G591 (NASEC)
apodido?mi; from G575 and G1325; to give up, give back, return, restore: - account *(1), award (1), fulfill (2), gave...back (2), give (4), give back (1), given (1), giving (1), make some return (1), must (1), paid (3), pay (2), pay...back (1), pay back (3), render (6), repay (8), repayment to be made (1), repays (1), returning (1), reward (3), sold (3), yielding (1), yields (1).

"Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm. The Lord will repay him in keeping with his deeds." 2 Tim 4:14 NET

"and you, O Lord, demonstrate loyal love. For you repay men for what they do." Psa 62:12 NET

"If you say, "But we did not know about this," does not the one who evaluates hearts consider? Does not the one who guards your life know? Will he not repay each person according to his deeds?" Prov 24:12 NET

"For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done." Mat 16:27 NET

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." 2Co 5:10 NASB

"(Look! I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to pay each one according to what he has done!" Rev 22:12

Who will render.  Sinners escape punishment for a time, and hence think they will escape altogether, but God will render, at the final day of judgment, to every man according to his works, whether he be sinner or saint, Jew or Gentile.  Dr. B.W. Johnson—The Peoples New Testament

Who will render to every man according to his deeds.  God will be the Judge, who is righteous, holy, just, and true; every man in particular will be judged; as the judgment will be general to all, it will be special to everyone, and will proceed according to their works; for God will render to wicked men according to the demerit of their sins, the just recompense of reward, eternal damnation; and to good men eternal life, not according to the merit of their good works, which have none in them, but according to the nature of them; such who believe in Christ, and perform good works from a principle of grace, shall receive the reward of the inheritance, which is a reward of grace, and not of debt. In other words, God will render to evil men according to the true desert of their evil deeds; and of his own free grace will render to good men, whom he has made so by his grace, what is suitable and agreeable to those good works, which, by the assistance of his grace, they have been enabled to perform.  Dr. John Gill

God judged things according to their true moral character, and according to the advantages which the guilty one had enjoyed.  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.  Dr. John Nelson Darby

Who will render - That is, who will make retribution as a righteous Judge; or who will give to every man as he deserves.

To every man - To each one. This is a general principle, and it is clear that in this respect God would deal with the Jew as he does with the Gentile.  This general principle the apostle is establishing, that he may bring it to bear on the Jew, and to show that he cannot escape simply because he is a Jew.

According to his deeds - That is, as he deserves; or God will be just, and will treat every man as he ought to be treated, or according to his character.  The word “deeds” (erga) is sometimes applied to the external conduct.  But it is plain that this is not its meaning here. It denotes everything connected with conduct, including the acts of the mind, the motives, the principles, as well as the mere external act.  Our word character more aptly expresses it than any single word. It is not true that God will treat people according to their external conduct: but the whole language of the Bible implies that he will judge people according to the whole of their conduct, including their thoughts, and principles, and motives; that is, as they deserve.  The doctrine of this place is abundantly taught elsewhere in the Bible, Pro 24:12; Mat 16:27; Rev 20:12; Jer 32:19.  It is to be observed here that the apostle does not say that people will be rewarded for their deeds, (compare Luk 17:10,) but according to κατα? kata their deeds.  Christians will be saved on account of the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ, Tit 3:5, but still the rewards of heaven will be according to their works; that is, they who have labored most, and been most faithful, shall receive the highest reward, or their fidelity in their Master’s service shall be the measure or rule according to which the rewards of heaven shall be distributed, Mat. 25:14-29.  Thus, the ground or reason why they are saved shall be the merits of the Lord Jesus.  The measure of their happiness shall be according to their character and deeds.  On what principle God will distribute his rewards the apostle proceeds immediately to state.  Dr. Albert Barnes

Romans 2:05 -The Unrepentant Heart

Romans 2:5

"But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God," NASB

"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;" KJV

"But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God's righteous judgment will be revealed." NLT

"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourselves in the day of wrath, when God's righteous judgment is revealed!" NET

See yesterday's post on Romans 2:4 for Repentance.


