The Epistle of ROMANS*
* Written to the Church of the Body of Christ -- born again believers. There are seven (7) Church Epistles written directly to born again believers today. This is the first of those epistles. Each epistle beginning with Romans is either a DOCTRINE, REPROOF, OR CORRECTION epistle. The epistle of ROMANS is a DOCTRINAL epistle written to present BASIC DOCTRINE -- right believing.
[ ** A prerequisite to understanding this teaching and the type of study pattern used makes it necessary for you to first study The Epistle of James Chapter One. Please read at least the first three paragraphs of the teaching "The Epistle of James Chapter One" before proceeding.]
1. Therefore, thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Literal: Wherefore thou art inexcusable (without excuse or defense), O man, everyone who judges or umpires, for that in which you judge the other (one of two), you condemn yourself, for you that judges or passes judgement on others does the same thing.
The word does or doest is to do or practice repeatedly, continuously and habitually. ITS TIME TO RENEW YOUR MIND TO THIS COMMANDMENT IN THE WORD. When you judge others, you bring up areas in their life where you do the same thing. JUST DON'T JUDGE ANYONE. WATCH WHAT YOU SAY AND WHAT COMES OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. YOU CONDEMN YOURSELF WHEN YOU JUDGE OTHERS. Is it necessary?! Stop saying bad things about other people, places or situations. It is bad enough without bringing it to your attention or to the attention of others. You must break this habit and start working on it now. Philippians 4: 8 is what you must confess. This is going to take some work. This is why you should study as much as possible to let as much light in as possible to renew your mind. You must control what comes out of your mouth.
Matthew 7: 1, 2 -- Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete (allot; distribute), it shall be measured to you again.
2. But we are sure that the judgement of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
Literal: But we know that the judgement of God (decision arrived at, sentence pronounced) is according to truth upon those that do such things.
God arrives at a truthful and honest decision based on what you do pertaining to the subject of judging.
3. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgement of God?
Literal: And consider this, O man who judges (makes a distinction) those that do such things, and does the same continually (practices them thyself), that thou shalt escape the judgement of God?
You always face consequences when you transgress the commandments of God. When you continue to judge others, you will have calamity and consequences in your life so stop doing it.
4. Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Literal: Or do you despise (to think down upon; disrespect) the riches or wealth of the kindness of Him and the forbearance (a holding back, self-restraint) and long suffering (patient endurance), not knowing that the kindness or moral goodness of God, in spite of ingratitude, leads thee to repentance? (a change of mind -- a change in believing).
God is doing His best all the time to show to man His wonderful love, that thereby men may be won to Him. Remember, it is the KINDNESS of God that leads one to repent (change his or her mind). You need to be kind to others when you have the chance but guard your heart at the same time. Be sharp and learn how to 'salt one's oats' so that people stay interested. Keep it simple and stay positive all the time and don't criticize, condemn, or complain.
5. But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgement of God;
Literal: But according to thy hardness (dryness) and impenitent heart (without regret, shame, or remorse, without change of mind) store up to thyself wrath in a day of wrath and revelation of the righteous or just judgement of God.
Speaking of the second coming of Jesus Christ, the people who have heard enough to believe but have refused to do so because of the hardness of their shameless, impenitent heart, the treasures they are storing will be heaped upon them in the form of wrath in the day of judgement -- the revelation or second coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
6. Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Literal: Who will render (pay in full) to each according to his works.
What a man sows is what he reaps and there is no respect of persons but of conditions only. This final judgement is in Revelation 20: 12, 13. Remember, fellow Christians, you'll be standing there. It's time to stop making mistakes by applying the Word with your everyday effort to renew your mind and then to line up your actions accordingly.
7. To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Literal: To those with patient and persevering endurance in good works (admirable) who are striving to find (seek, look for) brilliance, brightness, glory and honor, respect, incorruption and immortality -- eternal life.
Immortality has not been the inalienable possession of the human family since the fall of man recorded in Genesis. Now it is restricted to those who "by patient continuance in well-doing seek for" it. (Eternal life is also promised in Romans 5: 21 and 6: 23).
8. But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Literal: But to those who cause conflict and dissension (contentious), and who disobey the truth, but obey unrighteousness or what is wrong, indignation and wrath (a lasting impulse or excitability of the mind in conjunction with anger and a desire for revenge),
9. Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
Literal: Tribulation (pressure from evils, affliction, distress) and anguish (difficulty, narrowness of space, straits), upon every soul of man that works out or is the cause or author of moral or physical evil, both to the Judean first, and of the Gentile or Greek.
10. But glory, honour, and peace [shall be rendered], to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
Literal: But glory (brilliance, brightness) honor, respect and peace (rest) to everyone that worketh or brings to pass good, both to the Judean first, and of the Gentile or Greek.
11. For there is no respect of persons with God.
Literal: For there is no respect or acceptance, no partiality of persons with God.
