Romans Study, Chapter 2

Romans 2 Outline for Bible study. This outline will increase as the study progresses through Romans 2.

Therefore, you have no excuse, every one of you who passes judgment, for, in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.


The ‘therefore’ is not in reference to the immediately preceding verse but to the whole prior writing of chapter one.

You have no excuse

Paul is saying that the Jews know what is right. After all, God had given them the Law, which is why they condemned people since they had God’s s standard.

In that which you judge another, you condemn yourself

The Jews were covenant people who believed they had the right to judge others according to divine revelation (Rom. 2:17-20) – since God had revealed Himself to them and no one else.
The Jews judged on the basis of the Law. Paul goes on to show that the Gentiles are guilty (Rom. 1:18-19) because they have a law, too (Rom. 2:12-16). After all, they show that the Law is written on their hearts (Rom. 2:15).
By judging, the Jews are admitting to the idea of being judged.

Matthew 7:2, “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.”
Matthew 12:37, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

You who judge practice the same things

Paul is pointing out the hypocrisy of the Jews who denounced the gentiles for their immorality, yet they were doing the same thing. Not necessarily the exact same particular sins outwardly, but in their hearts, they were guilty.

1 Sam. 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”
Matt. 7:1–5, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

“Everyone in the entire human race has turned away from God and commits sins even though there are differences of frequency, extent, and degree. In addition, the entire human race, especially moral pagans and the Jews stood condemned before God (and have no excuse [cf. 1:20]) because God’s judgment is based on three divine standards—truth (2:2-4), impartiality (vv. 5-11), and Jesus Christ Himself (vv. 12-16)—which are absolute and infinite, condemning every person.” (Walvoord, John F., and Zuck, Roy B., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, (Wheaton, Illinois: Scripture Press Publications, Inc.) 1983, 1985.

And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

The judgment of God

The judgment of God falls upon all who do evil.
Paul is setting up the Jews because they will agree that judgment falls upon the ungodly. The question then is, who are the ungodly? It would be the ones who don’t keep the Law?
In Greek, “rightly” is κατὰ ἀλήθειαν, kata alatheian, which is literally “according to truth.”

But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

Do you suppose

“Do you suppose” is λογίζῃ, logidzay from which we get the word ‘logic.’ It implies their thinking logically about how God ought to judge the Gentile evildoers.

Do the same yourself

Jews are not exempt from the judgment of God. If they practice what they condemn then they are guilty also, more so because they know better through the Law.
People have the tendency to be far more gracious when judging themselves compared to the legalism of judging others. We want mercy for ourselves and justice for others. This is hypocrisy.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

Riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience

God’s wonderful goodness is spoken of as riches. The Greek word for riches is πλοῦτος ploútos.

The kindness of God leads you to repentance

The word repentance is μετάνοια metanoia and comes from two words, meta = change and noos = mind.
Repentance comes after the longsuffering that God shows to lawless men. God wants them to repent. Patience is given to the Jew and the Gentile as it is to us.
When we are under oppression and mockery, and judgment, we tend to dig our heels in and become stubborn.
Though God has the right to judge us instantly and permanently, He is kind, tolerant, and patient. This is God providing the condition to lead us to repent from our sins.

What about your life and how God is patient with you? What areas of sin do you have that God has been more than patient with you? Why is he so patient? Because that is one of the qualities of love: Love is patient, love is kind, etc.

But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

Stubbornness and unrepentant heart

The Jews were externally righteous, but inside they were stubborn and unrepentant. Undoubtedly, they were stuck in their self-righteousness that resulted from their knowledge of God through the Law.
Isn’t it like us to turn the grace of God into a means for sin?

Storing up wrath

They are not judged in finality now. Yes, the wrath of God is being revealed (Rom. 1:18). The immediate judgment of God is to give them over to the lusts of their hearts (Rom. 1:24), their degrading passions (Rom. 1:26), and their depraved mind (Rom. 1:28). The only difference between breaking the law of gravity and the law of morality is time. With the first, death is immediate. With the second, it is postponed, which is why they are storing up wrath for themselves.

The day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God

2 Cor. 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”
2 Peter 3:7, “But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
Jude 6, “And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day,”

These are not merely warnings for the lost Jews. They speak to our hearts as well. We certainly have escaped the condemning judgment of God. But we should not think of ourselves as having escaped stubbornness and unrepentance in our own hearts.

who will render to each person according to his deeds:

According to his deeds

The Jews believed that justification was possible through complete obedience to the Law. But they were wrong as their deeds will stand before them.

Matt. 19:16–22, “And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.”

‘Deeds’ here speaks of the works of the Law. But, look at James 2:9-13 where it speaks of keeping the whole Law of God.

James 2:9–13, “But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. 11 For He who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not commit murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. 13 For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.”

to those who, by perseverance in doing good, seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life;

Paul is not suggesting that we earn salvation by keeping the Law. That is impossible.
Instead, he is continuing on the premise of righteousness that is based on the Law to which the Jews thought they could earn their place with God.

Luke 18:9–14, “And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 “The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 ‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 “I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.’

Paul is appealing to the self-righteousness of the Jews and setting them up for a fall. If they keep the Law, they can be rewarded with eternal life. But he’s already shown them that though the Jews judged the Gentiles for breaking the Law, the Jews are guilty of what they accuse others of doing (Rom. 2:1). Neither the Jews nor the Gentiles are keeping the Law perfectly – which is the standard.
But the Law cannot give us eternal life because we cannot keep it perfectly.

Rom. 3:20, “because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.”
Gal. 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.’”

but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.

Selfishly ambitious

But those who do bad will be subject to wrath. This is all completely natural to a Jew who judges worthiness on the basis of compliance with the Law.
People manifest that which is within them.

Matt. 12:34, “You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”

Do not obey the truth


Truth comes from God.
God is absolute.
Therefore, God’s truth is absolute.
God’s truth is revealed in Scripture and in Christ.
Therefore, we are to obey what God has revealed in Scripture and in Christ.


Jer. 7:28, “You shall say to them, ‘This is the nation that did not obey the voice of the Lord their God or accept correction; truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.”
2 Thess. 2:12, “in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.”

There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek,

There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil

Everyone who transgresses the Law will reap tribulation (covenantally?). To the Jew first! Why? Because he had the knowledge of God through divine revelation. He knew the true God.

The Jew first and also of the Greek

Rom. 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
Therefore, God’s judgment will come first to the Jews. They are God’s covenant people. They have the greater guilt since they know right and wrong that has been revealed by God directly to them.
To practice evil in the heart while condemning it on the outside is the greatest of hypocrisy. It will be rewarded on the day of Judgment with condemnation.

but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good

Likewise, for those who keep the Law, there is reward. After all, God wants us to obey Him.

1 Cor. 3:14–15, “If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.”
Col. 3:23–24, “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

Of course, the question is, who keeps the Law?

the Jew first and also to the Greek

Same issue as the previous verse.

The post Romans Study, Chapter 2 appeared first on Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry.






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