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ROMANS 2 PT 2 // EXTERNAL & INTERNAL FAITH

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What is the difference between Religion & what Paul is promiting through a relationship with Jesus Christ? "Religion" is a very common term used to define faith-practices, so how does Christianity set itself apart from every other Religion under the sun?

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LAST WEEK

We saw Paul call out the Judgmental
We saw him level the playing field of the Judgmental culture that existed in Rome
It seems like the Jewish people were coming back to Rome with some Entitlement
Paul had heard of their attitude towards Gentiles, and probably didn’t like it.
Instead of responding and leading with judgement
Paul begins to clue everyone in on the importance of the Gospel
Striving to get us away from leading with Judgment and leading with the Gospel.
We finished with verse 11 that tells us that God plays no favorites.

THIS WEEK

We are going to see Paul dismantle the Jewish argument that Religion is the best way to have a relationship with God.
Slide: WHAT IS RELIGION?
a particular system of faith and worship.
the service and worship of God or the supernatural
a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
RELIGION IS WHAT THE WORLD CALLS THE PRACTICE OF OUR FAITH
Many Christians don’t like this word.
They dislike it because it has a bad connotation in society
They don’t like to be associated with religion, because Christianity IS more of a relationship with God
Many people consider me “Religious”, and thats because they don’t know any better, that is just how they define what I do.
It is a technical term.
It becomes more about semantics.
SLIDE: SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BEING A RELIGIOUS PRACTITIONER AND WHAT PAUL PRESENTS AS THE SPIRITUAL MANTRA OF THE CHRISTIAN FAITH?
SLIDE: EXTERNAL FAITH VS INTERNAL FAITH
LETS TURN TO
Romans 2:12–29 NKJV
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel. 17 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written. 25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
PRAY
Romans 2:12 NKJV
12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law
BEFORE WE BEGIN, WE MUST REMIND OURSELVES THAT GOD IS SO INCREDIBLY IN LOVE WITH US.
HIS LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL
As a Pastor, I get asked a lot of questions
HIS DESIRE FOR US IS TO BE SAVED
HE DOES NOT DELIGHT IN THE DEATH OF THE WICKED
HIS GOODNESS IS WHAT DRAWS US TO REPENTANCE
AS THE WORLD IS GALAVANTING AROUND, SINNING WITHOUT ANY REAL MORAL COMPASS
THEY ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN THOSE WHO “HAVE” A MORAL COMPASS AKA “THE LAW
AND WHO ARE CONTINUALLY BREAKING THE LAW.
VERSE 12 IS THE EQUIVALENT OF PAUL PUTTING ON GLOVES AND GOING TOE TO TOE WITH THE STATUS QUO OF THE DAY
Whether you are familiar with the law or not
The Standard that God has set for Righteousness, is still the measuring rod of righteousness
But Paul adds a little caveat in 13-16
Romans 2:13–16 NKJV
13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.
Romans 2:13-
Romans 2:13 NKJV
13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified;
Because we cannot keep
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
It wasn’t just about hearing the law.
That was very normal.
All that costed you was your attention.
The way of being justified before Christ
Was in the active Faith of doing what the Word required of us.
GENTILES, HAD HEARD OF THE FAITH OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE
ALTHOUGH THEY WERE SOMETIMES PRIDEFUL, SOMETIMES THEY FEARED THE GOD OF THE JEWS.
THIS PEOPLE GROUP, WHO DID NOT HAVE THE LAW WRITTEN IN THEIR HEARTS
WOULD BY NATURE FOLLOW THE LAW
THEY WERE A LAW TO THEMSELVES
THEY HAD SET UP THEIR OWN STANDARD OF GOOD AND EVIL
AND SOME OF IT ALIGNED WITH THE STANDARD THAT GOD HAD SET
SLIDE: HOW DO GENTILES FOLLOW A LAW THAT IS FOREIGN TO THEM?
SLIDE:
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
If we believe that God created all things
By Him, Through Him, and For Him
If we believe that He desires all men to be saved
If we agree with the wisest man to walk this planet, Solommon
Then we must yield to the fact that ALL MEN HAVE BEEN CREATED EQUAL
But not only that, HUMANITY has been created for His Glory
With Eternity in their Heart
With a Holy Spirit alongside them, convicting them of sin, righteousness, and judgement.
To some, their conscience will either point them to action of complacency
It will drive them to find a solution for their sinfulness
Or accuse them since they are technically without excuse.
One day, God, the Righteous Judge, will judge us for how we lived in light of the law.
For some this will be devastating
Some will walk through life burdened by their spiritual debt
Knowing that they stand condemned but not willing to surrender their lives to Jesus
