Romans 2:1-10

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Text: Romans 2:1-10

THE MORALIST LACKS RIGHTEOUSNESS

INTRODUCTION:

In Romans 1:16-17 we have noted the theme of Romans. It is the gospel of Christ which is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth. The one who is made righteous by faith in Christ's finished work on the Cross at Calvary is the one who will have eternal life.

The first major section of Romans deals with man's lack of righteousness. It shows the need for the righteousness of God. In Romans 1:18-32 we have seen that the pagan Gentile lacks the righteousness of God. As you reflect on Romans 1:18-32 , you may find yourself saying, I'm sure glad I'm not that bad. But the question is, What does God think?

In Romans 2:1-16 we see that the moralist, the person with good morals, whether Jew or Gentile, lacks the righteousness of God. In Romans 2:17-3:8 we see that the Jew lacks the righteousness of God.

In this message, as we study Romans 2:1-16 , we want to show that the moralist, whether Jew or Gentile, lacks the righteousness of God and, therefore, that he stands condemned before God and needs to be saved. He will not escape God's judgment any more than the pagan Gentile in Romans 1 . The moralist will indeed face the righteous judgment of God and be found wanting. In these verses we see several principles of judgment by which God will judge all, including the moralist. Be advised, however, that the moralist is not saved. Nothing at all in this context has to do with God's judgment of a saved man. Remember this when we get down into verses 6-11.

I. THE MORALIST WILL NOT ESCAPE GOD'S JUDGMENT - 2:1

Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

Therefore means wherefore or for this reason and introduces an inference.

The inference drawn is Thou art inexcusable, O man.

Inexcusable is placed in a position of emphasis in the Greek text. It is literally, inexcusable are you, O man.

Whosoever thou art that judgest specifies the man being addressed as someone who believes he is morally superior to others whom he is judging or criticizing.

Paul writes as if he were addressing a specific man; but he had in mind a class of individuals, specifically those who were judging others.

The basis or reason for this inference is for thou that judgest (i.e. you who criticize or condemn) doest (are doing) the same things.

Wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself (i.e. in judging someone else, you are condemning yourself).

Judgest means to pass an unfavorable judgment upon someone, criticize, find fault with, or condemn. It refers to censorious criticism and judgment. Three times in this verse the verb judgest is used, but when it comes to judging or condemning himself, a strengthened form of the verb is used for emphasis.

1. Whosoever thou art that judgest

2. Wherein thou judgest another

3. Thou that judgest

4. Condemnest thyself - a strengthened form of judge

The same things refers to the same sins mentioned in Romans 1:18-32 . Some have suggested that it is the same sins that the one he is judging is guilty of committing.

II. GOD'S JUDGMENT WILL BE ACCORDING TO TRUTH - 2:2a

Romans 2:2 a - But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth. . . .

But continues the thought in the sense of now.

We is the literary we and refers to Paul himself.

We are sure is we know.

The judgment of God is God's judgment, God's verdict, or God's sentence of condemnation.

Is according to truth is is in accordance with the actual facts or is in accordance with reality rather than in accordance with appearance.

III. GOD'S JUDGMENT WILL BE AGAINST THOSE WHO COMMIT SIN - 2:2b

Romans 2:2 b - But we are sure that the judgment of God is . . . against them which commit such things.

Against is upon.

Them which commit is those who do or those who practice.

Such things is a reference to the sins mentioned in Romans 1:18-32 .

IV. GOD'S JUDGMENT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE TO ESCAPE - 2:3

Romans 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

This individual represents the group that is guilty of this sin of judging.

Thinkest thou this? means Are you of this opinion?

Man is generic so that it includes females as well as males.

Them which do such things in verse 3, like doest the same (things) in verse 1 is referring to the sins mentioned in Romans 1:18-32 .

That thou shalt escape the judgment of God indicates the content of this.

Thou is emphatic and implies, You, do you think that you shall escape the judgment of God?

The specific content of what this objector had been thinking is that he would escape the righteous judgment of God.

The mood of the thou shalt escape also indicates that he was not merely thinking that he might possibly escape the righteous judgment of God. He was actually thinking that he would definitely escape it. In his mind his escape was not just a possibility; it would really happen.

V. GOD'S JUDGMENT CAN BE AVOIDED BY REPENTANCE - 2:4

Romans 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

Or introduces an alternate way of thinking in contrast to the one mentioned in verse 3, i.e. that you will escape the judgment of God.

Some may think that they will escape the righteous judgment of God; others may despise the riches of God's goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering.

Despisest is used in the sense of looks down on, treats with contempt, thinks lightly of, has wrong ideas of, or entertains wrong ideas about.

In all likelihood the objector did not consider these things seriously enough to despise them consciously. He most likely treated the whole idea very lightly and thus failed to attach any significance to it at all.

The tense of despisest indicates continuing action. It is ongoing and perhaps customary or habitual.

The mood of despisest indicates that it is not just a possibility that someone might be despising these qualities of God. This objector was actually doing it.

Riches is wealth and is understood with goodness, with forbearance, and also with longsuffering. It indicates that God has an abundance of these qualities - an abundance of goodness, an abundance of forbearance, and an abundance of longsuffering.

It is instead possible, however, that riches is only to be understood with goodness. If so, then the riches of his goodness is to be understood as (His) forbearance and (His) longsuffering.

Goodness is kindness or generosity.

Forbearance indicates that God has held back the punishment that could have been given immediately.

Longsuffering indicates patience. God has been long patient with the sinner. God has given the sinner a great deal of time to repent and is still giving him time to repent in spite of the gross sin which he has committed.

Not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance indicates that the way in which the sinner was despising God was by being content to stay ignorant of the goodness of God.

Not knowing is being ignorant

The goodness of God refers to God's goodness, His forbearance, and His longsuffering (or patience).

