*Below is Pastor Andrew’s teaching outline from Sunday’s sermon, not a word for word manuscript. This is meant as aid in seeing the thought and direction of the sermon.
Good morning SonRise:
We are finally now making our move into chapter 2 of Paul’s letter to the Romans and it is my honor to be your guide this week as we continue to dive deeper into the pit of sin and the reality of the wrath of God that lies before us. Though I feel a bit like Virgil leading Dante deeper into the pit. Specifically, as we come to today’s text on the heels of the last:
The text today will attack at the heart of moralistic teachings and Christless Christianity. Paul pulls no punches as he turns on the very crowd cheering him on in verse 18-31:
Over the last two weeks we covered a range of sins that to many in our culture today are becoming more and more common and acceptable, this was just as true in Paul’s day, however equally as true was the group of people who found such behavior repugnant and deserving of the wrath of God. Both Jews and Greeks.
Last week the text took direct aim calling blatant sin and saying God’s wrath is o them. Now the text looks back at the crowd amening Paul’s words and says it’s on you too.
For most of us who grew up in the church this week is not going to be a fun ride.
Illustration: Life growing up in the church it is easy to become the good kid, who becomes the good guy, all the while beginning to separate out the reality of who you appear to be and who you are…
For many this is where we may find ourselves, quickly building ourselves up into something we are not, and looking down at others as if we have achieved something on our own. Here is where Paul picks up the argument as he focuses now on those who believe they are Righteous in their own efforts:
I. Against Those Who Judge (1-3)
Romans 2:1–3 ESV
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. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?
A. Good people, Spiritual, Self-Help, Religious (Both Jew & Greek)
This passage is a hinge bringing together and indicting both Jews and Greeks
Paul uses a rhetorical style known as a diatribe: where he creates a fictional companion whom he will instruct.
Paul has not been to Rome or experienced the church there so unlike his other letter he doesn’t have a familial relation to them. He speaks to them as one giving instruction and encouragement on the gospel from an intellectual and aposolitic direction. Here we see him employing common rhetorical device to get their attention.
The O man of the text is not s specific individual and even the grouping is left ambiguous at this point: their character though is quite clear: Self-Righteous.
They are just as without excuse as those deny the truth of God as revealed int her world around them. Here we have a picture of those who by saying there is amoral standard that must exist they themselves break it, but quickly excuse their own failings while holding onto everyone else.
Pharisee & the tax collector
Luke 18:9–14 ESV
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you; this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
B. Sin is pervasive no one is free from its affects
Paul is making the clear argument no one is free from the reach of sin.
Jesus reminded us that Sin is much deeper than even think or believe: In the sermon on the mount He reminds us that to hate your brother is to commit murder, to look at a woman lustfully is to commit adultery. Sin invades our minds deeply. So, to think you are better off simply because you haven’t act out in a sinful way doesn’t change your heart and mind that wished to.
II. Against Those who presume on God (4-5)
Romans 2:4–5 ESV
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? 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.
A. God’s Grace is to lead to repentance
From calling out the self-righteous he now lays out what they are doing in these moments: they are presuming that God will overlook their short comings.
-they are not as bad
-Their sins are ok ones.
-They do good things too; God can’t get mad at them.
-Their righteousness is not based on Christ but what they do and what they know.
-Paul here is showing them that just because God’s wrath isn’t instantaneous doesn’t mean it. isn’t real or coming: Peter reiterates a similar idea in his letter:
2 Peter 3:9–10 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
God’s grace should be a reminder that time is limited, not that “we have time to turn”.
B. His grace abused leads to our own condemnation
The sad reality though is for most be build up a tolerance for sin.
Because God hasn’t stopped me it must be ok.
We rationalize our sin
All the while this is just building upon itself the reality of the wrath of God that is to come.
Each day we are given the opportunity to trust in Christ our ourselves. This is the great reality of the text before us. It’s not dependent on our works, it is depended on His. Paul will get there in a couple chapters after he lays us all out on the carpet that apart from Chris there lies no hope. But in Chris there is hope that springs eternal.
This is why he can conclude the way he does
III. Against those Who seek their own Righteousness (6-11)
Romans 2:6–11 ESV
He will render to each one according to his works: 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. 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.
-Only the Person of Christ meets the standards of verse 6, all others fall short
It is important that we see this text in the scope of all of Romans otherwise there is a lot of heresy that can spring from here:
-There is no one of their own accord that can pursue: Glory honor and immortality apart from Christ:
-God used these similar descriptors when speaking to Job that he could challenge God if these things were true about Him: (job was a righteous man and yet he could not meet this standard, He need God to intercede for him.
Rich Young ruler believed himself to be this, yet we see in the end it was a selfish delusion that filled him.
Luke 18:18–27 ESV
And a ruler asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. Jesus, seeing that he had become sad, said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”
Paul’s Life reflected His understanding of this truth: Phil 3:
Philippians 3:1–7 ESV
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you. Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
There is no amount of works one can do to achieve what only Christ has achieved. There is no place on which we can stand and look down upon others as if we have achieved anything on our own. We can weep and plead with them to see Christ and turn, we can warn of the impending wrath but to ever place ourselves in a state of superiority is to miss the whole point of thew gospel. It is to condemn our own selves, for our self-righteousness will condemn us.
-The self- righteous are therefore self-condemned
If the law is summed up for us in two words: Love God and Love neighbor, we are enterally condemned on both grounds. We will never of our own accord day in and day out Love God, and if we cannot love God how can we begin to truly love our neighbor.
There is no partiality with God: Only Chris tis the means of salvation, not what you did or what you do. There is no hope apart from the cross of Christ.
Yes, you can have the greatest marriage in the word and die in your sins, your self-esteem could be beyond human comprehension and apart from the transforming work of the cross you will spend eternity separated from god. You can have every verse in scripture memorized in the Hebrew and Greek, yet without coming to Christ and a broken and humble person dead in their sins His wrath remains on you. You can do all the right things and never attain salvation, for in the end they are all a means to prove in your mind you deserve something that can never be attained, for your greatest righteousness is nothing to God. For he sees behind your actions to a heart depraved and wicked seeking one’s own ends.