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If You Have Sinned, You Have No Defense.
Thinking about Romans 2:1.
Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. (Romans 2:1)
As we begin Romans 2, remember that Paul will emphasize God as the impartial, righteous judge.
There is no excuse.
Because those who practice such sins (Romans 1:29-31) are “deserving of death,” as well as those who “approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32) - no one had an excuse.
Someone may have thought, “Well, sure - I’ve been prideful before, and I’ve told a little lie here and there. But I’m not as bad as those people!”
It doesn’t matter - if you sin, you deserve death. The “degree” of the sin doesn’t matter.
There is no special rule of judgment for the Jew and another for the Gentile…Not only were they without justification, but they had no ground upon which to stand for an apology. There was nothing to plead in their defense. - Wacaster, Studies in Romans, 64
The “judges” here mentioned by Paul thought themselves above the judgment of God because they pointed out and condemned the sinfulness in society. But they didn’t even realize that in condemning others, they were also condemning themselves.
If the practice is indeed a crime, it is a crime in principle. To do it a little or to do it a lot is not what determines if the practice is criminal. If it is indeed criminal then it is criminal to do it at all. The judges weren’t sinless so went they condemned their fellows they condemned themselves. - McGuiggan, Romans, 91
Paul is not saying it is wrong to point out sin or teach against sin - he’s just done that in the preceding verses (Romans 1:18-32).
Paul is saying that to try and live a moral life and point out that which is sinful does not spare a person from the judgment of God. As he will point out soon - “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
So once a person has sinned, even if they try to live a moral life after that sin, they still rightfully deserve death for their sin.
The judgment of sin must be borne by the sinner if it is not placed on the Savior. - Barnhouse, Romans Vol. 2, 1
There is no salvation, forgiveness, or justification apart from Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16-17).
The Gentile could not say, “Well, yes I’ve sinned, but I try to live a good moral life, so I should be excused from judgment.” They sinned - they deserved judgment.
The Jew could not say, “Well, yes, I’ve sinned, but I have the law of Moses, so I should be excused from judgment.” They sinned - they deserved judgment.
No one had an excuse - no one had a legitimate defense. When faced with God's righteous, impartial judgment, all must plead “guilty.”
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