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Geneva Study Notes
Romans Chapter 2

Romans 2:1
2:1 Therefore {1} thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou
    art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou
    condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same

 (1) He convicts those who would seem to be exempt from the rest
     of men (because they reprehend other men's faults), and
     says that they are least of all to be excused, for if they
     were searched well and carefully (as God surely does) they
     themselves would be found guilty in those things which they
     reprehend and punish in others: so that in condemning
     others, they pronounce sentence against themselves.

Romans 2:2
2:2 But we {a} are sure that the judgment of God is according to
    {b} truth against them which commit such things.

    (a) Paul alleges no places of scripture, for he reasons
        generally against all men: but he brings reasons such
        that every man is persuaded by them in his mind, so that
        the devil himself is not able to completely pluck
        them out.
    (b) Considering and judging things correctly, and not by any
        outward show.

Romans 2:4
2:4 {2} Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and
    forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness
    of God leadeth thee to repentance?

 (2) A vehement and grievous crying out against those that
     please themselves because they see more than others do, and
     yet are in no way better than others are.

Romans 2:5
2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart {c} treasurest
    up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and
    revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

    (c) While you are giving yourself to pleasures, thinking to
        increase your goods, you will find God's wrath.

Romans 2:6
2:6 {3} Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

 (3) The foundation of the former disputation, that both the Jews
     and Gentiles together have need of righteousness.

Romans 2:7
2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for
    {d} glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

    (d) Glory which follows good works, which he does not lay
        out before us as though there were any that could
        attain to salvation by his own strength, but, he lays
        this condition of salvation before us, which no man can
        perform, to bring men to Christ, who alone justifies the
        believers, as he himself concludes; see Romans 2:21-22.

Romans 2:8
2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the {e}
    truth, but obey unrighteousness, {f} indignation and wrath,

    (e) By "truth" he means the knowledge which we naturally
    (f) God's indignation against sinners, which will quickly be

Romans 2:11
2:11 For there is no {g} respect of persons with God.

     (g) God does not judge men either by their blood or by
         their country, either to receive them or to cast them

Romans 2:12
2:12 {4} For as many as have sinned without law shall also
     perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law
     shall be judged by the law;

 (4) He applies that general accusation against mankind
     particularly both to the Gentiles and to the Jews.

Romans 2:13
2:13 {5} (For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God,
     but the doers of the law shall be {h} justified.

 (5) He prevents an objection which might be made by the Jews
     whom the law does not excuse, but condemn, because it is
     not the hearing of the law that justifies, but rather the
     keeping of it.
     (h) Will be pronounced just before God's judgment seat:
         which is true indeed if any one could be found that had
         fulfilled the law: but seeing that Abraham was not
         justified by the law, but by faith, it follows that no
         man can be justified by works.

Romans 2:14
2:14 {6} For when the Gentiles, which have {i} not the law, do
     by {k} nature the things contained in the law, these,
     having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

 (6) He prevents an objection which might be made by the
     Gentiles, who even though they do not have the law of
     Moses, yet they have no reason why they may excuse their
     wickedness, in that they have something written in their
     hearts instead of a law, as men do who forbid and punish
     some things as wicked, and command and commend other things
     as good.
     (i) Not that they are without any law, but rather the law
         of the Jews.
     (k) Command honest things, and forbid dishonest.

Romans 2:15
2:15 Which shew the work of the law {l} written in their hearts,
     their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts
     the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

     (l) This knowledge is a natural knowledge.

Romans 2:16
2:16 {7} In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by
     Jesus Christ according to {m} my gospel.

 (7) God defers many judgments, which he will nonetheless
     execute at their convenient time by Jesus Christ, with a
     most candid examination, not only of words and deeds, but
     of thoughts also, be they ever so hidden or secret.
     (m) As my doctrine witnesses, which I am appointed to

Romans 2:17
2:17 {8} Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law,
     and makest thy boast of God,

 (8) He proves by the testimony of David, and the other
     prophets, that God bestows greatest benefits upon the Jews,
     in giving them also the law, but that they are the most
     unthankful and unkind of all men.

Romans 2:18
2:18 And knowest [his] will, and {n} approvest the things that
     are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;

     (n) Can test and discern what things swerve from God's

Romans 2:20
2:20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which
     hast the {o} form of knowledge and of the truth in the {p}

     (o) The way to teach and to form others in the knowledge of
         the truth.
     (p) As though he said that the Jews under a pretence of an
         outward serving of God, attributed all to themselves,
         when in reality they did nothing less than observe the

Romans 2:25
2:25 {9} For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the
     law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision
     is made uncircumcision.

 (9) He precisely prevents their objection, who set a holiness
     in circumcision, and the outward observation of the law: so
     that he shows that the outward circumcision, if it is
     separated from the inward, does not justify, and also
     condemns those who are indeed circumcised, of whom it is
     required that they fulfil that which circumcision
     signifies, that is to say, cleanness of the heart and the
     whole life according to the commandment of the law, so that
     if there is a man uncircumcised according to the flesh, who
     is circumcised in heart, he is far better and to be more
     regarded than any Jew that is circumcised according to the
     flesh only.

Romans 2:26
2:26 Therefore if the {q} uncircumcision keep the righteousness
     of the law, shall not his {r} uncircumcision be counted for

     (q) This is the figure of speech metonymy, and means
     (r) The state and condition of the uncircumcised.

Romans 2:27
2:27 And shall not {s} uncircumcision which is by nature, if it
     fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the {t} letter and
     circumcision dost transgress the law?

     (s) He who is uncircumcised by nature and race.
     (t) Paul often contrasts the letter against the Spirit: but
         in this place, the circumcision which is according to
         the letter is the cutting off of the foreskin, but the
         circumcision of the Spirit is the circumcision of the
         heart, that is to say, the spiritual result of the
         ceremony is true holiness and righteousness, by which
         the people of God are known from profane and heathen

Romans 2:28
2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one {u} outwardly; neither
     [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

     (u) By the outward ceremony only.

Romans 2:29
2:29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision
     [is that] of the heart, in the {x} spirit, [and] not in the
     letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

     (x) Whose power is inward, and in the heart.

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