Romans 2:6

That the anticipation of a judgment rises naturally in the mind is shown by the present testimony of conscience - a law recognized as in, yet above us, and by the utterances of heathen writers on morals. The Scriptures corroborate and clarify this conception. The apostle asserts of the future what Abraham felt of the present Providence, "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Will he slay the righteous with the wicked?" Note some particulars confirming the righteousness of God's judgment.

I. THE RECOMPENSE WILL BE PROPORTIONED TO MEN'S DEEDS. Not their professions, but their acts, will determine their destiny. And the character and number of their acts will be reckoned. There is no conflict between this statement and other Scripture passages which speak of the reward as one of grace, not of merit, and as a gift bestowed on all Christians. For the reward will be immensely greater than men's deeds deserve, and will not be earned by them, but conditioned by their conduct. The gospel comes not as a substitute for, but as a help to realizing, practical righteousness; and whilst every justified believer will be saved, each will have the praise that is his, according to his works of faith and labours of love.

II. THE JUDGMENT WILL TAKE ACCOUNT OF MEN'S AIMS IN LIFE, The one class seek "glory, honour, and incorruption," and also "peace." Their choice does them credit; they selected what is fair and lovely and permanent, what is opposed to the rule of the flesh, and is unaffected by the ravages of time. Their goal is not the "vain pomp and glory of the world;" not simply success, but to reach a position of pure, lasting excellence. And they shall receive in fullest measure what they desire. "Eternal life' comprehends all blessedness - deliverance from the thraldom of sin; no need to gather up the skirts lest defilement ensue, for the very streets of their city shall be of pure gold; enwrapment with the Divine splendour; walking in the light of God; manifested as his sons by the likeness they wear; elevated to princely employments and regal dignities. The objects for which the other class strive are not definitely stated, but may be gathered from antithesis and from the unrighteousness to which they yield themselves. They seek not "peace" and "truth," and their harvest likewise is the multiplied outcome of the seeds they have sown. No description of hell can transcend the awful picture of" wrath and indignation, tribulation and anguish," resting upon the soul; that, clasping unrighteousness to its bosom as a prize on earth, finds it sting like a serpent and burn with fiercest remorse when allowed full sway in its "own place."

III. THE AWARD WILL BEAR RELATION TO THE METHODS BY WHICH THE OBJECTS OF EARTHLY ENDEAVOUR HAVE BEEN PURSUED. A righteous aim can be permanently attained only in righteous ways. The recognition of this stamps the government of the universe as moral. The "patient continuance" of the one class could only be practised by the well-doing. It includes passive endurance and active perseverance; the stationary posture of the caryatides, and the carrying of a burden in the face of wind and storm. The other class are described as "factious," quarrelling with their lot, coveting pleasure and notoriety, "working evil." Refusing to bow to the yoke of truth, they become the slaves of unrighteousness; and a hard master and terrible paymaster does unrighteousness prove. The judgment of God will proceed on easily intelligible principles. It is not difficult for men to decide whether they are working good or working evil. It is not reaching a conclusion after abstract speculation, nor holding a creed with multitudinous details. Only an omniscient Judge, however, could bring to light the hidden deeds of darkness, the secret thing, good or bad.

IV. THE JUDGE WILL OBSERVE RIGOROUS IMPARTIALITY. With him "is no respect of persons." Jew and Greek shall be tried with due regard to the presence or absence of religious light (cf. Acts 10:35 in the history of Cornelius). It is impossible to bribe the almighty Arbiter or to overawe his tribunal. The anticipation of a Divine judgment has been a comfort to the oppressed, remembering that "One higher than the high regardeth;" and it will be a terror to the worker of iniquity, and an incentive to all noble deeds. "Knowing the terror of the Lord, we persuade men." None can complain that their condition makes it impossible to be patient in well-doing. Christ, our Pattern and our Power, offers his "very present help" to all who find the stress and strain of life too severe for mortal strength. - S.R.A.

Who will render to every man according to his deeds.
In some parts of the Bible the inheritance of the saints is set forth as the recompense of good works, while there are others in which it is represented as the free gift of grace, a thing that faith alone can receive. Without faith no one can hope to see heaven; neither can anyone see it without good works, or, which is the same thing, without that newness of heart in which they take their rise. They are not related to heaven, however, in the same manner.

