Romans 2 has been difficult for me to understand. I have the pronouns marked off … “you”, “who”, and “yourself”. I’ve got ‘wrath’ and ‘judgment’ identified and defined. In my Bible, the heading for this chapter says “The Impartiality of God”. In the margin I have a note for James 4:11-12. I can’t exactly tell who Paul is talking about. I know from 1:7 that he’s writing “all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints”. But in verse 18 it turns toward discussing the wrath of God, those who don’t believe and then in Chapter 2, as Paul writes, I get lost in the you, who, yourself, wrath, judgment. I usually say “what?”, shake my head a bit and move on.
I was going to incorporate this chapter in another post, but I just couldn’t do it without checking on what Romans 2 is doing. I wondered what books I have that I would trust to give me insight. Then, it hit me, I have In the Footsteps of the Rabbi from Tarsus by Dr. Jeffrey L. Seif. I have read it, all the way through. I was reading it at the time in follow up to the series with the same name. I know I read it with certain questions in mind and obtained understanding I needed at the time. Today, I have answered my question on Romans 2. Aha! That is just too cool.
And then, as I tried to continue my post, I got confused again. The light goes on. The light goes off. What? So I read and re-read Romans 2, then the commentary by Dr. Seif; then took out an Amplified Bible and read it; then the New King James, Nelson Study Bible and read the commentary in it; then I saw The Bible Exposition Commentary by Warren W. Wiersbe and opened it to Romans 2 and read some of it. At one point I laughed just a little.
So, there you have it. I understand better, better now because Paul is talking to Jewish Believers, Non-Jewish Believers and about non-believers in general. “The impartiality of God”? He said what He meant, He meant what He said. He isn’t biased or prejudiced. His judgments are fair and just. I think the summation is in verses 28-29. Believers are under grace but still influenced by sinful nature and sin around us.
And, that ties into the post I was going to do. But this is long enough. Next post.
NOTE: Links for the Bibles and Commentary are what I found in a general search so you could identify with them.