|Romans 2 |
1 You would think that this chapter alone would instill enough doubt to silence those who run around telling us that there is no sin and there is no law for those who believe in Jesus. It very plainly states that man must repent; that if he commits evil, or disobeys the truth, or disobeys righteousness, that man will suffer affliction, distress, God's wrath, and God's indignation; and that all men are judged on their works; with no partiality shown by God to any man. This describes the true, fair, just, holy God of righteous, impartial judgments — not the god of Christendom who supposedly shows partiality, excusing privileged sinners who believe in Jesus, while condemning all others. From the word of the Lord within: "Do you agree with any who in their arrogance have stated that God excuses evil in believers? It's not fair, but they don't care. By their evident display of sin, Christians cause my name to be blasphemed among the people. These people no longer represent me; they have caused great indignation."
The later chapters and verses of Romans that Christendom harbors as their make-believe Christianity do not conflict with the verses in this chapter; but Christendom's interpretation of them conflicts with this chapter completely. All scripture is compatible, and if you have to ignore some scripture to believe in selected ones, then your belief is in error. But if Christendom admitted they could not resolve all verses in the Bible, then they would be admitting that they are blind guides, leading their billions of followers into the ditch. Those misinterpreted verses of Romans are explained, (see the commentary and footnotes to each verse in question), how they are compatible with this chapter. But first read this chapter carefully; it is Paul's simple line in the sand, defining sin and its consequences for all men, before discussing some very complex subjects of salvation, sin, faith, and the law. Paul was writing to very mature Christians who had already been freed from sin, whose hearts had been circumcised, and who were waiting for the final union with Christ, so that they would be forever perfected and sanctified, protected from ever falling to sin again.
Christians who read the below chapter, hear, heed, open your heart to truth; do not be like those described by Ezekiel: Indeed, to them you are like a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument, for they hear your words but they do not obey them. Eze 33:32
1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are that judge. For whatever you judge in another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge are doing the same things.1
2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who commit such things.
3 O man, who judges those who do such things, and yet do the same, do you think that you will escape the judgment of God?
4 Or do you despise the riches of his goodness and tolerance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God is to lead you to repentance? [Heed! Jesus twice said: Repent or perish! Luke 13:3,13:5. To turn from evil is basic to seeking God; sin is transgression of the righteous law of God in every man's heart: love your neighbor as you love yourself; don't steal; don't commit adultery; don't lie; don't covet; don't murder; and honor your father and mother; to do for others what you would have them do for you. If you wait, watch, and listen for Him, grace will teach you what to deny, how to live a godly life, and then remove even the desire to sin from your heart. To read the many Bible verses that speak to repentance click here.]
5 But by your hardness and impenitence of heart, you treasure up to yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; [Heed! Every man has a day of visitation from the Spirit of God, gently pleading with him to change his ways. He who rejects me and does not receive my words, has one for his judge — the words that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. John 12:48. The penalty for not repenting is the wrath of God. But if you do heed and obey his words, he pours more words and Spirit on you. Acts 5:32, Pro 1:23,33.]
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds. [Every man is every man, including those who believe in Jesus; every man is judged according to his words and works, be they good or evil. Mat 16:27,12:36-37, Rom 2:14-16, Jer 17:10, 2 Cor 5:10, Pro 24:12, Rev 2:23,20:13. There are no free passes to escape the fair, equitable, just, perfect, pure, righteous judgments of God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Without obedience you have nothing; sorry, there are not wildcards in the camp. No man is promoted or excused that repeats sin." Hope motivates us to expose ourselves to the commands of God; we are saved through faith, which is belief in what we hear; the evidence of faith is obedience to what is heard; the evidence of obedience is works as commanded; we are judged, not on faith, but on works or deeds.]
7 To those who by perseverance in good works,2 seek for glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. [Remember this verse. In order to protect their make-believe Christianity, Christendom deliberately ignores this verse; they ignore the distinction between works of the law and good works. Works of the law count for nothing. Works of the law are the cereal offering, the lamb offering, the bull offering, washings, not eating certain foods, circumcision, tithing, sabbaths, celebration of days, festivals, etc.; these are dead works of the law, decided when to be done by the carnal mind and will of man. Good works are works of love for God and your fellow man, beginning with repentance from evil, which is love of the truth.]
