Study of Romans 2:1-11

God’s Righteous Judgement

Rom 2:1  Therefore 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. 
Rom 2:2  And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 
Rom 2:3  But 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? 
Rom 2:4  Or 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? 
Rom 2:5  But 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, 
Rom 2:6  who will render to each one according to his works:
Rom 2:7  to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 
Rom 2:8  but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 
Rom 2:9  There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 
Rom 2:10  but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 
Rom 2:11  For there is no partiality with God. 

v1 – This can be looked at in various ways. 1) He is speaking of the Jews judging the Gentiles, 2) He is speaking of an unsaved person judging an unsaved person, 3) He is speaking of a professing Christian judging an unbeliever. Many times, people judge others for the very things they do. The may not say it, but they could think the following. 1) I may be a sinner, but at least I am better than most. 2) I may be a sinner, but at least I am good enough to get by. Surely, God would not condemn me. Too often we assume that because we made a profession of faith we are in good shape. However, we are dealing with a God who is truly there and knows all. What matters is what we truly say, what we mean, and what we truly do. He responds to what we truly believe, not what we profess to believe. We should be always examining ourselves to see if we are living as we should, if we are being a hypocrite. (See Mat 18:21 – 35, The parable of the unforgiving Servant)

v2-3 – It is important that we understand what Paul means by ‘practice’.  To willfully sin is to sin consciously, with volition. The concept of practicing sin is like that of practicing medicine or law. It means the person is actively engaged in it on a consistent basis. A person can willfully sin on an infrequent or inconsistent basis and therefore not be thought of as practicing sin. What Paul is saying is if you judge others for the same things you yourself do, are you not also judging yourself? Absolutely! ” Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Mat 7:1-5. Again, we are speaking of those who practice sin.

v4 – We may presume that if God is a good God, a God of love, then He will give us grace. He is patient with me, so I am OK. However, His kindness and patience are meant to lead us to repentance. It is not meant to give us a pass for the sins we practice. God is a God of love. “This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Pet 3:1. Just as these latter-day scoffers look at the predictability of nature and refuse to believe that God would ever upset the uniformity of natural causes and bring judgement, so also the man Paul speaks of sees God’s kindness all around him and assumes that judgement will never come.  God’s kindness is meant to lead such people to repentance, but because of their refusal to truly respond, it will have the opposite result.

v5-8 – Most versions read this as “But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth”. This makes sense in that we are being contentious with the truth because it differs from our desires. It denotes those who are of a quarrelsome or litigious disposition, and generally refers to controversies among people. However, here it evidently denotes a disposition toward God, and it is the same as being rebellious or as opposing God; those who contend with the Almighty and who resist His claims, rebel against His laws and refuse to submit to His requirements. See Deut 21:18-21 and Deut 9:7-29).

v9-10 – Tribulation commonly denotes affliction, or the situation of being pressed down by a burn, as of trials, calamities, etc. Distress or anguish literally means narrowness of place, lack of room. Refers to having no idea where to go to escape these trials or find relief. But to those who obey, there will be glory, honor and peace.”

v11 – This refers to pronouncing in favoring one party over another, not because his cause is more just, but on account of something personal. This would include but not limited to wealth, rank, function, influence, fear or personal friendship. The exercise of such partiality was strictly forbidden to the Jewish magistrates. “You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.” Lev 19-15. And, ” You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God’s. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.” Deut 1:17. Also, look at James 2:1-13.

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