Summary: God desires a relationship with people and we are to have a relationship with God, but when we brag about our relationship with God we are elevating ourselves above everyone else which is a sin!
How many of you believe that God desires a relationship with people?
Why would God create people if He doesn’t want a relationship with them?
Now, is it right or wrong to brag about a relationship with God? When one brags about a relationship with God, is the focus on God or self?? Bragging is about self!
God desires a relationship with people and we are to have a relationship with God, but when we brag about our relationship with God we are elevating ourselves above everyone else which is a sin! Please open your Bibles briefly to Matthew 23; we read in v1-12……….
We are studying the Letter to the Romans and the back half of Chapter 2 relates to what the Lord Jesus was talking about in Matthew 23. The beginning of Romans tells us that the main point of the letter is the Good News of Jesus Christ and how it relates to life. The Letter to the Romans is about what a Christian is and how to live the Christian life! The author indicated that the M-O, the modus operandi, for every Christian should be the Gospel. Do we think about the Gospel everyday? We should!
The Gospel is Good News because there is bad news for those who deny God and Jesus Christ. God has revealed Himself through Creation! God has revealed Himself by giving His Laws to the Prophets as written in the Old Testament. And of course God has revealed Himself through Jesus Christ, who died for the sins of all people including the Jews. Now, because the Jews were given God’s Law, many Jews in the Roman church thought they were better than anyone else.
Before reading our text this morning, let us pray together our commitment to God’s Word…..
Read along with me Romans 2:17-29………
Through the Apostle Paul who himself was a Jew, God spoke to the Jews who were in Rome. Because the letter was written to the church in Rome, the Jews to whom God spoke to were either Jewish Christians or wondering about Christianity. There were good things and bad things that were said about those Jews.
What were the good things said about the Jews in that church in Rome?
1. relied on the Law (the Law of course referred to the OT)
2. saw a relationship with God
3. knew that the Old Testament is God’s Word
We read in v18-20 that the Jews depended on God’s Word for God’s will and final authority in life. Do we do this??
And in v19-21, we can note that the Jews were
4. convinced to tell everyone the power of God’s Word
Do we tell people today about God’s Word?
Those were good things about the Jews in Rome 2000 years ago! They were very religious! But some today will say, “Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship!” Let us be careful with this! Yes, Christianity is not a religion as generally defined, but this doesn’t mean Christians are not to be religious! On the contrary, Christians are to be very religious in following Jesus Christ!
Now, let us never forget that the Jews were and still are special people to God! God worked through Israel in the past and God will work through Israel in the future. But of course, everything God has done and will do through Israel points to the Savior and Lord Jesus Christ!
Sadly of course, Jews in the past, many now in the present, and many in the future reject Jesus Christ and His teachings! What did the Jews in that Roman church do wrong?
1. bragged about their relationship with God (v7)
Again, when people brag, they are elevating themselves above everybody else.
But even worse, the Jews in Rome not only bragged about their relationship with God, we read in v21-23, they
2. contradicted what they said with their actions
Today, we would say that they didn’t walk the talk!
Again, it can be said that Christianity is not a religion but a relationship, BUT, does our relationship with God match up with what we do?
And what can we note from v25-27? The Jews in Rome did things to show off to the world when their hearts were actually closed to God. The Jews in Rome
3. did things to impress the world rather than God!
In other words, they were religious to impress people not to worship God.
And in verses 24 and 29, we can note two things which resulted from the wrong things that the Jews in Rome did:
v24 – God’s Name was blasphemed among the Non-Jews
In other words, the testimony of God lost its power!
v29 – tells us that God does not praise those whose focus is only impressing people rather than having the right heart.