8 But to those who are selfishly ambitious [selfish], and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; those receive indignation and wrath, [Take notice again! To not obey the truth is to sin. To obey unrighteousness is to sin. By obeying the truth you soul is purified. 1 Pet 1:22 . There still is sin. There still is obedience that leads to righteousness. Rom 6:16. There is still the wrath of God that comes on the disobedient; this wrath occurs not only in the next life, but also is a continuing damnation in this life because those who sin remain in the cursed, fallen state of Adam, failing to be reunited with God with the light of life from God, still removed from eating from the tree of life — which, when sin has been crucified in a man, is again enjoyed by him. Indignation and wrath are the fury of God that comes on sinners, especially sinners who think Jesus is their excuse for continuing to sin.
From the Word of the Lord within:
9 Affliction and distress; upon every soul of man who does evil [sins], of the Jew first and also of the Gentile; [Take notice again! There is still evil. Sin still exists. The law defines sin and evil, so there is still law. Every man has the moral law written in their hearts, by which God will judge all men the same, Rom 2:6 above, Rom 2:8-16 below; God shows no partiality to any man. Rom 2:11 below. Every man who continues to sin will have fury, indignation, wrath, distress, and affliction from God; every man includes those who believe in Jesus. Every man will be judged by their deeds (verse 6 above), be they evil or good! Jesus is not your free pass out of Hell. Wake up, you who would name yourselves Christians; you have been totally lied to by vicious wolves in sheep's clothing, whom Jesus and Paul both warned us about.]
10 But glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good,3 to the Jew first and also to the Gentile; [In order to protect their make-believe Christianity, Christendom deliberately ignores this verse and many others; they ignore the distinction between works of the law and good works, energized and motivated by obedient faith; such works are essential. Works of the law count for nothing. Works of the law are the cereal offering, the lamb offering, the bull offering, washings, not eating certain foods, circumcision, tithing, sabbaths, celebration of days, festivals, etc.; these are dead works of the law, decided when to be done by the carnal mind and will of man. Good works are works of loving obedience to what God orders you do do. The first of works you will be ordered to do are works of repentance; when finished, your works show the righteousness and love of God to the world.]
11 For there is no respect of persons with God. [There is no partiality shown to any man for any reason by God; all men are judged by their works.]
12 For all [the non-Jews] who sin* without the law will also perish without the law; and all [the Jews] who sin under the law will be judged by the law; [Paul is telling us we must become free of sin before we die, or we will perish; to become free of sin is the gospel of Jesus Christ — go to all nations and preach repentance with release from the bondage (remission) of sin. Paul is writing to very mature Christians in Rome. Paul is telling Christians that if they sin, they will perish. All who sin, (continue to sin), will perish — all means all, even those who believe in Jesus. The only way you can escape the consequences of sin is by following the moral commandments of the law, denying yourself, and picking up your cross to follow Jesus every day. If you do, you will not perish; instead you will have the life of God that is without beginning or end, and you will become free of sin to enter the Kingdom of God to be in union with God, while on earth and then forever.
13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are justified before God, but the doers of the law [the obedient] who will be justified. [Paul is telling us all that if we are not obedient to law, we will not be acceptable to God; even the Gentiles, (non-Jews), without the law of Moses, will be judged by their obedience to the moral law written in all men's hearts and consciences. They will be judged by the record kept in their conscience of their thoughts, which accuse or excuse them.]
14 For when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do [obey] by instinct the things contained in the law, these men who do not have the law, are a law to themselves.
15 Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, and their conscience also bears witness; while their thoughts accuse or else excuse them.4 [This law is written on every man's heart. It makes us feel bad when we lie or steal. This law includes the external moral laws: do not steal, do not lie, do not covet, do not murder, do not commit adultery, (and all sexual immorality), honor your parents, do unto others as you would have them do to you, etc. Every man will be judged by God according to the inner law; no man is excused from this law for any reason, and it has never been annulled or cancelled. The law has dominion over a man as long as he lives Rom 7:1; the inner law on the heart of every man, which includes moral core of the outward law, is our schoolmaster until we have crucified our sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial. The inner law's moral laws exceed the external, Mosaic moral laws for as Jesus said, he came to fulfill the law; and then He told us how it was to be strengthened, which the inner law reflects. This strengthened inner law can be understood to have been violated anytime you exhibit a fruit of the flesh, which includes: sexual immorality, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting, profanity, adultery, lack of restraint, sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousies, rage, selfish ambition, divisiveness, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries (partying), evil thoughts, fornications, wickedness, deceit, blasphemy, pride, anger, boasting, flattery, immodesty, immorality, and foolishness. Any of these disqualify all men from heaven. From the Word of the Lord within: "The law is in every man's heart, and it must be obeyed; the supreme law — never been cancelled. You cannot pass the moral commandments and be a Christian. You must have a devotion to the law that is on every man's heart; you must listen; and you must obey. Be on your guard at all times to be sure your words do not reflect the fruits of the flesh."]
