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Romans 2:7

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

To them, etc. - In this manner will God, in the great day, dispense punishments and rewards:

1. He will give eternal life to them who, in all the trials and difficulties of the present state, have persevered in well doing - seeking for and expecting glory, honor, and immortality.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

To them - Whoever they may be.

Patient continuance - Who by perseverance in well doing, or in a good work. It means that they who so continue, or persevere, in good works as to evince that they are disposed to obey the Law of God. It does not mean those who perform one single act, but those who so live as to show that this is their character to obey God. It is the uniform doctrine of the Bible that none will be saved but those who persevere in a life of holiness, Revelation 2:10; Matthew 10:22; Hebrews 10:38-39. No other conduct gives evidence of piety but what continues in the ways of righteousness. Nor has God ever promised eternal life to people unless they so persevere in a life of holiness as to show that this is their character, their settled and firm rule of action. The words well doing here denote such conduct as shall be conformed to the Law of God; not merely external conduct, but that which proceeds from a heart attached to God and his cause.

Seek for - This word properly denotes the act of endeavoring to find any thing that is lost, Matthew 18:12; Luke 2:48-49. But it also denotes the act when one earnestly strives, or desires to obtain anything; when he puts forth his efforts to accomplish it. Thus, Matthew 6:33, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God,” etc. Acts 16:10; 1 Corinthians 10:24; Luke 13:24. In this place it denotes an earnest and intense desire to obtain eternal life. It does not mean simply the desire of a sinner to be happy, or the efforts of those who are not willing to forsake their sins and yield to God, out the intense effort of those who are willing to forsake all their crimes, and submit to God and obey his laws.

Glory and honour and immortality - The three words used here, denote the happiness of the heavenly world. They vary somewhat in their meaning, and are each descriptive of something in heaven, that renders it an object of intense desire. The expressions are cumulative, or they are designed to express the happiness of heaven in the highest possible degree. The word “glory” δόξαν doxandenotes properly praise, celebrity, or anything distinguished for beauty, ornament, majesty, splendor, as of the sun, etc.; and then it is used to denote the highest happiness or felicity, as expressing everything that shall be splendid, rich, and grand. It denotes that there will be an absence of every thing mean, grovelling, obscure. The word “honor” ( τιμὴν timēn) implies rather the idea of reward, or just retribution - the honor and reward which shall be conferred in heaven on the friends of God. It stands opposed to contempt, poverty, and want among people. Here they are despised by people; there, they shall be honored by God.

Immortality - That which is not corruptible or subject to decay. It is applied to heaven as a state where there shall be no decay or death, in strong contrast with our present condition, where all things are corruptible, and soon vanish away. These expressions are undoubtedly descriptive of a state of things beyond the grave. They are never applied in the Scriptures to any condition of things on the earth. This consideration proves, therefore, that the expressions in the next verse, indignation, etc. apply to the punishment of the wicked beyond the grave.

Eternal life - That is, God will “render” eternal life to those who seek it in this manner. This is a great principle; and this shows that the apostle means by “their deeds” Romans 2:6, not merely their external conduct, but their inward thoughts, and efforts evinced by their seeking for glory, etc. For the meaning of the expression “eternal life,” see the note at John 5:24.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Jews thought themselves a holy people, entitled to their privileges by right, while they were unthankful, rebellious, and unrighteous. But all who act thus, of every nation, age, and description, must be reminded that the judgment of God will be according to their real character. The case is so plain, that we may appeal to the sinner's own thoughts. In every wilful sin, there is contempt of the goodness of God. And though the branches of man's disobedience are very various, all spring from the same root. But in true repentance, there must be hatred of former sinfulness, from a change wrought in the state of the mind, which disposes it to choose the good and to refuse the evil. It shows also a sense of inward wretchedness. Such is the great change wrought in repentance, it is conversion, and is needed by every human being. The ruin of sinners is their walking after a hard and impenitent heart. Their sinful doings are expressed by the strong words, "treasuring up wrath." In the description of the just man, notice the full demand of the law. It demands that the motives shall be pure, and rejects all actions from earthly ambition or ends. In the description of the unrighteous, contention is held forth as the principle of all evil. The human will is in a state of enmity against God. Even Gentiles, who had not the written law, had that within, which directed them what to do by the light of nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they nature. Conscience is a witness, and first or last will bear witness. As they kept or broke these natural laws and dictates, their consciences either acquitted or condemned them. Nothing speaks more terror to sinners, and more comfort to saints, than that Christ shall be the Judge. Secret services shall be rewarded, secret sins shall be then punished, and brought to light.
Ellen G. White
Temperance, 114

