Romans 2

God’s Righteous Judgment

Romans 2 is written to admonish the Jews that living by the law and circumcision does not make them righteous in God's eyes. This comes as quite a shock, but Paul stresses that living by rules and regulations only brings about judgment and condemnation. Paul concludes that a true Jew is one that has experienced circumcision of the heart by the Spirit of God.

Those Who Judge Have No Excuse—Romans 2:1

Written by Juli Camarin on . Posted in Romans 2

"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things" (Romans 2:1)

Last night at my small group, we were talking of how God has forgiven us of all of our offenses. My cousin who is a new believer, commented that she had a hard time believing that I committed the same sins as everyone else because I was a mature Christian. I brought her to the passage of scripture that I have been blogging about in Romans to explain that we all struggle with the carnal earthly things. It is always a matter of the heart and one cannot judge based on what they alone see.

From a human perspective, it is easy to compare ourselves with one another. It is also easy to assume that the further we grow with Christ the more right that gives us to judge one another. But it simply isn't so. Even if we are not caught up in the same offenses as those we judge, James tells us that "whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it" ( James 2:10 ). It is best to keep judgment to God, who is not corrupted by sin or the flesh.

In Romans 1, we see that Paul has built his case to prove that the Gentiles were guilty before God. From our passage today in Romans chapter 2, he begins to turn the tables on the Jews. He is going to show them that they are just as guilty, if not more, than the Gentiles. So by default they have no right to pass judgment on the Gentiles because they are guilty of the very same things they judge.

When we judge, we prove that we have awareness of right from wrong and that knowledge makes us liable before God. Fortunately for us, God is in the business of saving and not condemning. The book of John says in John 3:17, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him" If we recognize that and submit to the fact we need Jesus as our Savior then we escape judgment and find rest for our souls. Today, it is my prayer that you find this rest.

God's Judgment is Based on Truth—Romans 2:2

Written by Juli Camarin on . Posted in Romans 2

"Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth"(Romans 2:2)

To be a judge in our court system several requirements have to be met. First the judge has to know the law. They have to compare the offense against the standard of the law and render a decision. Secondly, the judge has to be impartial. They cannot be bias towards either side of the case. And lastly, the judge has to be fair. They have to base their decision on the facts or the truth of the case. Opinion cannot play into part during the trial. Both sides have to be weighed equally and whatever side is proven right wins out in the end.

In the previous verse, Paul has just disqualified mankind from rendering judgment against each other. "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things." ( Romans 2:1 ) To participate in the transgression excludes the ability to render fair and right judgment.

However, given the criteria for passing judgment, Paul knows that only God is capable of doing it. God's judgment is based on truth. Many people thing that truth is a relative term, but in reality truth is an absolute. And that truth is based on His Word and His character. Knowing from our own court system how important the truth is in deciding a verdict, one can rest assured that God bases everything upon it. If he didn't he would not be just.

God is just but God is also merciful. Paul tells us in Romans 3:26, " as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." This is extremely important because as a just judge he has to render his decision based on truth, but as a merciful savior he took the punishment for us we could be justify before God. He render the decision of guilty and the penalty was death or eternal separation from God. But, when we believe in Jesus and accept His free gift of Salvation then we stand in true righteousness and holiness before God 'just as if we've never sinned'. The judgment and penalty was placed on Jesus and the benefits were given to us.

Praise Jesus that he is both a just and the justifier!

It is God's Kindness That Leads Towards Repentance—Romans 2:3-4

Written by Juli Camarin on . Posted in Romans 2

"So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?" (Romans 2:3-4)

During the winter months I looked down on my keychain and realized that I had lost the key to my Harley. I had it on one of those quick release loops so I could remove it from the rest of my keys when I wanted to go out riding. The set also had a house key on it. I looked everywhere for it, in all of my purses and pockets, but since I couldn't pinpoint the timeframe that I lost it, there was no hope of finding it.

After I had given up the search, I had to tell my husband that it was gone. I expected him to be very angry about it even though it was a accident. However, when I told him he extended leniency towards my situation and dismissed it with a shrug and a comment that 'these things happen'. I was relieved. Not only was he not angry, he was sympatric to my plight because it could have happened to anyone.

As humans, we like grace for ourselves and justice for everyone else. A lot of times we do not like to be gracious towards others. We can be quick to point our finger at everyone else while having three fingers pointed back at ourselves. Paul is reminding us in this passage not to be too quick to judge. Previously he wrote that God is the one who is the judge and His judgment is based solely on the truth. Since we are not the judge, we shouldn't be quick to step into that role.

The truth is, that God is much more ready to extend mercy to us, than we are ready to offer it to one another. In Hosea 6:6 He said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice". The Amplified Bible puts it this way, " I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings." As with everything, God is concerned with the condition of our heart and wants them pure before him. When we extend grace towards one another then we resemble our Father in Heaven.

Lastly, Paul lets us in on a foundational truth, God is a God of kindness, tolerance and patience. He wants us to experience mercy and in the same way pass that along towards our fellow man. His goodness is what brings us to repentance. His favor along with the knowledge of Him makes us complete. In the same way that my husbands forbearance with me made me appreciate him and learn something about Him, God's mercy and grace does the same thing. When we experience this, then we know Him better and continue to move into the fullness of Christ. Today, may you experience the richness of Christ and know that His mercy is extended to you as you pass it along towards others!

The Hard and Unrepentant Heart—Romans 2:5

Written by Juli Camarin on . Posted in Romans 2

"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed" (Romans 2:5)

About a year ago I was struggling at work with some changes that were taking place internally within my department. Every little altercation caused immense drama in my existence. It got to the point that one day my boss meet with me to discuss work and during the course of the conversation he was going to offer me a raise. Because I was so self consumed and wallowing in self-pity we never got there, half way through our conversation I kicked him out of my office.

Needless to say, I still got the raise but it was only after a few weeks and a sincere apology. The issue was my heart. It had been misguided and left unchecked during all of the changes. During that time, I saw only what I wanted to see and built it up in my own mind. My perspective had gotten off course and I was a long way from understanding the truth from any other view point except my own.

In today's passage Paul says it is 'because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart that you are storing up wrath against yourself'. A hard and unrepentant heart accomplishes several things. First a hard heart stops spiritual perception. When we are focused on the natural realm then we are blinded to spiritual truths. In the same way that my self-pity blinded me to the truth of how the changes would help our business, focusing on the earthly things limits our perspective on kingdom things. When we are naturally focused, we are less likely to recognize spiritual truths in operation.

Secondly, a hard heart stops us from understanding spiritual truths. Not only do we not recognize them, we cannot understand them either. We can read or hear a passage of scripture but are unable to understand it because the seed cannot penetrate deep into our hearts. Our heart is conditioned not to receive it. If we are not able to perceive or understand it, then we will never be able to operate in it.

Lastly, hardness of heart keeps us from remembering spiritual truths. Jesus said "the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" ( John 6:63 ) and Paul tells us that "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness" ( II Timothy 3:16 ). God places a huge importance on understanding His word but sadly many Christians do not know it or complain that it is too hard to understand. This is because they spend more time conditioning unbelief and shallowness in understanding then opening their hearts and minds to the Lord and His Word.

Just as I had to humble myself and seek forgiveness from my boss, if we turn and take the time to cultivate a willing heart in seeking the Lord He will be found by us. James tell us "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you" ( James 4:8 ). We must first conditioning the soil of our hearts to receive His word, then believe it and lastly act upon it. When we do this, then we now longer consider facing God's judgment, because we are in tune with Him and operating in His plan. May the Lord bless you today as you consider this.

The Result is Eternal Life—Romans 2:6-11

Written by Juli Camarin on . Posted in Romans 2

"God 'will give to each person according to what he has done.' To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favoritism" (Romans 2:6-11)

This passage is talking about God's final judgment at the end of the world. If you look at this passage it looks like God will judge you based on your actions and reward according to your works. However, Paul builds the case for Jesus throughout the entire book of Romans. And how we need to be saved by grace and faith in Him along. If we understand that, then verses appear to contract the theme of the book of Romans. However, we know that scripture does not oppose it's self, therefore we view these verses in light of what Paul is saying overall.

This passage, in context of the entire expose to the Romans, Paul maintains that we are saved by grace ( Romans 3:23-24 ), that no one will be declared righteous by observing the law ( Romans 3:19-20 ) and finally, that we will only be justified through faith in what Jesus did for us. ( Romans 3:24-28 ). Therefore, the only action that will be rewarded with eternal life is the action of faith not of works.

We have a choice in this life. The choice we have in this life is the choice of faith in Jesus. Faith is what saves us, not individual good works. We must put our faith in Jesus and that alone is the only thing that God will judge in determining eternal life verses wrath and anger.

What Paul is describing is that faith is an action. James says, that true faith has actions. "In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds."  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." ( James 2:17-18 ). Paul is attesting to this, He is saying that for those whose faith is so real, it causes them to continue to do well... 'seeking glory, honor and immortality'... the result is eternal life. On the other hand, for those who reject the truth, the truth of what Jesus did for them, and follow in the ways of the world, then there will be destruction. It all boils down to a choice and the corresponding actions associated with believing that choice.

Today, it is my prayer that as you make this choice to trust Jesus with your life, you will continue on into the fullness of Christ. By knowing Him, the choices you make in life will spur you onto good deeds out flowing from His goodness and love. Paul says, the result is eternal life with our Lord and Savior! Amen!

God Does Not Show Favoritism—Romans 2:11

Written by Juli Camarin on . Posted in Romans 2

"For God does not show favoritism"(Romans 2:11)

Have you ever been in the shadow of someone great? Have you ever struggled to be noticed or valued for your abilities and strengths. Growing up in a large family, being the youngest of four, sometimes it was hard to be noticed. All great accomplishments and milestones in life had already been achieved by those who came before me.

I am so thankful that God does not show favoritism. The Amplified Bible puts it this way, "For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another]. ( Romans 2:11 ) Recognizing this will release you in life to go after God's best for your life.

