Watch a two minute overview of Romans Chapter 2
Passage: Romans 2
v1-5 - Chapter 1 ended with the three-fold repetition that "God gave them over... ." As harsh as it was to read those words, at least we were not reading about ourselves, right? It's always easier to point out the sins in them. But chapter 2 makes big shift. It's not longer just about them, rather it's about "You, therefore, have not excuse." Out sins may not be as easy for others to see, but they are just as wicked, and sometimes even more wicked. When we don't experience immediate consequences, we often feel like it's not a big deal, but what we're really doing is squandering God's kindness which is leading us to repentance.
v6-16 - You need to be aware of the racial tension present in the early church. On the one hand, the church was made up of converted Jews. On the other hand was everybody else, lumped into the term Gentile (the literal word = ethnos). This section of chapter 2 emphasizes that God does not play favorites, and that He will judge all races equally.
v17-29 - Although most of us are not biologically Jewish, we would have more in common with the Jews than the Gentiles. The Jews faithfully went to synagogue every Sabbath, and they did their best to honor God and follow His laws. Yet they were just going through the motions; Paul is telling them (and us) that behind the façade they were even worse sinners than the Gentiles, and therefore need salvation just as much, if not more, than those who live totally pagan lifestyles. This section also mentions a practice that doesn't mean much to us religiously anymore: circumcision. The Jews viewed this physical mark as proof that they were in with God, so as long as they were circumcised and jumped through a few ceremonial hoops every so often that their attitudes and hearts didn't really matter. Paul introduced this book as "the gospel of God (1:1)," but so far it doesn't have much good news for us. Don't worry... it's coming. We still have another half chapter tomorrow of coming to grips with the awful totalness of our sin infection, but the better you understand your reality, the better you'll understand your salvation.
Old Testament Reference -
v24 says that when God's people sin, His name is blasphemed. Ezekiel 36:20-32 shows that God's salvation of His people is not just for our sake, but to protect His own reputation! This passage goes on to talk about the Spirit replacing our hearts of stone with hearts of flesh that once again desire relationship with God.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize: a gift certificate to Lakeside Deli.
Try to summarize this chapter in a sentence or two.
Finish this sentence: If I think I'm better than others because... then I'm actually..."
Why is it so important for us to not skip over chapters like these?
Which phrase did you choose to dwell on yesterday? Did your understanding of that phrase change throughout the day? How did God speak to you as you thought about those words while going about your regular activities?