Romans 2:17-3:8 (Part 1)

In this section of Romans, the Apostle Paul turns his attention from the Gentiles and moralists to his own people, the Jews.  We can see so far in the book that Paul is building his case that all are sinners.  He begins with the most obvious sinners in the world and now focuses on those who are religiously pious.

According to Paul,  if any people had a right to be confident in their religion it would be the Jews.  Notice Romans 2:17-20:

Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—”

Surely as God’s chosen people they had a right to be confident, they had the Scriptures and could look back through history to see God’s special favor on them.  They viewed themselves as the ones able to give others instruction on how to live and be right with God.  Yet we will see the frightful reality that religion without true relationship with God through faith will ring hollow when it counts the most.

Are you trusting in your traditions or your religious expression to justify you before the Holy God?  If so, you may want to keep reading as the Apostle Paul is about to shake their world with huge wake up call.

Romans 2:21-23 , “You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?”

Here we see they hypocritical nature of most religious people.  They have a list of laws with a “do as I say not as I do,” mentality.  Most of them were self-deluded into thinking that they were doing things the right way.  By dishonoring God in this way, they accomplished the opposite of what we are made for.