SIX ADVANTAGES CLAIMED BY THE JEWS (Romans 2:17–18)
1. They are called Jews.
“You call yourself a Jew” (v. 17)
2. They rely on the Law.
“You rely on the law” (v. 17)
3. They glory in God.
“You … brag about your relationship to God” (v. 17)
4. They know God’s will.
“You know his will” (v. 18)
5. They have a right standard of values.
“You … approve of what is superior” (v. 18)
6. They are instructed in the Law.
“You are instructed by the law” (v. 18)
FIVE CLAIMS OF JEWS IN RELATION TO THE GENTILE WORLD (Romans 2:19–20)
1. A Guide to the Blind
“You are convinced that you are a guide for the blind” (2:19)
2. A Light for Those in the Dark
“A light for those who are in the dark” (v. 19)
3. An Instructor of Fools
“An instructor of the foolish” (v. 20)
4. A Teacher of Infants
“A teacher of infants [the young or immature]” (v. 20)
5. A Possessor of Knowledge and Truth
“Because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth” (v. 20)
Chapters 2 and 3 complete the literary unit started in 1:18. This section deals with:
1. the lostness of all mankind;
2. God’s judgment on sin;
3. mankind’s need for God’s righteousness through Christ by means of personal faith and repentance.
B. In chapter 2 there are seven principles concerning God’s judgment:
1. verse 2, according to the truth;
2. verse 5, accumulated guilt;
3. verses 6 & 7, according to works;
4. verse 11, no respecter of persons;
5. verse 13, lifestyle;
6. verse 16, the secrets of men’s hearts;
7. verses 17–29, no special national groups.
C. There is much discussion among commentators about who was being addressed in chapter 2:1–17. It is obvious that 2:12–29 deals with the Jews. Verses 1–17 serve the dual purpose of speaking both to moral pagans like Seneca (societal norms) and to the Jewish nation (Mosaic Law).
D. In 1:18–21, Paul asserted that humans can know God through creation. In 2:14–15, Paul also asserted that all humans have an inner moral conscience given by God. These two witnesses, creation and conscience, are the basis for God’s condemnation of all mankind, even those who have not been exposed to the OT or the gospel message. Humans are responsible because they have not lived up to the best light they have had.