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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