Romans chapter 2 (in simple, modern English)

This is the second installment of what I hope to be a complete “translation” of Romans. Please note that this is not scripture; it is my understanding of scripture. Any with questions or concerns should check the original.

In Romans chapter 2, Paul goes more into depth about the what God’s law is, and what it means for us when we break the law – or when we obey the law.

Second chapter of Romans

Therefore whoever passes moral judgements on others is without excuse. Because you do exactly the same things that you look down on others for doing! So you are just condemning yourself.

But God is the true judge – He passes judgment on people that do the evil things I’ve just written about. And His verdict is true.

So how do you think you will escape punishment if you – just a man – do the exact same things that you condemn others for doing?

Aren’t you actually just showing disrespect for God and the riches of His goodness and patience? Don’t you realize that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to turn away from doing what is wring, and turn you back toward Him?

Because of your stubborness and defiance, you are making God more and more angry – you are adding to your list of offences that will be revealed on the day of judgement.

In that day, when God will “reward each person for what he has done,” God will reveal his judgement of your life too.

And God will give everlasting life to those who, by always doing what is right and good, seek to enter heaven. But God is angry with those who do not obey the truth, who are selfish and follow what is wrong.

Just as there will be hardship and torment for all who evil, there will be glory, honor, and peace for all who do good. Both of these are for the Jew first, and also for all other peoples of the earth. God does not show favoritism!

For those who know God’s law, He will judge them based on the requirements of the law. But for those who do not know the law, He will judge them by what they do know.

And God approves of people who obey his law: they will be declared innocent and good on the day of judgement at the end of the world, when God will reveal every person’s secrets, and Jesus Christ will judge all men. Those who hear the law but don’t obey it will not be innocent on that day.

Actually, the requirements of the law are written on all men’s hearts – our consciences tell us when we have done right or when we have done wrong. This is why those who do not know about God’s law often obey the law by nature.

Now for you who think you are just fine before God:

If you know what He wants, and have been taught what is right, and agree that it is good, why do you not do it?

If you believe that others are blind, but you can guide them in the right way, and if you think that others are in the dark, but you are a light for them to follow, and if you think that you can teach others and tell everyone what to do, why are you still so sinful?

If you say that stealing is wrong, do you steal?

If you say that it’s wrong to have sex outside of marriage, do you keep yourself pure?

If you say that people should worship God over everything else in life, do you secretly put your own desires ahead of doing what God requires of us?

If you are so eager to tell others what God’s law means for their lives, do you shame God by breaking that same law?

If so, as Isaiah says, you yourself are the reason that those who don’t know God hate Him and speak insolently about Him.

Now about the special relationship Jews have with God:

The Jewish people do have a special relationship with God throughout the ages. But if a Jewish person does not obey God’s commandments, what’s the point of being a Jew? And by the same token, if other people all over the world do what God wants them to do – won’t God regard them with favor?

Indeed, the one who keeps God’s laws shows the error of your ways, if you, as a Jew, do not obey God commandments.

A person is a Jew if he is one inside – if God has given him a new heart. It’s not about who your mother and father are … but whether the Spirit of God has changed you on the inside.

Such a person, who obeys the spirit and not just the letter of the law, will be praised – not by men, but by God Himself.

 


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Dear brother, I’m back at it again

    Rom 2:1,2 Good

    Rom 2:3 – I would suggest that you add in, punishment, “of God” Why? We need to recognize it’s God before whom we will all stand and give an account for what we have or not have done.

    Rom. 2:4 – The attitude God is checking is: the Jews as well as you and me can think God approves of our ways and the courses of action we take because God doesn’t come with His judgments against us, but God is seeking to humble us and bring to repentance by by means of His blessings, despite what we are and do in contradiction to His Word, will and way. Do you think your phrase achieves this?

    Rom 2:5 – you are adding to your list of offences that will be revealed on the day of judgement. I would suggest adding in after judgment,”and for which you will be punished” It gives more force to the statment and confronts us with the fact that sin willbe punished, unless it’s repented of and forgiven.

    Rom 2:6 Good!

    Rom 2:7 to be worked on Sat., June 3

    John – I find your web interesting – I got to get off to a convention in Vancouver – Hope to cont’ work tomorrow, Lord willing. Sorr y I haven’t been more committed to this work.

    Warmly Pastor JG

  • In that day, when God will “reward each person for what he has done,â€? God will reveal his judgement of your life too.

    And God will give everlasting life to those who, by always doing what is right and good, seek to enter heaven. But God is angry with those who do not obey the truth, who are selfish and follow what is wrong.