It is easy to look around at others and identify talent and appreciate the mighty ways that God can use that person. In the same way, it is easy to look at another and determine that they are hopeless to be used by God or to make a difference in the kingdom. We as human begins assign value to ability.

However, the truth is, God does not show favoritism, God is no respecter of persons. He has offered his Son and the free gift of salvation to every human being on this planet. Regardless of who they are, what they've done or what talent or ability they possess. That association is the benchmark of what makes one great, not natural aptitude.

Looking at the book of ACTS, you will see an example of this. God mightily used the men who had been chosen to serve and wait upon the New Testament church. It doesn't take a lot of skill to distribute food, but ACTS records that they were great men of Faith and tremendously used by God. Recognizing that he has called and invited everyone into fellowship with himself is key. It is God who calls and qualifies, all those who come to him. Nothing is of ourselves.

So today, be encouraged that you are blessed, loved and highly favored by God. He has chosen you, not for the value that the world assigns to you, but because He loves you and wants to have relationship with you. Your value has been assigned by God and by His Son and that far outweighs anything the world has to offer you!

Being Declared Righteous Before God—Romans 2:12-13

Written by Juli Camarin on . Posted in Romans 2

"All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous" (Romans 2:12-13)

Unfortunately many people struggle with understanding the difference between the Old and New Testament. For many people the only difference is one blank page dividing the two covenants. But these difference are far greater then the span between Malachi and Matthew.

This misunderstanding can be attributed to not comprehending a passage of scripture as this. At first glace it appears that Paul is saying that to be declared righteous before God, one must obey the law. This would lend towards the marriage of the two covenants as one. However, unless one understands the purpose of the Law and why it was given, this line between becomes fuzzy and understanding the differences will not come.

The sole purpose of the Law was to point us towards Christ. The law showed us the righteous requirements of God. The law showed us what sin was. The law showed us that we are completely incapable of obtaining right standing with God by our deeds alone. We are hopeless to fulfilling the law and need to fall at the mercy of God and His saving grace, which was the intent from the beginning.

Therefore, the purpose of the law shows us our need for a Savior and subsequently points us to Christ as our the Messiah. By accepting Christ, we are fulfilling the law. By obeying the purpose of the law, which points us to Jesus, we will be declared righteous by Him before God.

Looking at the entire book of Romans in relation to this passage of Scripture, Paul says the same thing. "Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. " ( Romans 3:19-20 ) In only a few short verses after today's passage, Paul confirms that the purpose of the law was to bring us to awareness of the need of a savior.

He goes onto say, "But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." ( Romans 3:21-24 ) First he says in our passage today that those who obey the law will be declared righteous. Then in Romans 3 he describes how to obey the law. He says, that the righteousness that the law and prophets testified about comes through faith in Christ Jesus. So we can conclude that the entire Old Testament law brings us to faith in Jesus.

Understanding this, is key to understanding and unlocking the truth of God's word. 'As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." ( Romans 10:11 ) Today, may you dwell in the righteousness purchased for you. May you understand that you have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. May this revelation unlock the fullness of Christ and propel you towards His plan for your life!

The Requirements of the Law Are Written On Our Hearts—Romans 2:14-15

Written by Juli Camarin on . Posted in Romans 2

"Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them" (Romans 2:14-15)

Yesterday we concluded that the righteousness that the law and prophets testified about comes to climax and fulfillment through Jesus Christ. We concluded that the entire Old Testament law brings us to the realization that we have to have faith in Jesus in order to met those standards. But what happens when someone is not familiar with the Law, the Prophets or even the Bible?

In today's passage Paul is specifically speaking about Gentiles. We can classify the entire population of the world into three categories. First we have the Jews, those naturally born into the race of God's chosen people. Secondly we have the church. Everyone who has put their faith into Christ Jesus as their Savior. And Finally we have Gentiles or nonbelievers, which by default is everyone else. Paul is referring to the fact that even though they may not know the Law, the requirements of the Law are written on their hearts.

Every race, every population of people recognized the conscience. The conscience is that inner voice that identifies right from wrong. When we are in the wrong, our conscience bothers us. We may experience guilt or remorse. The conscience is yet another example of how the knowledge of God has been written on our hearts from the very beginning ( Romans 1:19-20 ).

So what Paul is saying is that the intuitive knowledge of God written on our hearts shows us what the Law requires. Because our conscience bears witness to it and either accuses us or excuses us. This inner voice recognizes the need for a Savior because it by default knows right from wrong and knows when we are in error. Remember the purpose of the Law was to direct us to Jesus. So even if we do not have the law our conscience works in the same capacity. Our conscience bears witness against us and identifies sin in our lives. If we have the knowledge of sin, then we also have the knowledge of the need for a Savior. Therefore, our conscience points us towards Jesus.

I am so thankful by default that God placed inside us the need for Him. The Bible says in II Peter 3:9 that God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." He has proven this by creating the knowledge of Him in our hearts so that as we become aware of Him, He can reveal Himself to us. Today, may you let yourself be found by God. May the grace of His Son Jesus cover you and bring you into right standing with Him!