Romans Chapters 2-3
Sin is something the church would rather not talk about. Yet, the Lord’s Prayer teaches us to pray, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.” (Luke 11:4)
We have seen the moral decline in America and other nations for a many years, and we are without excuse. Sin is lawlessness. Scripture says, “we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23 TPT)
God judges sin. God’s principles of judgement are fair and just. In Romans Chapter 2:1-3-8, Paul admonishes his own people, the Jews, as also being without excuse after stating that the Gentiles are without excuse in Romans 1:20. This news comes as a bombshell to the privileged Jews! Surely God would deal with them differently than He dealt with the Gentiles. No, states Paul; the Jews are under the same condemnation and wrath of God because God’s principles of judgment are fair.
Judgement is according to God’s truth (Rom. 2:1-5). God’s judgment of sin is not according to hearsay or gossip broadcast over the airwaves, news or social media. The Jewish nation was ignorant of God’s purpose when He poured out His love and goodness on Israel and waited patiently for them to obey. Instead they hardened their hearts and stored up wrath just as many do today. His goodness is supposed to lead to repentance. (Rom. 2:4)
Judgement is also according to a person’s deeds or actions. (Romans 2:6-16). The Jews thought they held the highest status among God’s people. They didn’t realize it is one thing to hear the Law and quite another to be a doer. Are Christians making this same mistake today? James 1:22 instructs the believer to do more than “merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.” But to do what it says! God will judge people according to the light they’ve received.
…that men will be judged according to the knowledge of God which they possess and never according to the higher standard the do not possess. —Dr. Roy Laurin, Author
Judgement is according to the gospel of Christ (Romans 2:17-29). Paul mentions a “day of judgement” twice (vv. 5 and 16). He states this judgement will be of calloused heart and refusal to change direction, and also the hidden secrets in people’s hearts. He gives each person according to their ways (Jer. 17:10; 1 Sam. 16:7; Ps. 44:21, Prov. 16:2).
In essence Paul was saying there was no advantage to being a Jew. The answer is “Yes,” because Israel’s unbelief did not cancel God’s Word. “God distinguished the Jews from all other people by entrusting them with the revelation of his prophetic promises. But what if some were unfaithful to their divine calling? Does their unbelief weaken God’s faithfulness? Absolutely not! God will always be proven faithful and true to his word, while people are proven to be liars. This will fulfill what was written in the Scriptures: Your words will always be vindicated and you will rise victorious when you are being tried by your critics! Israel will rise victorious!
The good news is we are justified by faith (3:21-31). Now, in the age of grace, a righteousness has been revealed that does not depend on the Law. Paul has already proved that the law condemned and can never save. The righteousness of God is independent of the Law.
This is the righteousness that the Scriptures prophesied would come.[p] It is God’s righteousness made visible through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ.[q] And now all who believe in him receive that gift. For there is really no difference between us, 23 for we all have sinned and are in need of the glory of God. 24 Yet through his powerful declaration of acquittal, God freely gives away his righteousness. His gift[r] of love and favor now cascades over us, all because Jesus, the Anointed One, has liberated us from the guilt, punishment, and power of sin!
25 Jesus’ God-given destiny[s] was to be the sacrifice to take away sins, and now he is our mercy seat[t] because of his death on the cross. We come to him for mercy, for God has made a provision for us to be forgiven by faith in the sacred blood of Jesus. This is the perfect demonstration of God’s justice, because until now, he had been so patient—holding back his justice out of his tolerance for us. So he covered over the sins of those who lived prior to Jesus’ sacrifice. And when the season of tolerance came to an end, there was only one possible way for God to give away his righteousness and still be true to both his justice and his mercy—to offer up his own Son. So now, because we stand on the faithfulness of Jesus, God declares us righteous in his eyes! So our conclusion is this: God’s wonderful declaration that we are righteous in his eyes can only come when we put our faith in Christ, and not in keeping the law (vv. 25-28).
The God of All the People
Then conclusion of the matter is that God is the God of Jews and Gentiles. The rightful role of the law is to bring conviction of sin (vv. 19–20) and to present God’s standard of holiness, now fulfilled in Christ (8:4). Sinners are justified by faith and not by the works of the Law. “After all, is God the God of the Jews only, or is he equally the God for all of humanity? Of course, he’s the God of all people! Since there is only one God, he will treat us all the same—he eliminates our guilt and makes us right with him by faith no matter who we are. Does emphasizing our faith invalidate the law? Absolutely not. Instead, our faith establishes the role the law should rightfully have. (Rom. 3:29-31)
May the grace, joy, and peace of God be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.