    John – back again Sat., June 3

    Verses 6-10 have a close connection –
    God will render to every man his reward –

    Vs 7 to those who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life. Yes, God promises eternal life to those who by the fruits of life prove their union with Christ – Doing what is right and good is of course the result of my union with Christ and the Holy Spirit’s work in one’s heart that reveals itself externally by fruits.
    Without faith it is impossible to please God, and that’s what reveals itself in vs 8.

    Vs 8 – the contentious (refractory or self-willed) thus those who oppose God, His gospel, His will, way and Word, and do not obey the truth (those who strive against God and kick against His righteousness from an opinion of their own righteousness) these are the servants of sin and corruption. God will come with His judgment of punishment I believe it good to add that God will do more than just be angry, because wrath and indignation refer to God’s just punishemnt on the wicked, the contentious who oppose truth or find fault with and elevate self.

    Vs 9 Just as there will be hardship and torment for all who evil, there will be glory, honor, and peace for all who do good. Both of these are for the Jew first, and also for all other peoples of the earth. God does not show favoritism!

    Re: hardship & torment: Wouldn’t it be better to say as the Greek indicates for hardship “Punishment of sin and punishment of loss, or in Greek it can also be for harship -“unquenchable fire and for torment – the never-dying worm This is storng language, but God uses it to drive home His own holiness and righteous judgment on the wicked, disobedient, contentious.

    And whether Jew or Gentile or all other people of the earth, God will vindicate the righteous and condemn and punish with hell-fire all persons – Jews and Gentiles. Jews are placed first in vs 9 because they knew God’s will, being informed of it first, being His cov people. And in not doing it, though knowing better, they sinned against better knowledge. How serious a thing – if we know God’s will as revealedin His Word & don’t do it, we’re certainly more responsible and worse off.

    Vs 10,11 “there will be glory, honor, and peace for all who do good. Both of these are for the Jew first, and also for all other peoples of the earth. God does not show favoritism!”

    In the Greek the order is “glory, honor and peace”
    Glory, honor and peace illustrate the idea of heaven, preference as God willtake home tobe with him those who have obeyed Him fromthe heart and peace = all good and happiness. Now as the Jew and Gentile in vss 8,9 would undergo eternal punishment in hell,

    So in vss 10,11 those who believe, and by the fruits of their lives prove their Christianity is living and vibrant by fruits, they shall inherit blessings eternal whether Jew or Gentile. God doesn’t show favoritism to any, It’s our union with Christ that counts and produces a godly life and fruits.

    Vss 12,13 For those who know God’s law, He will judge them based on the requirements of the law. But for those who do not know the law, He will judge them by what they do know.

    Paul is making a distinction between the Jew and the Gentiles the Jews had the Word, Scrip or LAW, but the Gentiles not. Yet God’s judgment will be right for both. Why? because the Jews had the LAW, or the Word and the Gentiles had God’s revelation of Himself in nature. Here we have the difference between God’s special revelation (the Scriptures) and natural revelation of Himself in nature.

    Vs 13 This is a very important vs Why? the Jews because they had the Word thought they should be exempted or privileged in judgment because hnteyh knew and professed the law, which the Gentiles did not. What God is saying by Paul is: To know and learn the Scrip was not sufficient to exempt from punishment by hell-fire. They and we with them must be hearers and doers of Scripture’s teaching. However, the key teaching is justification and IF this oculd be done by one’s obedience, then one must obey the law in all things, but this is impossible without grace. Thus, if as God is emphasizing, one would escape just and deserved punishment one must keep the Law of God perfectly, but as the Jews couldn’t, neither could the Gentiles. All who are disobedient are comprehended under the law, whether Jew or Gentiles. Paul is really leading us to the glorious doctrine of justif. by faith without works.

    Dear brother, Please let me know if I’m doing what you wantd me to do. I’ve tried to give some exegetical comments as well as possible suggestions for better clarification. One suggestion: Could you provide the vs reference as you work thru each chapter. I believe it would provide greater ease if a person wants to reference to a particular verse. I too would find it easier to follow thru each chap nad provide comment on each verse.
    I appreciate your work. May God’s blessing rest on it.

    Hope you may have a good Sunday. Be much in prayer for God’s Word to be blessed for all. How gracious a Spirit, and how critical that He do His work internally in our hearts. For to be a Jew outwardly and not one inwardly in the heart may certainly give much head knowledge, yet still shut us out from the kingdom of God.

    Receive my brotherly greetings,

    Pastor JG

    PS I will be at Synod next week. We covet your ongoing prayers and particiaption in the local church.
    I’ll try while away, to continue at Rom. 2:14.

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