[The God] will reward each one in harmony with [their] works1 [Psalm 62:12].
|1||[The God] will reward each one in harmony with [their] works: Or, KJV: who will render to every man according to his deeds; CON: for He will pay to all their due, according to their deeds; TCN: what his actions deserve. This is a strong allusion to Psalm 62:12. The judgment of God is based on conduct in this life. (See notes on Matthew 12:36-37; 16:27, and Revelation 20:12-14.) Compare Job 34:11, Ezekiel 18:30, and notes on Proverbs 24:12.|
Dear Friends of the Nazarene,
We choose Romans 2:11 as the theme verse of chapter two – Impartial Judgment. When it comes to the Gospel many think only of salvation, but according to Paul’s Gospel Judgment Day is a key theme if not the dominant one. [Roman 2:16] Paul begins his debate with a Jewish opponent. The judgmental [or, critical] condemn themselves when they judge others. [1, 2]
Paul begins to introduce one of his major themes: God’s judgment and he will go on to use several words related to judgment. Here he has taken on an unknown Jew who we can presume is a hypocritical, self-righteous critic of others while doing the very things he condemns. God’s judgment against the habitual sinner is in harmony with truth.
Paul divides the worshippers of The God (ho theos) into two classes: those persisting in badness (which is generally that which harms others) and those enduring in good. The reward for both will be quite different and based on their conduct. [3-11]
All humankind will be judged by God on judgment day. The two groups of humankind will be judged in two different ways: Jews will be judged by the Law of Moses, while the non-Jews will be judged by their implanted conscience. The function of the conscience and logical thought is something of a demonstration of how God places his laws within the hearts of the Saints in New Israel according to the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-35. The subject of judgment is a major part of Paul’s Gospel. [12-16]
Again Paul challenges his “Jew” with a series of questions, no doubt with a degree of sarcasm. [17-24] Hypocrisy is the charge. Paul knows from his own experience that the self-righteous legalists were often the most guilty in their secret transgressions of the Law. Often the most critical are the biggest hypocrites. Paul quotes Isaiah 52:5 to show how all of this brings dishonor to God?
Finally, Paul deals with circumcision and that feeling of superiority of being a unique and chosen people related to Abraham. Merely belonging to a “chosen (covenant) people” is not enough. [25-29] What is importance is obeying the Law. What appears to be a Jew on the outside [the exterior Jew] may not be at all. The real Jew [the inner Jew] is the spiritual one who has undergone circumcision of the heart. The praise of God ought to concern us, not human praise.
Abba our Father bless those endure in goodness.
[21 December 2002]
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.