I. ETERNAL LIFE CANNOT, IN ANY STRICT SENSE, BE SAID TO BE THE REWARD OF ANY WELL-DOING OR MERIT OF OUR OWN. For who is there that can look for anything at the hands of God, or even hope to stand in peace before Him, on the simple ground of his own character? Even the best parts of the very holiest of lives in this world cannot bear His rule of retribution. It is only of infinite grace that anyone, even when he has done his utmost, can enter into the joy of the Lord. Eternal life is not wages, it is the gift of God through Jesus Christ.

II. WHILE THE WORK OF OUR SAVIOUR ACCOUNTS FOR THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE AS ENJOYED IN COMMON BY ALL THE SAINTS, IT LEAVES UNEXPLAINED THOSE DIVERSITIES BY WHICH THEIR LIFE IN HEAVEN IS CHARACTERISED. The ground on which the gift of life is given, is the meritorious work done by Christ in our behalf — a righteousness that is made ours by faith, and that comes up to all that the holy law of God can require of us. This righteousness is not only perfect in its nature, but also infinite in measure; so rich in merit that it can extend to any number of souls, and secure for us any degree, however high, in the joys of heaven. Its virtue is no wise dependent on the strength of the faith by which we embrace it, but is entirely inherent in itself, as the work of One in whom the Divine and the human are alike combined in all their fulness. Hence, if there is no other consideration to come into view, the honours and the enjoyments of heaven must be the same to all; there can be no degrees of blessedness; one saint cannot have a higher place in glory than another. But does this agree with what we are taught concerning the heavenly world? We read of diversities of gifts in the early Church, all proceeding from the same Spirit — some more, and some less honourable — some more, and some less profitable: diversities of somewhat the same kind prevail at this day. May we not expect that these distinctions in the Church on earth will give rise to corresponding distinctions in the Church in heaven, and that the various degrees of blessedness among the saints in light will have their root in those varieties of character and services by which Christians are distinguished in the present world?

1. As the believer is accepted in Christ, so all that is good in him, whether in heart or life, is accepted also, and not only accepted but rewarded. An illustration may be used, in the light of which eternal life as a free gift may be seen to be in perfect harmony with the idea of recompense. Take the case of some institution in this world, the inmates of which are received into it not on the ground of anything meritorious in themselves, but simply by virtue of the free gift of some generous benefactor who procures the right of admission for them. Side by side with this, may there not be room in the internal arrangements of such an institution for various measures of benefit and various degrees of enjoyment, arising from diversities of character among those who have found a home in it?

2. Another reason why heaven will be richer in blessing to some than to others is, that many of the works in which they engage on earth are of such a kind that their results will meet them there, and thus prove a source of joy to them. The landscape glowing on the canvas is an object of pleasant interest to everyone, but to none so much as to the artist whose taste, and skill, and patient labour have produced it. When a tract of waste and barren land has been reclaimed and brought under cultivation — when golden harvests and pleasant homes are seen to spread over a whole district where but lately there was nothing to meet the eye but crags and marshes — the contemplation of a scene like this will be a source of peculiar pleasure to the man to whose enterprise the change is due. One who spends his time and his means in civilising some rude and degraded tribe, secures for himself a pleasure of a higher kind. But of a still higher and more lasting nature must the pleasure be that is enjoyed by the man who is instrumental, under God, in reclaiming lost souls, and to whom it is given to behold peace and holiness where there was nothing but disorder and sin. For what is the utmost that a mere earthly civilisation can do for mankind, in comparison with those blessings to which they may be raised through the gospel — blessings imperishable as the soul and lasting as eternity?

3. A further reason why some will stand higher than others in the joy of heaven, is to be found in the larger capacity for spiritual enjoyment to which they have attained in their course on earth. The new man of the heart is capable of increase in knowledge, and power, and love, and holiness, and consequently in the capacity for happiness. This increase depends partly on the use we make of the means of grace, but also on the faithfulness with which we employ the powers we already have, both natural and spiritual, in doing the work that God has given us to do. Exercise is one of the indispensable conditions of the soul's growth: there must be a "patient continuance in well-doing." And the more we abound in those things by which man is blessed and God glorified, the more do we grow in sympathy with the Divine character, the purer is the joy we are capable of receiving, and the more meet do we become for the employments and the pleasures of a higher world; so that on this principle well-doing has a part in working out its own recompense.