Leadeth indicates that this is a timeless truth. God's goodness always leads to repentance.

Repentance is a change of mind.

VI. GOD'S JUDGMENT WILL BE ACCORDING TO ACCUMULATED GUILT - 2:5

Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

Although the objector has had the privilege of having the goodness of God leading him unto repentance, it was not having the desired effect.

After is according to, in accordance with, or in conformity with

Thy hardness is your stubbornness or your obstinacy, and impenitent heart is unrepentant heart. They may be two different but very similar things, or the and may be understood in the sense of even or of indeed or in fact with the result that both hardness and impenitent heart may be two ways of saying the same thing.

Treasurest up is stores up or treasures away.

Unto thyself is for yourself

Wrath is the same term used in Romans 1:18 which indicates a settled and abiding condition of mind rather than a sudden outburst of anger such as one might find in a temper tantrum.

Against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God refers to the day in which God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

VII. GOD'S JUDGMENT WILL BE ACCORDING TO ONE'S DEEDS - 2:6-10

Romans 2:6-10 - 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.

Who will render means who will reward, who will repay, or who will recompense.

To every man is to everyone or to each one. No one will escape.

According to his deeds is according to the individual's own works. His reward will be very appropriate for what he has done. This judgment will be thorough and accurate because God is omniscient and because there are no favorites with God.

What does this have to do with salvation? Nothing. Remember, the moralist is an unsaved person. Nothing at all in this context has anything whatsoever to do with God's judgment of a saved man.

Does this have anything to do with a good works salvation? No. Every unsaved person will receive in accordance with his deeds. His deeds will demonstrate that he is unsaved.

Paul amplifies the general statement in verse 6 in verses 7-10.

Romans 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life.

To them who . . . seek indicates a continuous or habitual action.

By patient continuance in well doing is a prepositional phrase used adverbially modifying seek. It is literally in accordance with a patience of a good work and suggests in accordance with endurance which produces a good work.

Patient continuance is patience, endurance, steadfastness, or perseverance.

In well doing indicates that this patience, endurance, steadfastness, or perseverance is in the area of doing what is right.

Glory, and honour, and immortality indicates that which they are seeking. All of these terms have to do with eternal life or life in heaven.

Glory refers to the final expectation of the believer when he receives the redemption of the body and is made completely Christlike.

Honor refers to rewards earned and paid in heaven.

Immortality is incorruptibility. It means that he will no longer be subject to death.

Eternal life is what God is going to recompense to those who seek for glory, and honour, and immortality.

When one stops to ask himself how many of these people is God going to find, he realizes that God will not find any because there are none. It is a nil class, i.e. a class with no members. No one is seeking for glory, honor, and immortality.

Ephesians 2:8 - For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

Romans 3:9-20 - (9) What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; (10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (13) Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: (14) Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: (15) Their feet are swift to shed blood: (16) Destruction and misery are in their ways: (17) And the way of peace have they not known: (18) There is no fear of God before their eyes. (19) Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (20) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Some have understood verse 7 as indicating that the good works mentioned here come as a result of salvation. However, this view does not fit the context. They have done this in an effort to avoid a good works salvation, but it is not best.

Verse 8 is given in contrast to verse 7. It also parallels verse 9.

Romans 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.

Unto them that are contentious and do not obey the truth but obey unrighteousness is a negative description of those to whom God will recompense anger and wrath.

The words translated that are contentious actually form a prepositional phrase used adverbially modifying both words translated obey. It may indicate cause and be understood in the sense of because of contentiousness or because of strife. It may instead indicate source and be understood in the sense of out of contentiousness.

Do not obey the truth means that they disobey the truth, i.e. the truth of the gospel. It means that they disbelieve the truth.

But introduces a statement in mild contrast with what has preceded.

Obey unrighteousness indicates that they choose to do things which are sin, such as those mentioned in Romans 1:18-32 . Because of contentiousness or out of contentiousness also modifies this second word translated obey.

Indignation and wrath indicates what God will recompense to these people.

Indignation is anger.

Wrath is the same term used in verse 5 as well as in 1:18. Indignation and wrath both mean about the same time and are used together for emphasis.

Verse 9 is parallel to verse 8.

Romans 2:9 Tribulation and anguish (shall be recompensed), upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile.

Shall be rendered, shall be repaid, shall be recompensed, or shall be rewarded must be supplied in the mind of the reader in order to make sense. The subject of the supplied shall be rendered is tribulation and anguish.

Tribulation is a term literally meaning pressing or pressure. In this context it is to be understood in the sense of oppression or affliction.

Anguish literally means narrowness. Here it is used in the sense of distress, difficulty, or trouble. Thus, both tribulation and anguish mean approximately the same thing; and their use together is for emphasis.

Upon every soul of man that doeth evil implies upon every person who does evil. Every individual who does evil will be given tribulation and anguish. This includes everyone except those who trust Christ as Savior.

To the Jew first, and also to the Gentile indicates that it does not matter whether the person is a Jew or a Gentile. If he does evil, he will be rewarded with oppression and distress.

First may mean first in time; or it may mean first in degree, above all, or especially.

Verse 10 is parallel to verse 7 and in contrast to verses 8 and 9.

Romans 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace (shall be recompensed), to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.

But indicates a contrast between verses 9 and 10.

Shall be rendered, shall be repaid, shall be recompensed, or shall be rewarded must again be supplied in the mind of the reader as it was in verse 9 in order to make sense.

What will be recompensed is glory, honor, and peace. These terms suggest things that are characteristic of eternal life in heaven.

They will be recompensed to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.

This is not speaking of a good works salvation because no one can do this. It is a nil class, i.e. a class with no members.

Romans 3:10-12 - (10) As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (11) There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. (12) They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.