Deuteronomy 10: 17 -- For the Lord your God is †God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward. [emphasis added]
There is nothing wrong with good works, but let your good works line up with the commandments in the Word and then you can proceed with confidence and believing.
12. For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without [being judged by the] law: and as many as have sinned in the law [or under the law] shall be judged by the law;
Literal: For as many as have sinned (missed the mark, swerved from, erred) without law (before the law was written) shall also perish (to be utterly and finally ruined and destroyed) without law; and as many as have sinned in law (after Moses was given the law) shall be judged by law.
This verse is in reference to the Patriarchal Administration of Abraham, Isaac and all the patriarchs until the laws of Moses. Things that were given to Moses before the law were unwritten laws. Things that were sins before the law was written became transgressions AFTER the law was given. This period started after the Original Administration ended in Genesis 3: 24. Another reference to the Patriarchal Administration is in the following verse:
Acts 17: 30 -- And the times of this ignorance (want of perception, insight, awareness) God winked at (He closed His eyes to it); but now (He) commandeth all men every where to repent (to have a genuine change of heart and life from worse to better; a change in believing; to confess Romans 10: 9, 10).
"The times of this ignorance" refers to the patriarchal period when the law was an unwritten law. God winked at this time of ignorance which means He closed His eyes to it.
This verse should be much clearer to you now. The more Word you know and understand, the more power and confidence you can have in your renewed mind and in your spiritual walk with the Father.
NOTE** The next 3 verses are a parenthetical statement which is a figure of speech and is an explanation. Remember, the thought content of verse 12 continues in verse 16.
13. (For not the hearers of the law are† just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Literal: (For not the hearers of the law are just (a right state according to the Word) before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
This is what we studied in James 1: 22 - 25 regarding taking action according to the Word as compared to simply being a hearer. If you want to be in a right state so that no fault or defect can be charged to you, you must be a doer, one who practices the Word.
14. For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Literal: For when nations (neither Israel nor the Church) which have not law, do or practice by nature (naturally or by inborn quality) the things contained in the law, these having not law, to themselves are a law;
15. Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their† thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
Literal: Who show (point out to one's self or what is one's own) the work (result of the accomplishment or thing wrought) of the law written in their hearts, their conscience witnessing with them, and between themselves their reasonings accusing or also defending one another;)
The only conscience worth having is that which stems from a genuine belief in God's Word. Your conscience is your own witness within yourself.
[** Now remember, the thought content from the end of verse 12 begins again in the beginning of verse 16.]
16. In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
Literal: In the day when God shall judge the hidden and concealed secrets of men, according to my news of salvation (gospel), by Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 4: 5 -- Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
So judge no one. Remember, it's not your job and itís not worth the effort. Itís just a waste of your time to judge people. Fight the temptation to do so and you'll feel much better and eventually the bad habit pattern will lose its strength. Be careful you are not getting out of fellowship in this area. This is a major renewed mind principle for most believers.
17. Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,
Literal: Behold (mental vision), thou art named a Judean, and rests or leans upon the law, and you boast in God (vainly proud showing too much pride and satisfaction; making God one's own in a boastful manner).
18. And knowest his† will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
Literal: And knowest (a personal and true relation between the person knowing and the object known which has a great influence on your life) His Will, and try, examine, or prove the things that differ, being instructed or taught orally or by preaching out of the law.
The Word was given to the Judeans as we will see when we get to chapter three. They knew the law and in verse 18, it says they put to the test anything that contradicted or differed with the Word.
19. And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
Literal: And are persuaded or influenced that you are a guide or leader of those that are spiritually blind, a light of those which are in darkness,
20. An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
Literal: An instructor (trainer of children; master; teacher and chastiser) of the foolish (without mind, senseless, destitute of any sound principle), a teacher of babes (infants or babes in the Word), having a form (form without substance) of knowledge or understanding and of the truth in the law.
A very good additional explanation of the subject matter of this verse is also in the Epistle of II Timothy:
II Timothy 3: 5 -- Having a form (shell, form without substance) of godliness, but denying the power (dunamis) thereof: from such turn away.
This takes the guesswork out of verse 20 and remember never to guess at the Word. There are many people that act like they know or care about God, but when put to the test of study and actual application, they will deny the power thatís available. Get away from these people. Thatís what the Word of God says and thatís what it means.
21. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
Literal: Thou then that teaches another, do you not teach yourself? Thou that proclaims or preaches not to steal, do you steal?
The context here is bringing up quite a great point. When you teach others, you also teach yourself.
22. Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
Literal: Thou that sayest (utters or speaks) not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? Thou that abhorrest idols, do you commit sacrilege?
The word Ďabhorí means to turn away through loathing or disgust, in this case concerning idols which are images in the mind, of a false God or an idol that is put before the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is idolatry. If you utter or teach this, do you yourself commit sacrilege which is an intentional desecration or disrespectful treatment of a person, place, thing or idea held sacred? Idolatry is clearly a sacrilegious act! If you teach this, are you going to be sacrilegious?
23. Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
Literal: Thou, who in law, boasts through transgression (deviation, overstepping) of the law, donít you dishonor God (treat with contempt or scorn)?
Do you think you can actually boast or brag about your overstepping the law and not show disrespect and scorn for God?
24. For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
Literal: For the name of God is blasphemed among the nations through you, according as it has been written.
The word Ďblasphemeí means to revile - to use abusive or contemptuous language in speaking to or about; call bad names. Secondly, it means calumniate - to spread harmful and false statements about; slander. In this verse, it is referring to reviling God or divine things -- in this case, His name.
Isaiah 52: 5 -- Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for nought? They that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is †blasphemed.
25. For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
Literal: For circumcision indeed profits (benefits) if you repeatedly and habitually practice (the) law; but if you are a breaker or transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
The act of circumcising once indicated being called out or a chosen one of God. This was profitable as long as you kept the law. However, if you broke the law, being circumcised meant nothing, so in a figurative manner, God is saying that if you donít honor His Word, itís the same as if you were not circumcised. You only reap the rewards of the more than abundant life if and when you continually study and ACT on the Word. God honors these conditions and does not respect persons no matter who that person may be. You must continually, repeatedly, and habitually practice the Word in your life.
26. Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
Literal: If therefore the uncircumcision keep (preserve and maintain) the righteousness (product or result of) of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be taken into account or considered for circumcision?
Does it matter to God whether you are circumcised or uncircumcised when it comes to believing His Word? Of course not! It matters whether you preserve or maintain the product or result of His Word. Thatís what God cares about.
Acts 10: 35 -- But in every nation he that feareth (respects) him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.
You must understand that man wanted laws in the Old Testament period and so God gave man more laws than you can shake a stick at. Iím sure that man wanted the circumcision idea, possibly God could care less about things like this. But if there is a way that God can help man to understand so that man can believe, then God will go to an extreme to help man to believe. The subject of circumcision is first mentioned in the Book of Genesis and since it was part of this original research project on Romans, I have included those Scriptures below for those who are interested.
Genesis 17: 10 Ė 14 -- This is †my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is† not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.
27. And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
Literal: And shall not the uncircumcision which is by nature (inborn, natural), if it fulfill (bring about, accomplish) the law, judge thee though thou art a Judean, who by the letter (anything written or in writing) and circumcision art a transgressor of the law?
Some verses in Godís Word take much work and study to clearly understand. The important thing to remember here is that the context, since verse 25, is about circumcision and uncircumcision and how, to God, it matters if you stand and walk out on the Word as compared to being circumcised or not! We are not under the law in this Administration of the Church of the Body of Christ.
Romans 7: 6 -- But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in †the oldness of the letter (law).
II Corinthians 3: 6 -- Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter (law), but of the spirit: for the letter (law) killeth, but the spirit giveth life (quickeneth).
28. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that† circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Literal: For he is not a Judean, that is one outwardly, (there is no openly manifest or visible proof that one is Judean) neither circumcision which is outward in the flesh.
If you are circumcised, which is an openly manifest distinction of the flesh, that does not mean that you are Judean or are a chosen one of God. It is not outward appearances that matter but what is on the inside or what is in the heart that matters to God.
29. But he is† a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that† of the heart, in the spirit, and† not in the letter; whose praise is† not of men, but of God.
Literal: But he is Judean, which is one in secret [or hidden; there is no visible proof] and circumcision is of the heart [his heart is not hardened], in spirit [God in Christ in you], not in letter [the law], of whom the praise is not of men, but of God.
There needs to be no visible proof that a person is a Judean. Physical appearances here are not very important. The verse mentions one that is secretly a Judean or practices what God commands in a discreet manner with circumcision of the heart. To understand this term "circumcision of heart", you must go back to Deuteronomy. This is a good example of how the Word interprets itself where it was ĎUsed Beforeí.
Deuteronomy 10: 16 -- Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked (hardness of heart).
This is a figure of speech meaning not to be hardhearted. Also, we should take note that someone walking with God is never to seek the praise of men, but only of God. He may receive the praise of men but he is only to seek the praise of God -- to stand approved before God.
Very important is understanding the particular usage for the word Ďspirití [pneuma] in this verse.† Remember that the Greek word used for Ďspirití [pneuma] in the Bible has many different usages.† In this case, it means the spirit we acquire as a result of the new birth - Christ in you.† Before Christ we had only the law (letter), but now we have Christ in us - the Spirit of God in Christ in us.† It makes you want to jump up and shout if you really understand the magnitude of what was just said.
Philippians 3: 3 -- For we are the circumcision (in our hearts), which worship God in the spirit (speaking in tongues), and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
In this final verse 29 of Romans Chapter Two, God begins to show us that we are no longer under the law but that we are able now to walk by the spirit once we become born again.