(G. Hutchison, D. D.)

is —

I. ESSENTIAL — proved a priori by —

1. Revelation.

2. Reason.

3. Example.


1. To the good, glory, etc. (ver. 7).

2. To the wicked, wrath (ver. 8).

III. IMPARTIAL. To the Jews, etc., for there is no respect of persons with God (vers. 9-12).

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

I.Its CERTAINTY, "will render."

II.Its UNIVERSALITY, "to every man."

III.Its EQUITY, "according to their deeds."

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

It has been asked how this maxim can be reconciled With the doctrine of justification by faith. There is only one answer to this question, viz., that justification by faith alone applies to the time of entrance into salvation through the free pardon of sin, but not to the time of judgment. When God of free grace receives the sinner at the time of his conversion, He asks nothing of him except faith; but from that moment the believer enters on a wholly new responsibility; God demands from him, as the recipient of grace, the fruits of grace. This is obvious from the parable of the talents. The Lord commits His gifts to His servants freely; but from the moment when that extraordinary grace has been shown, He expects something from their labour. Compare also the parable of the wicked debtor, where the pardoned sinner who refuses to forgive his brother is replaced under the rule of justice, and consequently under the burden of debt. The reason is that faith is not the dismal prerogative of being able to sin with impunity; it is, on the contrary, the means of overcoming sin and acting holily, and if this life fruit is not produced it is dead, and will be declared vain (Matthew 3:10; 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; Galatians 6:7).

(Prof. Godet.)

according to —






(T. Robinson, D. D.)

The crop may extend through many generations. The consequences of our deeds may end only with the world. Men's example, instructions, institutions, written works. Believers' good deeds receive a righteous reward of grace (Matthew 25:34, 35; Hebrews 6:10); their evil ones though pardoned in Christ are visited with chastisements here.

(T. Robinson, D. D.)

Paul, Romans
Actions, Award, Corresponding, Deeds, Render, Reward, Works
1. No excuse for sin.
6. No escape from judgment.
14. Gentiles cannot;
17. nor Jews.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Romans 2:1-11

     8822   self-justification

Romans 2:5-6

     6026   sin, judgment on

Romans 2:5-8

     6173   guilt, and God

Romans 2:5-10

     5967   thrift
     9240   last judgment

Romans 2:5-11

     5003   human race, and God
     5493   retribution
     8310   morality, and creation

Romans 2:6-11

     5499   reward, divine

September the Tenth Criticism and Piety
"Thinkest thou, that judgest them that do such things, that thou shalt escape?" --ROMANS ii. 1-11. That is always my peril, to assume that by being severe with others I exculpate myself. I go on to the bench, and deliver sentence upon my brother, when my proper place is in the dock. And this is the subtlety of the snare, that I regard my criticisms and condemnations of other people as signs of my own innocence. This is the last refinement in temptation, and multitudes fall before its power. The
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year

The Circumcision of the Heart
"Circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter." Romans 2:29. 1. It is the melancholy remark of an excellent man, that he who now preaches the most essential duties of Christianity, runs the hazard of being esteemed, by a great part of his hearers, "a setter forth of new doctrines." Most men have so lived away the substance of that religion, the profession whereof they still retain, that no sooner are any of those truths proposed which difference the Spirit of Christ from
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

Earnest Expostulation
Observe that the apostle singled out an individual who had condemned others for transgressions, in which he himself indulged. This man owned so much spiritual light that he knew right from wrong, and he diligently used his knowledge to judge others, condemning them for their transgressions. As for himself, he preferred the shade, where no fierce light might beat on his own conscience and disturb his unholy peace. His judgment was spared the pain of dealing with his home offenses by being set to work
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 29: 1883

Coming Judgment of the Secrets of Men
"Should all the forms that men devise Assult my faith with treacherous art, I'd call them vanity and lies, And bind the gospel to my heart." Is not this word "my gospel" the voice of love? Does he not by this word embrace the gospel as the only love of his soul--for the sake of which he had suffered the loss of all things, and did count them but dung--for the sake of which he was willing to stand before Nero, and proclaim, even in Caesar's palace, the message from heaven? Though each word should
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 31: 1885

