Remember the old phrase: when you point out someone else's sin, there's four fingers pointing back at you.
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Romans 2 (ESV)
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.
2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.
3 Do you suppose, O man—
who judge those who practice such things
and yet do them yourself—
that you will escape the judgment of God?
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?
because of your hard and impenitent heart
you are storing up wrath
on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
6 He will render to each one according to his works:
7 to those
by patience in well-doing
seek for glory and honor and immortality,
he will give eternal life;
8 but for those
and do not obey the truth,
but obey unrighteousness,
there will be wrath and fury.
9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil,
the Jew first
and also the Greek,
10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first
and also the Greek.
11 For God shows no partiality.
12 For all
who have sinned without the law
will also perish without the law,
who have sinned under the law
will be judged by the law.
it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God,
but the doers of the law who will be justified.
14 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.
15 They show
that the work of the law is written on their hearts,
while their conscience also bears witness,
and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them 16 on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
17 But if
you call yourself a Jew
and rely on the law
and boast in God
18 and know his will
and approve what is excellent,
because you are instructed from the law;
19 and if you are sure that you yourself
are a guide to the blind,
a light to those who are in darkness,
20 an instructor of the foolish,
a teacher of children,
having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—
21 you then
who teach others,
do you not teach yourself?
you preach against stealing,
do you steal?
who say that one must not commit adultery,
do you commit adultery?
who abhor idols,
do you rob temples?
who boast in the law
dishonor God by breaking the law.
24 For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
25 For circumcision indeed is of value if you obey the law,
but if you break the law, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.
26 So, if a man who is uncircumcised
keeps the precepts of the law,
be regarded as circumcision?
he who is physically uncircumcised
but keeps the law
will condemn you
who have the written code and circumcision
but break the law.
no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly,
nor is circumcision outward and physical.
29 But a Jew
is one inwardly,
and circumcision is a matter of the heart,
by the Spirit,
not by the letter.
His praise is not from man but from God.
Romans 2 Summary
So far this hasn't been a very uplifting book of the Bible, but remember, in order for you to fully appreciate the good news, you must fully comprehend the magnitude of the sinful condition you were born into.
In chapter one, Paul took it to those people who suppress the truth of God and have exchanged that truth for their own definition of what's right. We read that threefold refrain of "so God gave them over..." and that with each stage, people become more wicked.
If you're honest with yourself, there was likely a little bit of you that thought I'm glad I'm not that sinful!
Today in chapter two, Paul cures that hypocritical instinct that we all have. He shifts the focus from godless pagan sinners to people who seem more like us; that is, people who outwardly look like church people, but inwardly are just as sinful as the pagans.
Think of all of the kindness that God has shown you in your lifetime. Why, do you suppose, He's been so kind to you?
Our sinful instinct wants to think that God's kindness is in response to our living according to His laws (for the most part, at least). While there is some truth in this - God generally does bless those who honor Him - God has a much bigger reason for being so kind to you:
God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance (v4).
Certainly we all deserve instant judgment and death even for our slightest sins, but instead, we're showered with massive amounts of blessings. Don't presume that God's ignoring or doesn't care about your sin just because He's been so kind to you.
He's given you provision and a comfortable home so that your every thought isn't consumed with basic day to day survival. He's placed you in loving Christian families and communities so that you're familiar with His Word. He's made you part of His Church so that His grace can be infused to you.
He's given you all of the good things you have so that you will repent and fully trust in Him. Is this what you're using these good things for?
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father is a righteous judge, from whom no sinners will escape (v3)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will use the many kindnesses God's given you to draw you towards daily repentance.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: