In the previous chapter we saw man refusing to retain God in their knowledge and God’s wrath kindled against a wicked stiff necked people.
Chapter two begins with “Therefore”.
That is seeing in chapter one that mankind as a whole has turned from God.
Because man has turned from God he is inexcusable when he tries to judge.
With the world turned from God, men try to look to the wickedness of others in order to justify their own sinfulness.
Tonight let us see what the Bible has to say about self-righteousness.
Can God overlook our sin because we live in a sinful world and our sin is not as bad as others?
Can one be justified in his or her actions because he is not as bad as another; can justification for one’s actions be granted by the passing of certain laws to govern their actions; can one be justified because of his nationality?
I. SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS CANNOT SAVE (vs. 1-11)
The word judge in verse one is the same Greek word rendered condemnation in
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
A. Acknowledges right and wrong (vs. 1-2)
B. Acknowledges wrong doing deserves punishment
C. Acknowledges that all are doing wrong to different degrees
E. Acknowledges that all wrong doing no matter how small is displeasing to God.
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
They know God. They know he is displeased with sin and that is why they do not want to retain Him in their thoughts.
E. Acknowledge God’s judgment on all sin
F. Acknowledge God’s goodness leads to repentance
5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
8 Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
G. Acknowledges a hard, unrepentant heart and the consequence (vs. 4-5)
2. Revealing of sin both secret and open
3. Judgment by God’s wrath upon the sinner
4. God renders judgment according to deeds (vs. 6)
a. Unsaved - degrees of punishment (vs. 8-9)
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
b. Saved degrees of reward (vs. 7&10)
1 Cor 3:12-15
12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
5. Acknowledge that God is no respector of persons
II. LAWS CANNOT SAVE (vs. 12)
Laws cannot cleanse a heart. The heart is the seat of all unrighteousness and wickedness.
The law provides a human punishment for sin and does deter public sin. In order to bring order to a society.
No one wants to be punished and will try to avoid wrong doing in order to avoid punishment.
But they try to avoid punishment or embarrassment, not sin.
Law cannot take away the desire to sin.
Therefore, where there is a possible opportunity to do wrong without detection, men will continue to sin.
III. NATIONALITY CANNOT SAVE
A. Possessing the law (Mosaic) cannot prevent judgment
B. Partial obedience cannot prevent judgment (vs. 14)
C. Conscience cannot prevent judgment (vs. 15)
D. Nothing can prevent judgment (vs. 16)
A. Judgment seat
B. Great white throne
In the second half of the second chapter of Romans we go from humanity in general to the specific religious group of the day, - the JEW.
The Jew had a God given religion disintegrated.
Religion could no longer be the crutch used by the Jew.
Religion had given them an arrogant disposition brought on by the pride and self-sufficiency they felt by possessing the Mosaic Law and being descendants of Abraham.
In actuality the light given the Jew gave them added responsibility and no fulfillment of that responsibility gave them the greater condemnation.
Let us examine the Jew tonight and learn the principle of the danger of self-sufficient religion.
I. THEY WERE RELIGIOUS BY PROFESSION vs 17-22
A. Lets look at who he was.
1. Behold, thou art called a Jew.
The Israelite bore the name Jew proudly.
15 We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles,
The term Jew 1st occurs in 2 Kings 16:6.
2 Kings 16:6
6 At that time Rezin king of
Many are wearing the name Christian today proudly. Are we worthy to wear that name of all names.
Those who wear that title must wear it humbly. It is not earned, it is a gift accepted.
One becomes a Christian by humbly admitting, confessing, and repenting from sin and turning to Christ as Savior.
2. One who rested upon the law.
The Jew had a blind trust in having the law but not in keeping it.
He had the law but the law did not have him.
Many church members today have the Gospel but the Gospel does not have them.
3. One who boast in God - they did not glory in the greatness, goodness and holiness of God, but rather that God was the Jehovah of his race.
This did not alter his life. They continued to live in sin and brought upon themselves the judgment of the very God in whom they boasted.
Many religious people boast that they know God and at the same time their lives utterly deny it.
4. One who know the word of God - vs 18
They had the Mosaic law.
Therefore they knew what God expected of them.
1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
We now have the Bible. It is printed in almost every language.
Especially the English speaking people.
5. And approves the things more excellent, being instructed out of the law.
In other words: the Jew had the oracle of God.
The teaching and preaching of the Oracles gave the Jew a head knowledge of God’s Word.
Therefore he could discern without making a decision.
He knew right from wrong as spelled out in the Word of God, but could not keep the law.
A person can know the Bible and quote Scripture, but yet be unsaved.
Having the Bible in ones possession and taking on the name “Christian” even memorizing Scripture cannot save.
B. What he did
1. A guide of the blind - The Jew felt that he was competent to lead others who did not have the law.
Paul understood this.
4 My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at
5 Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify, that after the most straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee.
The majority, of our seminaries today which are training young men and women for the ministry, are manned by teachers who deny the very basic tenants of the faith, yet they feel perfectly competent to train men in the ministry.
Christ labeled these blind guides.
16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
2. A light of them that are in darkness
The fact that the Gentiles were in darkness was unmistakable.
Scripture had declared that.
6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.
The Jew was no longer capable of giving light. He was now in darkness.
3. A corrector of the thoughtless or immature vs 20
1 Cor 15:36
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
Instructor of the foolish.
The proof of a teacher is the final product and the final product of these teachers is foolishness.
Professing themselves to be wise they became fools.
And now they are teaching their foolishness for truth and producing more foolishness.
4. A teacher of babes (end product)
5. Teaching with knowledge but no power.
2 Tim 3:5
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
They had the law.
But by their very life and testimony they were denying the power of the law.
The made a profession but had no possession.
Paul does not bring an accusation but rather interrogates the Jew with his questions. Vs 21
These are questions to which the Jew must answer guilty.
Not every Jew but at least some of them are guilty of these crimes.
Therefore it must be concluded that the law has not been sufficient to rid the Jew of crimes.
Paul mentions three common sins in this section:
1) Immorality - sin against others
2) Sensuality - sin against self
3) Idolatry - sin against God
I. They were religious by profession.
II. THEY WERE SINNERS THROUGH TRANSGRESSION (vs 23-25)
While boasting of having the law, the were breaking the law and thus were a disgrace to God.
Some who are called Christians boast of salvation.
And though they know right from wrong and claim the blood of Christ, they a living a life of sin.
This is no different than the Jew who relies upon the law.
They are relying upon a false profession.
Vs 24 Paul refers to the Old Testament Scripture:
5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed.
God is blasphemed everyday because I see it and so do you everyday, people claiming the name of Jesus, yet living a life of sin and wickedness.