Romans 2:7 – To those who through persistence in well doing, glory and honor and immortality by seeking life eternal
Jesus said that above all other things we were to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33, 5:6). Paul placed his heart’s desire on obtaining the resurrection of the dead, no matter what the cost might be (Philippians 3:10-11). Here in this verse he revealed that there would be glory, honor, and immortality to those who seek the life that is in Christ Jesus – which is eternal and abundant life. While it is true that those who believe on Jesus receive the gift of eternal life, it is also true we must be willing to be obedient to the Word of God and the leadership of the Holy Spirit if we are going to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (John 3:15, 6:54, 10:28, 12:25, 17:2-3; and Romans 5:21; 1 John 2:25, 5:13; Jude 1:21; and Matthew 25:21,23, 7:23; Luke 13:27; 2 Timothy 2:19; Ephesians 5:5; Galatians 5:21).
The certainty that unrighteousness will be rewarded with wrath is underscored in the contrast Paul makes in verse eight and nine (Romans 2:8-9). However, if we will press on for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus, which is the resurrection from the dead unto eternal life, then we will find ourselves being abundantly supplied with glory, honor, and ultimately an immortal and incorruptible body we will receive from Jesus Christ our Lord (Philippians 3:10-14; Colossians 1:27; Romans 2:10; 2 Timothy 2:21; John 14:12; 1 Peter 1:7; Philippians 2:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:11).
One may also translate this verse: “Eternal life to those who are persistent in good works; seeking glory, honor, and immortality.” However, it seems much more appropriate for us to seek eternal life above all other things; to which the Byzantine Text also witnesses. The Gospel has brought life and immortality to light for those who believe. There should be nothing more important to us than seeking, desiring, and laying hold on such a blessed gift – which will allow us to spend all eternity with Christ Jesus the King of Kings (2 Timothy 2:11, 4:8; 1 Timothy 6:12; Titus 2:13; 1 Corinthians 1:7; Philippians 3:20; Colossians 3:1-4; 2 Peter 3:12).
The various translators of this verse have rendered the Greek phrase (ergon agathou) as “doing good” or “well-doing;” but it may also be translated: “good works.” Unfortunately, some feel such an idea denotes some form of legalism, or a works-based salvation; but such is not the case. We do not do good works to earn salvation, but salvation produces good works in us; as this is what we are called to (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:10). Jesus addressed the essential need for good works in order for us to represent the Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:16). Paul commanded us to be zealous for good works, and revealed they would abound in us if we obeyed God (Titus 2:14, 3:1; Colossians 1:10; Philippians 2:13; 2 Corinthians 9:8; and 2 Thessalonians 2:17; 1 Timothy 5:10,25, 6:18; and 2 Timothy 2:21; Hebrews 10:24, 13:21).
Pastor Mark Spitsbergen