The Letter to the Romans Bible Study # 5
Romans 2:1-13 The Judge
Are we really ALL under the wrath of God? Yes.
1Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
2And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. Those who know enough about God and His laws to be able to judge others are just as lost as the people they judge, because they “practice the same things.” Knowing better doesn’t make you better. Under the curse of being “born of the flesh” each person is stuck in the circle of cause and effect. We sin, it is inevitable. A system, method, or particular kind of behavior that seeks to distinguish itself from other men, is nothing more than a seeking of elevating the righteousness of men to that of God. It is nothing short of human rebellion against the “only way” of God, and as such it evokes the wrath of God. We are all in the stream of sin, whether going with the flow or protesting against it. Every man of God contends for the “right” of God, from a place of himself being in the “wrong.” Even faith must be recognized as totally of God and not a “human achievement.”
3But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?
4Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
5But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, The mistake is to place in our own account, as originating from us, that which came from God. If the faith that you are counting on to let you escape the judgment of God, is a faith that you have achieved, something that you can boast of, then it is most assuredly a lie. He who has been chosen by God, cannot say he has chosen God. It is HIS kindness, HIS tolerance, HIS patience that leads you to repentance. It is impossible for us and comes to us as the “riches of His kindness.” Our faith is a pure absolute “vertical miracle.” (Barth’s excellent way of putting all of the glory and honor on God as being the source and power of the miracle of salvation.) Any possibility of claiming to be a proprietor, (the owner or possessor of repentance) as if repentance came from some “deep prayer” or “method” that we are capable of, is a misunderstanding. The wizard in “The Wizard of Oz” gives us an accurate picture of this; all the smoke and mirrors and “big voice” and fire and thunder, he could create, was revealed to be a lie when Toto pulled back the curtain. Turns out he was a man like any other man. The ‘religious’ life, that separates itself from the ‘riff-raff’ of humanity, by constructing a tower of Pharisee-like rules that are followed and looked to as ‘salvation,’ is in fact a “storing up of wrath.” Because it is a way of bypassing repentance, there is nothing to hold back the wrath of God from accumulating.
6who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
7to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;
8but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.
9There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,
10but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
11For there is no partiality with God. “Perseverance in doing good,” is a quality that God truly loves. The life of God’s Son in us “pushes” us to a dissatisfaction with how we are living our lives and a desire to “draw nearer to Him who loves us. This person has given up on his own righteousness and is seeking eternal life, by the dying of his own life and the ‘coming in’ of the life of God. It is God’s true opinion that creates either value or worthlessness in our works. Quote from the book, “The believer- who does the good work-can never behave as if this work of his were his possession to be played off against another’s lack of possession. The believer will never say, ‘I act’, but ‘God acts.’” Remember we are a people of deprivation and hope, deprivation, because we know it is not in ourselves and hope, because we believe, God makes salvation available to us. Evil and Good are weighed in the balance by God, it is His judgment and His alone.
‘there is no partiality with God.” “The observable superiority which one man has over another is only his person, his mask, his form, the part he takes in the play.” As men all we can “see” is the mask, but it passes to corruption, God sees into the realm of the soul that which is incorruption. He does not regard the mask, He judges by what He knows of us. “The Jew first…” simply acknowledges they were given the law first, and so are first in responsibility also.
12For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
13for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. The inner witness that God has placed in all men will be the judge on the last day for those who “knew not” the law.
Hearing the law, being aware of it, is no advantage. What did you do with what you knew? God will judge, fairly and impartially on the day of judgment. No man will take the witness stand, no shady deals will be done, no ‘oaths’ broken, no reasonable doubt will persist, He will take the throne and He will judge rightly!! Praise His NAME!
Judgment is the word we want to dive into and get a better understanding of. Apparently it can be spelled both ways judgement and judgment. Judgment seems to be “divine truth in operation.” It is actually good news to those who have had Jesus “stand in” for us. It is horrible news for those who are not covered by the blood of Jesus. Divine truth, the light of it is overwhelming and ultimately destructive to those not redeemed.
And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” John 9:39
Those who reject the grace of God, because they think they don’t need it, experience judgment as wrath. Those who rely on the grace of God, because they know they need it, experience judgment as grace upon grace.
“For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? “ 1 Peter 4:17 With the church, judgment, means purification, a good and necessary cleansing. For those outside the church it is also purification but with no hope of healing or restoration. This judgment of those who reject God, who are “are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath” is something that we need to have revealed to us in a deeper way. Because the way we live proves that we don’t really ‘get it.’