S213-022408 Ro 2b
Alêtheia Christian Fellowship ~ 2/24/08 ~ Romans 2b
Romans 2:17-20 ~ 17But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and boast in God, 18and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of the Law, 19and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth…
Jew could be replaced with Christian
*Romans 2:17-20 ~ 17But if you bear the name “Christian” and rely upon the Scripture and boast in God, 18and know His will and approve the things that are essential, being instructed out of His Word, 19and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Bible the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth…
You may say, “I don’t do that, but don’t you believe people should understand God the way you do?
Romans 2:21-24 ~ 21you, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal? 22You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God? 24For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written.
We all do different sins, but we all sin.
Please don’t miss the point. We condemn the thief who robs an elderly person, but we think nothing of fudging on our income tax or taking a pen from our employer or taking advantage of a desperate person trying to sell their car or home.
We condemn the adulterer and yet we imagine a better spouse for our self.
We condemn paganism, but we own a rabbit’s foot, dream-catcher, four-leaf clover, special cross or have a lucky shirt.
24For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” just as it is written.
You who brag about your righteousness, do you dishonor God by sinning? An honest Jew living 2,000 years ago, just as an honest Christian today, would have to say, “Yes.”
Hypocrisy dishonors God and it causes the ungodly to blaspheme God. People ask, “Why should we honor God, when the Jews/Christians do not obey Him?”
The Mahatma Gandhi said, “I would be a Christian if I had ever met one.”
Of course he led India out from under British Colonial rule. He came upon a Bible as a young man and after reading it he concluded that Biblical Christianity was true. The next Sunday he went to the local Christian church to give his life to Christ. The British ushers informed him that he was not welcome.
Romans 2:25-29 ~ 25For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 27And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? 28For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
25For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
You can’t argue with Paul’s logic.
26So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?
This is a rhetorical question. Obviously if a devout Jew cannot obey the Law then neither can a heathen, but what may be intimated is that there can be righteousness apart from the Law. That’s not Paul’s point yet, so here his point is that circumcision like a wedding ring is only a sign or symbol.
27And he who is physically uncircumcised, if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? 28For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. 29But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God.
Sitting Bull of the Hunkpapa Lakota said, “Being an Indian is not a matter of blood; but a way of life.”
Being a Christian is a matter of blood, but not yours. The principle applies if we are God’s kids we will act like members of the family.
Matthew 21:28-32 ~ 28“But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ 29“And he answered, ‘I will not’; but afterward he regretted it and went. 30“The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. 31“Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. 32“For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.
As Peter said, “God is no respecter of persons.” As Paul has just informed us God judges the heart.
3 main differences between Saul and David.
1. Saul was a king rejected by God, while David was a king, not just accepted, but loved
2. David was a much worse sinner than Saul
3. David sinned big, but he repented even bigger. Saul never knew God personally and only went through the motions – doing the ritual. David was a man after God’s own heart.
Difference between Judas and Peter.
Judas betrayed Jesus – Peter betrayed Jesus
Judas felt Guilt and committed suicide.
Peter felt conviction and wept bitterly – Lord you know all things; You know that I love You.
All that the Jew relied upon for righteousness and far too much of what Christians rely on today is actually a cause of greater accountability.
The Jew relied upon legalistic religious activity related to the Law coupled with their accidental relationship to a dead dude named Father Abraham. What they failed to recognize was that while that is wonderful and a blessing of great grace it actually made them more responsible, not less.
As Christians many of us think we are earning greater favor with God or are somehow repaying God through all of our religious activity. That thinking is the definition of legalism – it didn’t work for the Jew and it will not work for you.
What we must recognize is that we are going deeper into debt! Ministry is a privilege and makes you more accountable and responsible – you will be held to a higher standard, not a lower one!
Luke 12:48 Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required.”
If they 2,000 years ago or we today neglect such a great salvation what can we expect?
Hebrews 2:1-3 ~ 1For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, 3how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?
(1) The Jew and the Law/ the Christian and the Gospel.
Man’s righteousness does not result from possessing the Law/Gospel; it comes from practicing them.
If there was one thing the Jew prided himself on, it was his possession of the Law. It was delivered to Jews, through Jews. It had been preserved and passed down by Jews. The Jews felt that mere possession of the Law constituted righteousness.
However, man’s righteousness does not result from possessing the Law; it comes from practicing the Law. To be a custodian of God’s Law was indeed a great privilege, but Paul reminds the Jew that with this privilege comes that added responsibility of greater knowledge.
They not only failed to live by the Law, they failed to live righteously before the Gentiles. They who were so quick to condemn the Gentiles were slow to confess that because of their sinfulness and rebellion the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles.
(2) The Jew and Circumcision/the Christian and Baptism.
Religious ceremony without the substance it represents is futile.
There are many through the history of mankind who have regarded religion as primarily a matter of ceremony and ritual. Paul makes the point that circumcision is an outward act which symbolizes some inward reality. The rite has no value without the reality.
It is like one who puts on a wedding band as he makes a marriage covenant with his bride. The ring itself is nothing but a symbol. It has great value if the vows are kept, but it is an empty sham if the vows are violated and set aside - baptism is the same for Christians.
My friend, what is it that you are relying on for right standing before God? When you stand before Him, on what basis will you expect to spend eternity in His heaven?
Do you have some other standard of righteousness? You will not abide by it either, for none of us can live by the standards which we set for others.
God is not nearly as concerned with what we know about doctrine as He is with what we are doing with what we know. “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall” (Matthew 7:24-27).
James 1:21-22 ~ 21So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. 22But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.
Matthew 7:21-23 ~ 21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
John 15:14&17 ~ 14“You are My friends if you do what I command you… 17“This I command you, that you love one another.
Gandhi action expresses priorities.