SELF-SUFFICIENCY CONDEMNED

Rom 2:17-29

 

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.

 

Gal 2:15

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 Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drave the Jews from Elath: and the Syrians came to Elath, and dwelt there unto this day.

 

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.

 

Rom 3:1-2

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.

 

Acts 26:4-5

4    My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;

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.

 

Matt 23:16

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!

 

 

Matt 23:24

24  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

 

Matt 15:14

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.

Isaiah 42:6

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;

 

Isaiah 60:3

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.

Vs 22

 

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:

 

Isa 52:5

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.

 

Eze 36:23

23  And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.

 

People see this individual and think less of God because this man lives among them and calls himself a disciple of God.

 

It would be better for the glory of God, and therefore for the good of those who know this man, if he were a professed heathen.Vs 25

 

The rite of circumcision given to Abraham was simple an outward mark.

 

It meant something only if the law was followed.

 

But if they were a transgressor of the law, the badge or outward mark meant nothing.

 

Water baptism is rightly an ordinance of the church.

 

It says I am saved and not ashamed of the Savior.

 

But it is a mockery if the person baptized gives no evidence of salvation.

 

The wages of sin is death.

No matter what we say or pretend.

The heart reveals the true character.

 

As Adam and Eve could not hide their sin from God neither can a lost person hide their condition behind a false profession.

 

III. THEY ARE SAVED BY POSSESSION (vs 26-29)

 

vs 26 “Therefore”  leads to a reasonable and logical deduction.

 

If a wife loses her wedding ring it does not mean she is not married.

 

Marriage is more than a wedding ring, though this is the symbol of it.

 

Vs 27 Paul is speaking of circumcision.

 

And we compare to the Christian testimony.

 

Paul is not making light of the baptism but emphasizing that even when those who are not Christian do good even they are counted as Christian behavior.

 

Paul is showing here that circumcision is nothing to boast in if that is all he has.

And so baptism and church membership.

 

The man who is not circumcised and lives a moral life is better than the man who is circumcised and lives an amoral or sinful life.

Vs 28

 

Deut 26:5

5    And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

So Paul through the Holy Spirit tells us that the outward appearance cannot save and does not reveal the condition of a man spiritually.

 

One may be moral and be lost.

 

And one may be a church member and be lost.

 

Deut 10:16

16  Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

 

 

 

Eze 44:9

9    Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.

 

This applied to the Jew.

 

But also to the Christian.

Gal 6:15

15  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

 

The outward rituals and ordinances of religion can never bring anyone into a right relationship with God.

 

They may actually hinder.

 

John 3:3

3    Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

 

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