Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Romans, Chapter 2

Yesterday we left off with Paul discussing the consequences of sin, and that is where the second chapter of Romans picks up. The unfortunate consequence of being born into sin and depravity is judgment. As the beginning of the chapter states, when we pass judgment we are condemning ourselves because we too are guilty of sin. There is not a single person that is immune to this judgment because of the nature of mankind. In the end we will all be judged by what we have done. The ultimate factor in deciding our fate will be whether we have Christ or not.

"6God "will give to each person according to what he has done." 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger." -- Romans 2:6-8

This is a difficult passage to understand because it sounds so black and white. Anything done for the self comes off as evil while anything done for the glory of God is good. Does this make me an evil person because I promote my sports blog in order to better my career? I don't think so because I have Christ in my heart. I know that if I promote myself I can gain more of an audience to spread his word through other means. God can use something totally mundane like a sports blog to accomplish wonders for His kingdom because it can elevate me to greater influence for His cause. It also strengthens my writing, allowing me to be more coherent when writing about His matters. This is where our motives behind what we do come into play. If we have Christ in our heart and we are constantly working for His ultimate glory then we are doing what is asked of us.

"12All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." – Romans 2:12-13

As we know from our study elsewhere in the New Testament, the new law, the one open to the gentiles that overwrote the old law is the sacrifice of Christ. We are simply asked to obey and submit to Christ, knowing that we are sinners and He is the only way to righteousness. Once that is done we have fulfilled our part of the covenant and are transformed into righteous being. This does not make us perfect, but it does mean we are forgiven. We saw in Hebrews that Christ is the mediator for us, and here in the second chapter of Romans we see the judgment that we will face where his mediation is necessary.

The second half of the chapter deals with the Jews and the law, which I think can be carried over to the new covenant and the gentiles. If you continue to sin once you accept your forgiveness from Christ you are setting a bad example for what it means to be a Christian. Think of the ultra-right wingers in this country. Think of the people that are exclusivistic Christians that feel their way is the only way. Is it really good to label yourself as a Christian if you are bashing gays or blowing up abortion clinics? We are taught to hate the sin but love the sinner, and that is what the second part of Romans 2 warns about.

"25Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26If those who are not circumcised keep the law's requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?" – Romans 2:25-26

This paints an allegorical account of how we are to treat our salvation. Our salvation really has no meaning if it does not prompt change in our lives. If we truly accept the gift of Christ's salvation we honor it by living up to the righteousness we are granted.


  1. How do you seek God's glory even in everyday tasks?
  2. Should we consider Christ's new covenant as the law for Gentiles?
  3. How do exhibit the qualities of hating the sin but loving the sinner?

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