This is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post on Romans chapter 2. There is always time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group Rules/Guidlelines). Right now we are a few weeks into the group, which started in James.
No need to try and catch up, just start in the same place we are and post your opinions.
A Little Background on Romans 2
This time I am going to do something a little different and instead of going verse by verse I am going to take the chapter as a whole and discuss one or two points. Romans is so packed full it is hard to even discuss a small section of it at a time and cover the details it deserves.
Romans 2 is broken up into two sections (in the NASB), The Impartiality of God, and The Jew Is condemned by the Law. Two parts of this stand out to me that I will discuss below. Judgment of our sins, and passing judgment on others.
Theme For Chapter 2
God will judge us all, the self-righteous, the religious, the un-Godly, and the Godly. This is always key for me to remember. Paul is not talking about salvation here. He is talking about sin. When it comes to the judgment of God I try to remember a basic thing, found right here in Romans 2:11-12
11For there is no partiality with God. 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;
Sins No Longer Remembered for Judgment
If you notice, there is impartiality, but with a distinction. Both the righteous and un-righteous (Believers and non-Believers) will be judged by their sins.
But, the Believers sins are washed away from the redemption of Christ. So, to me, negative judgment of sins is reserved for the unrepentant, positive judgment of your life is reserved for the repentant soul. How’s that you say?
To try and better understand it myself, I sketched this out while working through these verses. It is very simplistic, but it is what represented the ideas here, to me.
- Repentant Believers sin is not seen in God’s eyes, so therefore we are not judged on life’s sins, but on what positive things we have done in our lives for Christ. How did we use our life Christ gave us for His purposes AND any un-confessed sin.
- Non-repentant Unbelievers, those still trapped by sin, are judged by their sins.
This may be a little off topic of the impartiality of God, but I do believe that scripture tells us that we, as repentant Believers in Christ, will not be judged by our sins, but by our life as a follower of Christ. The first is from Psalms 103:12 when are are told that our sins are remembered no more.
Psalms 103: 12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He (A)removed our transgressions from us.
and the second is from Isaiah 1:18-19 where we are told our sins will be made white as snow
Isaiah 1:18-19 – 18 “Come now, and (C)let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “(D)Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. 19 “(E)If you consent and obey, You will (F)eat the best of the land;
The key of course in those two verses is that you have to ask for your sins to be forgiven. Once we do this, our sins are remembered no more and they are white as snow. This means even though WE remember our own sins, God does not. If He does not remember our sins, we will not be judged by the sins unknown.
We do have to keep in mind what the repentant sinner is in us. It isn’t saying grace before dinner. We are given examples to follow all throughout scripture in how to pray, ask for forgiveness, and repent. When researching Romans 2, one thing that came to mind was Matthew 6:14-15.
14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
There is more to God no longer remembering our sins than us just asking and moving on, when it comes to forgiveness of others. There is action involved in confessing our sins, yes, but there is a specific action involved here, for us to forgive others as well. Often times, something extremely difficult for us to do.
Passing Judgment on Others
I think with many of us this is a favorite pastime. I just recently watched a video of Loswhit (a worship leader and pastor) who did a post on the tatooe he got on the show LA Ink called YouTube Chatter where he posted some comments left for him by his viewers. These are… say it all together… judgments.
Romans 2:1 just about says it all.
1 Therefore you have (A)no excuse, (B)everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which (C)you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.
Why do we find it so necessary to judge others in this manner? We all do it in one form or another, right? Lets see.
- that dress is to short to wear to church
- he is a Christian, he should hang on in those places
- he shouldn’t get that tattoo
- he shouldn’t drink, smoke, curse, cut his hair, have long hair
- that person is stupid, look at how he drives
- they shouldn’t do this, they should do that
It can go on and on, but we make instantaneous judgments all the time, or at least I think I do. Paul is saying, we are going to be judged by the same standard we judge others, BUT, there is one other thing. Paul is condemning people here for not living up to God’s standard, not the standard of man we set for each other.
Summary of This Week
For me, I am glad God is an impartial God. No other human court or government can have the impartiality that God can have, and I am glad for that. I am also thankful that once we confess our sins to God, he does not remember them any more.
I know I also have to continually remind myself NOT to judge others. That is not up to me, it is up to God. By me looking upon others in judgment is to elevate myself to a God status, and I certainly don’t want that.
Other Blogs of Note
This is a powerful book, and chapter. Almost impossible to go into any great depth but I am looking forward to reading the other posts as well. See the blogs participating in the study below and make sure to leave a comment for them.