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 Romans Chapter 2 - Part One

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Male Number of posts : 252
Age : 68
Location : Northern Arizona
Registration date : 2009-01-12

PostSubject: Romans Chapter 2 - Part One   Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:59 pm

Romans 2:1

Condemnation according to divine standards
In any generalization such as the preceding blanket indictment of pagan humanity (Rom_1:18-32) exceptions to the rule always exist. Obviously some pagans had high ethical standards and moral lifestyles and condemned the widespread moral corruption of their contemporaries. In addition the Jews morally stood in sharp contrast with the pagan world around them and freely condemned the Gentiles. Both groups of moralists might conclude that God’s condemnation did not apply to them because of their higher planes of living. But Paul insisted that they also stood condemned because they were doing the same things for which they judged others.
Therefore, Paul declared, at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself. Everyone in the entire human race has turned away from God and commits sins even though there are differences of frequency, extent, and degree. In addition the entire human race, especially moral pagans and the Jews, stood condemned before God (and have no excuse [cf. Rom_1:20]) because God’s judgment is based on three divine standards — truth (Rom_2:2-4), impartiality (Rom_2:5-11), and Jesus Christ Himself (Rom_2:12-16) — which are absolute and infinite, condemning every person. It is very easy for us to see sin in other's lives when many times we are unable to see the very same sin in our own life. Many ministers have the attitude that they are exempt, because they preach. The same law applies to us all. There are not 2 sets of rules; one for the congregation and one for the preacher. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Everyone needs Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Both Jews who was Paul’s primary audience here, and moral Gentiles who think they are exempt from God’s judgment because they have not indulged in the immoral excesses described in chapter 1, are tragically mistaken. They have more knowledge than the immoral pagan and thus a greater accountability.
“Condemn thyself:” If someone has sufficient knowledge to judge others, he condemns himself, because he shows he has the knowledge to evaluate his own condition.
“Doest the same things:” In their (the Jews) condemnation of others they have excused and overlooked their own sins. Self righteousness exists because of two deadly errors. (1) Minimizing God’s moral standard usually by emphasizing externals; and (2) Underestimating the depth of one’s own sinfulness.

Romans 2:2-3

The first divine standard of judgment is truth. Nowhere in Scripture is God identified as “Truth” as He is as “Spirit” (Joh_4:24), “Light” (1Jn_1:5) and “Love” (1Jn_4:8, 1Jn_4:16), though Jesus did call Himself “the Truth” (Joh_14:6). But God is called “the God of truth” (Psa_31:5; Isa_65:16). Truth — absolute, infinite truth — is unquestionably one of God’s essential attributes. God will not punish anyone on hear-say evidence. God judges in Truth. He knows what the Truth is even before we begin.
“According to the truth”: The meaning is ‘right.” Whatever God does is by nature right.
As a result when God’s judgment of people is declared to be based on literally “According to” “truth,” no escape from that judgment is possible for anyone. All are without “excuse” (Rom_2:1) and without “escape.” One may be moral and he may even judge his contemporaries as totally enmeshed in a depraved lifestyle, but yet he is judged by God because he does the same things (cf. Rom_2:1). This was covered in depth in verse one above. “Condemn thyself:” If someone has sufficient knowledge to judge others, he condemns himself, because he shows he has the knowledge to evaluate his own condition.

Romans 2:4

By not exacting His divine penalty on sinful humanity immediately, God is displaying the riches of His kindness (chrēstotētos, “benevolence in action,” also used of God in Rom_11:22; Eph_2:7; Tit_3:4), tolerance, and patience (cf. Act_14:16; Act_17:30; Rom_3:25). God’s purpose is to lead people toward repentance — a return to Him — through His kindness. (This word for “kindness” is chrēstos, a synonym of chrēstotētos, also trans. “kindness,” used earlier in the verse.) Both words mean “what is suitable or fitting to a need.” Chrēstos is used of God in Luk_6:35 and 1Pe_2:3 and of people in Eph_4:32. “Despisest”: Meaning to despise or to think down on, thus to underestimate someone’s or something’s value, and even to treat with contempt.
“Goodness”: This refers to “common grace,” the benefits God bestows on all men.
“Forbearance”: This word, which means “to hold back,” was sometimes used of a truce between warring parties. Rather than destroying every person the moment he or she sins, God graciously holds back His judgment. He saves sinners in a physical and temporal way from what they deserve, to show them His saving character that they might come to Him and receive salvation that is spiritual and eternal.
“Longsuffering:” This word indicates the duration for which God demonstrates His goodness and forbearance, for long periods of time.
Together these three words speak of God’s common grace, the way He demonstrates His grace to all mankind.
“Repentance”: The act of turning from sin to Christ for forgiveness and salvation.
Not realizing (lit., “being ignorant of”) God’s purpose, people showed contempt for (kataphroneis, “you thought down on”) God’s attributes and actions (cf. “suppress the truth,” Rom_1:18). People knew of God’s Being through natural revelation (Rom_1:19-21, Rom_1:28), but did not know the purpose of His kindness.

