Romans 2:17-24,3:1-8

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Text: Romans 2:17-24

THE JEW 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 the 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. In Romans 2:1-16 we see that the moralizer, 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 and, therefore, that he needs to be saved. We also see that he stands condemned before God because he is trusting in his own righteousness rather than in the righteousness of God.

Now, as we study these things which are said about the Jews, we can also see a parallel here with the way we as Bible-believing people may sometimes act. Let's be careful to judge our pride as sin, confess it, and forsake it.

I. THE JEWISH CLAIM - 2:17

Romans 2:17 17 Behold, thou art called a Jew. . . .

Thou are called a Jew

Thou is you (singular) and is emphatic.

Art called may be understood in the sense of are being called.

However, it may instead be understood as you are calling yourself a Jew.

II. THE CLAIMS TO JEWISH PRIVILEGES - 2:17-18

Romans 2:17-18 - 17 Behold, thou . . . restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, 18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law.

A. Restest in the law means finds support in the Law or relies upon the Law. Its present tense denotes continuous action.

B. Makest thy boast in God is are priding yourself in God as if a Jews has some special relation to God just because he is a Jew.

Similarly, we are being called or are calling ourselves independent Baptists who hold to the inspiration and authority of the Bible. We also rely upon the Word of God. We must be careful that we don't pride ourselves in God as if we, because we are independent Baptists, have any more special relation to God than other believers who may not happen to agree with us on every point of doctrine.

C. Knowest God's will - understands completely or recognizes completely

D. Approvest the things that are more excellent = puts them to the test and approves them. Its present tense denotes continuous action. He is continuously approving the things that are more excellent.

E. Being instructed out of the law implies that he should have insight.

However, in spite of these advantages, he is a sinner who has come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23 ).

Consider the privileges we as Bible-believing Baptists have with our understanding of the Scriptures. At least we think we understand the Scriptures. Across the country we are actually fast becoming a Biblically illiterate group of people, churches of the ignorant brethren.

III. THE CLAIMS TO JEWISH SUPERIORITY - 2:19-20

Romans 2:19-20 - 19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, 20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.

These claims were not necessarily accurate; however, the Jew claimed them.

Art confident is in a tense which means that the Jew has arrived at a settled conviction on this matter. He has been persuaded of this in the past and this persuasion continues on. It means that he has a settled conviction.

A. A guide of the blind - a leader of those who are spiritually blind.

B. A light to them that are in darkness - a guiding light to those in spiritual darkness

He believes that he is spiritual and that he is, therefore, able to help these people.

C. An instructor of the foolish = a corrector of the ignorant or a corrector of the unwise.

D. A teacher of babes, i.e. of infants - i.e. people who have not matured spiritually.

E. Having in the law the form of knowledge (i.e. the formulation, embodiment, outline) of the truth. This does not mean that he actually has the knowledge of the truth.

Knowing the Word of God and practicing the Word of God are not the same thing.

IV. THE CLAIMS TO SUPERIORITY REFUTED - 2:21-22

Romans 2:21-22 - 21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

Therefore draws an inference from the claims made in verses 17-20. It is used in the sense of consequently, accordingly, so, or then.

The context demands a yes answer to each of these questions.

Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Yes, you do not teach yourself.

F. They teach others but they do not teach themselves.

Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?

G. They preach that men should not steal, but they steal.

Preach means proclaim aloud.

Dost thou steal? = are you stealing?

Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery?

H. They say that men should not commit adultery, but they commit adultery.

Thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?

I. They abhor idols, but they enter the temples of idols to rob them. Thereby, they defile themselves.

Abhor means detest

Commit sacrilege means steal from temples or desecrate things that are sacred. This apparently refers to the idea that Jewish people would enter pagan temples in order to steal from them or desecrate them.

We must be careful that we practice what we preach.

V. THE CLAIMS OF PRIVILEGES REFUTED - 2:23

Romans 2:23 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?

J. They dishonor God by breaking the Law.

Do we dishonor God by not taking the Word of God seriously?

VI. THE CLIMAX OF REFUTATION - 2:24

Romans 2:24 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.

