Romans 2

So in Chapter 1 Paul demonstrated the sinfulness of the immoral pagan (1:18-32), Paul now presents his case against the religious moralist/legalist by cataloging 6 principles that govern God’s judgment:

1) Knowledge (2:1-2) 

2) truth (2:2-3) 

3) guilt (2:4-5) 

4) deeds (2:6-10) 

5) impartiality (2:11-15) 

6) motive (2:16). 

On a 1-10 scale, how well do y’all think you understand this chapter? 

What was confusing or difficult for you?

2:1-11

2:1

In what was is man ‘inexcusable\’?

    Man has been given knowledge of God through the creation and His law is written on man’s heart, as we’re about to get more into in this chapter. You, O man, have done that which is wrong in God’s sight you are by no means expect from God’s judgment.

    “condemned yourself” Paul is dealing with hypocrisy here. 

In what way/according to what standard should we live?

    Given God’s standard of perfect righteousness, we are to live up to that through reliance on the living Christ, the perfect righteousness man.

Have y’all ever been accused of hypocrisy by the watching world? If so, would you care to explain how and how you handled it?

    [let them answer]

What happens when we are hypocrites? IE What do we do with our guilt/how do we repent?

    Given the standard is perfection, we should more often than not expect to fail in our walk with God. That said, there is still no excuse to betraying the standard/the Christ to which you hold. 

    There are several components to my remedy to repentance of hypocrisy:

If you have no conviction/sorrow of sin against your God then you should fear if your salvation is genuine and work out your salvation with “fear and trembling”. (IE if you have no desire to uphold the standard you should fear that you are not saved from the coming wrath of God). 

Assuming you are sorrowful of your sin, look to yourself, wretched hypocrite, and ask the Lord for His forgiveness for yourself and offer up gratitude that He is still long-suffering for you, and plead for the gift of repentance in your life

After this, look to the crucified Savior and take comfort that He chose to love you to pay for even your hypocrisy 

After this, look to the empty tomb and know that the Christ is with you, wretched hypocrite, even now and loves you at still; for His love for you relies on Him alone and not you at all.  Then decide all of yourself to God and living toward Him. 

AKA: The solution to hypocrisy is nothing less than full repentance to God.

“practice the very same things” This is just a general reference to 1:29-32; not an actual callout.

2:4

Define the “goodness/kindness of God” 

    His long-suffering, or rather, HIs common grace. Common grace is the term we use that refers to the benefits that God bestows on all as Christ states in Matthew 5:45, “so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” IE this is God’s goodness to all men. 

See Ephesians 1 for a further explanation of His kindness. 

In what way does His goodness lead to repentance?

    With one arm God draws men to Himself and without the other holds back His forthcoming wrath. Rather than destroying every person, the moment they sin God graciously holds back His judgment/grants them more time to come to Him in repentance. 

2:5

Define “day of wrath”

    Here Paul uses the term to refer to the final day of His judgment upon men that will come at the end of the age. 

2:6

For the Christian, what is the consequence of our sin?

    Lack of comfort from the Holy Spirit or lack of assurance/greater anxiety, Lack of rewards in Heaven. 

So is Paul presenting a works-based Gospel? 

    By no means. We can only do good by God in our lives. The fact that we do true good at all is proof of God in our lives. However, there can be no doubt that some Christians have greater good/more good works than others. God will reward each Christian accordingly. 

2:7

If someone were to ask you to define the Christian life what would your response be?

    [Let them answer]

How is the Christian life glory, honor, immortality?

    Here, Paul describes the rewards of those believers who do good. The deeds of the believers aren’t the basis of their salvation but rather the evidence thereof. 

    We seek “glory” in that when we pursue God’s glory we boast in God; for that is our glory. 

    We seek “honor” in that when we honor God, let\’s say in our bodies, we are indeed honoring ourselves by using the body given to us for its proper purpose.

    We seek “immortality” in God, the author of life itself and therefore have true/eternal life. 

“Patient [continually]” Do y’all find this to be difficult to be patient with God? IE why doesn’t He just sanctify me right now? OR Why doesn’t God just complete redemption history and return to us right now?

    I ask because I have struggled with all of this. When we are tempted to be impatient with God we must remember that it is God set forth all of this and is, in one fashion or another, bringing all things good and evil for His purposes. 

2:8

    Here, I think one can see the definition of the Christian life, in a word, as self-less rather than self-seeking. 

2:9

Why is the Jew first?

