WHAT DOES ROMANS 2:13 TRULY MEAN?


EDITED


WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF ROMANS 2:13?



Let us first read Romans 2:13 out of its context and then I will explain why I even ask this question.


Please read Romans 2:13.


“For NOT the hearers of the law are just before God, but the DOERS of the LAW shall be justified.”


Now, the reason that I ask the question, “What is the TRUE meaning of Romans 2:13?” is because some Christians are using this verse out of its CONTEXT in order to try and prove that Christians must keep the Law of Moses. And according to them, if a Christian does NOT keep all the law of Moses then they will NOT receive eternal life in the world to come. They argue that Paul is speaking about the Law of Moses in Romans 2:13 by asking  the question “What law is there but the one law of Almighty God?” So in their minds, the Law of Moses is the ONLY LAW that Almighty God has given.

They go on to argue that the New Covenant was God’s promise to write the LAW of Moses upon the hearts of his chosen people Israel.


Let us start with Deuteronomy 30:10-14 which is a PROPHECY for Israel in the future. Israel was indeed given the law of Moses in this same context. But these five verses are a PROPHECY of ANOTHER COMMANDMENT in the FUTURE. Keep in mind that the Hebrew people read and write the Hebrew language. And thus they would be reading the Scriptures in their Hebrew language.

You see, there are two Hebrew letters that are NOT translated into our English Bibles. So what I am about to show you is often read right over by Christians while reading the English translation of the Bible IF their focus is on reading INTO the text their own preconceived teaching of keeping the Law of Moses to be saved.

What I mean by this is that Christians who are caught up in the Hebrew Roots Movement read the words “THIS COMMANDMENT” in the SINGULAR in Deuteronomy 30:11 as being “THESE COMMANDMENTS in the plural. They totally MISS that the words “THIS commandment” is SINGULAR, as in, just ONE single commandment. They also fail to see that these five verses are a PROPHECY for Israel in the future.


Please read Deuteronomy 30:10-14.


“If you shall hearken unto the voice of the LORD (Yahweh) your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law (Speaking of the law and the prophets testifying of the Messiah), AND IF you TURN unto the LORD (Yahweh) your God with all thine heart, and with all your soul. (Speaking of the FUTURE at the end of days. If you read the CONTEXT starting with verse 1 you will see that this whole passage of scripture is prophecy the future RETURNING of Israel back to God at the coming of the Messiah. Some Jews received the THIS COMMANDMENT to believe on Jesus as their Messiah. But most of Israel REJECTED Jesus as their Messiah. In other words, they did NOT obey the THIS COMMANDMENT to receive God’s NEW COVENANT)

11. FOR (Or BECAUSE) THIS COMMANDMENT (In the SINGULAR) which I command you this day (Actually speaking about the day of the New Covenant. But also THIS COMMANDMENT was given to them in these verses as well. In English we have the clue by the SINGULAR of just ONE COMMANDMENT. But in the Hebrew language there are RED flags, so to speak, all through the Hebrew Scriptures), it is NOT hidden from you, neither is it far off. (Speaking of God’s commandment to believe the words that he will put into the mouth of his prophet that he promised to raise up among the people to be his Messiah)

12. IT (The ONE commandment) is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear IT, and do IT? (Please notice that all the pronouns referring back to THIS COMMANDMENT are all SINGULAR. It does NOT say do THEM, as in, keep the commandments. But rather the word of God says to do IT, as in, you must keep THIS ONE COMMANDMENT)

13. Neither is IT beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring IT unto us, that we may hear IT, (They have ALREADY HEARD the Law of Moses. So THIS COMMANDMENT is NOT the law of Moses. It is in the law of Moses contained in ordinances, as in, the MEANING OF why the law contained in ordinances was ADDED UNTIL the Messiah came. It is a NEW COMMANDMENT that they will HEAR IT in the future) and do IT?

14. But the word is very nigh unto you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do IT.”


Again, the scripture says, Do “IT” in the singular! Do WHAT? That you may BELIEVE in HIM and CONFESS HIM as your Messiah. And that you OBEY HIS teachings. The Messiah is the “THIS COMMANDMENT” for Israel to do “IT”, which is to BELIEVE on Jesus as their Messiah. Paul refers to this passage of scripture in Romans 10:1-13.

Let us first read Romans 10:1-13 and then I will place Deuteronomy 30:14 and Romans 10:8 side by side for you.


Romans 10:1-13.


“Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

2. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but NOT according to knowledge. (There are many Jews who keep the Law of Moses the best that they can possibly do even more so than some Christians that have been subverted to keep the Law of Moses. But even though they sincerely love God and they serve God having a great zeal like many Christians caught up in the Hebrew Roots Movement, they are NOT worshipping Yahweh is Spirit and in TRUTH in the way God is commanding us to do under his New Covenant. They are NOT serving God according to the knowledge of the TRUTH of the GOSPEL written in the New Testament)

3. For they (Speaking of the children of Israel that do NOT believe that Jesus is their Messiah. And ALSO speaking of some Christians who have been subverted to keep the Law of Moses to be saved) being IGNORANT of God's righteousness,(Speaking of God’s GIFT of RIGHTEOUSNESS that is freely given to all who BELIEVE that Jesus is their Messiah) and going about to establish their OWN righteousness, have NOT SUBMITTED themselves unto the righteousness of God.

4. For (Or for you see) Christ (Or the Messiah, the THIS COMMANDMENT) is the END of the law, FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS to everyone that BELIEVES.

5. FOR (Or BECAUSE the law of) Moses  DESCRIBES the righteousness which is OF the law, (Speaking of the law written on our CONSCIENCE that even the Gentiles have WITHOUT the law contained in ordinances given ONLY to the CHILDREN of Israel after they were delivered from the bondage of Egypt. Selah, pause and think about this my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ. The LAW of Moses was ADDED because the children of Israel kept disobeying the LAW. What LAW were they disobeying BEFORE the LAW of Moses was ADDED? It was the law written upon the heart, their CONSCIENCE which they hardened. So the LAW that Moses DESCRIBES is the MORAL law of RIGHTEOUSNESS) That the man which does THOSE things (Speaking of walking in RIGHTEOUSNESS obeying the moral law of righteousness written on our CONSCIENCE) shall live by them. (IF they never ever disobey the Law of God written on their CONSCIENCE, which is why the law of Moses was ADDED UNTIL the SEED should COME, speaking of the Messiah and the New Covenant)

6. BUT the righteousness which is of FAITH (Or the NEW LAW of FAITH, the THIS COMMANDMENT, that was shut up to those written about in the Scriptures from Genesis to Malachi UNTIL their Messiah came) speaks on this wise, Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (That is, to bring Christ [The Messiah, the TEACHING of God's so great a salvation, or more precisely the GIFT of RIGHTEOUSNESS and the ANOINTING of the Holy Spirit to walk in RIGHTEOUSNESS] down from above:)

7. Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ [The Messiah, the THIS COMMANDMENT] again from the dead.)

8. But what says it? (Speaking of the word of prophecy concerning the Messiah, THIS COMMANDMENT in the SINGULAR) The word is nigh you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of FAITH, which we PREACH; (Speaking of the THIS COMMANDMENT, the gospel of our salvation to BELIEVE that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God who is the END of the law FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS)

9. That IF you (DO IT, as in, IF you OBEY the THIS COMMANDMENT that Yahweh prophesied would come. If you shall) shall CONFESS with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall BELIEVE in your heart that God hath raised him from the dead, you shall be saved.

10. For with the heart man believes unto RIGHTEOUSNESS; and with the mouth CONFESSION is made unto SALVATION.

11. For the scripture says, Whosoever BELIEVES on him shall not be ashamed.

12. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.

13. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”


Please understand that the Bible does NOT teach a grace ALONE with NO works salvation. Yes, the initials step of being cleansed of all our past sins is completely by grace without any works of righteousness. But every TRUE born-again Christians knows that they must work, labor, strive, resist, and fight against the temptations to sin. TRUE Christianity is NOT doing whatever your flesh begs you to do. More on this later but for now let us read Deuteronomy 30:14 alongside Romans 10:8 which is the beginning of the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.


Deuteronomy 30:14.


But the word is very nigh unto you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do IT.” (Speaking of the THIS COMMANDMENT in the SINGULAR)


Romans 10:8.


“But what says it? (Speaking of the word of PROPHECY concerning the Messiah) The word is nigh you, even in your mouth, and in your heart: that is, the word of FAITH, which we PREACH;  (That you may DO IT by BELIEVING the gospel of Jesus Christ and CONFESS HIM as your Messiah, the THIS COMMANDMENT prophesied in Deuteronomy 30:10-14)


Now I want you to read the LITERAL translation and pay close attention to the UNTRANSLATED Hebrew letters, the Aleph, and the Tav. The English pronunciation is “ath”. Someone far more knowledgeable in the Hebrew language taught me about the Aleph and the Tav as being a marker or a Selah or a pause and think about these verse pertaining to the Messiah. So simply replace the untranslated Aleph tav with the name Jesus, Yeshua, or the Messiah, the word made flesh. Also, notice that the LITERAL translation uses the pronouns he and him as opposed to the pronoun it.


