Romans 02 (:1-13) Justification Made Simple / Law Not Done Away

After writing about the unrighteousness of the Gentiles in chapter 1 of Romans — it is now the Jew’s turn

Paul having been steeped in Judaism, knew whereof he spoke.

Act 22:3  “I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.

He took this strictness to the nth degree, killing Christians because of his long held belief in Judaism — Until he was struck blind and subsequently shown a better way by Christ.

So if there was one person to speak to the Jews and tell them what was righteous and what was not it was Paul.

Righteousness means a state of being right with God; it is conforming and living according to the perfect character of god; it is also simply “right doing” or doing what is right according to the word of God.

Some of these words we will continue to define further, or rather let the Bible define further as we go along

Now back to the unrighteousness of the Jews….

They knew what God required; felt superior to gentiles; because they had the law that God had expressly given to them…the problem was and as we will see is that they didn’t keep the law as they should have.

They knew God’s way but didn’t live it!

This is a chapter that the “Church of God” would do well to take to heart.  We have been given a precious knowledge in the end time, but we are not fully living by every word of it.  It is primarily because of this attitude of thinking they are spiritually rich, wealthy, needing of nothing that we endanger ourselves.

The Jews knew what God required of man, they had this special knowledge but did not do what was right.

Romans 2:1  Therefore you are inexcusable, O man [Jew], whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

They wer judging the gentiles but were doing the same thing; they couldn’t see it.

When you judge [krino] another you condemn [katakrino] yourself

As you can imagine the Jews of the day and how they were acting.  Jesus criticized the Jews of his day for being hypocrites and now Paul is doing the same to the Jews who were now Christians — So this is some pretty hard hitting stuff.

It would be good for us to take it personally as well!

Romans 2:2  But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things.

You may want to put this on in your keeping the law scriptures — even though I can assure that we are coming to some more black and white ones, but I want you know and know that you know that the law is not done away with. Paul covers this in the book of Romans thoroughly.

Judgment implies that they will be measured against the Word of God, which is truth.  There is a requirement to be doing what God says.


Romans 2:3  And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God [krima: the final condemnation]?

The obvious answer is “no.”

Romans 2:4  Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

God gives repentance, it is a gift, just as salvation is and just as righteousness is and many of the other things that we will be going over.

Acts 11:18  When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted [given in other words] repentance unto life.

He gives us the ability to repent and he does it by His goodness.  He gives it both to Jews and Gentiles.

Romans 2:5  But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

In verses :5-11 we will see that God is the final judge; the ultimate decision is in His hands and it will be righteous [unlike the Jews and the way that they were acting].


We will be rewarded according to our works and the things that we have been doing. This shows that the law is still in effect.  There will be a good reward for good works and bad for bad deeds or no works. Let’s be clear once again: salvation is given as a gift that cannot be earned and is not deserved.

Revelation 22:11 He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.”
Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

MARK as law not done away with and this is really as close to the end of the Bible as you can get and the Bible is staying saying that works are necessary.  Christ is saying that we will be rewarded for our works.

We will see this later in Romans 6:23 … the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 2:7  eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;

“doing good” is Ergon er’-gon in the Greek.  This is the same word as “DEEDS” in the previous verse and it is most often translated as “works” or “work.”

When we are doing what is right, we are to be living righteously, doing good works

“Immortality” is better translated as “incorruptible” (same word as in 1 Corinthinan 15, the resurrection chapter)

Psalm 14:1  To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. The fool has said in his heart,”There is no God.” They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.

Psalm 14:2  The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.

Psalm 14:3  They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.

There is a correlation between “seeking God” and “incorruptibility.”

Romans 2:8  but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath,

Self–seeking: selfish, factious, and contentious

What is the Truth that needs to OBEYED – God’s word [John 17:17]

Romans 2:9  tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;

BOTH groups will suffer.

The order that the gospel went to them Jew first then the Greek

Romans 2:10  but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

“works” [Greek word begins with erg similar to before]

We see their is an order that God is working in — as He does (1 Corinthians 14:40).

Romans 2:11  For there is no partiality with God.

God is accessible to all people

Acts 10:34  Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.

