Romans Chapter 2 Continued
Romans 2:16 “In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”
The day is referring to the “final day of judgment”.
“Secrets” primarily refers to the motives that lie behind men’s actions.
1 John 3:21 “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, [then] have we confidence toward God.”
God judges the heart. Your sins may be secret to man, but nothing is hidden from God. Jesus Christ is the Judge of all of us. We will stand or fall by Him. If He is our Savior and Lord we will go to heaven, if we have not accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, we are lost.
“My Gospel”: Not his own personal message, but the divinely revealed message of Jesus Christ which is “good news” in light of the bad news of judgment.
Romans 2:17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,”
Previously called Hebrews and Israelites, by the first century “Jew” had become the most common name for the descendants of Abraham through Isaac. “Jew” comes from “Judah,” (meaning praise), one of the twelve tribes and the designation for the southern half of Solomon’s kingdom after his death.
From the time of the Babylonian captivity, the whole race bore this title. Their great heritage, however, became a source of pride and complacency which led to judgment instead of praise.
The Jews knew they were God’s chosen. They were proud, but they looked down on those who were not Jews thinking themselves better than others. Paul is telling them here that it is wrong to depend on the fact of their Jewish heritage to save them.
Romans 2:18 “And knowest [his] will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;”
Paul tells these self-righteous people that they are without excuse. They had the law, yet they did not understand. They were trying to instruct others and didn’t even comprehend themselves.
1 Corinthians 1:31″ That, according as it is written, He THAT GLORIETH, LET HIM GLORY in the Lord.”
Romans 2:19-20 “And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,” An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.”
Their form of religion was just that, a form. This was a technical keeping of the law without any understanding of what the law really stood for. Because they possessed the law, the Jews were confident that they were spiritually superior teachers; guides to blind pagans, wise in God’s ways, and able to teach babes.
This is like memorizing a bunch of words without any idea of what they meant. There is no purpose in memorizing, unless you know what the meaning of the Scripture is. God is not pleased with us technically keeping His laws. He wants our love and obedience.
The Light of God is something you can not turn on and off. If you have the Light, it shines in your life not just one day a week. If you feel you have got to go to church, you probably don’t have the Light. It should be a joy for a Christian to go to church. Church should not be an obligation that you fulfill. To go to church should be the desire of your heart.
Romans 2:21 “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?”
Matthew 7:4-5 “Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam [is] in thine own eye?” “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”
This scripture is saying “practice what you preach”.
Most preachers will tell you, when they are preaching, the message is for them as well as the congregation.
Romans 2:22 “Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?”
Many ministers in our day need to review this verse. Ministers are not exempt from God’s laws. We must not be just hearers but doers of God’s law.
James 1:23-25 “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:” “For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
The best sermon any man or woman can preach is the one we live every day of our life. Here we are not only talking about ministers, but every Christian’s walk
Romans 2:23 “Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonorest thou God?”
The law was given by God to help mankind. These Jewish leaders had twisted God’s law to fit what they wanted. Many of the customs they required the people to do, they did not do themselves. They had no feelings about putting burdens on others, but were not willing to do them themselves. The high priest’s office was founded to be a go between for God and his people. It was originated as an honorable holy office. By the time this was written, it had decayed into something terrible. They were even buying the priesthood. These had become power lovers, rather than men of God.
Romans 2:24 “For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.”
This is quoted from (Isaiah 52:5).
These Jews had missed the whole point of being the chosen of God to have the law. Just their arrogant behavior made the non Jews think that it was not good to be a believer. Instead of them living a better life for having known God, they oppressed others and ran them away from God.
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.”
For the Jew, circumcision was a sign of the covenant. Here is a complete definition of circumcision as given in Genesis 17:11. Cutting away of the male foreskin was not entirely new in this period of history, but the special religious and theocratic significance then applied to it was entirely new. Thus identifying the circumcised as belonging to the physical and ethnical lineage of Abraham. Without divine revelation, the rite would not have had this distinctive significance, thus it remained a theocratic distinctive of Israel.
There was a health benefit, since disease could be kept in the folds of the foreskin, so that removing it prevented that. Historically, Jewish women have had the lowest rate of cervical cancer. But the symbolism had to do with the need to cut away sin and be cleansed. It was the male organ which most clearly demonstrated the depth of depravity because it carried the seed that produced depraved sinners. Thus, circumcision symbolized the need for a profoundly deep cleansing to reverse the effects of depravity.
Under the new covenant provided by Jesus which is the covenant of grace, the meaning of circumcision has to do with the heart.
1 Corinthians 7:19 “Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.”
Philippians 3:3: “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
Romans 2:26 “Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?”
God will regard the believing Gentile as favorably as a circumcised, believing Jew.
Colossians 3:11 “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.”
The circumcision that counts is of the heart and not of the flesh. God is not interested in our flesh. He is Spirit and He is interested in our spirit which is made in His image.
Matthew 6:28-34 “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:” “And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?” “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” “(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.”
Jesus also came to heal our bodies.
3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
Romans 2:27 “And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfill the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?”
A Gentile’s humble obedience to the law should serve as a stern rebuke to a Jew who, in spite of his great advantage, lives in disobedience.
“To whom much is given, much is required”. These Gentiles were living better lives with less knowledge than the Jews. These Jews are not setting the good example for God that that they need to.
Galatians 6:15 “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.”
Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:” “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.”
“He is a Jew”: A true child of God; the true spiritual seed of Abraham.
“Circumcision is that of the heart”: The outward rite is of value only when it reflects the inner reality of a heart separated from sin unto God.
“Spirit…letter”: Salvation results from the work of God’s Spirit in the heart, not mere external efforts to conform to His law.
In the case above, it would be possible for a Gentile to be a better Jew than the natural Jew, because the Gentiles’ heart is right with God. God looks on the heart of man and judges the heart. Only you and God know the relation that you have with God. Men look at the outward man, but God sees the heart.
Romans 2 Continued Questions
1. God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to what?
2. In the day refers to what?
3. God judges what part of his body in a man?
4. Who is the judge of all?
5. In first century what was the most common name for the descendants of Abraham?
6. Where does the term Jew come from?
7. What does Judah mean?
8. Who was God’s chosen?
9. It should be a joy for a Christian ___ ___ ___ _________.
10. What does “thou therefore which teaches another, teaches not thy self” Mean?
11. We must not just be _________ but ______ of God’s Law.
12. What is the best sermon any man or woman can preach?
13. What was the High Priest’s office founded for?
14. What had the arrogant behavior of the Jews do to the non Jews?
15. For the Jew, circumcision was a sign of what?
16. What was the symbolism of circumcision?
17. How will God regard the believing Gentile?
18. The circumcision that counts is what?
19. O ye of ________ ________.
20. But seek ye first the ____________ of _____.
21. To whom _______ is ________, much is ___________.
22. Circumcision in verse 29 is that of what?
23. Is it possible for a Gentile to be a better Jew than a natural Jew?