For is emphatic and understood in the sense of indeed.

K. The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God through (i.e. because of) you, i.e. they speak contemptuously of God.

Does the way we live or act give unsaved people some excuse by which they think they can justify their unbelief?

CONCLUSION:

Are you saved? You need to be. Your sin is going to be judged. It can be placed under the blood now, or Christ will be your judge.

Are you going in the right direction in your Christian life?

Text: Romans 3:1-8

OBJECTIONS ANSWERED

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. In Romans 2:1-16 we see that the moralizer, 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 3:1-8 , we want to see Paul's answers to objections raised by Jews about their lack of righteousness. The Jew lacks the righteousness of God and, therefore, he needs to be saved. He stands condemned before God just as the Gentile does.

I. THE FIRST OBJECTION - 3:1

Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

If the Jew is condemned with the Gentile, then the Jew did not really have any advantage over the Gentile.

These two questions ask the same thing. Circumcision is the circumcision.

Then is inferential suggesting therefore, accordingly, consequently, or so. It suggests since the Jews are condemned right along with the Gentiles.

What advantage . . . hath the Jew?

The Jew is asking how he has been treated better than the Gentiles if both are to be condemned for sin.

What profit is there of circumcision?

What profit is what use, what gain, what benefit, or what advantage.

Circumcision is the circumcision and refers to the Jewish people.

II. THE FIRST ANSWER - 3:2

Romans 3:2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

Much every way means that the Jews had much by way of advantage because they had the oracles of God.

Chiefly is above all or especially.

Because that is since or because.

Unto them were committed means to them (i.e. to the Jews) were entrusted or they were entrusted with.

The oracles of God are the Old Testament Scriptures.

The chief advantage of the Jews is that they possessed God's special revelation in the Old Testament Scriptures of which the Gentiles, for the most part, had no knowledge. The Gentiles were limited to the general revelation of God in the creation, in providence, and in conscience.

Hebrews 5:12 - For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

By possessing the Scriptures, the Jews had the advantage of knowing God's will and of knowing about sin and deliverance from it in the promised Messiah. At the same time this advantage brought responsibility along with it. The Jews knew better, but they sinned anyhow. Thus, their advantage actually became a liability.

Today we have the Bible. Therefore, we have great spiritual advantage over many in the world. The Bible tells us what we need to know about salvation and Christian living. Do we take advantage of our privileges any better than the Jews did?

III. THE SECOND OBJECTION - 3:3

Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?

For what if some did not believe? Some refers to some of the Jews to whom the oracles of God were committed.

The implication is clear that, although some Jews did not believe, other Jews did believe.

Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? expects a negative answer. The reader must supply this negative answer, No, it will not.

Their unbelief refers to the unbelief of some of the Jews.

The faith of God is God's faithfulness, God's trustworthiness, God's reliability, or God's dependability.

Make . . . without effect is nullify or make ineffective.

Although some of the Jews had proven unfaithful in spite of their having the oracles of God, this had no bearing upon God's faithfulness. God will not fail to carry out His Word.

IV. THE SECOND ANSWER - 3:4

Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

God is always true and will be vindicated.

The fact that some neglect the Scriptures does not nullify their effectiveness.

God forbid is may it never be, may it never happen, may it never come to pass, by no means, absolutely not, perish the thought, no way!. Strongest Greek negative. It is an expression of utter abhorrence at the very idea of something.

Yea is emphatic and is used in the sense of indeed, in fact, or certainly

Let God be true, but every man a liar shows that, if there is ever any lie involved, it is always man who is guilty and never God.

Let God be true is God must be truthful.

Every man a liar is every human being (must be) a liar.

God is absolute truth. God must be what He is. Man by contrast appears as a liar because he is not absolute truth.

In support of what he has written, Paul quotes from Psalms 51:4 , That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

That introduces a purpose clause and is understood in the sense of in order that or for the purpose that.

Thou refers to God.

Mightest be justified is might be proved to be right.

In thy sayings might indicate the place where God is to be proven right or it might be understood in the sense of by thy sayings and might indicate how God will be proven to be right. In either case, God will be declared righteous either in whatever He says or by whatever He says because He is righteous.

