Summary: Deeds and impartiality

Deeds and Impartiality

Romans 2:6-10: Scripture everywhere teaches that salvation is not on the

basis of works (4:1-4; Eph 2:8-9), it consistently teaches that God’s

judgment is always on the basis of man’s deeds (Is. 3:10-11; Jer 17:10;

John 5:28-29; 1 Cor 3:8; 2 Cor 5:!0; Gal 6:7-9; Romans 14:12).

Romans 2:6-11, “6who "will render to each one according to his deeds":

7eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for

glory, honor, and immortality;” 8but to those who are self-seeking and do

not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath,

9tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew

first and also of the Greek; 10but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who

works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11For there is

no partiality with God.

When unsaved men appear before the final judgment bar of G-D, the Great

White Throne Judgment, salvation will not be the issue there. This is a

judgment to determine the degree of punishment. Thus, G-D will mete out

punishment in relation to the evil deeds of the individual. By the same

token, at the judgment seat of Christ, where only believers appear, G-D

will reward us according to our deeds.

Eternal life: Not simply in duration, because even unbelievers will live

forever (2 Thess 1:9; Rev 14:9-11), but also in quality (John 17:3).

Eternal life is a kind of life, the holy life of the eternal G-d given to

believers. Self-seeking: This word may have originally been used to

describe a hireling or mercenary; someone who does what he does for money

regardless of how his actions affect others.

Some may view 2:7 as doing good in the sense of eternal life. This is

wrong for Romans clearly teaches that justification is by faith (3:22).

Paul does not contradict himself here, for the content of the verse is

judgment, but not justification. Believers who continue in good works will

receive rewards in the life to come. Whenever the NT speaks of eternal

life as a present possession, it is a gift received by faith (John 3:16);

but whenever it refers to eternal life as something to be received in the

future by those who are already believers, it refers to eternal rewards

(5:21; Gal 6:8; 1 Tim 6:17-19; Titus 1:2; 1 Peter 1:17). Rewards will be

based on works accomplished here on earth.

Jew First: Just as the Jews were given the first opportunity to hear and

respond to the Gospel (1:16); they will be the first to receive God’s

judgment if they refuse (Amos 3:2). Israel will receive severer punishment

because she was given greater light and blessing (9:3-4). Partiality: “To

receive a face” that is to give consideration to someone simply because of

his position, wealth, influence, popularity or appearance. Because it is

G-D’s nature to be just, it is impossible for Him to be anything but

impartial (Acts 10:34; Galatians 2:6; Eph 6:7,8; Colossians 3:25).

Romans 2:12, “12For as many as have sinned without law will also perish

without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the


Sinned without the Law: The Gentiles who have never had the opportunity to

know God’s moral law (Exodus 20:1), will be judged on their disobedience

in relationship to their limited knowledge (1:19-20). Judged by the Law:

The Jews and many Gentiles who had access to God’s moral law will be

accountable for their greater knowledge (Matthew 11:20-23;Hebrews 6:4-6;


Paul’s reference to law is actually to Torah as throughout this verse

Torah is used in the Jewish New Testament which better describes Paul’s

meaning since these verses are mainly pointed towards the Jew. The Law or

Torah has to do not with laws in general, but with the specific code of

rules and regulations that the Lord gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. The

Torah was part of the covenant that set Israel apart as the Lord’s people.

It governed their worship, their relationship to the Lord, and their

social relationships with another. The Ten Commandments form a summary of

that Law.

Israel was not the only nation to have a law code. Indeed, such

collections were common in the ancient world. Most of them began by

explaining that the gods gave the king power to reign, along with a

pronouncement about how good and capable he was. Then came the king’s laws

grouped by subject. Finally, most of the codes closed with a series of

curses and blessings.

What set the Mosaic Law apart from these other codes was, first of all,

its origin. The Law was given by the Lord Himself. It issued from His very

nature; like Him it was holy, righteous and good. Thus , all crimes in

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