Romans Chapter Two

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by R. J., Dec 22, 2006.

  1. R. J.

    R. J.
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    Romans Chapter Two

    Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

    Verse 1 is NOT written to any Christian who tells an unsaved person that they are going to Hell. On the contrary, it is aimed at any unsaved person judging the sins of anyone, saved or lost.

    Unsaved folks are some of the most judgmental. They love quoting the following verse:

    Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

    Remember that an unsaved person has ALREADY been judged by Almighty God. In John 3:18, "he that believeth NOT is condemned already".

    The very fact that the unsaved person quotes Matthew 7:1 is an admission that he knows right from wrong and he is DEAD spiritually.

    The second part of verse 1 is also used by the unsaved by insisting that Christians have no rights to preach against sin. Christians have the responsibility to judge the actions of others. Here is the verse that substantiates:

    1 Corinthians 2:15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

    The end of the unsaved is complete condemnation. Verse 2 states that they are condemned by God "according to truth".

    Romans 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

    The unsaved person judges that others around him are going to Hell for what they are DOING. He is so busy judging others that he doesn't realize that the things he is DOING will send him to Hell just as quick.

    The saved person, however, has already realized that the things he was doing would have sent him to Hell. The believer learned that he couldn't "escape the judgment of God" on his own and placed his TRUST in Jesus Christ, who has taken the "judgment of God" for him.

    In other words, believers have judged themselves and sought the ONLY solution to their predicament.

    In verse 4, what the unsaved person despises is:
    1. the forebearance of God (i.e. He doesn't always punish an unsaved person as He COULD), and
    2. the longsuffering of God (i.e. He puts up with the foolishness of the unsaved person).
    Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.

    Paul continues to speak to unsaved Jews and Gentiles in these verses. He doesn't switch entirely over to the Jews until verse 17 as we will see.

    The rules of thumb that Paul outlines in these verses apply to both Jew and Gentile. Note that Paul makes clear that God does not make distinctions concerning INDIVIDUALS. God did make distinctions concerning NATIONS however.

    Whenever you see "there is no respect of persons with God" the context is always INDIVIDUAL, moral conduct in relation to God. When it comes to salvation under grace, everyone is equal. We are all sinners, who can't save ourselves.

    However, when it comes to other aspects of life, there is respect of nations and races.

    Romans 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law [are] just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. 14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: 15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

    These verses continue to speak to the unsaved Jew and Gentile. Paul doesn't let the Gentile "off the hook" because he doesn't have the law. He explains that when the Gentiles "do by nature the things contained in the law", it shows the work of the law written in their hearts.

    Here are a few things Satan will give as an alibi to sin:
    1. "We've always done it that way."
    2. "Everyone else is doing it."
    3. "It depends on how you look at it."
    4. "A little bit won't hurt."
    5. "We know when to stop."
    6. "You have to make a living."
    On the other hand, a Christian has a different set of standards:
    1. "Is it right?"
    2. "Will it edify?"
    3. "Can I ask God to bless it?"
    4. "Will it glorify God?"
    5. "Would the Lord like to find me doing it when He returns?"
    These standards will stand the test of verse 16.
    In summary, Paul has been talking about a collective body of lost Gentiles. They are lost because they don't follow their consciences. They are condemned on the basis of sinning against their own consciences.

    Next, Paul is going to turn to the Jews.

    --- Continued on next post ---
     
  2. R. J.

    R. J.
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    Romans Chapter Two (Continued)

    --- Continued from previous post ---

    Romans 2:17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, 18 And knowest [his] will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; 19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, 20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

    Now Paul begins speaking to the Jew. He portrays them accurately but, toward the end of this passage, he is sarcastic.

    As an example of Paul's assessment of the Jew, it should be noted that the standard Rabbinical teaching of Isaiah 53 is that ISRAEL, as a nation, is the SUFFERING SERVANT (i.e. suffering to bring the Gentiles to a knowledge of God).

    Romans 2:21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

    Paul comes down hard on the Jews in this passage. Christ, during His earthly ministry, commented on the way the Jew could break the Law while making it appear that he was keeping it. This can be seen in Mark 7:9-13 in conjunction with Leviticus 27:9-25.

    This precept can also be applied to Christians. Those that proclaim that they would NEVER bow down to a statue or pray to it are sometimes the same folks that do underhanded things to gain property, etc. "Covetousness . . . is idolatry" as is evident in Colossians 3:5.

    And, for any high-minded man that proclaims he has not committed adultery, take a closer look at Matthew 5:28. I am sure you will be reminded of former President Jimmy Carter when you read that verse.

    There is a great Old Testament example relating to verse 24. When King David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then had her husband murdered, Nathan, the prophet, said "By this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme" (2 Samuel 12:14).

    Romans 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? 28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

    Paul continues to speak to the Jews. He has already informed them that just because they have the Law, they don't have an automatic entry to Heaven.

    Here we see that a Jew who doesn't keep the commandments of God is worse than a Gentile that violates his conscience. Not only does this violate the Law, it also gives the unbelieving Gentile the opportunity to blaspheme God's Law.

    In verse 26, Paul equates the Jews with circumcision. As can be seen in 1 Corinthians 7:19, circumcision in and of itself "is nothing". It is MERELY a symbol in the flesh that the Jews, as a people, were separated from the other nations by a covenant of God.

    So, for the Jew, circumcision is good, if he keeps the commandments of God. The precept given in verse 29 is not new with Paul. Paul teaches ACCORDING to the Old Testament and applies it to New Testament situations. This precept concerning the circumcision of the HEART is taught in Deuteronomy 10:16 and again in Jeremiah 9:25-26.

    Paul is a thorn in the side of every Jewish Rabbi. Paul is simply "believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets" (see Acts 24:14).

    Back in verse 26, a contrast is drawn between the Jew and the Gentile. As the Jew who breaks the Law is counted as a Gentile, so the Gentile, who follows the law God has placed in his conscience, is going to garner the SPIRITUAL blessings God promised to the Jew.

    The Jew can not get around being judged for rejecting Jesus Christ by the Gentiles, by Moses (John 5:45-47), by Abraham (John 8:39-40, 53-58), by the Holy Scriptures (John 5:38-40) and by his own mouth (Matthew 27:25).

    It is important to have a very clear understanding of the passage being discussed here (i.e. Romans 2:25-29). That is because it is used by the Roman Catholics and most of the Reformed churches, such as the Lutherans, Presbyterians and Episcopalians, to STEAL the Old Testament PHYSICAL promises from the nation of Israel. Moreover, most heretical groups, such as the Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons and the Church of Christ, use these verses to substitute THEIR SECT for Israel concerning the blessings God gave to the Jews.

    --- End of Romans Chapter Two ---
     

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