Mightest overcome when thou art judged means might prevail when you are criticized. No matter what happens, God will always be shown to be right in the end because He is right.

V. THE THIRD OBJECTION - 3:5

Romans 3:5 But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)

The thought is that God cannot take vengeance because the unrighteousness of the Jews has actually brought out the righteousness of God by contrast.

If our (i.e. the Jews') unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God is a condition which is assumed to be true for sake of argument, but it is actually false. The Jews' unrighteousness does not commend the righteousness of God. Therefore, if should be understood in the sense of assuming that.

Commend is demonstrates, shows, or brings out. The idea is that God's righteousness will be demonstrated or brought out more clearly by its contrast with the Jews' unrighteousness.

What shall we say? is the conclusion of this conditional statement and is used to introduce the anticipated objection.

The objection is indicated by the question, Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? It is that God is unrighteous who taketh vengeance. The question expects a negative answer. It is to in the sense of God is not unrighteous Who taketh vengeance, is He? No, He is not.

Who taketh vengeance is Who inflicts wrath. Wrath is the same word used in Romans 1:18 (For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.) and in Romans 2:8 (But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath.)

I speak as a man indicates that Paul is reasoning from a human standpoint. Man is the generic term for human being.

VI. THE THIRD ANSWER - 3:6

Romans 3:6 God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?

If this condition were so, then God could not judge the world; but He is going to judge the world.

God forbid is may it never be, may it never happen, may it never come to pass, by no means, absolutely not, perish the thought, no way! It is the strongest Greek negative. It is an expression of utter abhorrence at the very idea of something.

For then how shall God judge the world? shows that God is not unrighteous by His inflicting wrath upon some.

How is used in the sense of by no means or it is impossible that. God is going to judge the world, and He cannot judge the world without taking vengeance on some.

VII. THE FOURTH OBJECTION - 3:7

Romans 3:7 For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?

The argument in verses 7-8 is that since the truth of God has abounded through Paul's sin bringing glory to God, he should not be judged as a sinner. As a matter of fact, he should do more evil that even more good may come of it.

This condition (if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory) is assumed, for sake of discussion, to be true. However, it is not actually true. Therefore, if should be understood in the sense of assuming that. There is no way that the truth of God will really abound unto God's glory through Paul's lie.

The truth of God is the truth about God.

Hath more abounded means has become extremely rich, has become extremely abundant, or has overflown.

Through my lie is by means of my lie.

Why yet am I also judged as a sinner? is the first part of Paul's reason as to why the truth about God has not been extremely enriched by means of his lie. Since God is judging him as a sinner, it is apparent that, in God's opinion, the truth about God has not abounded by Paul's lie.

Judged is used in the sense of criticize, find fault with, or pass judgment upon. The reason that Paul is being judged as a sinner (or for his sin) is that he is a sinner and deserving of judgment.

VIII. THE FOURTH ANSWER - 3:8

Romans 3:8 And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.

The condemnation of the Jew is deserved.

Paul continues his answer regarding why the truth of God has not been extremely enriched by means of his lie with, And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come?

It means that if the truth of God has abounded more and more by means of my lie, then why not tell people that we should do evil things in order that good things may come as a result. In fact some have actually accused Paul of this.

This is the age-old philosophy that the end justifies the means. It is pragmatism pure and simple.

This is saying that, if, indeed, our sin brings glory to God, then we ought to sin as much as we possibly can and in the worst manner possible so that God will be glorified all the more.

And not rather is and (why) not (say)?

As we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say indicates that some were actually slandering Paul and claiming that he was propagating this false philosophy of doing evil in order that good might come.

Whose damnation is just is whose condemnation is based on what is right or whose condemnation is based on what is deserved.

CONCLUSION:

Thus, in spite of Jewish objections regarding their just condemnation with the Gentiles for their sin, they stood condemned before a holy God and deserving of spending eternity in hell.

Have you had a genuine heart experience with God and entrusted yourself to Him?

Have you dedicated your life to Him?