Preparing Ourselves for Romans 2.
God is the impartial, righteous Judge of all the earth - Jew and Gentile, Moral and Immoral.
After setting forth the theme of the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17) to the Christians in Rome, the Holy Spirit through Paul showed just how evil the Gentile world had become (Romans 1:18-32).
And it was all because they rejected the truth of God and exalted themselves.
However, it wasn’t just the pagan Gentile society that would stand before the righteous Judge of all the earth.
Romans 2:1-16 is a general statement of God’s impartiality. It is a transitional section, standing between Paul’s scathing denouncement of the Gentile world in 1:18-32 and his equally powerful accusation against the Jews in 2:17-29. Neither group had an excuse! The Gentiles would not be excused because they did not have the Law, and the Jews would not be saved just because they had it. - Pollard, Truth for Today Commentary, 75
No doubt the people who lived a more “moral” life (some Gentiles and most Jews) would read Paul’s description of the Gentile world and think, “Yeah, those folks are pretty bad. They deserve to face the judicial wrath of God. But I’m a pretty good person - I try to avoid doing those things. Surely God will judge me a little differently.”
Paul is about to address those folks, and he will focus on the Jews in the second half of Romans 2.
In Chapter 2:1-16 Paul will make it clear that having moral insight doesn’t exempt one from condemnation. If you do the same kind of things the people you’re judging are doing, you pronounce your own condemnation. - McGuiggan, Romans, 89
Paul will focus quite a bit on the judgment of God and how God will judge all people.
The chapter which we are about to study will present to us the principles on which men will be judged, and woe unto the man who thinks that he is going to face a God of his own stature or of his own devising, or a God who thinks with human fallibility. - Barnhouse, Romans Vol. 2, 4
He will show how no one can stand before the Judge of all the earth and be righteous in His sight all by themselves—even the relatively “good” people. Because all have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23).
As we get ready to study this first section (Romans 2:1-16), we must keep in mind what Paul is trying to accomplish.
So what do we need to remember from 2:1-16? It isn’t enough to be able to condemn transgression! Judges are themselves under condemnation because they don’t live up to the law either. Now remember, this is true whether the judge is a Jew or Gentile. The principle of judgment is, not does he have and recognize law, but, does he live up to it? - McGuiggan, Romans, 89
I’m looking forward to diving into Romans 2 with you!
No matter what you have done in your past, Romans 2 places everyone on the same level - we all need the gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17).
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