God Judges the Moralist, the Self Righteous and the Religious

 Romans 2:1-10

Our picture of God dictates what we believe. In Romans one we see how men without the written law have an internal law which is much the same as the law that the Jew has. He also had the revelation of nature and therefore should have concluded there exists a powerful eternal God. However, he changed the belief in the incorruptible God into images and worshiped the creature rather than the creator. Man should realize he does not live up to the standard.  All men have the knowledge of God but most suppress it or change his Gods revelation. This in turn affected his conscience. Conscience is an aptitude, faculty, intuition or judgment of the intellect that distinguishes right from wrong. Paul tells us that God gave their minds up then their moral and spiritual judgment is damaged. They have a set of norms and standards or principles and rules that are not Biblical.  The Bible teaches that God is absolute righteous and justice and never changes his integrity or holiness. Since he is holy his justice must judge sin and evil. He has to devise a way for man to be righteous and share eternal life with the Godhead. That is what the incarnation and crucifixion is all about. Some have manufactured systems, others devised religions, and others concoct philosophies to suit their own ideas.

God is infinite, He is perfect, He never ages, He knows everything, He is never shocked, surprised nor does he age. He is perfect justice, righteous, love, gracious, merciful and fair. His standard is perfect. Man cannot attain it. He hates sin His righteousness cannot tolerate it and will not compromise with it. He rejects human good, religiosity, human works and says
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Is. 64:6). Also  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9).

However He has a way to bless us without compromising his character. He sent his son, as a substitute to take our judgment on the cross so that we may be forgiven and have an eternal relationship with him. God approved the Perfect man, the Sinless Lamb of God, who was the sacrifice for our sins. He paid the price for our sins on the cross.  He was judged for our sins and we contact him through his justice at the cross. When we believe in him and his righteousness is imputed to us our judgment is laid upon him.

Contrary to the Bible men have devised their own theories and rejected God.

Antitheistic Theories

  1. Satan has many approaches by which he tries to destroy our understanding of God.
  2. Polytheism is a belief in the plurality of Gods, as in Greece, Roman and Phoenician pantheons. The Mormons are included here.
  3. Pantheism is the philosophy that God and the universe are one. It denies the fact that God transcends and exists outside the universe. This limits Godto a boundary. It denies the personality of God, claiming instead he exists as the sum total aof all  forces and laws existing in the universe. The force be with you became a common saying from star Wars movies. Pantheism says God did not create he universe.
  4. Materialism is that form of atheism that denies the existence of God and claims instead that material substance is the basis and explanation for all things. Our immaterial souls life is a product of material.
  5. Deism asserts that God is personal, infinite hly, and the Creator of the universe, but claims he personally abandoned his creation when completed.  He intended the universe to be self-sustaining and self-promoting by the forces resident in it.  Deism rejects the word of God.
  6. Idealism is a system of thought that contends that the mind is the only entity and the material universe is no more than an impression or illusion of the mind. Some idealists believe in God but deny his creation of material things. This philosophy spawns asceticism. Christian Science belongs in here.
  7. Evolution states that the cosmos developed form a crude , homogenous material into its present heterogeneous and advanced state by its own resident forces. 1. Theistic evolution claims that although god is the Creator of the original materials, evolution is the method by which all development has been accomplished, from a supposed primordial state into completeness. 2 Atheistic evolution rejects the existence of God and claims tha mater is eternal ;and self- developing.
  8. Positivism  accepts as true only what can be verified by literally pointing to it.  It attempts to squeeze everything into a system like mathematics.
  9. Monism believes there is only one kind of substance or reality instead two (e.g. mind and matter= dualism) or more.
  10. Biblical theism is where we stand.

Paul shows that all men need salvation. In 2:1-16, he confronts those who think their works can justify them before God. He will make it clear that the self-righteous person is as guilty before God as the unrighteous person. He states: Excuses for sin will not be excused.

God Will Judge the Self Righteous, the Moral and Religious people

Vs 1-3 Although Paul is talking to the Jew first it includes all people. An indictment of the morally educated.Paul identifies the Moralist and shows that God’s judgment upon the morally educated. The Bible teaches a final judgment and destruction for this sinful world. God has not spared His own Son in order that we may be saved. The Bible inists tha god is entirely just.