Deuteronomy 30:14 from the LITERAL translation.


“That near to you the word exceedingly in the mouth of you and in HEART of you to to do OF HIM.”


So you see that verse 14 literally reads to do of HIM speaking of to obey the commandments of the MESSIAH. In other words, the THIS COMMANDMENT is the one commandment that Yahweh gave to the children of Israel to obey. And this commandment is a prophecy to the children of Israel to believe in their Messiah.


Now read the fulfillment again in Romans 10:1-13.


...that is, the word of FAITH, which we PREACH;  (That you may DO IT by BELIEVING the gospel of Jesus Christ and CONFESS HIM as your Messiah and OBEY HIM who I Yahweh have commanded HIM to SPEAK. NOTICE that in the LITERAL the pronoun  “IT” is translated as to do OF HIM. In other words, the THIS COMMANDMENT shall I write upon your heart to OBEY what my MESSIAH teaches you to DO. And if you disobey HIM you shall be destroyed. Acts 3:23)


In other words, we are not commanded to obey what Jesus DID. But rather we are commanded to obey what Jesus TAUGHT his disciples to do.  Can you not see that, IF SO BE, that we are to obey what Jesus DID, then we all must die on the cross or suffer martyrdom in order to be saved? The Bible teaches us in the New Testament that we are to follow his steps or his example of overcoming SIN. And IF we fall into temptation and sin then we overcome those sins by CONFESSING those sins. This is what Jesus means when he says the LEAST of these commandments.

To say this another way, the LEAST that we are required to do is to OVERCOME the world. And 1 John 5:5 teaches us that whosoever BELIEVES in Jesus has OVERCOME the world.


“Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that BELIEVES that Jesus is the Son of God?”


Let us read that verse in its context.


Please read 1 John 5:1-5.


Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: (And as soon as a person believes they have OVERCOME the world. But there is more to being saved than just saying a sinner's prayer. We must CONTINUE to believe unto the END. And the end means to the end of our physical life or when Jesus returns. And if we truly BELIEVE then we will OBEY the commandments that Jesus has given us to obey. Remember that Yahweh gave us the THIS COMMANDMENT in the SINGULAR that we must obey what his MESSIAH tells us to do. And what Jesus has taught us to do is written down for us in the New Testament of our Bible. So when you see the word commandments in the New Testament that we are being taught to keep it is NOT referring to the Law of Moses contained in ordinances) and every one that loves him that begat loves him also that is begotten of him.

2. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.

3. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (Again, the commandments that Yahweh gave to Jesus to give to us, as Christians, are not grievous. But the keeping of the Law of Moses IS INDEED VERY GRIEVOUS. But to obey the LAW of FAITH is NOT grievous)

4. For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the VICTORY that overcomes the world, EVEN OUR FAITH.(The THIS COMMANDMENT to believe on the Messiah and to obey HIS teachings that was prophesied to come)

5. Who is he that OVERCOMES the world, but he that BELIEVES that Jesus is the Son of God?”


That is the LEAST that we must do in order to receive eternal life in the world to come. But Jesus also taught us to do GOOD WORKS. We are to have the mind of Jesus Christ and esteem others better than ourselves. We are to do the same good works that Jesus did. And some of these good works are healing the sick in the name of Jesus. And good works like helping the poor, being kind to others, and simply bearing the fruits of the Spirit.

You see, the Christians that sincerely believe with all their heart that they must obey the Law of Moses are reading INTO the scriptures that are in the New Testament their own personal interpretation of the words LAW, and COMMANDMENTS. In other words, every time that seventh day of the week Sabbath-keeping Christians read the words LAW and COMMANDMENTS in the New Testament they wrongly interpret these words to always mean the LAW of MOSES.


Let us now go back and read Romans 2:13 in its CONTEXT.


Please read Romans 2:13-15.


