Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Interpreting Romans 2:13: Being Out of Context?

At, I had a Roman Catholic forumer named Kolbe who wrote:
But as you have said, CONTEXT is of prime importance. Prior to this in writing to the church at Rome, Paul has already stated directly that "it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but those who obey the law who will be declared righteous" (Rom 2:13).

Why? Because faith and works of OBEDIENCE are inseparable. This is different from works of the LAW-- Old Covenant-- which are UNABLE to save in any way. The very quotation that Paul uses in referring to Abraham takes place in Genesis after he has RESPONDED to God's Word by leaving for a foreign land, not at the very moment he believes!
I replied:
For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Romans 2:13 NIV)
I do not know whether to be amused or to be astonished by your "out-of-context" reference to this verse, for the Apostle Paul was obviously writing about the Jews, NOT the Christians. Please read the whole of chapter 2 and 3 in the book of Romans:
  1. Romans 2:14 "Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law"
  2. Romans 2:17 "Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God."
  3. Romans 3:20 "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin."
  4. The CONCLUDING verse Romans 3:28 "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law."
The Apostle Paul was telling the Jews that if they wish to be under the Law of Moses, they should better be sure to obey every single law found in it. If a single law is broken, the Jew will not be righteous before God. In Romans 2:17-24, the Apostle Paul was mocking the Jews for breaking the Law of Moses: "You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself ... You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?"


Blogger Theodore A. Jones said...

The law Paul is referencing in Ro. 2:13 is not the OT code.not by a long shot.

26/1/15 11:42 AM  

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