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Romans 2:5-6

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 2:5
  • Romans 2:6

The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.


Paul refutes the slander from competing Jewish “authorities” and makes clear that doing what is right pleases God, whereas simply asserting we are right or judging others for being wrong does not. What matters is faith: trusting and doing what God asks. What does not matter is religious labels or practice (if it varies from God’s way).


The further we go without repenting and turning to God, the more wrath is in store for us.


Although our merciful God is always seeking to restore each of us, including “O man” who judges others, the reality is that we deserve the same judgment. Sadly, it is typical for us to be quick to judge others and slow to repent. We can always repent of our prideful condescension toward others, receive forgiveness for our pride, and replace it with humble obedience. But when we do not, we instead are “storing up wrath” in the day of God’s judgment.

There will come a day when God will judge all of humanity. The true reality is that any wrongs we do not repent of here on earth we will carry with us to heaven. The saying is so true that “you can’t take it with you” when referring to material possessions, but it is just as true that we can carry our deeds with us to heaven. It is interesting in contemplating 2:4-5 that the “storing up” of 2:5 only takes place because the repentance of 2:4 did not take place. It seems that we can also leave behind wrong deeds by repenting of them here on earth. This sentiment is echoed by the Apostle John in 1 John 1:7-9.

On the Day God judges all humanity, every man and woman will be judged according to his or her deeds while on earth. Recall that Paul is still referring to “O man” who passes judgment on others, and has already made clear that these “judges” are storing up wrath for themselves because they refuse to repent and let God deal with them now on earth. For believers, the judgment of God will not be applied to determine whether they are worthy of admission into God’s family. God has already pronounced us worthy because of Jesus’ sacrifice. The judgment for believers will determine what sort of reward or approval we receive from our Father for the life we lived.

A good father will accept his children without condition. There should never be any event or circumstance whereby a good father will cease loving his children and seeking their best; there is no way they will be rejected as children. However, while acceptance is unconditional, that same excellent father will never approve self-destructive behavior; he will condition his approval upon behavior that is beneficial to the child. As earthly fathers, we strive to be good parents, but God the Father is a perfect parent and provides for us perfect acceptance that is totally without condition. Our perfect Father also only will approve and reward those behaviors that are beneficial to us, to others, and to His kingdom.

Biblical Text

5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who will render to each person according to his deeds:

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