“(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.(NOT the law of Moses but rather the MORAL Law of God written upon of CONSCIENCE because the context is speaking about the Gentiles who do NOT have the law of Moses)

14.  FOR (Or BECAUSE) when the Gentiles, which have NOT the law (Speaking of the Law of Moses contained in ORDINANCES of all the feast days, animal sacrifices, the Sabbath day, the dietary laws and all the rudimentary services to God), do by nature the things contained in the law (Speaking of the MORAL laws of God CONTAINED it the Law of Moses), these, having NOT the law (Of Moses contained in ORDINANCES), are a law (Or have the MORAL Law of God) unto themselves:

15. Which show the work of the law (Speaking of the MORAL law of God to know right from wrong) written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)”


So then, the LAW that Paul is referring to in Romans 2:13 is the MORAL LAW of knowing what is right and what is wrong that is written on the CONSCIENCE of every human being. It is NOT the LAW of Moses that justifies anyone. Paul is saying that IF a Gentile who has never even heard of the Law of Moses should obey or be a DOER of the LAW written on his CONSCIENCE then that obedience to the law of God written on his conscience would be accounted to him for righteousness.

But then Paul goes on to say that the Gentiles obey the law written on their consciences only some of the time. And when they sin against the law written of their conscience they make excuses that they are not sinning. The key word is IF. And that is the whole problem, Everyone has sinned at least one time in their life. So we ALL have fallen short of the glory of God.

My point right now is that the word LAW does NOT always mean the Law of Moses. As we have just seen, the word LAW can also mean the MORAL LAW that is written upon of CONSCIENCE. Yes, the MORAL law is indeed CONTAINED within the Law of Moses, but the Law of Moses is ALSO contained in many ORDINANCES. More on this in a moment. For now let us look at the LAW of FAITH.


Please read Romans 3:23-31.


“For ALL have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (And not only that but God has CONCLUDE every last Jew to be UNDER SIN. Please read Romans 11:32.For God has CONCLUDED them ALL in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.” And that means that EVERY BRANCH of the natural Olive tree which we know is that is symbolic for the children of Israel has been CUT OFF. And the ONLY way for the Jews to be graft back into the root or trunk of the natural Olive tree to become a people that are accepted by God as being righteous is to believe and obey the THIS COMMANDMENT that was prophesied to come in Deuteronomy 30:10-14.)

24. Being justified freely BY his GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25. Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through FAITH in his blood, to declare HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

26. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that HE might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. (God's WILL is that we be HIS WORKMANSHIP and NOT our OWN workmanship)

27. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what LAW? of works (Speaking of being a DOER of the law of Moses)? NAY (Or absolutely NOT): but BY the LAW OF FAITH. (Speaking of the THIS COMMANDMENT prophesied in Deuteronomy 30: 11-14 that we must keep in order to be saved)

28. THEREFORE we (The very Apostles of Jesus Christ) CONCLUDE that a man is justified BY FAITH WITHOUT the deeds of the LAW. (Speaking of the law of Moses contained in ORDINANCES)

29. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

30. Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision BY FAITH, and uncircumcision THROUGH FAITH.

31. Do we then make void the LAW (Speaking of the MORAL law written on our CONSCIENCE that is also CONTAINED in the Law of Moses. God word never make void his MORAL LAW) through FAITH? God forbid: yea, we establish the LAW.”


Again, speaking of the MORAL LAW of God written upon the CONSCIENCE of every human being. And now God has written his MORAL LAW upon our HEARTS. You see it takes FAITH in the PROMISE of Almighty God to overcome sin. One day I asked God why I could not seem to overcome this one sin. I mean that I could overcome it for a WHILE, but I would always give into that temptation in the future. And God told me to my face that I was not BELIEVING that I could overcome that sin. God then asked me a question. He said to me, have you ever resisted a sin, any sin, just one time in your life and you successfully did not give into that temptation to not sin? I answered back and said of course I have many times. Then God told me to my face that if I have resisted just one sin, any sin, to not give into that temptation to sin then I could resist ANY sin EVERY time if I just BELIEVED that I could.

It took awhile for that to sink in and fully understand what God was telling me. But after I starting BELIEVING the PROMISE of God I did indeed overcome that one sin that I thought that I would never overcome. I cannot put in words the JOY of being FREE from the bondage of sin knowing that I do NOT have to do what my flesh begs me to do. And eventually the enemy left off tempting me. Oh, he comes back every now and then but only for one or two attempts to try to get me to give into one of his temptations. And then he leaves again for months at a time. Please read the study “HOW TO LIVE YOUR LIFE FREE FROM SIN!”

What I want my readers to see in this study is that the words, LAW, and COMMANDMENTS do NOT always mean the law of Moses. We have already seen that the word “law” can also mean the law written on our CONSCIENCE before we became a Christians. And that the word “law” also mean the MORAL law of God that he writes upon our heart AFTER we become a true born-again Christian. Now let us look at the teachings of jesus to see that the law and the commandments can also mean the NEW COMMANDMENTS that Jesus gave to us under the NEW COVENANT written in the New Testament.


