Romans 2:16

16 on the day when, 1according to my gospel, 2God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

Romans 2:16 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 2:16

In the day when God shall judge
These words are to be read in connection with ( Romans 2:13 ) , and express the time when both Jews and Gentiles will be judged, called a "day", both because of the clearness and evidence of the judgment that will be made, and because a certain time is fixed, though not known, which will surely come; also the matter of the judgment, which will be,

the secrets of men:
whether good or bad, which are only known to God and themselves, and which may have been done ignorantly by them; "for God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil", ( Ecclesiastes 12:14 ) , which is so interpreted by the Jews F20,

``when R. Jochanan came to that Scripture, he wept; "for God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing";''

upon which the gloss says, yea, for those things which are hidden from him, which he has committed through ignorance, will he bring him into judgment; everything, even the least thing in a literal sense, but not for such silly trifling things they mention in the same place; doubtless the Holy Ghost means the secrets of men's hearts and actions, and the hidden things of darkness which are contrary to the holy law of God. The person by whom this awful judgment will be carried on is,

Jesus Christ;
to whom all judgment is committed, who is ordained Judge of quick and dead, and is every way fit for that office, being God as well as man, and so both omniscient and omnipotent: and this the apostle says will be,

according to my Gospel;
his meaning is not that the Gospel will be the, rule of judgment, because he speaking of the judgment of the Gentiles, as well as of the Jews, who never heard of the Gospel; but that what he had said concerning a day of judgment, of Christ's being the Judge, and of God's judging by him the secrets of men, were as true and as certain as the Gospel which he preached was; and was "conformable", or agreeable to it, as the Arabic version reads it, and might be learned and proved from it. This he calls, "my Gospel"; not because the author or subject of it; but because it was committed to his trust and was preached by him; and in opposition to, and to distinguish it from the Gospel of the false apostles. Eusebius says {u}, that the Apostle Paul had used to call the Gospel according to Luke his Gospel, and that it is said, that whenever he makes mention of his Gospel, he designs that.


F20 T. Bab. Chagigah, fol. 5. 1.
F21 Eccles. Hist. l. 3. c. 4. p. 73.

Romans 2:16 In-Context

14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves,
15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.
17 But if you bear the name "Jew" and rely upon the Law and boast in God,
18 and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law,

Cross References 2

  • 1. Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 15:1; Galatians 1:11; 1 Timothy 1:11; 2 Timothy 2:8
  • 2. Acts 10:42; Acts 17:31; Romans 3:6; Romans 14:10
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