Romans 1:18-32 warns us of judgment upon unrighteousness people, the bad people, murders, immoral people, liars, thieves, fornicators, adulterers, and homosexuals. Paul explained the moral decline in society and the inevitable judgment. Their conduct was degrading yet they congratulate themselves. In Romans 2 he deals with self-righteous people, he informs us of the state of the religious and morally upright people in society. The self-righteousness and religious are the most difficult people to persuade of their sin. Just like the Pharisee. After hearing about the blatant idolatry, immorality, and wickedness of the pagan unbeliever, some of Paul’s readers must have become smug with pride they believe they are good people.  What about those who are good moral people, religious people, nice people? In Paul’s day they were the Jews. In our day they are professing Christians, religious people, moral people, who want to uphold moral standards. They have a moral value system but inwardly they are just sinners. They cover their darkened hearts with cloaks of light. Romans 1 could be a Hitler, a Stalin, and Romans 2 could be a Mother Teresa or the Dali Lama. Remember Jesus rebuked the righteous people far more than he condemned the outcasts.

Those who judge the immoral man are guilty of rejecting Christ. They may take a stand against immorality, and other vices but often he tolerated inward pride lust, and vices not so different from those which he condemned in others.  If you do not have Christ you are lost. The moralist is as degenerate as the immoral man how then can he condemn them? They both need Christ. The religious people and the moralist need Christ also.  It is addressed personally to you five times in that first verse he names “you,” “you,” “you.” In the third verse, three times “you.” In the fourth verse twice, “you;” in the fifth verse twice, “you” the gospel addressed personally to you, each one in God’s sight.

Even though they agree with Paul he says “… for you who judge practice the same things.” When we judge by our own standards we condemn those who are worse sinners than us but when we go outside ourselves to Gods standard everyone is condemned.  They have the “same things” not identical but are just as bad in Gods sight. They are awful. They were sitting in judgement and they were as bad as those whom they judged. They lie, they gossip, the have hatred in their hearts, they have inward sins. Yet they condemn others. They are repulsed at the habits and actions of those who are depraved and offensive yet they also have within them awful sins. God is saying that if you have the right to judge others by your standards, He has the right to judge you by his standards.  This is a sobering thought.

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge: “therefore” connects the overt sinner of 1:21-32 with the covert sinner who judges another (2:1-5). It  implies this person also knows the truth. He proves he knows the truth because he judges others. If he has a criterion with which to judge others, he must know the truth and is just as inexcusable. Paul also clearly implies that God’s wrath in 1:18-20 will fall upon the moralist. The word “excuse” (anapologetos) is the same word used in 1:20 where Paul writes that the wicked are “without excuse” because of God’s witness in creation. Do you think you will escape the judgment of God? He is saying there is no exception to this principle. He points the finger at the moralist and says, “You are guilty!” While the moralist may not indulge in gross manifestations of sin as some do, all people have impure thoughts, motives, and attitudes. So even “nice sinners” who pass judgment stand condemned. They don’t see they “are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge: They rely upon their religion or upon human good. But they also reject God just as the immoral people did in chapter one of Romans. They are condemned. “He that hath the son hat life ; and he that hath not the son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:12; John 3:16-18; 36). The moralist is not condemned for judging others; but for being guilty of the same things that he judges others for. The moral man say, “I’m not like them at all!”, but Paul will demonstrate they are. Paul aims for the heart of the problem, the problem of hardness of the heart. Paul not only convinces the moralist but takes from him any excuse, and tells them their moralizing will not cause them to  escape from God’s wrath.” We see six principles of judgment in Romans 1:1-16. God judges all men and women on the basis of knowledge, truth, guilt, deeds, impartiality, and motive.

 Knowledge through conscience

Romans 2:14 says, “The Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law.” Both Jews and Gentiles have an innate knowledge of right and wrong via the conscience.

Knowledge through the law of God

The sin of the Jews was the same, but their sins were not according to truth and so God will judge (and condemn) the moralist on the basis of the facts. The moralist is just as guilty as the obvious sinner how will they escape the judgment of God?

Knowledge through truth

Rom 2:2 Gods judgement is according to truth. Truth is reality. You are not to live in a world of unreality. They want to hear about sweetness and light but not about the wrath and judgment of God. They do not want to hear the truth that there is a hell to shun, they are happy to hear about heaven or sing songs all the time. They don’t want Bible doctrine, they say it divides, lets just love each other. That is unreal. God’s judgment takes in all the facts. You can’t pick and choose.  God will judge every man.

