Romans Chapter 2
The World is guilty before God and in need of Righteousness.
Read Romans 1:18- 3:20
Man is in Need of Righteousness: (Romans 1:18)
Before Paul discusses salvation, he tells us that the whole world is morally bankrupt and is in need of divine mercy. We are all sinners and deserve God's wrath. Sin is dreadful in God's sight. By nature we are sinners and children of wrath. Wrath is God’s settled attitude toward sin. Even if we do not practice every sinful deeds found in this chapter, we may secretly approve them. We are spiritually dead and cannot do anything to change us (Ephesians 2:1-3). We need the gospel because the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (Romans 1:18). The wrath of God is His holy aversion toward sin. God hates sin yet loves sinners. The gospel is the antidote to sin because it tells us that God is willing to forgive us. Wrath is essential to divine righteousness as punishment is essential to law. How is the wrath of God revealed? God’s wrath is revealed in the Bible. Whoever does not obey God, the wrath of God remains on him (John 3:36). It is revealed on the cross of Christ (Matthew 27:46). It is also revealed in the natural world against ungodliness. Ungodliness is the sin against the person of God. Unrighteousness is sin against the will of God. The man is both a religious and a moral sinner. Since there is forgiveness in Christ, believers can live without fear.
Natural Man deserves the Wrath of God: (Romans 1:19-23)
Though the natural man knows the truth, he suppresses it in unrighteousness. Sin has a tendency to hold down the truth and often exchange it for a lie. Secondly man had sufficient knowledge of God to honor Him. The testimony of nature alone gives sufficient evidence of a creator and supreme person of God. God is not an abstract principle or power but a real person. Heaven declares the glory of God (Psalms 19:1). So they are without excuse. But they did not glorify God or give thanks to Him. God is the creator and provider of all good things. He alone deserves to be glorified and worshiped Isaiah 43:7). In order to suppress the witness of God in nature and in conscience, man engaged in vain imagination and became futile. They thought that they were wise but in reality they had become foolish. Instead of worshiping the true God they worshiped corruptible creatures (Romans 1:21-23). Those who do not suppress the truth are granted additional light to know God (Acts 10). What happens to those who have never heard the gospel? All are born with a soul and spiritual longing for God (Ecclesiates 3:11). In spite of that spiritual longing, many people disregard God, their conscience and the testimony of the Bible. Those who suppress the truth will plunge into deeper spiritual darkness. But those who seek God will be blessed with additional light (Acts 10). God will judge people according to what they know of Him. Whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).God is compassionate and he will deal fairly and justly with those who have never heard the gospel.
The Wrath of God is inflicted: (Romans 1:24-32)
Therefore God gave them up to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. They exchanged the truth about God for lies. They deliberately chose to worship things God created and glorified not God. Man became vain in their thinking and became dark and confused. A debased mind is not capable of doing things that pleases God. That led them to idolatry. Idolatry led them to sexual perversions. Thus they engaged in degrading sexual practices. They deliberately chose to believe lies and worshiped the creature rather than the creator. They were filled with every kind of wickedness (Romans 1:29-31). Sexual perversion always accompanies idolatry and wickedness. They were aware of God’s displeasure and judgment. Yet they continued to disobey God and approved of those who do them. Look at their downward spiral. They suppressed the truth and have chosen the path of idolatry. So God let them do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. When people refuse to acknowledge God, he abandons them to their evil minds to do things that will never be done. God does not hold us accountable for what we do not know. Still we are not excused from our moral responsibilities. We are sinners and in need of God’s mercy and righteousness.
Moral man is in need of God’s Righteousness: (Romans 2:1-5)
In chapter one Paul painted the deplorable spiritual conditions of heathens. Now he turns to moralists to show that they are also guilty before God. They know the law and condemn others but do the same thing. When we are pointing one finger at someone the other three are pointing at us (Romans 14: 1-4). The moral man does not steal, but does covet. So the moral man is condemned by his own judgment (Mark 7:22). Also moral man is not only self-condemned but condemned according to truth (Romans 2:2). Truth is the first principle by which God judges. Secondly God will judge according to one’s works (Romans 2:6). Thirdly He would judge without partiality (Romans 2:11). Lastly God will judge according to His gospel (Romans 2:16). No one can escape from God’s truth. Yet God is good, forbearing and long suffering towards sinners until there is no more hope of repentance. God does not want anyone to perish in their sin (2 Peter 3:9). We should not take God’s goodness for granted and reject the gospel (2:4) Many are deceived by false thinking and reasoning that God is love and he will not judge anybody. God will judge righteously. God gives us time to repent and believe in Christ. People's choices bring either salvation blessing or bitter regret in their lives in the end. We must be careful not to become comfortable with sin in our lives.
Moralists are Condemned According to their Own Works: (Romans 2:6-16)
Humanity is separated from God due to sin. There are mainly two kinds of people on earth. Those who are under the law, Jews and those who are outside the law, Gentiles. Gentiles have an inner awareness of God's moral law in their conscience. Jews have the ten commandments. God is not pleased with our lineage but our faith and obedience. God wants us to obey what he told us to do. Unsaved will be judged at the white throne judgment seat. They will be judged according to their evil deeds. Truth is the eternal principle by which people are judged in all ages. Abel brought the sacrifice of an animal and obeyed God. Cain did not. And his works were evil (1 John 3:12). God said to Cain “If you do well, shall you not be accepted?” (Genesis 4:7). What pleases God today is faith in Christ Jesus whom He has sent (John 6:28, 29). Gentiles may not have a written law but by nature a law is written in their hearts. Their conscience bore witness of the law. So when they break their moral law, their conscience convicts them of their sin. They try to excuse themselves by self justification. Possession of the law will not save the Jews. For it is not that the hearers of the law are righteous before God but the doers of the law who will be justified (Romans 2:13). Disobeying God's law brings bad name to him among the gentiles. Law will not save anybody but it gives knowledge of sin and need of salvation. No one has ever lived up to the law (Romans 3:20). God is always impartial concerning sin and salvation. Jews and Gentiles alike will be judged by God, when the secrets of men are judged by the Lord Jesus Christ according to the truth of the gospel (Romans 2:16). No ritual can save us, only faith in Jesus Christ.