Please read Matthew 22:33-40.


“And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine. (Or his TEACHINGS)

34. But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. (Those who do not truly believe the TEACHINGS of Jesus will try to twist his words)

35. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

36. Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37. Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38. This is the first and great commandment.

39. And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

40. On these TWO commandments hang ALL the law AND the prophets.”


The apostles of Jesus taught us the SAME two commandments by summing them together saying that if we say that we love God, then we will LOVE the brethren.

 

Please read 1 John 4:20,21.

 

“If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

21. And THIS COMMANDMENT have we from him, That he who loves God love his brother also.”

 


I personally think that Paul summarizing the two commandments of Jesus the best in Romans 13:8-10 by saying that when we walk in love toward one another we will NOT break any of the MORAL commandments of Yahweh that he gave to Moses to give to the children of Israel for them to keep throughout their generations.

 

Please read Romans 13:8-10.

 

“Owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

9. For this, (Or for you see, in doing this one commandment to one another) You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be ANY OTHER commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall LOVE your neighbour as yourself.(This ONE commandment to walk in love toward one another is easy to remember. And if you forget the Holy Spirit dwelling in you will REMIND you when you are NOT walking in LOVE toward others. For you see, the Holy Spirit will convict us when we break any MORAL Law of God. He even warns us when we are about to sin by not doing unto others as we would have them do unto us.)

10. LOVE works NO ill to his neighbour: THEREFORE LOVE is the FULFILLING of the LAW.

 

But even as SIMPLE as the gospel of Jesus Christ makes it there as still some Christians that desire to be TEACHERS of the law of Moses. Paul says that they have SWERVED and turned to the side desiring to be teachers of the Law of Moses which is VAIN jangling or empty meaningless talk that brings discord among the brethren.

 

Please read 1 Timothy 5:5-11.

 

Now the END of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: (In other words the END of the LAW OF MOSES is the one commandment to walk in LOVE toward one another to do unto other as we would have them to unto us and therefore FULFILLING the law of God)

6. From which SOME having SWERVED have TRUNED ASIDE unto VAIN jangling;

7. Desiring to be teachers of the law;(Of Moses) understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. (Not that they do not understand the LETTER of the law. But rather that they are wrongly teaching Christians the keep the LETTER of the Law of Moses when they should be teaching the SPIRITUAL MEANING of why the Law of Moses contained in ORDINANCES was ADDED in the first place)

8. But we know that the law is good, IF a man use it lawfully; (In other words, we should be teaching the MEANING OF why the Law of Moses contained in ORDINANCES was given to the children of Israel for THEM to keep throughout THEIR GENERATIONS. The children of Israel need to know and understand that the ceremonial laws contained in ordinances are a SCHOOLMASTER to lead them to their Messiah who we know to be Jesus)

9. Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, (Meaning that we, as Christians, who are made RIGHTEOUS through Jesus Christ are not under the law of Moses) but (The law of Moses was ADDED) for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10. For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

11. ACCORDING TO the glorious GOSPEL of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.”


Please notice that verses 10 and 11 say SOUND DOCTRINE ACCORDING TO the glorious GOSPEL and NOT according to the Law of Moses. The New Testament teaches that we are to obey the TRUTH of the GOSPEL. There is nothing taught by the apostles of Jesus that we as Christians are to obey the Law of Moses for ANY reason. And the entire Old Testament points to the Messiah. Therefore, Romans 2:13 has nothing whatsoever to do with being a doer of the Law of Moses as some Judaizing Christians wrongly interpret this verse to mean. Again, the seventh day of the week Sabbath-keeping Christians WRONGLY interpret the word LAW and COMMANDMENTS to mean the Law of Moses. And by doe so they are twisting the scriptures to the OWN DESTRUCTION as Peter warns in 2 Peter 3:16. Please read the study WHAT DOES REVELATION 22:14 TRULY MEAN? In that study I will cover the warning in 2 Peter 3:16 and also reveal to you what I used to teach in error concerning Revelation 22:14.

And if you are truly seeking the TRUTH about whether or not Christians should keep the weekly Sabbath day please read the studies under the heading “>>>WHAT IS THE TRUE SABBATH?<<<


Thanks for reading. And may God bless you and keep you in the TRUTH of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ as you continue to seek the truth of the WHOLE word of Almighty God.


Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,

Brother Mark.



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