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KingsGambit
02-25-2014, 07:52 AM
Romans 2:7 is given in the NIV as: To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

In his New International Commentary, Douglas Moo writes:
It is a continual seeking after eternal rewards, accompanied by a persistent doing of what is good, that is the condition for a positive verdict at the judgment. Paul never denies the validity of this principle, but he goes on to show that no one meets the conditions necessary for this principle to become a reality. If I am reading this correctly, this states what amounts to a hypothetical about how one might attain eternal life, but Paul is preparing to negate this as a practical possibility in 3:23. Is this reading correct?

Paprika
02-25-2014, 08:26 AM
Romans 2:7 is given in the NIV as: To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

In his New International Commentary, Douglas Moo writes: If I am reading this correctly, this states what amounts to a hypothetical about how one might attain eternal life, but Paul is preparing to negate this as a practical possibility in 3:23. Is this reading correct?
I think you are reading Moo rightly.

Paul brings up the future judgment based on works. Does it not imply that some of one's good may make up for some of one's sins?

Catholicity
02-25-2014, 08:39 AM
I think you are reading Moo rightly.

Paul brings up the future judgment based on works. Does it not imply that some of one's good may make up for some of one's sins?
The position of the RCC has always been that grace will save us, but we have a responsibility to maintain our state of grace by doing good works, even when we don't feel like it. Based not just on this verse but on Christ's words in Matthew, and the Words of James, I am inclined to agree with the interpretation of the RCC.

Paprika
02-25-2014, 08:40 AM
The position of the RCC has always been that grace will save us, but we have a responsibility to maintain our state of grace by doing good works, even when we don't feel like it. Based not just on this verse but on Christ's words in Matthew, and the Words of James, I am inclined to agree with the interpretation of the RCC.
Well, it's not only a responsibility, but we do have incentive.


Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Paprika
02-25-2014, 09:19 AM
KG: revisiting your original post, I'm not so sure Paul shows that "no one meets the conditions necessary for this principle to become a reality". What about the believers in Christ? More generally, I am not certain Paul has done that at all.

Obsidian
02-25-2014, 10:00 AM
Romans 2
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
. . . .
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

Romans 4
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

How is that not a negation?

KingsGambit
02-25-2014, 10:04 AM
KG: revisiting your original post, I'm not so sure Paul shows that "no one meets the conditions necessary for this principle to become a reality". What about the believers in Christ? More generally, I am not certain Paul has done that at all.

I gleaned that principle from 3:23, which seems to speak in a universal manner and doesn't specifically exclude believers from its scope.

robrecht
02-25-2014, 11:14 AM
I gleaned that principle from 3:23, which seems to speak in a universal manner and doesn't specifically exclude believers from its scope.
In order to speak universally of God's grace, the God of both the Jews and the Gentiles, Paul chooses to challenge those Jewish Christians in Rome who boast in the law, but who do not in fact observe it, and he also speaks of the possibility of Gentiles showing by their actions and conscience that they too have the effect of the law written on their hearts. Paul speaks differently of Gentiles and Jews to persuade the Jewish Christians to esteem the Gentiles on more equal footing, and to attribute ultimate importance to faithfulness of God and Christ, without denying the value of the law given first to the Jews. I don't think Paul ever intended to negate (or render merely hypothetical) what he said in Romans 2 about conscience and God's judgment by his subsequent remarks in the rest of the letter.

Paprika
02-25-2014, 06:04 PM
I gleaned that principle from 3:23, which seems to speak in a universal manner and doesn't specifically exclude believers from its scope.
"All have sinned" - yes, but that is not sufficient - "and fallen short of the glory of God". What does the second bit mean?

Obsidian
02-25-2014, 07:58 PM
Romans 2:7
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

Paprika
02-25-2014, 08:08 PM
Romans 2:7
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Romans 3:23
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God
So you're proposing identifying the glory of 2:7 as the glory of God in 3:23?

mikewhitney
02-27-2014, 06:52 PM
With respect to the OP ...

First we should observe that Rom 2:7 is not saying "only those who persist ..." which would be potentially exclude those who were saved in Christ which didn't meet some standard of works. By contrast we can cautiously read this verse (in order to pull a truth out of something which is actually rhetorical in nature) to say "those who persist will get eternal life ... and even all who were saved in Christ." So I would agree that the actual text of 2:7 was narrowed in its reach to only specify an almost exaggerated requirement for eternal life ... and in this sense is hypothetical.

Another point is noted somewhat by the contrast of 'works' (deeds) in verse 6 in close proximity with 'doing good.' This proximity establishes ghosted verbiage of 'doing good works' -- However, what is important to recognize here is that Paul has been dealing with two or three types of deeds here (roughly in 2:6-16):
1) evil deeds --disobedience to the truth (i.e. of the gospel manifested before the people)
2) good deeds -- as actions in accord with the 'work of the law' (which likely means agape love)
3) works of the law -- which is not specified in the text but is the locus of Paul's play on words
So Paul was speaking of type 2 deeds but phrasing his approach teasingly around the idea of works of the law.

The good deeds potentially are inherent to believers (conferred righteousness?) but should be generally represented among them through agape love.

Now the broader letter points to some serious misbehavior by the Roman gentile believers. The mention of 'persistence' then provides a concept where these gentiles might have found themselves, in self inspection, to be lacking; they were doing good in the past but maybe not so well by the time Paul wrote to them. Paul only allowed (in 2:7) for a stricter ground of self-assessment.

The essential 'deed' according to the actual view (non-rhetoric-laden view) of Paul would seem to be the requirement to believe on the Son ( Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:29).

Douglas Moo has not addressed the discussion in such a rhetorical framework. Additionally, he seems to have presented the discussion of Rom 2:7 as if Paul were using Rom 2 to show the need for the gospel within a broader framework assuming that Paul's primary purpose in Romans was to present his view of the gospel.

Paprika
03-06-2014, 07:52 PM
So you're proposing identifying the glory of 2:7 as the glory of God in 3:23?
:bump:
My argument would be since the righteousness of God is different from the righteousness of Abraham, for example, we shouldn't assume that the glory of God (3:23) is necessarily equivalent to the glory in 2:7.