Romans Podcast Expository Files 2018 Berkley - Page 18

Romans ~ No Exemptions, Part 2
Rom. 2:17-29
We know there were Jews in the first century, who – despite their advantage of having
Scripture with specific prophecy about Christ – did not accept Him. One line of argument
might have sounded like this: “We are Jews. We have the law of Moses. We make our boast
in God.” This came up when John the Baptist preached to Pharisees and Sadducees.
Paul is answering such argumentation. His overall point is, it doesn’t matter who you are in
your nationality or culture, or how well situated you think you’ve been with God in the
past. Sin is the human problem, whether Jews or Gentiles.
Paul is saying to Jews who boasted: You can have the law, learn the law, teach the law, boast about how
better you are than others, issue rebukes to sinners and have circumcised fathers. But if you are violating
the law you uphold, your guilt remains!
Here’s how bad it was: “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
Jewish hypocrisy and self-righteousness encouraged blasphemy against God.
Part of this was, in the “evolution” of Jewish thought and tradition, circumcision and other
rituals were elevated far behind their original intent. In the extremes of Jewish apostasy, they
thought of circumcision as something like permanent insurance against the wrath of God.
What really matters? Obedience to God. The problem is sin. The gospel – heard, believed and
obeyed – brings the solution into your life.
And if we reject the truth, judgment will fall. Judgment presupposes a standard to which we
will be held accountable (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 2:1ff). A standard that can be read and
understood alike, or else the concept of universal accountability is ludicrous. If we want to be
Christ’s disciples, then we must obey His commands (John 8:31). Judgment says we can all
understand alike the words of Christ and His apostles and prophets. Do you think folks will
get the message when He says, “Depart from me you workers of iniquity”? They won’t need
a dictionary. Honest hearts will seek to know His will (Acts 17:11), and having understood it,
carefully apply it to their lives. “Blessed is he who keeps the words … of this book” (Revelation
22:7) are words that means something, don’t they? – Chuck Durham v
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