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Focal Passage:  Romans 2:1-11

Romans 2:9-11 “There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.  For God shows no partiality.”

In correlation with the comparison Paul made in yesterday’s verses where he compares the judgment of the righteous to the unrighteous, today in verses 9-11 he emphasizes that there is nothing in mankind itself that will sway God’s judgment.  God will judge, and He will do so based on His character and on His standards, no matter who we are unto ourselves.  We cannot presume on where we stand or on whether or not we’ve sinned worse than or less than someone else.  We cannot place our faith in salvation and propitiation on the things that we do, be they good or bad.  All of us sin and all of us face judgment for that sin.  The righteousness that we must stand on is not ours at all, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  Only in Him will we stand before the Throne of Judgment, being called to account for all that we’ve done, and then have those things thrown as far as the east is from the west as our Savior says, “I paid the price for her sin.”  Hallelujah!  What a Savior!

Study/Meditation:  How does what Paul teaches in these verses correspond to what Jesus taught in Matthew 7:21-23?  How can we be sure of our standing in Christ?

*Father, thank You for Your mercy in sending Your Son to pay the penalty for my sins.  I stand on His righteousness alone.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 2:1-11

Romans 2:7-8 “To those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”

Once again:  Salvation is by grace; judgment is by works.  Paul is not saying in these next verses that eternity comes to those who do good and wrath to those who do not.  What he is saying is that those who have believed on Jesus and received grace will have lives characterized by patiently doing good, and those who have not believed on Jesus will have lives characterized by unrighteous behavior.  He will make this parallel comparison twice in these next four verses, emphasizing different things each time.  This time he is emphasizing the patient endurance the believer has for doing good because she knows it is ultimately for the glory and honor of God which leads to eternity.  Paul then contrasts this lifestyle with the unbeliever who does not seek God’s glory but her own, which is necessarily a lifestyle of disobedience and unrighteousness leading to wrath and fury in judgment.  As Jesus said, “Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Matthew 3:10)

Study/Meditation:  In what ways should you improve in your “fruit-bearing” life?  How does the world see you in terms of your fruit?

*Father, help me to see the areas where I need improvement in doing Your work.  Thank You for Your grace.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 2:1-11

Romans 2:5-6 “But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.  He will render to each one according to his works.”

So many have watered down the coming Day of the Lord in their estimation of its occasion.  They love Paul’s description of Jesus’ returning on the clouds in a peal of thunder, sweeping His children up to be with Him in heaven.  It will indeed be glorious.  However, the part that many do not want to insert in this picture is the righteous judgment of God that will accompany that great day.  This judgment is for everyone and it will be according to our works.  That mean seem anti-Pauline at first glance, but understand the wording here.  Salvation is by grace, but judgment is by works.  All of us will stand before the Throne of Judgment and give an accounting of our lives here on this earth.  There will be no one who will be “good enough” on that day, no one whose intentions outweighed their actions.  Our works will be judged, and without Jesus, they will also be condemned.  We cannot stand on being good enough or God being benevolent enough to let us slide in.  We all sin and we will all be held to account for those sins, leading to God’s righteous and just wrath.  That’s why we need a wrath-removing sacrifice Who offers salvation in this judgment.  That’s why we need Jesus.

Study/Meditation:  How might you explain the need for Jesus to someone who thinks they are basically moral and that therefore will be allowed into heaven?

*Father, please forgive me for the many sins I commit.  My heart is broken over those sins.  Thank You for Jesus, my Propitiator, my only way to eternity.  I love You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 2:1-11

Romans 2:4 “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”

It’s been said that the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath while the God of the New Testament is a God of love.  Consequently, many deny the former in favor of the latter.  Truly, God is a God of love, but His love is in direct correlation to His wrath, a wrath that every sinner deserves.  When we take His love and kindness for granted, thinking it is somehow due us because we made a profession of faith, then we ignore the reason for His love and kindness, which is to lead us to repentance from the sins we commit daily.  That repentance is not a one-time only action.  Repentance is a continual realization and action we take when we see how very needy we are of His love and kindness so that we may be spared His wrath.  Every believer must develop a healthy balance of knowing our wrath-deserving sin while living in His life-bringing love.

Study/Meditation:  Jesus said that all that the Father has given Him He will never lose, yet Paul reminds us not to take this for granted.  How do you see these two truths played out in your heart and mind?  Why is it so important to know both?

*Father, please forgive me for the times when I take Your love and kindness for granted.  I know that I don’t deserve those things, but I thank You for them and for giving me eternal life with You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 2:1-11

Romans 2:2-3 “We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who do such things.  Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?”

Knowing the truth does not in and of itself save us.  You can know that a traffic light turns red and still be killed in the intersection if you don’t heed the message of the truth that you know.  It is no different with God’s gospel.  Knowing what is wrong means that we are held responsible to it, making God’s judgment completely just.  The Gospel is clear:  all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; therefore all need a Savior.  No one will be able to rightly stand before the throne of God and say He is unfair or unjust in His verdict.  What is needed is a Propitiator, a wrath-removing sacrifice, who takes our deserved fate Himself, and that is what Christ has offered in Himself.  There is no other way, and the truth is known.  God’s justice is just, and we need Jesus.

Study/Meditation:  How might you explain this truth to an unbeliever?  What is the history of your conversion? (Think on this today so that you may be prepared to share it with someone.)

*Father, You are righteous and just.  Thank You for giving Your Son as my Propitiator so that I might live.  Help me share this amazing truth with others.  Amen.

Focal Passage: Romans 2:1-11

Romans 2:1 “Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.”

Paul now turns his attention to another audience as we begin Chapter 2. He had been speaking to the “openly immoral,” those who practice sin willingly, even encouraging sin in others. Now he is speaking to those who do what is deemed “moral” but who do not recognize that they, too, are steeped in sin and need the very same Savior as everyone else. These men kept the Law but denied Christ, making their sin the same as those whose sin was more outwardly obvious. There is a lesson here for us, as well. The mirror of God’s gospel is meant to reflect the depravity of each of our souls, not to turn it on others instead. Only when we see how much we need Jesus will we have the compassion necessary to lead others to Him.

Study/Meditation: We are correct in judging sin as sin, but not in judging sinners. How can you make that distinction in your life?

*Father, help me to always shine the light of Your Truth on my own life, praying that others will see the glory of Your grace and salvation. Amen.