The Feeblest Cry for Help Is Heard—Every one of us may know that there is a power working with our efforts to overcome. Why will not men lay hold upon the help that has been provided, that they may become elevated and ennobled? Why do they degrade themselves by the indulgence of perverted appetite? Why do they not rise in the strength of Jesus, and be victorious in His name? The very feeblest prayer that we can offer, Jesus will hear. He pities the weakness of every soul. Help for everyone has been laid upon Him who is mighty to save. I point you to Jesus Christ, the sinner's Saviour, who alone can give you power to overcome on every point. Te 114.1

Crowns for All Who Overcome—Heaven is worth everything to us. We must not run any risk in this matter. We must take no venture here. We must know that our steps are ordered by the Lord. May God help us in the great work of overcoming. He has crowns for those that overcome. He has white robes for the righteous. He has an eternal world of glory for those who seek for glory, honor, and immortality. Everyone who enters the city of God will enter it as a conqueror. He will not enter it as a condemned criminal, but as a son of God. And the welcome given to everyone who enters there will be, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34. Te 114.2

Gladly would I speak words that would aid such trembling souls to fasten their grasp by faith upon the mighty Helper, that they might develop a character upon which God will be pleased to look. Heaven may invite them, and present its choicest blessings, and they may have every facility to develop a perfect character; but all will be in vain unless they are willing to help themselves. They must put forth their own God-given powers, or they will sink lower and lower, and be of no account for good, either in time or in eternity.—Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 147-149. Te 114.3

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Ellen G. White
Child Guidance, 567

Heaven will be cheap enough if we obtain it through suffering.... As I saw what we must be in order to inherit glory, and then saw how much Jesus had suffered to obtain for us so rich an inheritance, I prayed that we might be baptized into Christ's sufferings, that we might not shrink at trials, but bear them with patience and joy, knowing what Jesus had suffered that we through His poverty and sufferings might be made rich.17 CG 567.1

Heaven Is Worth Everything!—Heaven is worth everything to us. We must not run any risk in this matter. We must take no venture here. We must know that our steps are ordered by the Lord. May God help us in the great work of overcoming. He has crowns for those that overcome. He has white robes for the righteous. He has an eternal world of glory for those who seek for glory, honor, and immortality. Everyone who enters the City of God will enter it as a conqueror. He will not enter it as a condemned criminal, but as a son of God. And the welcome given to everyone who enters there will be, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34.18 CG 567.2

Partakers of Christ's Joy—We see a retinue of angels on either side of the gate; and as we pass in, Jesus speaks, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom that is prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Here He tells you to be a partaker of His joy, and what is that? It is the joy of seeing of the travail of your soul, fathers. It is the joy of seeing that your efforts, mothers, are rewarded. Here are your children; the crown of life is upon their heads, and the angels of God immortalize the names of the mothers whose efforts have won their children to Jesus Christ.19 CG 567.3

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 34

Thus will be fulfilled Christ's promise to His disciples, “I will come again, and receive you unto Myself.” John 14:3. Those who have loved Him and waited for Him, He will crown with glory and honor and immortality. The righteous dead will come forth from their graves, and those who are alive will be caught up with them to meet the Lord in the air. They will hear the voice of Jesus, sweeter than any music that ever fell on mortal ear, saying to them, Your warfare is accomplished. “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matthew 25:34. AA 34.1

