Monday, April 28, 2014

God's Righteous Judgment

"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. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.  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?  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?  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.
He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.  There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.  For God shows no partiality.
For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.  For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified.  For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law.  They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse of even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus."  Romans 2:1-16 ESV

Explanation for Romans 2:1-16 from The MacArthur Study Bible, page1650 and 1651.

"2:1-16 Having demonstrated the sinfulness of the immoral pagan (1:18-32), Paul presents his case against the religious moralist--Jew or Gentile--by cataloging six principles that govern God's judgment: 1)knowledge (2:1); 2)truth (vv. 2-3); 3) guilt (vv. 4-5); 4) deeds (vv. 6-10); 5) impartiality (vv. 11-15); and 6) motive (v. 16).

2:1 no excuse. . . you who judges.  Both Jews (Paul's primary audience here, cf. v. 17) and moral Gentiles who think they are exempt from God's judgment because they have not indulged in the immoral excesses described in ch. 1, are tragically mistaken.  They have more knowledge than the immoral pagan (3:2; 9:4) and thus a greater accountability (cf. Heb. 10:26-29; James 3:1).  condemn yourself.  If someone has sufficient knowledge to judge others, he condemns himself, because he shows he has the knowledge to evaluate his own condition.  practice the very same things.  In their condemnation of others they have excused and overlooked their own sins.  Self-righteousness exists because of two deadly errors; 1) minimizing God's moral standard usually by emphasizing externals; and 2) underestimating the depth of one's own sinfulness (cf. Matt. 5:20-22, 27-28; 7:1-3; 15:1-3; Luke 18:21).

2:4 presume. Lit., "to think down on," thus to underestimate someone's or something's value, and even to treat with contempt.  kindness.  This refers to "common grace,"  the benefits God bestows on all men (cf. Matt 5:45; Acts 14:15-17).  forbearance.  This word, which means "to hold back," was sometimes used of a truce between warring parties.  Rather than destroying every person the moment he or she sins, God graciously holds back his judgment (cf. Rom. 3:25).  He saves sinners in a physcial and temporal way from what they deserve (see note on 1 Tim. 4:10), to show them his saving character, that they might come to him and receive salvation that is spiritual and eternal.  patience.  This word indicates the duration for which God demonstrates his kindness and tolerance--for long periods of time (cf. 2 Pet. 2:5).  Together these three words speak of God's common grace--the way he demonstrates his grace to all mankind (cf. Job 12:10; Ps. 119:68; 145:9).  repentance.  The act of turning from sin to Christ for forgiveness and salvation.  See notes on 2 Cor. 7:9-11.

2:5 hard.  The English word "sclerosis" (as in arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries) comes from this Greek word.  But here the danger is not physical, but spiritual hardness (Ezek. 36:26; Matt. 19:8; Mark 3:5; 6:52; 8:17; John 12:40; Heb. 3:8, 15; 4:7).  impenitent heart.  A refusal to repent (cf. Rom 2:4) and accept God's pardon of sin through Jesus Christ.  storing up wrath.  To reject God's offer of forgiveness and cling to one's sin is to accumulate more of God's wrath and earn a severer judgment (see notes on Heb. 10:26-30; Rev. 20:12).  day of wrath. . .judgment.  Refers to the final judgment of wicked men that comes at the great white throne at the end of the Millennium (see notes on Rev. 20:11-15).

2:6-10 See notes on vv. 1-16.  Although Scripture everywhere teaches that salvation is not on the basis of works (see notes on 4:1-4; Eph. 2:8), it consistently teaches that God's judgment is always on the basis of a person's deeds (Isa. 3:10-11; Jer. 17:10; John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 3:8; 2 Cor. 5:10; Gal. 6:7-9; cf. Rom. 14:12).  Paul describes the deeds of two distinct groups: the redeemed (Rom 2:7, 10) and the unredeemed (vv. 8-9).  The deeds of the redeemed are not the basis of their salvation but the evidence of it.  They are not perfect and are prone to sin, but there is undeniable evidence of righteousness in their lives (see notes on James 2:14-20)."

Let's pray.  Dear Lord Jesus,  I lift up those reading Your Word today.  I pray for those who are unsaved and therefore not covered by Your blood.  I pray that You will give us Your wisdom and Your knowledge so we can see the truth always.  I pray for soft and kind hearts so we can hear Your holy voice.  I pray that we will not be deceived and I ask You to give us the gift of discernment so we will always see the truth.  Thank You Lord for the gift of salvation.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

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