"Hear the Word of the Lord, Ye Rulers of Sodom, Give Ear unto the Law of Our God, Ye People of Gomorrah,"
Isaiah i. 10, 11, &c.--"Hear the word of the Lord, ye rulers of Sodom, give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah," &c. It is strange to think what mercy is mixed with the most wrath like strokes and threatenings. There is no prophet whose office and commission is only for judgment, nay, to speak the truth, it is mercy that premises threatenings. The entering of the law, both in the commands and curses, is to make sin abound, that grace may superabound, so that both rods and threatenings
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Tendencies of Religious Thought in England, 1688-1750.
THE thirty years of peace which succeeded the Peace of Utrecht (1714), was the most prosperous season that England had ever experienced; and the progression, though slow, being uniform, the reign of George II. might not disadvantageously be compared for the real happiness of the community with that more brilliant, but uncertain and oscillatory condition which has ensued. A labourer's wages have never for many ages commanded so large a portion of subsistence as in this part of the 18th century.' (Hallam,
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

The Same Necessary and Eternal Different Relations
that different things bear one to another, and the same consequent fitness or unfitness of the application of different things or different relations one to another, with regard to which the will of God always and necessarily does determine itself, to choose to act only what is agreeable to justice, equity, goodness, and truth, in order to the welfare of the whole universe, ought likewise constantly to determine the wills of all subordinate rational beings, to govern all their actions by the same
Samuel Clarke—A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God

Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia.
Part I. History of the Councils. Reason why two Councils were called. Inconsistency and folly of calling any; and of the style of the Arian formularies; occasion of the Nicene Council; proceedings at Ariminum; Letter of the Council to Constantius; its decree. Proceedings at Seleucia; reflections on the conduct of the Arians. 1. Perhaps news has reached even yourselves concerning the Council, which is at this time the subject of general conversation; for letters both from the Emperor and the Prefects
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Epistle xvi. From Felix Bishop of Messana to St. Gregory.
From Felix Bishop of Messana [243] to St. Gregory. To the most blessed and honourable lord, the holy father Pope Gregory, Felix lover of your Weal and Holiness. The claims under God of your most blessed Weal and Holiness are manifest. For, though the whole earth was filled with observance of the true faith by the preaching and doctrine of the apostles, yet the orthodox Church of Christ, having been founded by apostolical institution and most firmly established by the faithful fathers, is further
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Entire Sanctification in Type.
The Mosaic dispensation was legal, ceremonial and typical. "The law having a shadow of the good things to come," says the author of the Hebrews. But a shadow always points to a substance; and so far as holiness is commanded, and so far as it is shadowed forth in the ceremonial law, we shall find that there is a corresponding substance and reality in the gospel of Christ. In the first place, if we study carefully the provisions of the Mosaic law, we shall be struck with the many forms of ceremonial
Dougan Clark—The Theology of Holiness

Love of Religion, a New Nature.
"If we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him."--Romans vi. 8. To be dead with Christ, is to hate and turn from sin; and to live with Him, is to have our hearts and minds turned towards God and Heaven. To be dead to sin, is to feel a disgust at it. We know what is meant by disgust. Take, for instance, the case of a sick man, when food of a certain kind is presented to him,--and there is no doubt what is meant by disgust. Consider how certain scents, which are too
John Henry Newman—Parochial and Plain Sermons, Vol. VII

"If So be that the Spirit of God Dwell in You. Now if any Man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is None of His. "
Rom. viii. 9.--"If so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." "But will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth?" 2 Chron. vi. 18. It was the wonder of one of the wisest of men, and indeed, considering his infinite highness above the height of heavens, his immense and incomprehensible greatness, that the heaven of heavens cannot contain him, and then the baseness, emptiness, and worthlessness of man, it may be a wonder to the
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

