Romans 2:5-11 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasures up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 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: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that does evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that works good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.
‘Hardness’ caused by a long course of rebellion (Ps. 81:11-15; 2Cor. 3:14; Heb. 3:8-19). ‘Impenitent heart’ caused by the hardness of heart (Eph. 4:18-19). ‘Treasures up’ [Greek: thesaurizo] increase or store up – here it is storing up things that will call for the wrath of God. The treasure of wrath is varied to the extent one rejects the goodness of God and punishment will be according to its contents (2:6; Matt. 11:22-24; 23:14; Rev. 20:11-15).
‘The day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God’ Paul no doubt refers here to the final judgment when all rebels will receive full retribution for their sins (2:16; Acts 17:31; Rev. 20:11-15). It is called “the wrath to come” (Matt. 3:7; 1Thess. 1:10). All rebels are “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3; 5:6). Many days of wrath have come upon people locally and in this life because of rebellion (Num. 11:33; 16:46; Deut. 9:7-8; Luke 21:23; 1Thess. 2:16; etc.). One more great day of wrath is coming upon people on earth (Rev. 6:16-17; 14:19; 15:1, 7; 16:1, 19; 18:3; 19:15), but the great day of wrath is that of the final judgment and eternal hell (Rev. 14:9-11; 20:11-15; 21:8).
‘Render to every man according to his deeds’ repay every man reward or punishment.
‘Patient continuance in well doing’ a must for all (John 6:27; 10:28; 1Tim. 6:12, 19). We are commanded to “do good” to those who hate us (Matt. 5:44; Luke 6:27; Gal. 6:10; Heb. 13:16).
‘Seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life’ four things to seek: Glory (2:7, 10; 8:18; 2Pet. 1:3); honour (2:7, 10; John 12:26; 1Thess. 4:4); immortality (1Pet. 3:4), and eternal life (John 6:27; 10:28).
These are given on conditions of seeking them (2:7) and by “continuance in well doing” and “working good” (2:7, 10). Acts of obedience do not merit such blessings, which are already provided for by grace, but they demonstrate acceptance of them by man and proof to God of conformity to His will (Php. 2:12; Jas. 1:21-27).
‘Indignation and wrath’ note the contrasted destinies of two classes – good and evil (2:7-11). They care clearly described in Matthew 7:13; 25:46; John 5:28-29; Galatians 6:7-8. Up to physical death, destruction can be cancelled by repentance (Luke 13:1-5; John 3:16-20; Acts 3:19; 1Jn. 1:9) and life can be cancelled by sin (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 8:12-13).
‘No respect of persons with God’ God cannot be anything but infinitely impartial in His dealings with all men. He cannot prefer one above another nor bless one above another when all meet the same terms and love Him with all the heart. The seeming preference of God between two men is based upon the attitude and disposition of the men toward God and conformity to His plan. Naturally, God cannot bless two men the same when one is in obedience and the other in rebellion. God will bless the ones more who conform more fully to His holiness.