Text: Romans 2:7
A POSITIVE SIDE OF JUDGMENT
Judgment does not always have to be seen negatively. We have a very encouraging and positive word in the following text.
“Eternal life to those who by patient continuance
In doing good seek for glory, honour, and immortality.”
1. The reward of eternal life
It is natural to desire “eternal life”. Life may exist as we know it, on this earth. Life may also exist on another plane, in the spiritual realm.
2. Those who will be given eternal life
The characteristics given here differ from those who wickedly reject God. What is not stated must be borne in mind though:-
a) There is an essential belief in God
This must be assumed, and correctly so. The context argues for it. There are those who deny the existence of God. It follows that there are those who know and believe in God. There is no middle ground.
b) Expressions of belief in God
What are the characteristics of those who believe in God? Paul made a short list:-
i) Patient continuance in doing good
Faith is never seen as something a person possesses in his heart. Where there is real faith, it is always well-evidenced. The person who has a genuine faith in God will seek to do good in his life. Doing good is a lifestyle characteristic. This is what Paul meant by the phrase “patient continuance”. He will patiently do good even if his deeds are not appreciated. He will continue to do good not for men’s applause, but because his good deeds reflect his belief in God!
ii) Seek for glory, honour and immortality
Those who truly believe in God will never just live for the things of this world. Deep inside their heart, they will live for the glory of God. They will seek the honour that God will give to them. They will seek immortality that God alone can give.
THE BASIS OF GOD GIVING ETERNAL LIFE
On what grounds would God grant eternal life? Once again, we return to the phrase that Paul cited from Habakkuk.
“The just shall live by faith.”
To those who have true faith in God, eternal life is their reward!