Acts 10:35  But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.

KJV: God is no respecter of persons

From G4381 pros-o-pol-ape-see’-ah (pros-o-pol-ape’-tace)
From G4383 and G2983; an accepter of a face (individual), that is, (specifically) one exhibiting partiality: – respecter of persons.

More or less is judging somebody on their looks or outward appearance.

How does God look upon man?

1 Samuel 16:7  But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

WHY is God the Righteous Judge, because God looks on the inward heart.

Romans 2:12  For 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 law

Gentiles did not have the law (or knowledge of it) like the Jews did, nonetheless they will reap the penalty of the law as well anyway.

Analogy: running the stop sign (ignorance of law is not an excuse).

If you do know and sin you will be judged by the law more harshly.

Luke 12:48  But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Those sinning in the law will incur the same death penalty, they will be judged by the law and will perish, because of the penalty of sin.

Romans 3:23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

But they that sin knowing the law risk more — They also risk searing the conscience.

1 Timothy 4:2  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

JUSTIFICATION – this is a major theme of the book and is mostly concentrated between here and chapter 5.

Justification means “made righteous”;  made right; declared righteous.

Justification means to be made righteous in God’s sight.

Righteousness is being like God and having the same character as our holy, righteous God.

Justification has two different aspects to it:

1. Initial justification; the legal acquittal of guilt; free from guilt doesn’t make you perfectly righteous.

2. How we as a christian live a Godly life; how we are to live a just life and develop holy righteous character

It is closely tied with righteousness as we saw in the definitions and as seen in the Greek as well:

Here are Strong’s G1342-1347 and how the word is translated:

dikaios: righteous, just, right
dikaiosunē: righteousness
dikaioō: justfied, justify, righteous
dikaiōma: righteousness, justification
dikaiōs: justly, righteously, righteousness
dikaiōsis: justification

How are we justified. If we sin, then by us being good it does not nor cannot undo what we have done.  Also by doing good today, this obviously does not give us the right to sin tomorrow.

The wages of sin is death and all have sinned and come short Romans 6:23 and Romans 3:23 — so all are deserving of the death penalty. So if you want to know what we DESERVE this is it.

There is no mechanism in the law that allows us to build up brownie points ahead of time or after the fact in order to do away with our past or future sins or more specifically the death penalty.

Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is the only thing that can take away the death penalty.

John 1:29  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:9  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Romans 5:10  For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. [by the resurrected Christ]

Justification: The act of pronouncing righteous or just before God; acquitted.

Justify is to be deemed right before God

We are brought into a right relationship with God — we are justified!

How are we made right? We repent [of what] sins;  our sins separate us from God [Isaiah 59:2]; we are reconciled, we are brought from enmity to a relationship with God; God removes the impediments between us and Him; With baptism – our sins are covered by the atoning sacrifice of Christ; Christ lives within us and because of this we can become righteous and it is not our righteousness but Christs righteousness living in us.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

2 Corinthians 5:21  For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Galatians 2:16  knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Galatians 2:20  I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

If someone is on death row there is nothing they can do to get out of it…only a pardon will save them.

The law can’t justify us or make us righteous.  It can only happen by a free unmerited favor.

The curse for breaking the law is the death penalty and it can only be removed by justification.

Romans 2:13  (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;

You can just listen to what God is saying to us and think that is enough. When we stand before God, we can’t say that I knew these things, but didn’t do them.  We must be doing them.

But doing them does not justify us or make us right, but there is a necessity to do them to keep the law of God.  If we do then we WILL BE justified…we WILL BE made right.

(YLT)  for not the hearers of the law are righteous before God, but the doers of the law shall be declared righteous: —


Romans 3:10  As it is written: “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE;

Isaiah 64:6  But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away.

Psalm 119:172  My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

1 John 3:7  Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.

You cannot be righteous if you do not practice/live rightly.

Repentance is turning around from your evil ways and living a Godly life.  What is a Godly way of life?  How is it defined?  God’s commandments are righteousness.

Philippians 3:9  and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

Good deeds do not do away with bad deeds, it is the sacrifice of Christ that does it.