Daily Bible Nugget #310, Romans 2:13

The Nugget:

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

My Comment:

Have you ever found a contradiction in the Bible? Probably you haven’t.

So, let me show you one.

Romans 2:13 clearly states that “the doers of the law shall be justified.”

Now here is the verse in the Bible that rather obviously contradicts Romans 2:13. You will find that there is a contradiction between Romans 2:13 and Romans 3:20,

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Do you see the contradiction?

To say “the doers of the law shall be justified” contradicts “by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified.”

If you have your “thinking cap” on, this obvious contradiction should “raise red flags” or “turn the light on” in your mind.


Because we know for sure that the Bible never contradicts itself.

You should immediately recognize that something is very wrong here.

And indeed, something is most certainly very wrong.

When we encounter a contradiction in the Bible, that should grab our attention. We should seek to find out what is the cause or basis of the contradiction. Sometimes when we encounter a contradiction, we realize we have been mistaken in our prior understanding of a subject related to the Bible. We need to then correct our understanding by changing our mind, by modifying our position, so that it is in accord with the Bible.

Sometimes a contradiction may appear because we lack the full information on the subject as it is revealed or taught in the Bible. In that case, we need to do a more thorough study of the subject from the Bible to be sure to come up with a correct understanding. In such a case, we must learn to change our mind and accept the new and fuller teaching from the Bible that resolves the apparent contradiction.

Sometimes a contradiction is created by the translators who themselves held a mistaken view of Bible doctrine. That is the reason Romans 2:13 appears to contradict Romans 3:20.

This is a very serious matter.

In this case, the issue extends far beyond Romans 2:13 and Romans 3:20. The matter is of utterly critical importance, for misunderstanding here leads to a total misunderstanding of Bible doctrine as it pertains to the basis of salvation. It leads to or produces a total misunderstanding of what our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished when He went to the cross. It produces a wrong understanding of the Atonement of Christ. And if you don’t think that is a serious matter, you had better think again. Go back over what I have written ever so briefly above about the seriousness of contradictions.

In this particular example using Romans 2:13 and Romans 3:20 the contradiction must be resolved by noting the fact that the term “justified” is used in two very different senses, and that for strict clarity and accuracy though the same Greek word underlies our English translation “justified” in both verses, the first passage (Romans 2:13) is in reference to Old Testament times before the coming of Christ, when sinners could only be justified in a legal or forensic sense because the Law could not bring about regenerative change. The sinner could be forgiven, but sin was not removed: the forgiven sinner continued in sin, powerless to do otherwise, and so the necessity of a continuing sacrifice involving Levitical offerings and an annual Day of Atonement, because such sacrifices were unable to take away sin (Hebrews 10:4, 11).

Now that Christ has come and made the once-for-all permanent sacrifice for our sins as our great High Priest, sins are not merely forgiven, but rather removed, because of His priestly-sacrificial Atonement. In this dispensation of the Gospel, those who truly believe in Christ are transformed such that a regenerative change (Titus 3:5) takes place and believers are made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

To suggest otherwise is a terrible case of doctrinal error. To suggest otherwise is to relegate the effectiveness of the blood of Christ to an effectiveness no different from what was accomplished by the blood of Levitical animals in the Old Testament dispensation. If that is the dispensation you are unwittingly holding on to or living in, you are not experiencing the full reality of the salvation benefits Christ has provided for you.

Perhaps now you perceive the importance of finding apparent contradictions and studying the Bible closely enough to resolve them.

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7 Responses to Daily Bible Nugget #310, Romans 2:13

  1. ken sagely says:

    rom 2.13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the
    doers of the law shall be justified.

    cross ref
    lk 8.21 And he answered and said unto them, my mother and my
    brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

  2. Theodore A. Jones says:

    The law Paul referenced in Rom. 2:13 is not the OT code of law he references in Rom. 3:20. The law has been changed. Heb. 7:12

  3. Jerry says:

    Dear Theodore A. Jones,

    I am interested in your assertion that Romans 2:13 is not the OT code of law. Please walk me through the steps of your line of reasoning which lead you to this conclusion. This is a most important subject, so I look forward to further discussion and enlightenment on this Bible theme.

  4. Theodore A. Jones says:

    Didn’t I cite Heb. 7:12? The law was changed by adding a word. “The law was added so that the trespass might increase.” Rom. 5:20 Rom. 2:13 & 5:20 are not referencing the OT code they are referencing the word that has been added allowing the sin of murdering Jesus Christ to be an accountable sin.

  5. Jerry says:

    Dear Theodore A. Jones,

    You have posted an interesting comment. Thank you for commenting here. It took a while for me to get back to you on this, but now I have.

    Here is what I have placed in my newest Bible reference work, The Ultimate Cross Reference Treasury for Hebrews 7:12,

    Hebrews 7:12
    being changed. or, transferred to another order (Vincent). Gr. metatithēmi (S# G3346, Act 7:16). Mat 3:15, Gal 1:6.
    a change. Gr. metathesis (S# G3331, only here and Heb 11:5, translation; and Heb 12:27, removing). A transfer to a new basis (Vincent). *Heb 8:13, Isa 66:21, Jer 31:31, 32, 33, 34, Ezek 16:61, **Act 6:13; **Act 6:14, **Gal 3:24; **Gal 3:25.
    the law. The change of law here referred to can by no means be regarded as a partial one (Lange). For when the priesthood is transferred, as in the prediction of the Psalm (Psa 110:4) it is, it carries with it a transfer and an abrogation of the Law (Lange on Heb 7:15). Law is without the article in the Greek, thus a reference not to a particular law or two, but to the legal system as a whole. Westcott observes: The argument turns mainly upon the nature of the Levitical priesthood, but the Law is involved in the Priesthood. The abrogation of the one carries with it the abrogation of the other. If the Hebrews came to feel that Christ had superseded the priests of the Old Covenant, they would soon learn that the whole Law had passed away. Heb 7:18, Num 8:5, 6, 7, Jer 31:32, Zec 11:10.

  6. Theodore A. Jones says:

    Believe what you wish.

  7. Jerry says:

    Dear Theodore A. Jones,

    This is not merely a matter of either of us “believing what [we] wish” but what does the Bible itself directly teach?

    I believe I have thoroughly documented the basis for what I have said that the Bible teaches.

    I invite you to refute what I have said if you have evidence that would show I am mistaken!

    In any case, thank you for engaging in this discussion.

    Feel free to make further comments should you so wish.

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