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Summary: Paul tells that it is actually dangerous to be religious

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Dangers of Religion

Romans 2:17 - 3:8

Paul wrote to a very proud people, the Jews. They were convinced that they were God's chosen people ... His ONLY chosen people ... and that everyone else was a heathen .... hated by God and marked for destruction.

The Jews on the other hand were a people of great privilege who were marked for eventual victory and blessings. God had shown that he loved them most and only by giving THEM the law, giving THEM the circumcise, and giving THEM the covenant.

Problem was that they had come to worship their ancestry, their law, their promises instead of worshiping God. They had forgotten the responsibilities or warnings of God against sin and had come to trust in the fact that the blood of Abraham flowed in their veins, and that alone would guarantee them victory and God's favor.

These promises had had much the same effect as welfare ... intended for good they had actually worked in reverse to acerbate the problem. Government's desire to help the poor, to supplement their income and bring them out of poverty only served to lock most of them into deeper poverty. With that check coming in, they did not continue to work, they just quit. now, after generations, they are dependent on that check. and they live in more deplorable poverty because there is NO INCENTIVE to work. NOT ALL. .. but most.

The promises of God caused the Jews to get lazy and self-righteous and feel they didn't have to do anything, just reap the benefits of genealogy. In fact, they had become more sinful and less repentant.

If Paul were here today he would write the same words to Christians.

In fact, where Paul speaks of Jews in verse 17, you can insert Christians

We Christians are guilty of the same sort of religious snobbish-ness, that we are the only true believers and we are so much better than other religions.

It is true that Christianity is the only true religion .. but it should not lead to pride.

OR LAZINESS... don't think that because you are a Christian that you are somehow magically saved from the responsibilities of obedience and that God will make special allowances for you.

We have great privilege {later} but we have tremendous responsibility

Paul wrote to wake the Jews up to the dangers of their religion.

He should wake us too.

Paul named a number of dangers

1. Profession Without Performance. vv. 17-24

The Jews profesed a great relationship to God, a great knowledge of the law, and a great obedience.

Paul said ... You put your trust in two things ... Name and Law ... v. 17

Sure, you know the law and even are instructed out of it at the synagogue .. v. 18

You even profess to be a guide to the blind and a light in the darkness.

And of course, because you are Jews, you are so superior to others that you think you are over them like a teacher over the ignorant or babies.

That was their profession, what they believed and said.

But Paul was concerned that they had PROFESSION WITHOUT PERFORMANCE.

That their profession was just words, a house built on sand.

He said, OK, you've got the profession, now lets see the performance ... deeds, works, fruit.


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