Romans 2:7 ( posted 9-26-11 )

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

 

Let’s continue.

 

Paul is continuing his line of thought about God’s judgment toward all people, including born again christians who believe in Jesus Christ.

It is quite obvious by the content that Paul is including those who believe in Jesus in all that he says in these verses… not just directed to the unsaved.

Doing right, obeying the gospel of Jesus Christ and His commandments has nothing to do with " legalism."

You will find that there is much criticism against followers of Jesus who try to please Him within evangelical preaching these days, using the term “ legalism “ against these followers of Jesus who try to obey Jesus’ commands as a copout excuse for condoning living in sin in their own life and in others, while following Jesus Christ.

 

 

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

 

Transliterated, the Greek reads;

“ to the ones on one hand, by endurance work good and honour and incorruption seeking life eternal; ”

 

The New International Version translates this verse;

“ To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. “

This translation is interesting to me, coming from followers of John Calvin.

Nowadays, modern evangelical preachers here in America, especially those who follow John Calvin, would accuse the New Internation Version of being “ legalistic” in this translation based on the philosophies in today’s modern evangelicalism.

The New International Version is not the only translation which translates this verse in this way.

There are others as well.

The Greek itself, in which this was initially written under the divine inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit, tells us that the end result of doing good is inheriting eternal life.

Keeping within the context of what Paul is saying, let’s refer again to the verse in my last study and put this all in perspective…

“ 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: “     Romans 2:6-7

 

Paul is keeping in context with Jesus.

Jesus already said even before He was crucified;

“   And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. “              Matthew 24:12-13

 

The Greek word “hupomonen “ translated  patient continuance “ means cheerful or hopeful endurance, constancy, patient continuance, waiting.

 

The Greek word Jesus used is basically the same word.

 

The Greek word “ hupomeinas “ translated endure means remain, persevere, abide, endure, patient, suffer, tarry.

 

Paul is keeping in the line of thought Jesus said;

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. “  

Scripture teaches that believers in Jesus Christ are both saved and in the process of being saved.  

This is why Jesus said if we remain in Him to the end of life, then we will be saved.       

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. “  

And why John said;

“ Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. “   1 John 2:24-25

 

The modern day evangelical belief that love in itself alone is enough for eternal life as a believer and follower of Jesus Christ is based on select verses such as;

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. “   John 15:12

and;

“ For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. “    Galatians 5:14

However, John also said under the inspiration of God’s Holy Spirit;

“And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.

And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.  “      2 John 1:5-6

Yes, just as “ love “ is evidenced by keeping God’s commandments;

“ And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. “

so is the proof we belong to Jesus evidenced by our fruit;

Ye shall know them by their fruits. “       Matthew 7:16

This is why James said;

“ What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. “      James 2:14-26

Jesus also said;

If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. “    John 14:23

In accordance with what Paul and Jesus said, John also said;

“ Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. “    2 John 1:8

Salvation, eternal life, yet to be... if we endure unto the end of life.

 

Eternal life, being both complete and in the process of being made complete does not mean 75% of a follower of Jesus will go to Heaven while 25% of a follower of Jesus will go to hell.

If we die while our faith is still in Jesus then obviously we will go to Heaven because Paul also said;

“ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not of works, lest any man should boast. “  Ephesians 2:8-9

 

This incomplete condition taught in the other verses in the Bible evangelical preachers conveniently and willfully reject and do not quote simply means that there remains the possibility for what Jesus and Paul calls “ apostasy”, which can and unfortunately will happen to many followers of Jesus Christ before He returns.

While it is true that these people “ were never saved to begin with “;

“  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. “      Matthew 7:23

these people Jesus mentions He did once know and they were saved;

“  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. “          Luke 8:13

Yes my friend, they were saved to begin with. 

which for a while believe,  “

 

All that I have discussed is the point in what Paul is saying in the verse of our study.

 

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

 

Eternal life hinges on our patient continuance, endurance, constancy and keeping our faith in Jesus Christ to the end of life.

Yes, if we should die tonight in our sleep, as long as our faith is in Jesus Christ when we go to sleep, if we should die before we wake, we will go to Heaven.

And if we are still here on earth to live more years, if sometime along life’s journey we should change our faith to someone or something else, then we will not go to Heaven after we die.

which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

And this fall away Jesus mentions does not mean falling into sin, commiting sin and/or living in sin.

It means the same as the word “ apostasy”.

The Greek word here “ aphistantai “ means to desist, depart, withdraw, depart…same as apostasy.

And because of trials, tribulations, temptations, discouragement or whatever, these people Jesus mentions decide to depart from Him and turn to someone or something else…( which makes them no longer followers of Jesus Christ since their faith ceased in Jesus ) Now, they are no longer promised eternal life.

A follower of Jesus who rejects the Holy Bible in its doctrinal teaching that a follower of Jesus Christ is both complete and incomplete, both perfect and not perfect, that no follower of Jesus can or ever will lose his salvation, that the gifts and works of the Holy Spirit are not for followers of Jesus Christ in today's modern society( even though the same Holy Bible teaches that not all followers of Jesus Christ do speak in tongues or have all the gifts, notwithstanding still believing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit as part of the gospel of Jesus Christ ), rejecting the existence of Job in the Old Testament, criticizing a follower of Jesus Christ who tries to please God in doing right and walking uprightly in accusing him of being " legalistic " in trying to please God... should do as Paul said;

" Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves..."     2 Corinthians 13:5

Why?

Because if there are certain Biblical truths a follower of Jesus Christ rejects and does not believe, then it is sure that there will be other Biblical truths he might currently reject or will come to reject as well.

My friend, to be of " the faith " is to believe in its entirety...not just bits and pieces of " the faith."

Changing one's faith in what one once believed is what " apostasy " is all about...not living in sin.

 

I will continue with verse 8 in the next study.

 

Wayne Brown