When can we judge? Matt. 7:1: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” This verse is often taken out of context. It doesn’t mean that we can’t judge sin. On the contrary, we’re commanded to judge sin. Jesus teaches us in this verse that we need to deal with our own sin before we point out a brother or sister’s sin. We must have all the facts I order to judge and we must judge according to scripture and fairly. If we will leave judgment in God’s capable hands we express our faith. He is the sovereign judge who judges “rightly.” Ask Him to help us be perfectly content to allow Him to judge people instead of trying to do His job for Him.

Vs 3 There is no way of escape from the judgment of God for the moral or religious person, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation”(Heb. 2:3). “O man!” is his way of getting his reader’s personal attention.  He confronts them and explains they are no more “special” so that they do not rationalize that judgment can’t happen to them. God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience is not an opportunity to sin; it’s a call to repent! Repentance is simply a change of mind or attitude that should lead to a change of feet.

A Picture of God

Vs4 -5 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering: They are not to despise  or put down Gods goodness or kindness.

Goodness is God’s kindness to us in regard to our past sin.  It is his bearing long with us or His longsuffering. The spirit and the emotion of response, the longsuffering of God, delaying any judgment the kindness and goodness of our Lord that leads you to repentance, leads you to repentance. His gentleness and in His kindness, the grace of God in His gentleness and in His tenderness. should humble us. He has been good to us because He has not judged us yet though we deserve it. The unsaved seem to be getting away with sin (Ps. 73:3-5, 9, 17).

Forbearance God is holding back , a temporary truce. He does not punish us immediately for our sins. His tolerance, is truce but it will pass away. . He holds back his final judgment and gives the sinner an interval to repent. It is temporary and implies a limit. Then in due course the person must face judgment. If God were to punish us today it is a result of our present guilt. Yet He holds back His judgment against us.

Longsuffering is God’s patience, His slowness to anger, His kindness to us. He is long tempered, he does not have a short fuse. He knows that we will sin tomorrow and the next day, yet He holds back His judgment against us. He bears long in the face of disappointment and opposition.

Paul describes these three aspects of God’s kindness to us as riches. The riches of God’s mercy is measured by four considerations:

His greatness is shown in is mercy towards us. He has the power to remove us from earth yet he doesnt, yet God is able to settle every wrong against Him – yet He is rich in mercy. Man is the object of His mercy. Knowing how great God’s kindness is, it is a great sin to presume upon the graciousness of God, and we easily come to believe that we deserve it.As important as God’s wrath is Paul sees God’s kindness as the primary impetus to bring about repentance.

Laying up Treasure of Wrath

Vs 5 “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart tresasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God”:  Arteriosclerosis is hardening of the arteries of the heart and can cause death,  That’s this word “sclerosis” , sklēros, sclerosis, our hardness of heart. They harden their heart to Gods love and grace. And in doing so they treasure up wrath in the day of wrath and the righteous judgment of God. Hardness of heart, and that is so emphasized in the Bible that it carries with it an awesome confrontation with God. They are unrepentant and store up wrath.

God Judges According To Works

(Rom 2:6-11)

“who Will render (pay off) to each one according to his deeds: Paul argues that God will judge impartially according to a perfect standard. Paul is not talking about salvation in this section he is showing us why we are lost. This section is about God giving humankind what we deserve. We are saved by faith, works cannot bring you to God, we are condemned on the basis of works (Rev. 20:11-15). The “do gooder” will be judged according to their works. (Rev. 20:12). The more works they depend upon for salvation the greater the judgment, becaseu they reject Christ so often. If their names are not written in the Book of Life they are cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:15).  Trusting Christ as savour puts your name in the book of life, it is a gift. Salvation is a free gift to reject Gods offer has dire consequences.

This is an awesome and fearful thought, and it condemns the moralist as well as the obvious sinner. Paul speaking to the learned philosophers of Athens on the Areopagus, declares that God has appointed a day in which He will judge all men according to that One that He has appointed, Jesus Christ. Law is no law without a penalty. And moral government has as its ultimate consequence in accountability. Man will ultimately have a final judgment. God will reward every man according to his works. Man’s deeds stand before God, he is naked before God, no fig leaves. eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honour, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honour, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Eternal life to those: No man possess eternal life, it has to be given by someone who has that right. You cannot work for it, do good deeds to get it of your own accord. There is none we are all mortal but God is immoral and his Son Jesus  died then rose form the dead to give us this life.

Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil: Indignation has the idea of “boiling up,” thus having the meaning of a passionate outburst. The word wrath comes from the idea of a swelling which eventually bursts, and applies more to an anger that proceeds from one’s settled nature. Because all fall short of this standard of God’s constant goodness, God’s wrath will come to all who do evil – without respect to whether they are Jew or Gentile.

This judgment comes to the Jew first. If they are first in line for the gospel (Romans 1:16) and first in line for reward (Romans 2:10), then they are also first in line for judgment.

Paul uses the term “Greek” to refer to Gentiles. He then makes it clear that the Jews (the religious) will experience “tribulation and distress” first and foremost. The reason is obvious. Jews are more accountable than Greeks because they knew more and had the privilege of knowing God’s will before anyone else. To whom much is given much is required (Luke 12:48).

 God is Impartial

Verse 11 “For there is no partiality with God.” There is not favouritism. God does not deal with a person on the basis of his “face” (God will not favour any nation above the other in  nationality, race, colour of skin, wealth, etc.). God looks deeper than the surface. This verse is the point of the whole argument: Since God isn’t partial, His children should be careful not to exercise partiality. It was often that the rich are dealt with in a better way than the por. This is not so with God. There was an exhortation not to show favouritism in the Old Testament (Lev. 19:15).  Instead, we are called to call sin “SIN” and look to the perfect One who offers salvation. In the end there will be justice for all.

God Judges According To Light

(Rom 2:12-16).

Paul explains that no one will be judged for the light they did not receive; everyone will be judged for light they did receive. However, more knowledge brings more responsibility and greater accountability. In these five verses, the word “law” is used eleven times. God holds humanity accountable for what he knows.

Verse 12 is clear that humankind is guilty before God whether they have the Law or not. All men are judged and condemned. Paul’s point, simply stated is this: Ignorance of the Law will not save the Gentile; possession of the Law will not save the Jew. Both are condemned before God the righteous Judge.

Vs 13, he states that if one is seeking to justify himself by the Law he must be a doer of the Law. In 2:14-15, we learn that Gentiles will be judged according to the moral law. Paul says that when Gentiles instinctively follow God’s Law, they’re revealing that they know that Law. This explains why, in almost every culture, it’s considered wrong to steal and murder. This also explains why a man with no knowledge of the Bible will know it’s wrong to commit adultery. Every human being lives according to a law, norms and standards. God requires nothing short of absolute perfection. For those who have trusted in Jesus Christ as Saviour, the free gift of Christ’s perfection is placed in their accounts. However, those who don’t receive Jesus as Saviour face eternal condemnation for their sins.

God judges us under the Law. If we’ve sinned even one time in word, thought, or deed, we’re eternally disconnected from God. We must do it all according to the Law, and we can make no mistakes to be justified. We must be perfect to please God.

Vs 16 God will not only judge people’s actions, but their secrets as well. In that day of accounting, the most “excused” sin will come into the light. Excuses for sin will not be excused.

Gods Justice is Inevitable- Don’t Loose Heart

In Psalm 73 Aspah was going through a bad time in his life. He saw the pride and prosperity of the wicked, he said they had no struggles and were healthy and strong. He said “my feet had almost slipped”(Vs 2). Why did this happen? It was because I envied the arrogant  when I saw the prosperity of the wicked” (vs 3). He lapsed into envy and that is not pure heart. His general concept was that “They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.” (vs 4). He goes on to say they don’t suffer, they get away with violence, their evil conceits know no limits. Te control the affairs of this world and “take possession of the earth.”  They laugh at God.  He sums it up by saying This is hat the wicked are like-always carefree, they increase in wealth” (vs 5-12). Purity doesn’t pay He said, “Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence” (vs 13). He sinks into self pity “All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning” (vs 14). He did not complain outward in case he betrayed his brethren. (vs 15). He couldn’t understand it all until he went into the house of God. (vs 16-17). It was when he looked to the end of everything he understood God would act and do justly. (vs 27-28).

Remember the final accounts are not yet complete. God is just be patient. The Christian lives with the End in view. i.e. Job.

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