Romans Chapter 2 Verses 6 - 7

Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:


Surrounding Verses

God's righteous judgment is being restrained in order that these hypocrites might repent.


Romans Chapter 2



Commentary in light of context

Taken out of context, these verses are a great candidate for saying that you must work your way to Heaven. Unfortunately, such an interpretation is in complete contradiction with the entire book of Romans, and the gospel in general. Romans chapter 2 is, of course, sandwiched between Romans 1 ("…the righteous will live by faith." v. 17) and Romans 3 ("Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" v.24).

The third chapter of Romans is very clear that no one can be justified by their own works. "for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;" (v. 9). "There is none righteous, no, not one." (v. 10). "There is none that doeth good, no, not one." (v. 12). "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (v. 20).

Paul is very clear that it is not by our own works or following the Law that justifies us (takes away our sin). The situation that is being set up in chapter 2 is really a hypothetical situation designed to show people their need for Christ's work on the cross. The beginning of chapter 2 shows who this argument is addressed to, those "that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same." (v. 3). Verses 6 and 7 are saying that God judges the deeds a person commits, not their false pretenses at morality.

Paul understood that the hypocrite from chapter 2 must first realize that God would judge them, too, based on their works. Chapter 3, then, unequivocally shows that no matter how good they may be, they will never be good enough for God, and that's where the atoning work of Jesus' death on the cross comes in.


Enter links to "contradiction pages", if applicable, in the format Contradiction_Reference1-Reference2 where the first reference is the verse that comes first in the normal order according to the Bible. This section contains only links—put commentary on the contradiction on the actual contradiction page that links these verses.

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