16 All this occurs in the day when God will judge the secrets of men's hearts by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
17 Behold, you are called a Jew, and rest in the law, and make your boast of God,
18 And know his will, and approve the things that are more excellent, being instructed from the law;
19 And are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness,
20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, who have the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
21 Therefore you who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal?
22 You who say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you commit sacrilege?
23 You who make your boast of the law, have you dishonored God, through breaking the law?
24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the heathen through you, as it is written.
25 For circumcision is truly profitable, if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision is made uncircumcision.
26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27 And will not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfills the law, judge you, who by the letter and circumcision transgress the law?
28 For he is not a Jew, who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh;
29 But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and the circumcision is that of the heart, by the Spirit,5 and not by the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God. [The Spirit circumcises your heart, cutting away the sins as you wait on God to receive his grace that both charges sin and then removes sin, purifying a peculiar people zealous for good works. Reading about sin in the Bible does not remove the desire for sin from your heart; only the Spirit does that.]
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1 Judge not, so that you are not judged. This does not mean that you cannot judge what is evil behavior vs. good; this does not mean that you cannot judge doctrine in error vs. sound doctrine. This means that you are not supposed to criticize someone else in particular because your criticism is passing judgment on someone else. This does not mean that you cannot write or speak about something in general being wrong, a lie, error, or sin; it just means you are not supposed to criticize someone else in particular. When you have sufficient Spirit of God within you, you may be prompted with words from God to pass judgment on someone else in particular; but that would not be you judging, that would be God. Just like Jesus did not judge himself: Of myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, John 5:30... whatever I speak is just as the Father has told Me to speak. John 12:49-50... the Son is able to do nothing of Himself (of His own accord); but He [the Son] is able to do only what He sees the Father doing, John 5:19.
The reason you can't criticize others is because every man has a tangle of problems, and only the Lord knows which problem to address with a man in what order. You may see an obvious problem, but you cannot see the many others that are not apparent; and it is likely that there are other problems that must be addressed and repented from first, before the problem you see can be addressed. Only the Lord knows the order to address these problems in each man, and only the Lord can give the person strength to become different. So until you are prompted by the Spirit of God as to exactly what to say and when, and until the Spirit of God is standing by to impart strength to that person, any criticism is totally ineffective. When you criticize others you are only hardening their hearts from hearing the true judgments of God, and so you incur condemnation in proportion to the problems you cause. From the Word of the Lord within: "Never speak critically of any individual or any organization, no matter how deserving of criticism they are."
You are particularly not to judge someone outside the church; per Paul: Who are you to judge another man's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Yes, he will be helped to stand. For God is able to make him stand. Rom 14:4. But as for those inside the church, you are supposed to be careful to not associate with those who exhibit continued lawlessness: But now I write to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater [whose soul is devoted to anything that usurps the place of God, and how they spend their free time defines what they are devoted to], or is a person with a foul tongue [railing, abusing, reviling, slandering], or is a drunkard or a swindler or a robber. You must not so much as eat with such a person. 1 Cor 5:11. And the Lord tells us how to deal with someone in the church who is sinning: they are supposed to be warned by one, then warned by two or three, then censured by the whole body of believers, — and if they fail to repent of their error, they are supposed to be expelled and shunned, Mat 18:15-17.
2 So here Paul tells us that perseverance in good works is required for eternal life. The misunderstanding of Paul's letters is the source of the false gospel of instant salvation by "grace." Of course we are saved by grace, eventually — but not instantly on saying some standard prayer or getting wet. You must crucify your selfish nature on the inward cross of self-denial, as Paul did to obtain salvation. Works without faith are without being commanded to be done by God; they are dead works done in the will of man; and they count for nothing. You cannot be justified without faith in Christ, who enlightens all men in the world. But faith without works, also counts for nothing. You cannot just say "I believe" and live in your sinful nature without obedience. Works of love energized by faith, are esteemed and required by God. Peter warned that people were misunderstanding Paul's letters 2000 years ago and twisting them to their own destruction, and told them not be led astray by the error of the wicked, 2 Peter 3:15-18. The error of the wicked is presumption of salvation, rather than them to experience being delivered from sin; the error made by those who twist Paul's letters to excuse wickedness by a presumed grace that licenses them to continue sinning without penalty until death. From the Word of the Lord within: "Abraham willingly exposed himself to God's commands." So too we must wait on God, watch, and silently listen for His commands to us. Hope motivates us to expose ourselves to the commands of God; we are saved through faith, which is belief in what we hear; the evidence of faith is obedience to what is heard; the evidence of obedience is works as heard commanded from God. We are judged, not on faith, but on works or deeds.