PENITENCY, n. [L. poenitentia, from poeniteo, from poena, pain, punishment. See Pain.] Repentance; pain; sorrow or grief of heart for sins or offenses; contrition. Real penitence springs from a conviction of guilt and ingratitude to God, and is followed by amendment of life.
PEN'ITENT, a. [L.poenitens.] Suffering pain or sorrow of heart on account of sins, crimes or offenses; contrite; sincerely affected by a sense of guilt and resolving on amendment of life.

IMPEN'ITENCY, n. [L. in and poenitens, from poeniteo, to repent, poena, pain.] Want of penitence or repentance; absence of contrition or sorrow for sin; obduracy; hardness of heart. Final impenitence dooms the sinner to inevitable punishment.

He will advance from one degree of impenitence to another.

IMPEN'ITENT, a. Not penitent; not repenting of sin; not contrite; obdurate; of a hard heart.

They died Impenitent.

IMPEN'ITENT, n. One who does not repent; a hardened sinner.

Penitence is the work of the Holy Spirit upon the heart that allows us to grieve over our sin in the same way He grieves because of it.  A word not used much these days in the politically correct world. However, the Word of God is NOT politically correct but rather sharp as a two edged sword that penetrates the very thoughts of man!  God does not need a slick marketing campaign, a prayer of Jabez, or 40 day of purpose! He is God! His wrath is real and should be feared.  His salvation is amazing beyond words and should be appreciated. But there is the hardness/stubbornness of heart that is at issue.  Apart from God's intervention we have no hope to overcome this hardness.  We ought to be asking Him each day to tear down the hardened walls of our hearts that we may know Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith.

Romans 2:04 - God's Kindness Leads to Repentance

Romans 2:4

"Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?" (NASB)

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

"Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you?  Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin? " (NLT)

"Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God's kindness leads you to repentance?" (NET)

Are you unaware that God will lead you home?  Instead you hold His longsuffering in utter contempt!

The word repentance occurs 24 times in the New Testament (Mat 3:8, Mat 3:11, Mat 9:13, Mar 1:4, Mar 2:17, Luk 3:3, Luk 3:8, Luk 5:32, Luk 15:7, Luk 24:47, Acts 5:31, Acts 11:18, Acts 13:24, Acts 19:4, Acts 20:21, Acts 26:20, Rom 2:4, 2Co 7:9-10 (2), 2Ti 2:25, Heb 6:1, Heb 6:6, Heb 12:17, 2Pe 3:9).  But what is this word that seems to have so many different meanings? Our good friend Dr. James Strong says:

From G3340; (subjectively) compunction (for guilt, including reformation); by implication reversal (of [another’s] decision): - repentance.

Thayer Definition:
1) a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done

COMPUNCTION, n. [L. To prick or sting.]

1. A pricking; stimulation; irritation; seldom used in a literal sense.

2. A pricking of heart; poignant grief or remorse proceeding from a consciousness of guilt; the pain of sorrow or regret for having offended God, and incurred his wrath; the sting of conscience proceeding from a conviction of having violated a moral duty.

He acknowledged his disloyalty to the king, with expressions of great compunction.

Our friend Noah Webster says that Repentance is:

1. Sorrow for any thing done or said; the pain or grief which a person experiences in consequence of the injury or inconvenience produced by his own conduct.

2. In theology, the pain, regret or affliction which a person feels on account of his past conduct, because it exposes him to punishment. This sorrow proceeding merely from the fear of punishment, is called legal repentance, as being excited by the terrors of legal penalties, and it may exist without an amendment of life.

3. Real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of his holy law, and the basest ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence. This is called evangelical repentance, and is accompanied and followed by amendment of life.

Repentance is a change of mind, or a conversion from sin to God.

Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation. 2 Cor 7. Mat 3.

Repentance is the relinquishment of any practice, from conviction that it has offended God. 

John Bunyan:  The pilgrim's progress : From this world to that which is to come, delivered under the similitude of a dream, wherein is discovered the manner of his setting out, his dongerous journey, and safe arrival at the desired country.

Faith. Faithful
Chr. Christian
Man. the man

The Second Stage:
Man. God hath denied me repentance.  His word gives me no encouragement to believe; yea, himself hath shut me up in this iron cage: nor can all the men in the world let me out.  Oh eternity! eternity! how shall I grapple with the misery that I must meet with in eternity? 