Well might the disciples rejoice in the hope of their Lord's return. AA 34.2

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Ellen G. White
Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, 216

“Jesus lives today, and we can rejoice in a whole Saviour. It was a whole Saviour that died on Calvary's cross; a whole sacrifice that was made for us; and it is our privilege to accept and enjoy a whole and free salvation. Do not let us compare ourselves with others. A true and living Pattern is given us, which is perfect. Let us look away from all others, and imitate that Pattern. “He that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.” O let us gather with Christ, and imitate his lovely example and character. God requires the whole heart. He has purchased it. It is his property. Withhold not from Christ that which belongs to him. Are our affections divided? Let them be so no more. Let our words and actions tell for God. We are seeking for glory, honor, immortality, eternal life. What a glorious hope is ours! Salvation is what we must have. Life, spiritual life, pray for it, wrestle for it. It is our privilege to enjoy it. We cannot glorify God with a dead faith. I have made my mark high for heaven and eternal life.” 2SG 216.1

We labored some weeks in Round Grove, and the Lord blessed our efforts. In a vision given me there, I was shown the state of those brethren who had moved to Wawkon, [Waukon,] Iowa. Nearly all of them were in darkness, opposed to the work of God. Their sympathy was withdrawn from the Review Office, and from the church of God generally. Satan had planted the seeds of dissatisfaction, and the fruit was ripening. It was what might be called a more respectable “Messenger party.” 2SG 217.1

I saw that they needed help, that Satan's snare must be broken, and precious souls rescued. I did not see that it was our duty to go to them, but as I had been shown their condition, I felt anxious to go. It was a great distance, and in the winter. It was exceedingly difficult, and somewhat dangerous a journey, yet I felt urged on, to go to Wawkon [Waukon]. My mind could not be at ease until we decided to go trusting in the Lord. It was then good sleighing. Preparations were made to go with two horses and a sleigh, but it rained for twenty-four hours, and the snow was fast disappearing. My husband thought the journey must be given up. My mind could not rest. It was agitated concerning Wawkon [Waukon]. Bro. H. said to me, “Sr. White, what about Wawkon [Waukon]?” Said I, “We shall go.” “Yes,” said he, “if the Lord works a miracle.” Many times that night I was at the window watching the weather, and about day-break there was a change, and it commenced snowing. The next night about five o'clock, we were on our way to Wawkon [Waukon], brethren E. and H., husband and self. We held meetings with the brethren at Green Vale, Ills., and were there blocked in nearly a week with a severe snow-storm. Thursday we ventured to pursue our journey. Weary, cold and hungry, we called at a hotel a few miles from the Mississippi river. The next morning, about four o'clock, it commenced raining. We felt urged on, and rode through the rain, while the horses broke through the snow at almost every step. We made many inquiries about crossing the river, but none gave us encouragement that we could cross. The ice was mostly composed of snow, and there lay upon the top of it one foot of water. When we reached the river Bro. H. arose in the sleigh and said, “Is it Iowa, or back to Illinois? We have come to the Red sea, shall we cross?” We answered, “Go forward, trusting in Israel's God.” We ventured upon the ice, praying as we went. We were carried safely across, and as we ascended the Iowa bank of the river, we united in praising the Lord. A number told us after we crossed, that no amount of money would have tempted them to cross, and that a number had broken in. They could not save their teams, and barely escaped with their lives. We rode that afternoon six miles from Dubuque. The Sabbath was drawing on, and we put up at a hotel to rest over the Sabbath. In the evening we united in singing some of our best hymns. The boarders collected to listen, and Bro. E. hung up the chart and gave a short lecture. They invited us to call on our return, saying they would warrant us a house, and a good congregation. 2SG 217.2

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