3 But glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good. Work is required; work in doing good. How many works? As many as the Spirit of God commands you to do. How do you get commands from the Spirit of God? By listening quietly, in humility, patiently, waiting for the Lord to teach and command you — and then believing it is him, and obeying. From the Word of the Lord within: "Abraham willingly exposed himself to God's commands." So too we must wait on God, watch, and silently listen for His commands to us, and then we must act on them; that is operational faith.
4 For when the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by instinct the things contained in the law, these men who do not have the law, are a law to themselves. Who show the work of the law written in their hearts, and their conscience also bears witness; while their thoughts accuse or else excuse them. This law is written on every man's heart. It makes us feel bad when we lie or steal. This law includes the outward, Mosaic moral laws: do unto others as you would have them do to you, do not steal, do not lie, do not covet, do not murder, do not commit adultery, (and all sexual immorality), honor your parents, and love your neighbor as yourself. Every man will be judged according to this law; no man is excused from this law, and it has never been annulled or cancelled. Do you not know brothers, (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? Rom 7:1. All sinners without the law will perish. Christendom, wake up; sin and heaven are mutually exclusive. Even those outside the law will be judged by the moral law in their hearts, which convicts them when they lie, steal, hate, cheat, etc. Obedience to the moral law is a prerequisite to receiving the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which is only given to those who are obedient. Acts 5:32.
Paul is not referring to works of the law, like animal sacrifices, like tithing, like festivals, like no work on the Sabbath — those don't count, they are works of the flesh. Paul is referring to the moral core of the law, which is included in the law on every man's heart: loving your neighbor, loving God, not stealing, not lying, not coveting, honoring your mother and father, not committing adultery, (and all sexual immorality), etc. — these must be obeyed to have any hope of spiritual progress. Note! The moral law is not the works of the Law that Paul speaks of when he says: Not by works, (dead works, done in the will of man), lest any man boast.
Jesus spoke: "Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, in no way shall one letter or one stroke, (jot, and tittle), pass from the law, until it is all fulfilled." Mat 5:17-18. In the immediately following verses, He gives us examples of how He is strengthening the law so that it is fulfilled, even exceeded:
Clearly Jesus has defined a much stronger law; clearly He insists that we exceed the righteousness of observing the Mosaic law.
While Christ's blood sacrifice made the Mosaic law obsolete, the inner law on every man's heart is still alive, never cancelled, (which inner law includes the moral core of the Mosaic law); and to be freed from the law, which has dominion over a man until death, you must die to the law through the law described by Paul in Romans 7:1,4-6,9. You must submit to God condemning the sins in your flesh, with commands that you hear when waiting on Him; those commands are established as laws in you heart, which you must obey and continue to obey until you are crucified, freed from all sin.
From the Word of the Lord within:
A crucified disciple produces the fruit of the spirit, which fulfills the law as he walks in love. Heaven and earth pass away as the disciple is completely controlled by the Spirit of Christ and is translated into the kingdom of heaven within himself. The Law applies to fallen man, who lost the life and guidance of God by Adam's fall in the Garden of Eden; no law applies to a man who has been restored to the spiritual image of God.
George Fox wrote of the end of the Mosaic law:
Christ came not to break the law; the apostle said the law was good in its place, and he established it; yet the apostle says that the Sabbath was a shadow, but the body was Christ, and he brings them to the law in the heart, in the mind, and there he established it. Christ did not come to break one jot or tittle of it, but (mark) to fulfill it; and he said, "not one jot or tittle of the law should be broken until fulfilled."...the offerings being changed; the law also changed, and the offering, Christ Jesus, having come, the law came to be within, and the circumcision within; and Christ, the rest, is the Lord of the Sabbath, and the rest for the people of God. He who holds up Sabbaths and offerings, holds up circumcision and works, and so keeps people from the body and the head, in the signs and shadows, and so in the works of the law, which the law commands...Christ is the end of the law to everyone that believes, in every jot, and tittle, and print of it; and the signs and shadows that were held up by the law, Christ is the end of; yet the life of the law, the power, remains, though the outward changing shadows and things, end, the body is what ends them all.
The life and power of the law remains because the surviving law became the inner law that is on every man's heart.
I delight to do your will, O my God; yes, your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8
William Dewsbury further explains the law on the heart:
Therefore, everyone that desires to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent, turn your minds within, and examine your hearts, search and try your ways with the light that Christ Jesus has enlightened you withal, that shows you in your hearts what is sin, that pride and covetousness, lying and swearing, dissimulation (deception) and cheating, vain and idle communications, foolish jesting and unbelief, are sins. These things you know to be sins in your own consciences, by the righteous law of God in the heart, that reproves you for them in secret.