The Fifth Stage:
Faith.  Say you so?  Then am I in this man greatly deceived.
Chr. Deceived! you may be sure of it. Remember the proverb, "They say, and do not;" but the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.  Matt. 23:3; 1 Cor. 4:20.  He talketh of prayer, of repentance, of faith, and of the new birth; but he knows but only to talk of them.  I have been in his family, and have observed him both at home and abroad; and I know what I say of him is the truth.  His house is as empty of religion as the white of an egg is of savor.  There is there neither prayer, nor sign of repentance for sin; yea, the brute, in his kind, serves God far better than he.  He is the very stain, reproach, and shame of religion to all that know him, Rom. 2:24,25; it can hardly have a good word in all that end of the town where he dwells, through him.  Thus say the common people that know him, "A saint abroad, and a devil at home."  His poor family finds it so; he is such a churl, such a railer at, and so unreasonable with his servants, that they neither know how to do for or speak to him. Men that have any dealings with him say, It is better to deal with a Turk than with him, for fairer dealings they shall have at their hands.  This Talkative (if it be possible) will go beyond them, defraud, beguile, and overreach them.  Besides, he brings up his sons to follow his steps; and if he finds in any of them a foolish timorousness, (for so he calls the first appearance of a tender conscience,) he calls them fools and blockheads, and by no means will employ them in much, or speak to their commendation before others.  For my part, I am of opinion that he has, by his wicked life, caused many to stumble and fall; and will be, if God prevents not, the ruin of many more.

Romans 2:03 - Neener, neener, neener

Romans 2:3

"But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?" (NASB)

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

"Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God's judgment when you do the same things?" (NLT)

"And do you think, whoever you are, when you judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God's judgment?" (NET)

Don't do as I do, do as I say! Sound familiar?  Is this not the real grist of our fallen nature that began with Adam, "the woman you gave me made me do it."  We are quick to neener, neener, neener everyone else while hiding that secret deep in our heart that will one day be brought into the light for everyone to see.  A crime is a crime no matter where it is committed!  No wonder Paul later warns us not to think too highly of ourselves.  We were saved by grace from the fire, not to sit in condemnation over others, but to be a light by which they would also find salvation--believing comes by faith and faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  Let me remember daily, oh Lord, from whence I came, and from what you have delivered me, lest I return to my sin as a dog to his vomit.  I live and breathe with new life because of Christ Jesus, not as a result of anything I could or would have done, but rather because of your great and wondrous mercy, for I have no reason to boast (Eph 2:8-9 paraphrase mine).

Romans 2:02 - The Judgment to Come

Romans 2:2 - The Judgment to come

"And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things." (NASB)

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

"And we know that God, in His justice, will punish anyone who does such things." (NLT)

"Now we know that God's judgment is in accordance with truth against those who practice such things." (NET)

Do we really believe that the judgment of God really falls upon us?  We tend to have a greater respect for gravity than for God Himself.  Is the law of gravity more real than the "Law of Sin and Death" because scientist can see demonstrations of its existence?  Yet the same God created both! The problem is we tend to ignore the evidence of the damage that our own sin brings into our lives. Yet Christ stands ready to mightily forgive! 

Dr. John Gill reflects that this is a reference to the "judgment to come!" Practice is a good word choice here from G4238 (πρα?σσω
prasso?) which gives the meaning of habitual or repeated action.  This is where we give credence to the thought that we commit sinful deeds because we are sinners—Not that we are sinners because we commit sinful deeds.  God is just and respects no person and thus will bring his judgment to bear on "anyone who does such things."  How thankful are we who are no longer objects of His wrath!  How long-suffering is He who waited for the fullness of time to send His Son, Jesus to be our sin-bearer at the Cross where all things were made right.

Romans 2:01 - The Moralist Condemned

Romans 2:1

"Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things." (NASB)

"Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things." (KJV)

"You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things." (NLT)

"Therefore you are without excuse, whoever you are, when you judge someone else. For on whatever grounds you judge another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge practice the same things." (NET)

American values are much in the public discourse these days.  The topics that come to mind are: Abortion, Euthanasia, cloning, stem-cell research, and same sex marriage.

