Let's continue our study of Romans with Chapter 2:1-16.
Read the passage here...
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? 4 Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
5 But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will judge everyone according to what they have done. 7 He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. 9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.[a] 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
12 When the Gentiles sin, they will be destroyed, even though they never had God’s written law. And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. 13 For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. 14 Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. 15 They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. 16 And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.
In the previous study we learnt about the type of person that God abandons to their own foolish thinking — the person who fails to acknowledge God and whose life becomes filled with every kind of wickedness.
In today's passage, Paul begins with a reality check — a call for us to put down pride and examine our own hearts before we judge others. It's tempting as Christians to be quick to judge, but if we judge others for the very things we ourselves are doing, we condemn ourselves.
God is love. God is good. His love, His goodness, His kindness, His patience are all designed to lead us to a place of repentance. A place where we turn from our sin. Not remain in it. However, a refusal to turn from our sin is what the Bible calls stubbornness and is comparable to idolatry.
Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” (1 Samuel 15:23, NLT)
We have a choice to make each day. If we choose to live for ourselves or the pleasure of sin in secret, even though we profess Jesus publicly, we will store up wrath for ourselves on judgment day.
Now, to be clear, the scripture is not saying that if you sin you're doomed to wrath. No, sin is the reason Jesus came in the first place:
My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. (1 John 1:2, NLT)
The blood of Jesus does and is able to cover any sin we commit. However, there is a difference between falling (sinning) and then refusing to repent, and this is what Paul is tackling in Romans 2. It is a refusal to repent that will result in the wrath of God. In fact, it will be Christ Jesus Himself who will judge the secret life of every person. In refusing to repent, we reject Jesus, the very gift that God gave and the ONLY way by which we can be made right with God.
Are you seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers, or are you living for yourself and refusing to obey the truth?
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