Letter to Christians in Rome: Chapter 2 (pt 2 of 5)

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So there you have the picture of humanity. “Do-your-own-thing” people are on one side, looking at these moral, respectable people, reading their hearts correctly and saying, “Look at the hypocrites. I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole.” And all the “moral and respectable” people are looking at these others and saying, “Look at that licentious, lascivious crowd. We don’t want anything to do with them.” But YHWH, turning the spotlight of his omniscient eye on humanity, says, “You are all equally guilty.” There is no difference.

What makes you think that you who so readily judge the sins of others, can consider yourself beyond the judgment of God? Are you, perhaps, misinterpreting God’s generosity and patient mercy towards you as weakness on his part? Don’t you realise that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? —Romans 2:3-4

It just dawned on me how some may react to this. During the first part, when Paul was describing the extreme and obvious offenses, the people who fit into that category simply plugged their ears because they don’t want to hear it (or shrug they shoulders because they just don’t care). However, when Paul started harping on those who sought to judge them—the “self-righteous” right-wingers, then the first group perked up their ears and started to shout back, “Uh-huh, that’s right preacher. Set them ‘righteous folks straight.” When the Lord wants to deal with our sin, we seek a place to hide—but when it comes a time for him to point out someone else’s sin, well then we are all ears. Funny group of humanity, don’t you think?

Or are you by your obstinate refusal to repent simply storing up for yourself an experience of the wrath of God in the day when, in his holy anger against evil, he shows his hand in righteous judgment? —Romans 2:5

There is no doubt that he will ‘render to every man according to his works,’ and that means eternal life to those who, is patiently doing good, aim at the unseen [—but real—] glory and honor of the eternal world . . .  But, let me repeat, there is glory and honor and peace for every worker on the side of good . . . For there is no preferential treatment with God . . . —Romans 2:6-7

Clarence Jordan renders that as, “Nobility and honor and peace belongs to everyone who works for the right, whether he’s a ‘superior’ white or a negro. For a man’s face cuts no ice with God.”

If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome

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