Saturday, December 27

Romans 2:4-5

Romans 2:4-5 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (5) But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

Paul has made it clear that all men are sinful and practice the evil deeds listed in Chapter one. Now in Chapter two, he is asserting that even those who make a distinction between righteousness and unrighteousness by judging others are also guilty of the same evil deeds. The religious Jews of Paul’s day had the Law of Moses and believed that they had established their own righteousness through the law. This led to them judging others who in their eyes did not measure up to the law. However, Paul pointed out that they are also guilty and, through a rhetorical question, asserts they are presuming on God’s kindness and patience. They have missed the point that God’s forbearance was meant to lead them to repentance rather than thinking they had become righteous through the law.

As surely as farmers store hay and grain in barns, those who depend on the Law of Moses for their righteousness are storing up wrath for the day of wrath when God’s judgment will be revealed. Each ungodly and unrighteous sin that human beings commit is stored in their own personal sin barn. Although a person may also have good works they think will cancel out their sins, Scripture reveals that even our best works are like filthy rags and are of no value in removing our sins. Therefore, human beings have no way in and of themselves in which they can appease the wrath of God. The situation appears to be hopeless since all human beings come to the Day of Judgment with a barn full of sins. Praise God that He provides a way that Paul explains later in The Book of Romans.

Tuesday, December 23

Romans 2:2-3

Romans 2:2-3 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. (3) Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?

In Chapter one, Paul gives the following list for which God’s judgment rightly falls: envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. The photo above illustrates a life style from the old Wild West days where these things were practiced unashamedly. Paul is making the point that all men practice such things. Even men who think of themselves as religious, righteous, and good practice such things. Although Paul is referring to all men, he is primarily referring to the religious Jews of his day. They considered themselves righteous law keepers, and were quick to judge others who fell short of the Law of Moses. However, Paul says they did the same things. They were judging the open practice of sin in others, but ignoring their hidden sins of deeds and of the heart. They had the law and believed by affirming the law and partially keeping it, they were right with God. They were assuming God graded on a curve and their righteous performance was sufficient to escape the judgment of God.

Paul, in the rhetorical question of verse 3, gives the emphatic answer! No one can escape the wrath of God through the law of Moses. Paul makes that crystal clear in chapter 3 of Romans and elsewhere in his Epistles. After giving the bad news of human sin and God’s wrath and judgment in Chapter 1, Paul removes any hope that the law of Moses offers any solution in Chapter 2 and 3.

Tuesday, December 16

Romans 2:1

Romans 2:1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.

In the passage above Paul is referring to the practice of people judging the activities of other people. Man has an amazing ability to discern, judge, and condemn other people for activities that they themselves also commit. How many times have we excused our own sinful practices or seen others do likewise by saying, “Well that’s different?” It is different because fallen sinners see many reasons to justify themselves for doing the very same thing they condemn other for doing. People judge others as being liars, but see themselves as stretching the truth just a little bit. They judge others that steal as thieves but themselves as lucky when they leave a store and realize the clerk gave them too much change.

That is why impartial judges are required in many human endeavors such as baseball. If the pitch in the photo above is on the borderline, the batter will see it as a ball and the catcher will see it as a strike. Therefore, an umpire is required to give an impartial ruling. The fact that judges, referees, and umpires are needed in the world confirms the point that Paul is making in this verse. By recognizing and judging sin in others, a person is condemning sin. Therefore, any similar sin that a person has in his own life is self-condemned. Paul is stating plainly and bluntly that all men are sinners, and by judging others they are basically giving a confession of their own sin.

Romans 2 Photo Devotionals

1. Romans 2:1
Romans 2:2-3
3. Romans 2:4-5
4. Romans 2:6-7
Romans 2:8-9
6. Romans 2:10-11
Romans 2:12
Romans 2:13-16
Romans 2:17-24


Tuesday, December 9

Romans 1:17

Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

According to Paul, this gospel is one in which righteousness is revealed to be from God through faith. It is a righteousness of God that is obtained by faith and is nurtured by an ongoing faith. Just as the grapes in the photo above owe their existence to the vine, they also owe their growth and maturity to the vine. It is also true that salvation begins with faith and continues with faith, as Jesus made clear when he preached that he was the vine and his disciples were the branches.

There is a tendency to believe that salvation comes by faith and is maintained by works or human effort. This is a form of legalism that accepts the grace of God in justification and makes human self-effort the driving force in sanctification. Paul wrote the entire Epistle to the Galatians to refute this terrible error, and here in the theme verse of Romans he plainly states that disciples begin with faith and they live by faith. This point is beautifully illustrated in the great hymn Amazing Grace where John Newton wrote, “Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,And grace will lead me home.”

Brethren, praise God that God gives grace upon grace in salvation and grace will enable Christians to arrive safely home. With this verse Paul begins the task of thoroughly explaining the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ by first explaining the bad news beginning in verse 18.