The inner law on every man's heart includes the moral core of the Mosaic law: do not steal, do not lie, do not covet, do not murder, do not commit adultery, (and all sexual immorality), honor your parents, do unto others as you would have them do to you, etc. The inner law's moral laws exceed the external, Mosaic moral laws for as Jesus said, he came to fulfill the law; and then He told us how it was to be strengthened, which the inner law reflects. This strengthened inner law can be understood to have been violated anytime you exhibit a fruit of the flesh, which includes: sexual immorality, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting, profanity, adultery, lack of restraint, sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousies, rage, selfish ambition, divisiveness, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries (partying), evil thoughts, fornications, wickedness, deceit, blasphemy, pride, anger, boasting, flattery, immodesty, immorality, and foolishness. Any of these disqualify all men from heaven. A man innocent of all these fruits of the flesh is in full compliance with the rigid requirements of salvation stated in the scriptures: be perfect as the Father is perfect, Mat 5:48; be righteous as He is righteous, 1 John 3:7-10; be merciful as He is merciful, Luke 6:36. become pure as He is pure, 1 John 3:3; as he who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct, 1 Pet 1:15; walk as he walked, 1 John 2:6; and as he is, so are we in this present world, 1 John 4:17.
From the Word of the Lord within: " Be on your guard at all times to be sure your words do not reflect the fruits of the flesh."
Jesus knocks in every man's heart; he quietly pleads anonymously for us to depart from our evil, selfish ways. If we do not keep [practice, obey] his words, when we die, (the last day), we will remember the words of him pleading with us to depart from evil, and those words will judge us.
Margaret Fox replied strongly to the ministers and teachers of corruption in her time, who taught that the entire law of God was cancelled and replaced by just believing in Jesus.
You, who are in your carnal apprehensions of God, are in the world without God. You are alive without the law, and have not come to know the law yet, and are dead in sins and trespasses. You, that live in pleasure, are dead while you live. You live unto sin and so are free from righteousness. The law which is holy, just, and good, shall cut you to pieces. You have not yet come to know the law, nor what is lawful, which everyone passes through before they come to know the liberty of the sons of God - which law cuts down all your carnal apprehensions of God. Oh you blasphemer, do you say there is no such thing as lawful and unlawful, godliness or ungodliness? Would you lay waste the scriptures and make void the righteous law of God which takes hold of the transgressor? Would you trample upon the blood of the new covenant and count it an unholy thing? Oh, the day of the vengeance is coming upon you. The Lord God is clothed with vengeance against you and all such as you are. You who sit at the table of devils are shut out from the liberty of the sons of God and know not the condition that Paul has passed through. When you know that, it will be death and destruction to you. This you shall eternally witness, before ever you come to know the living God.
5 But he is a Jew, who is one inwardly; and the circumcision is that of the heart, by the Spirit, and not by the letter .. but from God. Here Paul tells us that we must experience the circumcision of the heart, performed by the Holy Spirit, not by reading about Jesus and his commands, but by remaining in the spirit to receive his changing grace. This is done by silently listening, hearing, and obeying the teachings and commands heard from within your heart. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Rom 8:13. Further, so kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry. Col 3:5. Further, By mercy and love, truth and fidelity, iniquity is purged out of the heart. Pro 16:6. And purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump. 1 Cor 5:7. You must go to him. You must wait on him — listen silently, with the humility of a sinner in need of his changing power — grace. So we go to God and sit in humble silence to wait on Him, as we watch, listen, hear, obey... wait, watch, listen, hear, obey..... seek, listen, obey. You must endure to the end, when Christ brings salvation.
Isaac Penington speaks of experiencing the circumcision of his heart in his writing, The Holy Truth Defended:
"For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." It is a precious thing to witness this scripture fulfilled in the heart; to experience that there, which inwardly circumcises, which cuts off the foreskin of the heart, which lies over it and veils it, until it is cut off by the inward appearance of the life and power of the Lord Jesus Christ inwardly revealed. Then when this is done, I can truly and sensibly say, I am a Jew inward. How so? How can that is proved? Why, I am inwardly circumcised. I have felt that within which circumcises the heart, and have borne the inward pain and cutting thereof, and am circumcised by it. That which stood between me and the Lord is cut off, the veil has been taken away, my stiff-necked and rebellious nature to God removed, the wall of separation is inwardly broken down, and now I am in true unity of Spirit and communion with my God, even with the Father, and the Son, in that One Holy Spirit by which they are One.
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