Factiousness and its Punishment
Romans 2:7-10
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life:…


1. Factious.

(1) The expression is literally "those who are 'of ' a factious spirit." Descent or parentage is suggested as in "him who is of faith," "them who are of the circumcision" (cf. also Galatians 4:10; John 18:37), and in "children of light," etc. (Ephesians 2:2, 3; Ephesians 5:8; 1 Peter 1:14; 2 Thessalonians 2:3). In all such expressions the outstanding idea derived from the universally recognised law of like begetting like, is that of predominant characteristic.

(2) The word itself denotes a spirit of faction, but always with a vile implication of interested and selfish aims. The apostle's reference, therefore, is not to mere political sectarianism, or national bigotry. His mind has before it the conception of God's vast moral empire. Faction in it is opposition to the monarch of the universe; opposition that springs from a base desire to gratify the lower principles of the nature. It is in fact a covert kind of rebellion; only it is rebellion animated by the most ignoble aims.

2. The factious are disobedient to the truth. Such, indeed, is implied in their factiousness. "The truth" is personified as a lady or mistress who ought to be obeyed. The truth is disobeyed when there is a wilful refusal to have the life, at once in its inner thoughts and feelings, and in its outer acts, conformed to the rule which it embodies. The rule is imperative. For moral, religious, evangelical truth is revealed just in order that the living mind may live in conformity with it, and thus in consonance with the will of Him whose voice truth is.

3. The factious while disobedient to the truth are obedient to unrighteousness — the counterpart idea which is the complement of the preceding clause. The lawful sovereign of the soul being disobeyed, subjection is transferred to a usurper's sway. Unrighteousness has doubtless its usual import as the antithesis of moral rectitude, and is not to be regarded as doctrinal error. It is the case, however, that just as "the truth" received is the kernel of that of righteousness, without which no one can be meet to enter into the kingdom of heaven; so unrighteousness is a husk within which will be found the primal seed of error.


1. "Wrath and indignation" from God. The one word reverberates on the other. The two are an intensification of the idea of each.

2. The suffering of tribulation and anguish.

(J. Morison, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

WEB: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory, honor, and incorruptibility, eternal life;

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