A Bible Study and Commentary on Romans Chapter Two

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Here is a Bible study with commentary on the Book of Romans chapter two.


The Book of Romans chapter one has brought about much controversy over the centuries, from the pulpits to the streets, but to put it this way; the lost cannot be saved until they know they are lost, and the Book of Romans tells them (and us) their precarious state before God. I’m not afraid to speak these things behind the pulpit because until they hear the bad news, the good news isn’t important. Even so, many are afraid to “cry aloud and spare not” (Isaiah 58:1) because they don’t want to offend anyone, but the Word of God is supposed to cut in order to heal; it comforts the afflicted but it also afflicts the comfortable. That’s what Romans chapter two does.

Judging Others

People who judge others for doing something that they are also doing are standing condemned before God. The Apostle Paul tells them “you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things” (Rom 2:1). If we continue living in sin, what makes us that thank I or “you will escape the judgment of God” (Rom 2:3)? This is why we must never “presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance” (Rom 2:3), and the fact that God is the One Who grants repentance (2 Tim 2:24-66).

Works Rewarded

Every one of us will be judged according to what we’ve done in this life. If we’ve not trusted in Christ, our works will not save us on the Day of Judgment (Rev 20:12-15), but there is good news and there is bad news. Paul says that someday, God “will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life” (Rom 2:6-7), but for those who have rejected Christ and “are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury” (Rom 2:8). God does not discriminate (Rom 2:11). We are all equal opportunity sinners before God and all in need of His grace (Eph 2:8-9).  If God the Father didn’t even spare His own Son (Rom 8:32), then what makes us think our works will get us off the hook!?  If works could do it, then Jesus died for nothing.


The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were hypocrites, but we can be too if we’re not careful. For example, if we teach others not to steal “While you preach against stealing, do you steal” (Rom 2:21b)? We might teach that you “must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery” in your hearts by lusting after someone who is not your spouse? Jesus calls this adultery of the heart (Matt 5:27-28). We cannot teach we what we do not practice, otherwise our teachings ring hollow and empty. The Pharisees didn’t even practice what they taught (Matt 23:3), but we can be a Pharisee too if we’re not careful.

Circumcision of the Heart

The Old Testament law where the men had to be circumcised never changed them on the inside. The true circumcision God desires must be of the heart and not the foreskin. Paul says that “no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical” (Rom 2:28). It must be from the heart because “a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God” (Rom 2:29).

Religion but no Relationship

No forms, ordinances, or notions can profit us without regenerating grace, which will always lead to seeking an interest in the righteousness of God by faith. Paul is saying that he or she is a real Christian who is inwardly a true believer with an obedient faith (Rom 2:28-29). It is a true baptism of the heart by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray that we may be made real Christians, not outwardly, but inwardly; in the heart and in the spirit; not in the letter of the law but in the spirit of the law; baptized not only with water only, but with the Holy Spirit. Because of this amazing grace, let our praise be, not of men, but of God. We can have a form of religion, but a relationship with Jesus Christ is priceless.

Practice Evangelizing

Practice sharing the gospel with someone or do it in the mirror or with your spouse. Have one person be a hard-nosed atheist while the other person tries to share Christ. Think about what you might say to someone you want to open the door for to share Christ. Pray, trust the Holy Spirit to give you the right words, but know the gospel by heart in a few memorized Bible verses. Examples are 2 Corinthians 5:21, John 3:16, and Acts 4:12, etc.


Unless someone knows they have the wrath of God abiding on them, they will never see the grace of God as important. You don’t tell people the good news until they’ve heard the bad news because the bad news makes the good news all the better. Our desperate state before God, with the abiding wrath of God resting upon them (Rom 2:5-8), should make men and women run to the cross for mercy and grace. Unless they repent, as Jesus said, they will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3), and we know that’s not God’s desire. That must be our desire too; to rescue the perishing and pluck out that burning stick. Someone loved you enough to share Christ with you, so how can we be silent, knowing that those who are perishing without Christ will face God’s everlasting wrath?

Here is some related reading for you: Romans 3 Commentary: Bible Study and Summary

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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