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Summary: Paul continues to address the church by dismissing the very traditional of circumcision; stating the importance coming from Deut 30:6 that declares it is our hearts that must be changed, not just our physical bodies!

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Romans, Part 6

Romans 2:17-29

Introduction

- This letter is given to the believer who is interested in growing in Christ

- It is not a rebuke, but an education from Paul who is living in Christ

- He is encouraging the church to grow; to seek; and to obey God’s will

- Religion is not about rules; it is about relationship and obedience to Christ alone

- If we will not follow Christ – the judgment will upon ourselves FIRST

- Today we remember the importance of the Sanctity of Human Life and it is the prayer of my heart that you will seek the Lord honestly and pray for this critical issue in our nation.

- Stand and read Romans 2:17-29 / Pray

Point 1 – What Do We Call Ourselves? (17-20)

- We must be careful not to fall into the same pattern being displayed here

- Religious pride can get into real trouble

- Note the arrogance that could be displayed in these various verses:

-- Title = Jew (comes from Judah) = proud to be known as one

-- Possession of Law = since they had it, they were obviously “chosen”

-- Brag about Fellowship/relationship = Vaulting yourself above others

-- Knowledge of God’s Will = they know how it should be

-- Responsibility to Teach = Knowledge (superior position in society)

- Caution because they got it; but they must not swell in pride because of it

- To the church today, this is very important and we must learn this

- APP: Knowing religious ways does not absolve us from obeying God first

- There is a difference between religion and relationship

- APP: the things we do externally does not save us internally

- But it is the revelation of GRACE that we must apply to our lives immediately

- Consider for a moment the sanctity of human life:

- In all things, we must grasp three very important aspects about life:

-- None are above us

-- None are below us

-- All life is going to one day glorify God and confess Jesus as Lord

- APP: But ignorance of God’s commands leads us into judgment with Him

TRANS: Yet, even in this knowledge there is still confusion displayed

Point 2 – Spiritual Inconsistencies (21-24)

- It is important for us as believers to know the truth, in order to teach it

- Paul’s writings here are references to Old Testament Law; important to apply

- The 8th commandment refers to stealing; a problem that is wide-spread

-- Amos 8:4-6, “Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, saying, “When will the New Moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?” - skimping on the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales, buying the poor with silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, selling even the sweepings with the wheat.

-- What this mean? Paul is referring to the greedy merchants eager for religious holiday to end to return to their wickedness

-- APP: In wickedness we require GRACE, and the Lord knows this

- The 7th commandment refers to adultery;

-- John 7:53 – 8:11 recounts the story of how Jesus was confronted by Pharisees

Brought to Him a woman guilty of adultery; under the Law deserved stoning

-- See Jesus’ response: (v10-11) “Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

-- APP: GRACE was applied to her life, just as it is to ours because we need it

- Do we rob temples?

- Do we disgrace the house of the Lord with our religious stuff?

- IMP: Is there reverence in this place for meeting with Christ?

- Paul writes about breaking the Law of God; but saying that we keep it

- APP: God requires our faithfulness … NOT lip service to Him but total devotion

- Although the Jews knew the Law, they were no better in keeping it than us

- The revelation of who God is – that’s what matters – and we must get it

- God’s warning here is simple: Our pride drowns out His righteousness

-- Isa 52:5, “And now what do I have here?” declares the LORD. “For my people have been taken away for nothing, and those who rule them mock,” declares the LORD. “And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed.”

-- Ezekiel 36:20-22, “And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are the LORD’s people, and yet they had to leave his land.’ I had concern for my holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone. “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘this is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone.”

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