All men, Jew or Gentile, good or bad, are under doom for breaking the righteous law of God the heathen who are sinners and know it (1:18-32) the self-righteous who think they need no salvation (2:1-11), and the religionist who makes a mere profession (2:17-29) all stand on the same level before the justice of God and all in need of the salvation God has provided.
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,
18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
Romans 2:1 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 2:2 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 2:3-5 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 2:6-16 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 2:17-24 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 2:25-29 – J. Vernon McGee
Romans 2:1-11 – Leave Judgment unto God
In this chapter the Apostle turns to address the Jews. His purpose is to prove that though they may deem themselves superior to the Gentiles and capable of judging them, they may be therefore liable to more severe judgment; because, notwithstanding their superior knowledge, they commit the same sins. God will judge men, not by their professions but by their works. Those who are harshest in condemning others are often guilty of the same sins, though in their own ease they manage to find some excuse which extenuates their shortcomings. Rid yourself of the beam in your own eye, that you may see clearly how to rid your brother of his mote, Matthew 7:5.
God’s silence does not mean indifference, but the desire to give opportunity to repent. The Lamb is in the midst of the throne, Revelation 5:6. Our redemption is by His precious blood, and that alone; but the rewards of the future, and the enjoyment of what God means by life, are conditioned upon our obedience. Glory, honor, and peace are within your reach, if you will accept the reconciliation offered you in Christ, which will bring you into at-one-ment with God; and if you will live to do your Heavenly Father’s will. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Romans 2:12-20 – The Searcher of All Hearts
The Apostle goes on to show that all men, whether Jews or Gentiles, will be judged by the same standard. For the Jew that law was written upon the pages of the Old Testament; but for the Gentiles, who possessed neither Moses nor Sinai, it was written on the tablets of the heart and known as “conscience.” The difference between the two is comparable to that between the time of day indicated by the sun and by the watch which each man carries in his pocket. It is a blessed and profound truth, which makes all men amenable to God’s judgment, that deep down in every man’s soul He has engraven His holy law.
How clearly Scripture bears witness to the eternal judgment! Acts 17:31. The secrets of men are to be judged, Romans 2:16. How thankful we should be that those who stand in Christ shall not come under condemnation! He has borne the curse of a broken law for us, and is not ashamed to call us brethren, Hebrews 2:11. —Through the Bible Day by Day
AS CONSCIENCE PAINTS HIM.
There are days in everybody’s life when he sits alone with Conscience. The world and its undeserved blame or praise is shut out of that silent chamber. With his truthful guest the man of rags and the man of millions, the woman of toil and the woman of ease, must hold weekly if not daily and hourly communion. At these times the picture of the real self is thrown upon the vivid background of years. Now the false-hearted or boastful or proud will see and hear admonitions that would not be brooked from preacher or friend. True character divested of conventional habiliments of conduct through which the eyes of men can not peer, will stand bleak, ragged and forlorn. “Paint me as I am,” cried Cromwell, in righteous rage when the artist began to paint out of his portrait a slight disfigurement of his face. This he did though he knew that his portrait would go down through generations and thus perpetuate his ungainly visage. Who of us can say to conscience, “Paint me as I am though the world sees and the future sees me, let not my real self be hidden!”
Romans 2:15—The law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness.
This is a great announcement, and shows how God can judge men who have never heard of the Bible or the Decalogue. The latter is engraven on their hearts, and is witnessed to by conscience.
Conscience is an original faculty. We are no more called upon to investigate its origin than the mathematician to inquire how the mind can add, or multiply, or divide; or than the artist to ask why we can appreciate the beautiful. It is part of the make-up and constitution of our moral nature. The word ought lies behind conscience, investing it with the certainty and irresistibleness of the throne of God.
Conscience is the judgment-seat of God set up within our nature. You may always know when conscience speaks. She never hesitates, or questions, or pronounces on the expediency of a course; but, as any case is presented to her, she pronounces absolutely and directly upon it as right or wrong. And as she speaks, she anticipates the verdict of the great white throne.
Doubtless conscience may be impaired in its action by long neglect, or by the determined preference of human maxims as our rule of action; but it is always liable to resurrection when the voice of God is sounding. The office of the minister, like “Old Mortality” in the story, is to go through the world, chisel in hand, clearing the inscriptions of the law from the grit of growth which has rendered them almost illegible in too many cases. The Prince, in the old fairy story, sounded a blast at the gate of the Sleeping Palace, and broke the spell, so that all its inmates sprang up into alert vitality; and similarly the Spirit. of God, through the Truth, appeals to the human conscience, which is his ally in the heart of man. —Our Daily Homily
Romans 2:21-29 – He Requires Heart-Obedience
The Jew relied upon the position given him by the privileges and rites of Judaism, although his religious life, as such, had shrunk within these outward things, as a seed rattles in its pod. The Apostle’s argument is meant to show that personal irreligion and unbelief will neutralize all the benefit that outward rites might promise; while humble faith will compensate for any disadvantage which might result from heathen origin and environment.
The Jew will become as a Gentile, unless he have the spiritual counterpart to outward rites, while Gentiles will become as the Chosen People of God, if they have that separation of soul and life which was set forth in the initial rite of the Jew. See Colossians 2:11. The mere outward rite does not constitute sonship to Abraham; and he who has never undergone it, but by faith has put away all filthiness of flesh and spirit, is entitled to all the promises made to Abraham and his seed. —Through the Bible Day by Day