Romans Chapter 2
First Baptist Church
Des Moines, NM
We are looking at Romans Chapter 2 and yesterday I left about halfway through this passage:
Romans 2:2-11 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. (3) And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? (4) Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? (5) But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, (6) who "WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS": (7) eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; (8) but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness-indignation and wrath, (9) tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; (10) but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (11) For there is no partiality with God.
Paul has asked the question “do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” I asked you to consider his words and consider what would happen if God did NOT show goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering. If God did NOT show those things, I honestly doubt if any human being would ever draw a second breath. But what does mankind do with God’s goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering toward our disobedience? According to Paul, man in general despises these characteristics of God. Since God does not always immediately punish our transgression, but allows us to continue on, Paul says:
Romans 2:5-6 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, (6) who "WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS":
God’s righteous judgment will come, but it will come in His time, not ours. Biblically, this is nothing new. In Genesis 15:16, God told Abraham that his descendants would be stranger in a strange land,
Genesis 15:16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete."
And in Daniel, we read:
Daniel 8:23 "And in the latter time of their kingdom, When the transgressors have reached their fullness, A king shall arise, Having fierce features, Who understands sinister schemes.
In the Genesis passage, God said that “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete” and in the Daniel passage, we see that the transgressors must reach their fullness. In both of these examples, the transgressions needed to reach a certain stage before God unleashed His judgment and wrath upon the transgressors. This is the case with our Romans passage, too. Paul says that, thanks to his hard and impenitent heart man is “treasuring” or “storing” up wrath for himself and that this wrath will come when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. It we read ahead to Revelation, we find that this Day of Judgment is not something to be taken lightly:
Revelation 6:13-17 And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind. (14) Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. (15) And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, (16) and said to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! (17) For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"
The entire 16th chapter of Revelation details some of this time period- here’s an example:
Revelation 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
Just as the last book of the New Testament warns of this time, so did the last book of the Old Testament:
Malachi 3:2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderers' soap.
In Romans 2 Paul warns of this day. But note that both Paul and John in Revelation state that repentance from sins will bring relief. Paul says that God…
Romans 2:6-10 … "WILL RENDER TO EACH ONE ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS": (7) eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; (8) but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness- indignation and wrath, (9) tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; (10) but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
This is a prime case of when we must consider the whole counsel of Scripture and not take things out of context. If we took this passage out of context, it would be easy to push the idea that one can be saved from the wrath of God by one’s own righteous acts. However, as well see later on in Romans, this is not the case. Let’s look forward just a little bit in Romans and I’ll show you.
Romans 3:10-11 As it is written: "THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NO, NOT ONE; (11) THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS; THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS AFTER GOD.
Romans 3:20-26 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (21) But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, (22) even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; (23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, (25) whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, (26) to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
In chapter 3, Paul clearly states that justification comes not from righteousness done under the law, but by faith in the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. That’s almost exactly what v. 24 says- let me repeat it for the benefit of those listening… chapter 3, verse 24 says “… being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus….” Chapter 5 covers this relationship in much more detail and starts with the verse I just quoted “…having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” So, be careful not to take our passage in Chapter 2 out of context and think that you will be justified and saved from God’s wrath by your own deeds.
Nevertheless, if go back and examine our passage from Chapter 2, we see that Paul says “those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality” will receive eternal life. We know that these things are of God- that is, glory, honor, and immortality are God’s, not ours. We know this because we are to “seek” them. They are not ours naturally or we would not seek them. Verse 8 says that those who are “self-seeking and do not obey the truth” will receive indignation and wrath. So, again, because these people are “self-seeking” we know that they seek their own goodness, not the goodness belonging to God.
Finally, note that this is true of every man. Paul says “…on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek.” This distinction between Jew and Greek covers every man since a man is either Jew- one of the chosen of God- or a Greek. The word “Greek” as used here does not mean simply a native of Greece, but a man who is not a Jew. In short, a Gentile. This is important because Paul, himself a Jew and formerly a “Pharisee of the Pharisees” says that Jews cannot rest on their heritage. They, too, must seek after God’s glory, honor, and immortality. Paul says specifically in:
Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.
Tomorrow, we’ll examine Paul’s continuance of this theme, but it’s important to note that Paul allows no man to rest on his “religiosity”. That is, Jews are not saved simply because they are Jews. Baptists are not saved on the basis of their standing in the SBC. Nor are Pentecostals or Catholics or any other [quote] “religious” group. What matters is, quite simply, whether one has repented of their formerly evil disobedience, turned from their wicked ways, and sought God’s righteousness. This righteousness, as we saw in Romans 3:22 is manifest in the works of Jesus Christ. It is the righteousness of Christ that we must have credited to our account. Let me repeat the passages on which we ended yesterday:
Ephesians 2:4-7 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, (7) that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Isaiah 55:6-7 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near. (7) Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
Again, I ask you to consider these words, search your heart, and seek repentance for your transgressions. Join us tomorrow on KLMX radio at 9:45 am as we continue our study of Romans.
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