    The Jews were given the first opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel and they will be the first to receive God’s judgment if they refuse. The Jews will receive a greater punishment because they were given greater light and blessing. 

2:11

    Here I think is one of the most encouraging verses in the bible that I recommend you keep on hand in evangelism. 

    God as no respecter of persons is one of the greatest truths of the whole bible. He cares not how well you present yourself or how cleaned up you may be He will judge all regardless of status. IE come to Him as you are. 

2:12-16

2:12

    So here\’s the thrust of Paul’s argument for this section; that 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. And the Jew and Gentile that did have access to God’s Law will be accountable for their greater knowledge. 

2:13

    Notice “righteous” vs “justification” we do not make ourselves righteous but God justifies and makes righteous. 

We’ll cover justification more next week. 

2:14

How do we know that its wrong to murder? Why does our conscience bother us when we do something wrong?

    Because God’s law is written on our hearts IE we have a conscience of right and wrong. People in a pagan society, without God’s law, still generally value justice, honestly, and goodness/good action toward others – reflecting the divine law written in the heart. This innate knowledge of God’s law will actually witness abasing them on the day of judgment. 

2:16

Is there such a thing as “secret sin”?

    No, all deeds, thoughts, and actions both good and bad will be revealed on the day of judgment. Best to be rid of sin here and now than to even risk eternal separation from God. 

2:17-24

    Having shown that outwardly moral people will stand condemned by God’s judgment, Paul turns his argument exclusively to the Jews; where Paul shows them that their heritage, nor knowledge, nor ceremonies or circumcision will save them from God’s righteous judgment. 

2:17 

    Thus, Paul says here that they became boastful/prideful in themselves and ceremonies rather than God. 

Do y’all find it difficult to be humble? I mean, you’re not like “those people”; you’re not as bad as they are right? 

For us, the Jew, here, serves as a warning sign to remain or become humble and forever grateful in mind, heart, and action before God for His free grace upon our lives. 

2:21

Why does it matter whether or not we live according to what we teach/preach?

    Ultimately, our doctrine/theology is not learned only in the head but it finally learned in the heart; once our doctrine has reached our hearts and we then begin to actively live out said doctrine it is then that we begin to mature/grow and therefore are indeed in the faith/truly believe. 

    Thus, if we possess the faith yet have to desire to live it we should be in fear that we don’t have the faith at all. 

2:24

What is the right/biblical method of teaching the truth?

    Dialectic discussion (obviously). No, I’m joking. The proper way to teach, or even to reach people, is to live the teaching in every part of our lives; both private and public as Paul is about to get into in the 2:25-29.

     Paul is citing Isaiah 52:5; claiming that the blasphemy of God is the result from the hypocrisy of the Jews not applying to themselves the standards of God that they knew and also taught to other. 

2:25-29

Here Paul strikes a death-blow to the hypocrite when he masterfully deals with inward attitudes of the heart and outward action of the body. For this last passage of Romans 2, I’ll only have us focus on 25, 28 and 29. 

2:25

So what’s Paul talking about here?

Paul is stating that our outward obedience in rituals, IE prayer, devotionals, the sign of the cross, etc, only hold value/are only beneficial to us if they hold substance/meaning to us. We can’t just have a shallow religion full of standard cliques of “have faith” or “close to Jesus” or “just trust in God and it’ll all be alright”. These things, while all correct and true, only help if we know the meaning to them. The rituals are and outward sign of inward faith/salvation they in and of themselves don’t bring us salvation. 

2:28

The faith is an inward faith that manifests outwardly. Not the other way around. And to illustrate this point turn to Luke 15:11-32. 

Luke 15:11-32

So who is the “prodigal son” in this story?

Both sons are prodigal/wayward. 

Given Romans 2:25-29 that we just discussed who do y’all think is the outward rebel/sinner against the father in this story?

The younger son; obviously. 

How was he outwardly disobedient to his father?

He wished his father died and abandoned him in his old age. 

And who is the inward rebel in this story?

The older son.

How was he inwardly rebellious toward his father?

He did all his duties/chores but he did not serve his father out of love. He served him out of his own self-righteousness. He was a son in flesh but a slave/servant in spirit. 

And what do y’all think the key is to bring back a wayward son?

“…saw him and felt compassion” 15:20. The Father’s love, or to put it as Paul did His long-suffering, are ultimately draw us back to the Father again and again. The Father’s love is the cure for inward and outward rebellion.  

#RomansBibleStudy

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