Romans 2:5-6

Why are people ignorant of God’s intention to be kind? (Rom_2:4) And why do they despise it? It is because of their stubbornness (lit., “hardness”; sklērotēta, whence the Eng. “sclerosis”) and their unrepentant heart(s). So God’s wrath against people’s sins is being stored up like a great reservoir until the day when it will all be poured forth in His righteous judgment. On that day God will give to each person according to what He has done (quotation of Psa_62:12 and Pro_24:12). God’s judging will be based on the standard of truth (Rom_2:2) and it will be impartial (Rom_2:11). The English word “sclerosis” (as in arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries) comes from the Greek word. But here the danger is not physical, but spiritual hardness.
“Impenitent heart”: A refusal to repent and accept God’s pardon of sin through Jesus and cling to one’s sin is to accumulate more of God’s wrath and earn a severer judgment.
“Day of wrath … judgment”: Refers to the final judgment of wicked men that comes at the Great White Throne at the end of the Millennium. Although Scripture everywhere teaches that salvation is not on the basis of works, it consistently teaches that God’s judgment is always on the basis of a man’s deeds.
Paul describes the deeds of two distinct groups: the redeemed in verses 7 and 10, and the unredeemed as shown in 8-9. The deeds of the redeemed are not the basis of their salvation but the evidence of it. They are not perfect and are prone to sin, but there is undeniable evidence of righteousness in their lives. We are all storing up things in heaven now. Some who walk in the Light of Jesus are storing up good treasures in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-21 "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:" "But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:" "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
If our deeds are evil, the wrath of God will be our just payment. If we are working for God, only a warm welcome awaits us, and the statement (well done thy good and faithful servant). In verse 7 we see the rewards awaiting the believer.

Romans 2:7-11

God will bestow eternal life on those who by persistence in doing good seek (pres. tense, “keep on seeking”) glory, honor, and immortality. Notice that even though eternal life is a free gift; we must continue walking in the salvation Jesus has provided for us. We must continue walking in the Light. We must be doing the Word and not just hearing the Word.
Verse seven is not simply speaking in duration, because even unbelievers will live forever, but also in quality. Eternal life is a kind of life, the holy life that the eternal God has given to believers.
We see in verse 8 what awaits those who are not walking with Jesus in His Light.
On the other hand wrath and anger will be the portion of the self-seeking… who reject (lit., “keep on disobeying”) the truth and follow (pres. tense, “keep on obeying”) evil (adikia, “unrighteousness”; cf. Rom_1:18). God is not unaware. He will punish those who do not obey. From Genesis to Revelation we see blessings for those who live for God and curses to those who are the children of disobedience.
Each one who does (“keeps on producing”) evil will receive trouble and distress, whereas each one who does (“keeps on working”) good will have glory, honor (cf. “glory and honor” in Rom_2:7), and peace. This just recompense by God is without regard to ethnic background or any other consideration except what each person has done.
A person’s habitual conduct, whether good or evil, reveals the condition of his heart. Eternal life is not rewarded for good living; that would contradict many other Scriptures which clearly state that salvation is not by works, but is all of God’s grace to those who believe (e.g., Rom_6:23; Rom_10:9-10; Rom_11:6; Eph_2:8-9; Tit_3:5). A person’s doing good shows that his heart is regenerate. Such a person, redeemed by God, has eternal life. Conversely a person who continually does evil and rejects the truth shows that he is unregenerate, and therefore will be an object of God’s wrath.
The statement first for the Jew, then for the Gentile (lit. “Greek”) does not imply special consideration for Jews. Instead, in the light of the divine standard of impartiality (God does not show favoritism), it emphasizes that the entire human race is dealt with by God. Just as the Jews were given the first opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel, they will be first to receive God’s judgment if they refuse. Israel will receive severer punishment because she was given greater light and blessing.
The phrase “the day of God’s… judgment” (Rom_2:5) taken by itself may seem to lend support to the idea of a single general judgment of all humanity. However, the Scriptures do not support such a concept. This phrase must be interpreted in conjunction with passages which clearly indicate that several judgments of different groups occur at different times (cf. judgment of Israel at Christ’s Second Advent, Eze_20:32-38; the judgment of Gentiles at Christ’s Second Advent, Mat_25:31-46; the great white throne judgment, Rev_20:11-15). The focus of this passage is on the fact that God will judge all peoples, not on the details of who will be judged when. God is not impressed with our worldly wealth, importance, position, influence, popularity or appearance. We are what we are, because God chose for it to be that way. If you are jealous of some one's wealth or place in society, blame God. The real reason might be that God could not trust you with the wealth or importance. It might even be for your own good.
We do not even choose our own nationality, God does. We were born and raised in a particular family because God arranged it that way. Why should anyone be so proud of themselves, this being the case? The only wealth that really amounts to anything is what we have stored in heaven.
Romans 2:12

