Romans 2:11-16 The judgment of God will be executed with no partiality or favoritism. God has no favorites, chosen, yes but He does not favor the moralist, the bright or educated, wealthy, benevolent, or famous.
All men stand equal before God’s judgment. In the day of judgment, all will be judged by the same rule and by the same principle. The man who sins without the law and the man who sins in the law will both be judged. Sin is the basis of judgment. The man who sins “without law” (anomos) will also perish without law. The word for law is a general word. It refers to the law of God in both the Scriptures and nature.
Therefore, the man who does not have the law of Scripture does have the law of nature to guide him. If he sins against the law of nature, he will still be judged and perish. He had the opportunity to know through nature itself. The man who sins “in the law” will be judged by the law. His judgment, of course, will be greater, for he had every privilege and opportunity available.
The doers and not the hearers of the law will be justified. It is not enough to have the law or the Word of God; to hear, understand and know it. To embraces and profess it, and to proclaim and teach it. A person must be a doer of the law; he must obey and live the law. (Matthew 7:21 NIV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
(James 1:22) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.(1 John 2:17) The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. (Revelation 22:14) “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. The judgment of God will be by Jesus Christ and His gospel. In that day “the secrets of men” will be judged.
All secrets will be exposed, the secret thoughts and deeds done in the dark or behind closed doors or when we are alone. (Luke 12:2) There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.
(1 Corinthians 4:5) Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. Jesus is the One who will do the judging. He is the One who has earned the right to judge by obeying God perfectly. He lived a sinless life and died for men and has experienced life on earth in the flesh and can understand and sympathize with men (Hebrews 2:15-18;4:15-16).
Romans 2:17 – To rely on the Law meant that they trusted that it was the Law that brought them acceptance and favor with God. The Law brought God’s favor because obedience to it brought favor and blessing from God. It does not necessarily mean that he relied on his own works, though often that was true, but by having the Law, he was set apart from others.
By Law we are referring not only to the Five Books of Moses but it also included, the whole of the Old Testament. An oral tradition of understanding the meaning of the law had begun with Samuel the prophet who established the “school of the prophets”. We find this tradition well established in Nehemiah 8:8 after the Babylonian captivity in the day of Nehemiah and Ezra (Nehemiah 8:8).
Having the Law became an occasion for pride because through the Law they had the knowledge of God, while other nations were in darkness. It was true that they had the true knowledge of God, and that he had declared himself to be their God, Deuteronomy 4:7; Psalm 147:19-20; but this was not to be a cause for boasting, but for gratitude and an understanding of the high calling God had called them to.
Romans 2:18-20 – The knowledge of His will comes from the Scriptures as well as knowing what is superior or essential. The root of the expression knowing what is superior was usually applied to the process of testing or trying metals by fire.
This is the idea that John had when he told Christians to test the spirits (1 John 4:1) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world and as Paul wrote (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you ‑ unless indeed you fail the test? God’s concern is not in what a person knows, but in what a person does. God expects a person to take what he has learned and put it into practice.
The Jewish people new that they were to be a guide to the blind. They knew that God’s Word was true and the way men should live. However, being “confident” or “convinced” does not make us a true guide it will only be so if we ourselves following and walking in the truth.
There are many guides in the world leading people down the wrong road. They are blind guides, the blind leading the blind (Matthew 15:14). The Jewish people were convinced that they were a light to those in darkness. They thought that since they had the light that they were a light to those who are searching for it. However, religion is not the light of the world—Jesus Christ is.
The Jewish people thought of themselves as instructors of the foolish. The word “foolish” means thoughtless, senseless, undirected. It refers to people who walk through life giving no thought to life’s purpose. These are people who have no idea where they have come from, why they are here, and where they are going. God’s covenant people knew that their faith, Word and God has provided the answers to all these questions.
Romans 2:21-23 “You who teach others, do you not teach yourself?” The question is not only for teachers, but for everyone, because we all teach others. Throughout life we all claim to know some truths about morality and about how people should live and behave. We often share those truths with our children, friends, fellow workers, and others. But do we listen to the truth we teach? What right do we have to tell others how to live if we do not live that way ourselves?
(Luke 6:46 NIV) “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? (1 John 3:18 NIV) Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. You who say that a person should not steal, do you steal?”
Do we take from others; from our employers from the government? (Ephesians 4:28 NIV) He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
We who say that a person should not commit adultery, do we commit adultery? We want pure brides and spouses, husbands and wives, sons and daughters, do we live purely? What are we looking at and watching, reading and hearing? Do we look a second time?
Read pornographic books, magazines, and novels? have lustful thoughts? harbor sexual thoughts? dress in a manner that would cause others to stumble. Do we watch and support television or films that have or suggest immorality? Regardless of our denials, we are what we think; and our thoughts come from what we see and watch, read and hear.
When we participate in these things we are involved in fleshly things. This is the reason why our society is becoming unraveled. (Matthew 5:27-28 NIV) You who abhor idols, do you rob from God. This means to consider something more important than God, like the commitment that we owe God. Another way we rob God is in our tithes and offerings that we owe God. (Malachi 3:8-10 NIV).
We take from God when we do not give to Him the tithes of our time and energy, by doing this we make something else more important than God. “You who boast and take pride in the Law, [the Bible], through breaking the law do you not dishonor God?” The answer is clear.
We dishonor God when we talk about His Word yet break His commandments. When we do this we cause the name of God to be blasphemed, cursed, ridiculed, and denied. (Mark 7:6 NIV).
Romans 2:25-27 – The religious believe that a ritual is the way to secure God’s praise or approval (for example, circumcision, baptism, and church membership). Just take the word circumcision and substitute whatever ritual a church says is essential for salvation and the meaning of the passage becomes clear.
For example, take the ritual of church membership. “Church membership profits a man if he keeps the law: but if he breaks the law, his church membership is made or counted as unchurch membership.” If a religious person does not keep (lit. practice) God’s law and Word, then his ritual does not count.
The man becomes unbaptized, unchurched, uncircumcised and so on. The point is obedience, not ritual. A person is acceptable to God because he lives for God and obeys Him, not because he has undergone some ritual. The next two verses make this pointedly clear (Romans 2:26-27).
“The uncircumcised man who keeps the righteousness of the law is counted as circumcised (that is, acceptable to God)”. (Matthew 7:21 NIV) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (James 1:22 NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Romans 2:28-29 A genuine believer is one who is righteous inwardly. Every man breaks or transgresses the law. No law and no ritual, whether circumcision or baptism (or any other ritual), is able to make man acceptable to God. Being acceptable to God is not an outward thing. It is of the heart, of the spirit. This is the argument that the woman at the well wanted to make with Jesus, and His response was (John 4:23 NIV).
God’s true people are the people who have been circumcised spiritually—in the heart. God’s true people, are those who have had the self-will cut out of their heart. They are the people who have been spiritually converted.
Moses spoke of himself as a man of “uncircumcised lips” (Exodus 6:12,30). Man’s “uncircumcised heart” must be humbled if he wishes God to remember His covenant and give man the promised land of heaven (Leviticus 26:41-42).