Episode #119. Today we’ll read the 2nd chapter of Romans together: Paul describes God’s righteous judgement; Jewish violation of the law; and what true circumcision is.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #119. Today we’ll read the 2nd chapter of Romans together: Paul describes God’s righteous judgement; Jewish violation of the law; and what true circumcision is.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
Mitch was editing the first chapter of Romans and he commented on how different the cadence in this book is as opposed to the Gospels and the history in Acts. It’s so true. But then again, it is a letter, so of course it’s going to be more personal, with a different kind of approach. But that said, I encourage you to go regularly to a site like Biblehub.com that has multiple commentaries all in one place. It will help you understand the text so much more clearly. And don’t overlook your pastor as a resource. Besides…it’s a good opportunity to confirm that you’re reading your Bible everyday. Your pastor will love that!
Romans Chapter 2
God’s Righteous Judgment
Therefore, every one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is based on the truth. Do you think — anyone of you who judges those who do such things yet do the same — that you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
Because of your hardened and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment is revealed. He will repay each one according to his works: eternal life to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality; but wrath and anger to those who are self-seeking and disobey the truth while obeying unrighteousness. There will be affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace for everyone who does what is good, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For there is no favoritism with God.
Doers of Law Will Be Justified
For all who sin without the law will also perish without the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. For the hearers of the law are not righteous before God, but the doers of the law will be justified. So, when Gentiles, who do not by nature have the law, do what the law demands, they are a law to themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts. Their consciences confirm this. Their competing thoughts either accuse or even excuse them on the day when God judges what people have kept secret, according to my gospel through Christ Jesus.
Jewish Violation of the Law
Now if you call yourself a Jew, and rely on the law, and boast in God, and know his will, and approve the things that are superior, being instructed from the law, and if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light to those in darkness, an instructor of the ignorant, a teacher of the immature, having the embodiment of knowledge and truth in the law — you then, who teach another, don’t you teach yourself? You who preach, “You must not steal” — do you steal? You who say, “You must not commit adultery” — do you commit adultery? You who detest idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? For, as it is written: The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.
Circumcision of the Heart
Circumcision benefits you if you observe the law, but if you are a lawbreaker, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. So if an uncircumcised man keeps the law’s requirements, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? A man who is physically uncircumcised, but who keeps the law, will judge you who are a lawbreaker in spite of having the letter of the law and circumcision. For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, and true circumcision is not something visible in the flesh. On the contrary, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart — by the Spirit, not the letter. That person’s praise is not from people but from God.
Let’s start out with the very first word of the text. Therefore. Here’s a little trick to help you connect the dots sometimes in your study of the Word. When a sentence starts with “therefore,” stop and ask yourself what it’s there for. Whatever was said just before, will be connected to what’s about to be said.
The before and after in these passages is not difficult to compare. In chapter 1, Paul gives a list describing those without God – pagans in the language of the Bible – but he is not finished. In the first eleven verses of this chapter, he turns his attention to those who supposedly know God. The message is clear: If a person believes they are above the law, they should think again! I don’t know about you, but this passage is extremely humbling and makes my pride go into neutral. We are without excuse, because the basic tenets of the law are written on our hearts.
But the highlighted text for me is the discussion of circumcision. Admittedly, I was confused – or at least curious – as to why God chose circumcision when establishing the promise between Himself and Abraham and his offspring forever. Now, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to consider that this would certainly serve as a submission to God for a man…not something a man would do offhandedly. But it wasn’t until God opened my eyes to this passage in Romans that I got it. True circumcision is of the heart. All of us, both men and women, are called to bare the most sensitive part of ourselves to God. Our hearts are exposed so that He has access to mold and shape us according to His desire and purpose. What a beautiful picture this is to me and I hope it is to you.
Let’s pray. Father, I am humbled beyond words. Help me, Holy Spirit, to surrender to You – to expose my heart to You – as I am surrendered to you at this moment. Thank You that we can come to You in this most vulnerable way and be safe through Jesus. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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