"If we Say that we have not Sinned, we Make Him a Liar, and his Word is not in Us. "
1 John i. 10.--"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." There is nothing in which religion more consists than in the true and unfeigned knowledge of ourselves. The heathens supposed that sentence, {GREEK SMALL LETTER GAMMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER NU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMEGA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER THETA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER IOTA} {GREEK SMALL LETTER SIGMA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER EPSILON}{GREEK SMALL LETTER ALPHA}{GREEK SMALL LETTER TAU}{GREEK SMALL LETTER OMICRON}{GREEK
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Though in Order to Establish this Suitable Difference Between the Fruits or Effects of virtue and vice,
so reasonable in itself, and so absolutely necessary for the vindication of the honour of God, the nature of things, and the constitution and order of God's creation, was originally such, that the observance of the eternal rules of justice, equity, and goodness, does indeed of itself tend by direct and natural consequence to make all creatures happy, and the contrary practice to make them miserable; yet since, through some great and general corruption and depravation, (whencesoever that may have
Samuel Clarke—A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God

But Now, that as Bearing with the Infirmity of Men He did This...
12. But now, that as bearing with the infirmity of men he did this, let us hear what follows: "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. To them that are under the law, I became as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; to them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law." [2505] Which thing he did, not with craftiness
St. Augustine—Of the Work of Monks.

Note to the Following Treatise 1. The Following Letter
NOTE TO THE FOLLOWING TREATISE 1. The following Letter, which is the 190th of S. Bernard, was ranked by Horst among the Treatises, on account of its length and importance. It was written on the occasion of the condemnation of the errors of Abaelard by the Council of Sens, in 1140, in the presence of a great number of French Bishops, and of King Louis the Younger, as has been described in the notes to Letter 187. In the Synodical Epistle, which is No. 191 of S. Bernard, and in another, which is No.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux—Some Letters of Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux

Seances Historiques De Geneve --The National Church.
IN the city of Geneva, once the stronghold of the severest creed of the Reformation, Christianity itself has of late years received some very rude shocks. But special attempts have been recently made to counteract their effects and to re-organize the Christian congregations upon Evangelical principles. In pursuance of this design, there have been delivered and published during the last few years a series of addresses by distinguished persons holding Evangelical sentiments, entitled Séances
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

Neither do they Confess that they are Awed by those Citations from the Old...
7. Neither do they confess that they are awed by those citations from the Old Testament which are alleged as examples of lies: for there, every incident may possibly be taken figuratively, although it really did take place: and when a thing is either done or said figuratively, it is no lie. For every utterance is to be referred to that which it utters. But when any thing is either done or said figuratively, it utters that which it signifies to those for whose understanding it was put forth. Whence
St. Augustine—On Lying

THE IMAGE OF GOD. MAN is God's image, and to curse wickedly the image of God, is to curse God himself. Suppose that a man should say with his mouth, I wish that the king's picture were burned; would not this man's so saying render him as an enemy to the person of the king? Even so it is with them that by cursing wish evil to their neighbors or themselves; they contemn the image of God himself. This world, as it dropped from the fingers of God, was far more glorious than it is now. VALUE OF THE SOUL.
John Bunyan—The Riches of Bunyan

The Hindrances to Mourning
What shall we do to get our heart into this mourning frame? Do two things. Take heed of those things which will stop these channels of mourning; put yourselves upon the use of all means that will help forward holy mourning. Take heed of those things which will stop the current of tears. There are nine hindrances of mourning. 1 The love of sin. The love of sin is like a stone in the pipe which hinders the current of water. The love of sin makes sin taste sweet and this sweetness in sin bewitches the
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity the Christian Calling and Unity.
Text: Ephesians 4, 1-6. 1 I, therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. III

All Mankind Guilty; Or, Every Man Knows More than He Practises.
ROMANS i. 24.--"When they knew God, they glorified him not as God." The idea of God is the most important and comprehensive of all the ideas of which the human mind is possessed. It is the foundation of religion; of all right doctrine, and all right conduct. A correct intuition of it leads to correct religious theories and practice; while any erroneous or defective view of the Supreme Being will pervade the whole province of religion, and exert a most pernicious influence upon the entire character
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

Saurin -- Paul Before Felix and Drusilla
Jacques Saurin, the famous French Protestant preacher of the seventeenth century, was born at Nismes in 1677. He studied at Geneva and was appointed to the Walloon Church in London in 1701. The scene of his great life work was, however, the Hague, where he settled in 1705. He has been compared with Bossuet, tho he never attained the graceful style and subtilty which characterize the "Eagle of Meaux." The story is told of the famous scholar Le Clerc that he long refused to hear Saurin preach, on the
Grenville Kleiser—The world's great sermons, Volume 3

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