Summary: Knowledge, Truth and Guilt
Having demonstrated the sinfulness of the immoral pagan (1:18-32), Paul
presents his case against the religious moralist-Jew or Gentile- by
cataloging 6 principles that govern God’s judgment: 1) knowledge (v.1); 2)
truth (vv.2,3); 3) guilt (vv.4,5); 4) deeds (vv.6-10); 5 (Impartiality
(vv.11-15); and 6) motive (v.16).
Romans 2:1, “1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who
judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who
judge practice the same things.”
In 1:18-32, Paul declares that all unrighteous people are without excuse.
Now he demonstrates that the self righteous (those who judge others) are
inexcusable), by revealing the standards by which everyone will be judged.
Judgment will be 1) according to truth (vv.1-5), 2) according to works
(vv.6-11), and 3) according to the light one has of the law (vv.12-16).
Both Jews which are Paul’s audience here v.17 and moral Gentiles who think
they are exempt from God’s judgment because they have not indulged in the
immoral excess described in chapter 1, are tragically mistaken. They have
more knowledge than the immoral pagan (3:2; 9:4) and thus a greater
Condemn yourself: IF someone ha sufficient knowledge to judge another or
others, he condemns himself, because he shows he has the knowledge to
evaluate his own condition. Practice the same things: In their
condemnation of others they have excused and overlooked their own sins.
Self-righteousness exists because of two deadly errors: 1) minimizing
God’s moral standard usually by emphasizing externals; and 2)
underestimating the depth of one’s own sinfulness (Matthew 5:20-22, 27,28;
7:1-3; 15:1-3; Luke 18:21).
Often times when we feel that justifiable angry about someone’s sins it is
at that time that we ought to look inside at our own lives. We need to
speak out against sin but we also must do it in the spirit of humility.
Often the sins we notice most clearly in others are the one’s that have
taken root within us. If we look closely into the culture of our inward
man we may find that we are committing the same sins in more socially
We can imagine when Paul’s letter was read in the Roman Church, no doubt
many heads nodded as he condemned idol worshipers, homosexual practices
and violent people. But what surprise his listeners must have felt when he
turned on them and said in effect, “You are just as bad, and you have no
excuse!” Paul was emphatically stressing that we have all sinned
repeatedly, and there is no way apart from Christ to be saved from sin’s
Romans 2:2, “But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth
against those who practice such things.”
Truth in the sense of it is used here is not in the sense as in 1:18, 25.
There it referred to the evidence of G-D in creation’ here it refers to
the true condition of humanity.
Romans 2:3, “And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing
such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of
Man knows what is right innately not because they have not experience it,
but because the Lord placed it inside of every human being. Every human
being knows what is right or wrong, because they were born with the
ability to recognize what truth and falsehood were. It is through their
own decisions and choices that they deny and reject the truth.
Romans 2:4, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance,
and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to
Despise: “To think down on” thus to understand someone’s or something’s
value, and even to treat with contempt. Goodness: This refers to “common
Forbearance: This word, which means “to hold back” was sometimes used of a
truce between warring parties. Rather than destroying every person the
moment he or she sins, G-D graciously holds back His judgment (3:25). He
saves sinners in a physical and temporal way from what they deserve (1st
Timothy 4:10), to show them His saving character, that they might come to
Him and receive salvation that is spiritual and eternal.
Longsuffering: This word indicates that duration for which G-D
demonstrates His goodness and forbearance-for long periods of time (2
Peter 2:5). Together these 3 words speak of God’s common grace-the way He
demonstrates His grace to all mankind (Job 12:10; Pss. 119:68; 145:9).
Repentance: Is the act of turning from sin to Christ for forgiveness and
salvation (2 Cor 7:9-11).
Romans 2:5, “But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent
heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and
revelation of the righteous judgment of God,”