What does Romans 2:5 mean?
ESV: But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
NIV: But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.
NASB: But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
CSB: Because of your hardened and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God's righteous judgment is revealed.
NLT: But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
KJV: But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Paul is calling out all those who sit in judgment—in their thoughts, words, and actions—over the sinfulness of others. In the previous chapter, Paul described in great detail how a refusal to acknowledge God leads to an avalanche of sinful lifestyle choices. In this chapter, Paul has clarified that all of us participate in sin. That error is not merely connected to those thought of as the most sinful in a particular culture.
To assume that God will not judge our own sinfulness, because He shows kindness to us in this moment, is a dangerous presumption. God's kindness now is meant to lead us to turn from our sin, not to continue in it. In fact, Paul now writes, those who refuse to repent from their sin are storing up God's wrath for ourselves. God will express that wrath on the "day of wrath," the day when His righteous judgment will be revealed.
None of us should make the mistake of thinking that just because our sins seem smaller, we will be saved from His wrath toward our sin. Nor can we assume that our relationship with God is more special than that of other people. On the contrary, as Paul is saying, all people are guilty and deserving of God's wrath. Our good deeds cannot and will not save us.
It's critically important to continue to follow Paul's train of thought in Romans. He's not done, yet. He will eventually show that there is, indeed, a way to be saved from God's wrath (Romans 3:22–25).
Romans 2:1–11 springs a trap, of sorts, for every reader who thought that Paul's devastating list of sins at the end of Romans 1 was about other people. In truth, everyone is guilty of sin. Those who judge others are guilty, also, of hypocrisy. Nobody will escape God's judgment for personal sin, including religious Jews and Gentiles. God will absolutely judge each person according to what he or she has done. If someone has lived sinlessly, doing only good, he will receive rewards and eternal life. If not, he deserves wrath and fury. This point sets up Paul's explanation of how we can, in fact, obtain salvation: by grace through faith.
Romans 2 springs a trap on any religious person who read Paul's lists of sins at the end of Romans 1 and thought it wasn't about them. Paul calls them out for making themselves judges when they are also guilty. He shows that God will judge everyone, including those under the law, based on their works. This prefaces this letter's theme of salvation by grace, through faith, rather than by works. Many benefits come with having the law, but only if those under the law keep it. Jewishness—circumcision—must be an inner state, not just an outer one. Paul will show in the following chapter that none of us really meets those conditions.
Having just concluded a list of terrible sins humanity indulges in as a result of rejecting God, Paul turns to religious people and says, ''This applies to you, too.'' Nobody can judge arrogantly, because we are all guilty. Even God's people the Jews will stand before Him in judgment based on their works. Having the law only matters if someone can keep the law. Paul asks his Jewish readers why they don't and shows that they must be Jewish and circumcised in their hearts for it to matter. In the following chapter, he will show that nobody can keep the law.
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
Accessed 11/30/2023 5:28:54 AM
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