Chapter 2:1-10 resumes immediately after the context of Romans 1:29-31 where Paul has just listed a multitude of sins. Paul says, there is no excuse for people to judge others for in doing so, they also condemn themselves; because they who judge, also do the same things.
The context of this part of the chapter is about the Person who judges others.
You see, we are all guilty of sin, it doesn't matter what sin you have committed; sin is sin in the eyes of the Father. But let’s ask a few questions.
- Are all sins the same to God? Well, yes and no.
- Are all sins of the same severity? No.
- Do all sins carry the same penalty? Yes.
- Can God forgive all sins, no matter how severe? Yes and No.
Why did I answer “no” in the 4th question as well? In Matthew Chapter 12, we have Jesus speaking to the Pharisees about being in danger of committing a sin that was unforgivable. I will not go into detail about this subject as it is not in scope and will talk about this unforgivable sin at another article.
So, we have all sinned and will continue to sin. Are you convicted yet?
As God’s judgement abides on those who judge others, how do you, a mere man, expect to evade God’s judgement when you do the same things as them?
Or do you despise the riches of Gods goodness, and his patience; not knowing that his kindness will lead you to repentance?
Through the hardness of their hearts they will treasure up wrath for themselves when God reveals the day of Judgement; and will render to each man according to his works.
The traditional view of the Jews is that they must perform good works to merit their salvation, so we see Paul here is using this an example, it is important that we do not take this statement out of context as Paul will reveal what he is trying to get at. Remember Paul is talking about the person that judges others, and the audience is a mixture of unbelieving Jews and Gentiles.
Through their stubbornness they keep rejecting God, rejecting Jesus and also the Holy Spirit; to those who persistently do good deeds, who seek glory, honor and immortality, shall be given eternal life.
But to them that indulge only in themselves, who rejects the truth, and follow only evil; anger and wrath abides on them.
There is no respect of persons with God, all the unsaved will be subjected to the judgement. Every soul that does evil will earn themselves tribulation and anguish, and to the righteous that does well, they shall receive glory, honor, and peace through keeping the Law.
Paul is describing the world view of the Jews, and he is talking about rewards that will never be achieved by this tradition. This is what was actually taught in the 1st century by the Jews, Paul is about to give them the gospel shortly.
Gods Righteous Judgement
From verse 12 Paul says that for many who have sinned without the law, this is the Gentiles (us, unless of course you are a Jew) whom, shall perish without the law.
And those who sin in the law, who are the Jews, will be judged by the law. Now Paul is not saying one can be justified by declaring their obedience to the Law, remember Paul is arguing against this view taught by the Judaisms it is important to note that Paul was once a devout follower of Judaism so he knows what he talking about.
You might ask; how can Gentiles be condemned by God if they didn't have the written Law?
Well, easy! Gentiles, who are without the law do by nature the things contained in the law, so even if they do not have the law, it becomes a law in itself. Gentiles do not just go a murder people at whenever they feel like it, this law that is written on their hearts is their moral compass, and their conscience also convicts them or gives them an excuse for their actions. Even by the Gentiles own standards, they fall short.
The traditional Jewish view said that they had their chance, but they blew it, and that if they listened to their conscience they would have done what was right.
In verse 16 Paul is basically saying that, yes there is a judgement; but it is not by the Father, it is by Jesus Christ himself. This is bad news for all who don’t believe, even worse if you follow anything similar to what Judaism teaches.
The Jews and the Law
Paul is saying here that if you call yourself a Jew, with all this knowledge teach others, but do they teach themselves? They teach that a man not to steal, do they steal themselves? When they boast of the law and then break it themselves, they blaspheme the name of God in front of the Gentiles (OT REF)
Does circumcision profit if you keep the law? Yes. The Gentile is a Jew inwardly and his circumcision is that of the heart and in the spirit and not in the letter. Whose Praise is not of men, but of God.
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