"America today is in a virtue deficit where our standards of right and wrong have become increasingly hazy.  Out of this haze have arisen great problems within our society including: hostility towards organized religion, sexual exploitation, the homosexual agenda, the demise of the family, and the culture of death.  Sadly, we now live in a country where children kill children, families are broken, mothers have been told that allowing an abortionist to take the life of an unborn baby is simply a matter of "choice," and where the public expression of our nation's religious heritage is considered a crime." Our American Values

We are living in the age of enlightenment wherein we have graduated from the Abilene paradox (group think) to the newest analytical phenomenon, the false consensus effect.  This is the collective opinion of the few that is believed to be an exact match to that of the whole population.  This is now used as a public relations tool to inflict the minority belief on a largely uninformed public.  Thus the self-proclaimed moralist tries to "deceive you with well-crafted arguments." (Col 2:4 NLT)  To wit, we have light and have committed wickedness and have no excuse for our sins before God and thus condemn ourselves.

"Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus." — Margaret Thatcher

Therefore - Διο? Dio. The force of this word here has been the subject of much discussion.  The design of this and the following chapter is to show that the Jews were no less guilty that the Gentiles, and that they needed the benefit of the same salvation.  This the apostle does by showing that they had greater light than the Gentiles; and yet that they did the same things.  Still they were in the habit of accusing and condemning the Gentiles as wicked and abandoned; while they excused themselves on the ground that they possessed the Law and the oracles of God, and were his favorite people.  The apostle here affirms that they were inexcusable in their sins, that they must be condemned in the sight of God, on the same ground on which they condemned the Gentiles; to wit, that they had light and yet committed wickedness.  If the Gentiles were without excuse Rom 1:20 in their sins, much more would the Jew, who condemned them, be without excuse on the same ground.  The word therefore, I suppose, refers not to any particular word in the previous chapter, or to any particular verse, but to the general considerations which were suggested by a view of the whole case. And its sense might be thus expressed. “Since you Jews condemn the Gentiles for their sins, on the ground that they have the means of knowing their duty, therefore, you who are far more favored than they, are entirely without an excuse for the same things.”

Thou art inexcusable - This does not mean that they were inexcusable for judging others; but that they had no excuse for their sins before God; or that they were under condemnation for their crimes, and needed the benefits of another plan of justification.  As the Gentiles whom they judged were condemned, and were without excuse Rom 1:20, so were the Jews who condemned them without excuse on the same principle; and in a still greater degree.

Whosoever thou art that judgest - The word “judgest” (κρι?νεις krineis) here is used in the sense of condemning.  It is not a word of equal strength with what is rendered “condemnest” (κατακρι?νεις katakrineis).  It implies, however, that they were accustomed to express themselves freely and severely of the character and doom of the Gentiles.  And from the New Testament, as well as from their own writings, there can be no doubt that such was the fact; that they regarded the entire Gentile world with abhorrence, considered them as shut out from the favor of God, and applied to them terms expressive of the utmost contempt. Compare Mat 15:27. Dr John Gill

Romans 1:32 - Ignorant NOT

Romans 1:32

"and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them." (NASB)

"Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." (KJV)

"They know God's justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too." (NLT)

"Although they fully know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but also approve of those who practice them." (NET)

No claim to ignorance here.  We knowingly enter into sin and applaud those who do the same.  The Greek word here used is "to know fully, to gain or receive full knowledge of, to become fully acquainted with."  This ought to strike fear in our hearts because the knowledge is of "the judgment of God!"  No wonder, after completing this all encompassing indictment, ALL are found guilty.

Thankfulness then should be our response for being delivered from death. Our remembrance should be that we were delivered "without a cause" and have no room to boast. Rather we are debtors to the world that Jesus came to save! When we see the world through His eyes, and have a broken heart for those who are still lost as we once were, then will we have a genuine love that bears a credible witness to the Cross.

