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“Patient Continuance” In Romans 2:7

“Patient Continuance” In Romans 2:7

The text reads, “eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (Rom. 2:7). I might prefer the NASB rendering, “perseverance.”

Those who choose to be faithful to God, no more and no less—will be looked on favorably by God. But this can’t be accomplished by floating through life like a feather. Morris notes, “[Paul’s] word for persistence denotes an active, manly fortitude. It is used of the solder who, in the thick of a hard battle, gives as much as he gets; he is not dismayed by the blows he receives, but fights on to the end” (Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, p. 116). Perseverance is hard-fought, but to what end? To the “doing good,” i.e., they fight and scrap to simply do the right thing. They are unwaveringly faithful to the good things God desires from them and for them (cf. BADG, Greek English Lexicon, “perseverance in doing what is right,” p. 1040). Through all the adversity they “seek glory, honor and immortality”; all of which would carry different connotations depending on whether the reader was Jew or Gentile. A Jew would hear those as God’s desire for man (cf. Job 40:10; Psa. 8:5), or what man should ascribe to God (cf. Psa. 29:1; 96:7). The Gentile would hear high praise or honor, resulting in an upstanding reputation (cf. James D.G. Dunn, Romans, p. 85). The beauty is, there is a sense in which it is all of those things and still more. God offers us far more than we can imagine. He desires that we seek Him and the life He offers, and if we will do that with all of our being we will attain it. Eternal life is a comprehensive expression encapsulating glory, honor, and immortality. Paul is certainly not teaching a works-based system of judgment or accountability before God. He is stressing that for one to be found favorable in judgment he will have to rely entirely upon God and God’s ways (i.e., “seek glory, honor, and immortality”). Dunn notes, “‘such persistence in good work’ is possible only for those who recognize their creaturely dependance upon God, and who live their lives out of a spirit of gratitude and worship… And that open and complete trust in God he finds only possible through Jesus Christ” (James D.G. Dunn, Romans, p. 86). 

To truly seek God you will need a no-quit mentality. A mindset that says ‘I will dish it out as well as I am given’. When you come to blows with the world, you don’t lie down and take it, nor do you cover your head and wait for the shrapnel to stop falling. You climb out of the trenches and keep waging the war. You take up arms and defend self, life and liberty in Christ. You take up arms and defend those around when called upon. You take up arms and fight to keep your faith. You take up arms and defend the awesome name of Jesus Christ, as the true Lord and Savior. 

Dear fellow soldier, take up your arms and persevere. 

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