This evening, we continue our study of chapter two of the book of Romans. Having described the downward cycle of sin in chapter one, we go on to the establishment of the truth that all men have one thing in common: they all have sinned. Whether Jew or Gentile; it makes no difference: all have fallen short of the glory of God. Romans 2 reinforces Jesus’ teaching on the Sermon on the Mount.
When it comes to sin, there are three points to keep clear:
God is the Judge of others.
Having the law is not the same as keeping it.
My focus should be upon what I have responsibility for.
It is easy to begin to judge someone else’s behavior and attitudes. But, when we do, we can be sure that the motive is selfish. Our lack of patience with another also shows disregard for God’s process in working in another’s life. We can despise the very patience shown to someone else that brought me to Jesus! God will not overlook our judgment of others in light of their sin; He will render to each according to their deeds. Whether rewarding for a righteous life or dishing out punishment for an evil one, God is not partial.
Just because we go to church or can recite the Bible does not protect us from God’s judgment. The Bible must go from being written on pages in a book to being written on the pages of the heart. The very Word of God that we know will judge us if we do not obey it!
The greatest impediment in witness to an unbeliever is a Christian who touts the Word but does not live it!
Jew and Gentile – Christian and nonbeliever alike – will all be judged according to the measure of faith with which they lived their lives. If that faith is not enough to change their heart with the evidence in changed attitudes and behavior, the individual will be judged false in spirit. Some Jews in Jesus day considered themselves “different” from other men simply because they knew or possessed the law.
Obedience to the Word of God reveals those who love God and have faith in Him and those who do not!
In these passages, it is noted that “real Jewishness” is not a product of the presence of the Law or the presence of physical circumcision. But “real Jewishness” is evidenced in the circumcision of the heart by the Spirit. Down through history, many have undertaken to use these verses to make a case for the rejection of the Jewish people as covenant people of God. They endeavor to say that since the Jews rejected and killed Jesus that the church has replaced the Jews as the people of God. One might mistakenly come to this conclusion if you were to stop reading right here. But, further on in the book of Romans, we see verses 25 through 27 or chapter 11. We will cover this at length later, but it must be mentioned so that we do not misinterpret with is being said in chapter two.
The entirety of chapter two is being written to those who are Jewish among the Roman church. They are instructed to remember that obedience is primary to them just as it is to Gentiles. They will not be treated differently in judgment simply because of their access to the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 23:2-3, 25, 28
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