"There is one great lesson here: evil (sin) is progressive and you cannot stop it, once it is started.  Some people ask, 'Why should I go to church Sunday morning to worship God?'  Why should we come here to thank God for the things we have received during the week?  'Neither give thanks' is one of the first steps in declension.  If we keep close to Him, if we worship Him as God, if we have a thankful heart, He keeps us from taking the plunge such as these men took." Dr. Alva J. McClain, Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace

Romans 1:31 - Covenant-breakers

Romans 1:31

"without understanding, untrustworthyG802, unloving, unmerciful;" (NASB)
"Without understanding, covenantbreakersG802, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:" (KJV)
"They refuse to understand, break their promisesG802, are heartless, and have no mercy." (NLT)
"senseless, covenant-breakersG802, heartless, ruthless." (NET)

"Without understanding," how can we be anything else but covenant-breakers?  In the flesh we are the diametric opposite of God. Everything He is, we are not! We fool ourselves into thinking that this "marred visage" can be good and righteous but alas we are "treacherous to compacts, and covenant-breakers."  Here we can see the result of the wrath of God inflicted against our sin. Not in the way you might think.  Rather by the enforcement of His Divine Law.  Sin has a reward! One of the more obvious manifestations of this in our world today is the lack of affection of mothers for their children.  We now have laws to allow the mother of unwanted children to leave them at the fire station with now questions asked.  Yet we still hear of newborn children left in trash bins and toilets. 

How precious indeed it is that our "sins are forgiven for the sake of Christ." (John 2:12 GNB)  Each day I must recognize that my sinful human nature will try to assert itself "without understanding" for it has never changed.  Only in the spirit may Christ give me the victory!  Dear Heavenly Father what joy there is in knowing Christ my Savior!  What comfort there is in walking in His presence!  For Christ is the "Pearl of Great Price," and His fellowship is the eternal gift that transforms my anguished heart! 

From G1 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of G4934; properly not agreed, that is, treacherous to compacts: - covenant-breaker

COVENANT, n. [L, to come; a coming together; a meeting or agreement of minds.]

1. A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; a contract; stipulation. A covenant is created by deed in writing, sealed and executed; or it may be implied in the contract.
2. A writing containing the terms of agreement or contract between parties; or the clause of agreement in a deed containing the covenant.
3. In theology, the covenant of works, is that implied in the commands, prohibitions, and promises of God; the promise of God to man, that mans perfect obedience should entitle him to happiness. This do, and live; that do, and die.

The covenant of redemption, is the mutual agreement between the Father and Son, respecting the redemption of sinners by Christ.

The covenant of grace, is that by which God engages to bestow salvation on man, upon the condition that man shall believe in Christ and yield obedience to the terms of the gospel.

4. In church affairs, a solemn agreement between the members of a church, that they will walk together according to the precepts of the gospel, in brotherly affection.

COVENANT, v.i. To enter into a formal agreement; to stipulate; to bind ones self by contract. A covenants with B to convey to him a certain estate. When the terms are expressed ti has for before the thing or price.

They covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. Mat 26.

COMPACT, n. An agreement; a contract between parties; a word that may be applied, in a general sense, to any covenant or contract between individuals; but it is more generally applied to agreements between nations and states, as treaties and confederacies. So the constitution of the United States is a political contract between the States; a national compact. Or the word is applied to the agreement of the individuals of a community.

TREACHEROUSLY, adv. trech'erously. By violating allegiance or faith pledged; by betraying a trust; faithlessly; perfidiously; as, to surrender a fort to an enemy treacherously; to disclose a secret treacherously.

You treacherously practic'd to undo me.

TREACHEROUSNESS, n. trech'erousness. Breach of allegiance or of faith; faithlessness; perfidiousness.

PERFID'IOUS, a. [L. perfidus; per and fidus, faithful. Per in this word signifies through, beyond, or by, aside.]

1. Violating good faith or vows; false to trust or confidence reposed; treacherous; as a perfidious agent; a perfidious friend. [See Perfidy.]

2. Proceeding from treachery, or consisting in breach of faith; as a perfidious act.

3. Guilty of violated allegiance; as a perfidious citizen; a man perfidious to his country.

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