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