Jesus Christ
God’s impartiality in judgment is also seen in the fact that He will deal with people in accordance with the dispensation in which they live. “The Law was given through Moses” (Joh_1:17), which marks the beginning of the dispensation of Law. The Law was provided for God’s Chosen People Israel, and the Gentiles were considered outside the Law. Therefore Paul declared, All who (lit., “as many as”) sin apart from the Law (lit., “without Law”) will also perish apart from the Law. Gentiles who sin will perish, but the Law of Moses will not be used as a standard of judgment against them. On the other hand the Jews who sin under (lit., “in the sphere of”) the Law will be judged by the Law. The Gentiles are not excused from God’s judgment, but they will not be judged according to the standard (the Mosaic Law) that was not given to them. “Sinned without law”: The Gentiles who never had the opportunity to know God’s moral law will be judged on their disobedience in relationship to their limited knowledge as we studied in chapter 1, verses 19 and 20.
“Sinned in the law”: The Jews and many Gentiles who had access to God’s moral law will be accountable for their greater knowledge.
To those whom much is given much is required.
Luke 12:48: "But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few [stripes]. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more."
The Lord is a just God. He judges each according to their knowledge. If we know to do good and do it not, it is counted sin to us.
III John 1:11 "Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God."
We mentioned before that even nature tells you of God. Our conscience tells us when we are sinning. We all know right from wrong. The Jew had the law, so they will be judged by their law, if they do not receive Jesus. All will be judged guilty of sin, who have not accepted complete pardon through Jesus Christ our Lord. All deserve death. We receive our life in Jesus Christ who is Life.
Romans 2:13

Reading the Mosaic Law was a regular part of each synagogue service, so that Jews were those who hear the Law. However, being recognized as righteous was not the automatic concomitant of being a Jew and hearing the Law. Those who will be declared righteous (a forensic action usually trans. “justified,” e.g., Rom_3:24; are those who obey the Law (lit., “the doers of the Law”). James made the same point (Jas_1:22-25). God does not give eternal life or justification to those who perform good works, but to those who believe (trust) in Him and whose conduct reveals their regenerate hearts. Just to hear the law and to do nothing about it would not help at all, or just hearing about Jesus will not save you either. We must act upon what we hear. The burden is laid on the person receiving salvation to accept it. We have a free will which God will not violate.
Romans 10:9-10 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
Romans 2:14-15

The Jews looked down on the Gentiles partly because they did not have the revelation of God’s will in the Mosaic Law. But, as Paul pointed out, there are moral Gentiles who do by nature things required by the Law. Such persons show that the Law is not to be found only on tablets of stone and included in the writings of Moses; it is also inscribed in their hearts and is reflected in their actions, consciences, and thoughts. The Law given to Israel is in reality only a specific statement of God’s moral and spiritual requirements for everyone. Moral Gentiles by their actions show that the requirements (lit., “the work”) of the Law are written on their hearts. This is confirmed by their consciences, the faculty within human beings that evaluates their actions, along with their thoughts that either accuse or excuse them of sin. This is why Paul called such Gentiles a law for themselves (Rom_2:14). Without knowing the written law of God, people in pagan society generally value and attempt to practice its most basic tenets. This is normal for cultures instinctively to value justice, honesty, compassion and goodness toward others, reflecting the divine law written in the heart.
“Law unto themselves”: Their practice of some good deeds and their aversion to some evil ones demonstrate an innate knowledge of God’s law, a knowledge that will actually witness against them on the Day of Judgment. “Work of the law”: Probably best understood as “the same works the Mosaic Law prescribes.”
“Conscience”: Literal meaning “with knowledge.” That instinctive sense of right and wrong, that produces guilt when violated. In addition to an innate awareness of God’s law, men have a warning system that activates when they choose to ignore or disobey that law.
Paul urges believers not to violate their own consciences or cause other to because repeatedly ignoring the conscience’s warnings desensitizes it and eventually silences it.
Conscience is an important part of human nature, but it is not an absolutely trustworthy indicator of what is right. One’s conscience can be “good” (Act_23:1; 1Ti_1:5, 1Ti_1:19) and “clear” (Act_24:16; 1Ti_3:9; 2Ti_1:3; Heb_13:18), but it can also be “guilty” (Heb_10:22), “corrupted” (Tit_1:15), “weak” (1Co_8:7, 1Co_8:10, 1Co_8:12), and “seared” (1Ti_4:2). All people need to trust the Lord Jesus Christ so that “the blood of Christ” might “cleanse [their] consciences” (Heb_9:14).
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Romans Chapter 2 - Part One
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