For others, the truth will set them Free
These will walk Joyfully, Mercifully, Graciously throughout life
Knowing that they don’t deserve what God has given them
It is our choice.
PAUL KNOWS HIS AUDIENCE
HE KNOWS FIRST HAND HOW PRIDEFUL THEY ARE
HE KNOWS HOW THEY ARE TREATING THOSE WHO DIDN’T GROW UP “IN THE CHURCH”
CHECK OUT WHAT HE SAYS
Romans 2:17–20 NKJV
17 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.
Romans 2:17–24 NKJV
17 Indeed you are called a Jew, and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law. 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.
CHURCH, SOMETIMES WE CARRY OURSELVES JUST LIKE THESE JEWISH PEOPLE
LIKE KNOW IT ALLS
WE HAVE ANSWER TO EVERY QUESTION THAT HASN’T EVEN BEEN ASKED YET
WE CALL OURSELVES CHRISTIANS
WE REST IN THE FACT THAT WE ARE SAVED
WE MAKE OUR BOAST IN GOD
WE KNOW HIS WILL
WE APPROVE THE THINGS THAT ARE EXCELLENT
WE ARE INSTRUCTED OUT OF THE LAW
WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT WE ARE GUIDING BLIND PEOPLE INTO THE LIGHT
THAT WE ARE A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS
INSTRUCTORS OF THE FOOLISH
TEACHER OF BABES
HAVING A FORM OF KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH IN THE LAW
THOUGH THIS ALL SOUNDS AMAZING
PAUL REVEALS TO HIS AUDIENCE SOMETHING THAT WOULD CHALLENGE THEM TO THE CORE.
Romans 2:21–23 NKJV
21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?
Romans 2:21–24 NKJV
21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.
PAUL IS DEFINING RELIGION FOR US
IF YOUR WALK WITH THE LORD IS MERELY EXTERNAL, IT IS RELIGION.
PAUL’S HEART FOR THE ROMANS IS TO SEE THE ROMAN BELIEVERS, JEW AND GENTILE
Flourishing in their Calling
Abounding in their knowledge of God
Applying what they have learned to every day situations
Not just saying the eight answer, but living out the right answer.
Why was this important?
CHECK OUT VERSE 24
Romans 2:24 NKJV
24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.
ROMANS 2:
IF WE ARE IMAGE BEARERS OF THE MOST HIGH GOD
ROMANS 2:24-
IF WE TRULY BEAR HIS NAME BEFORE ALL MEN
AND THAT ACTION DOES NOT LINE UP WITH WHO WE ARE INTERNALLY
PEOPLE WILL NOTICE
THIS IS WHY THE WORLD BELIEVES THAT THE CHURCH IS HYPOCRITICAL
THIS IS WHY PEOPLE DON’T COME TO CHURCH
THIS IS WHY UNBELIEVERS BLASPHEME THE NAME OF GOD
ITS ESCAPING MY MIND, BUT SOMEONE SAID
“I DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH JESUS, ITS HIS FOLLOWERS THAT I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH”
OUR PROCLAMATION AND OUR CHARACTER MUST BE FULLY ALIGNED
PAUL CONTINUES HIS THOUGHT PROCESS IN VERSE 25
Romans 2:25–27 NKJV
25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?
ROMANS 2:25-
CIRCUMCISION IS DEEPLY ROOTED INTO THE JEWISH CULTURE
IT WAS A SIGN TO DECLARE THE EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL WORK GOD HAD DONE.
BUT THIS PROCESS BECAME AN EXTERNAL PROCEDURE MORE THAN AN INTERNAL DECLARATION.
IT BECAME RELIGIOUS.
IT BECAME MORE OF A CULTURAL THING.
PAUL DECLARES THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO AREN’T CIRCUMCIZED, WHO ACTUALLY KEEP THE LAW
DEEMING THIS PROCEDURE USELESS, IF THE INTERNAL DOESN’T MATCH UP.
IT IS THE SAME AS SAYING THIS TO TODAY’S CULTURE:
WE DO EVERYTHING JESUS COMMANDED, WITHOUT EVER DECLARING JESUS IS LORD
YOU, WHO DECLARE JESUS IS LORD, ASK US TO DO A BUNCH OF STUFF, BUT YOU YOURSELF DON’T LIFT A FINGER
YALL ARE MODERN DAY PHARISEES
Matthew 23:4 NKJV
4 For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Romans 2:28–29 NKJV
28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.
PAUL FLIPS THE SCRIPT ON CIRCUMCISION, THE PRIDE OF JEWISH CULTURE
HE SAYS:
CIRCUMCISION IS BOTH AN EXTERNAL THING, AS MUCH AS IT IS INTERNAL.
A JEW IS ONE INWARDLY, WHEN HIS HEART HAS BEEN CIRCUMCIZED
IT IS OPEN FOR GOD TO WORK WITH
IT IS AVAILABLE FOR THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT, NOT BY THE LAW
THE EXTERNAL PROCEDURE IS A DECLARATION OF AN INTERNAL REALITY
THIS IS WHAT JESUS DESIRES
WHAT DID DAVID SAY?

For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?”

WHAT IS HE DECLARING?
WHO IS THIS MAN WHOSE HEART IS NOT OPEN TO GOD?
WHO IS THIS MAN WHO HAS A FLESHLY SPIRITUAL COVERING?
WHO IS THIS MAN, UNLIKE US, WHOSE SPIRITUAL COVERING COMES FROM THE LORD?
As a Pastor, I get asked a lot of questions
Do you read your Bible everyday?
Do you only read your Bible to prepare a sermon or a Lesson Plan?
Does what you do for God, replace your identity in God?
There comes a point in your life where being a Pastor has its perks
People respect your opinion
People look up to you
People seek you out
People want you to meet with them
People want you to marry them
HOWEVER, ALL OF THIS DOING IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, DOES NOT REPLACE WHO YOU ARE IN THE EYES OF CHRIST
THE DOING, NEVER SUPPLANTS THE REASON FOR DOING
THE CREATED THING IS NEVER TO BE WORSHIPPED.
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