Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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SCRIPTURE: Romans 2:1-16
KEY VERSES: 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. (Romans 2:10-11)
· In the last few Bible studies, we have been considering the justice of Almighty God.
There are multitudes that choose lives of rebellion and disobedience against God, and these people will be held accountable and will feel the full fury of God's wrath against their sin. However, there are just as many others who live moral lives. These are people who are outwardly clean and upright, but who are inwardly just as wicked as their evil counterparts.
· In the verses for today, the Apostle Paul turns the spotlight of the Word of God on those who are what we might call hypocrites.
That is, they are people who would condemn the actions listed in the latter part of Romans chapter 1, but who have no intention of getting right with God themselves. These people look alright outwardly, but inwardly, they are guilty of many of the same sins of the wicked mentioned in Romans chapter 1.
· In these verses, the Apostle Paul tells us something about the impending judgment of God against sin.
In doing so, Paul helps us to understand (1) just what the judgment of God is about, (2) who will be affected by it, and (3) what the results will be.
Therefore, let's look into these verses now and learn more about the character of God's judgment. There are several truths revealed in this passage that will teach us much about the judgment of God.
I. NO ONE ESCAPES GOD’S JUDGMENT. (Romans 2:1-4)
A. The Sinfulness of the Hypocrite. (Romans 2:1)
(Romans 2:1) Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Just as surely as the Lord's wrath will be revealed against all those guilty of openly sinful and wicked lives, we can be sure that it will also be felt by the hypocrite. We all know what a hypocrite is. A hypocrite is someone who merely plays a part. They pretend to be someone and something that they are not. God will not hold this kind of person guiltless.
1. Because Of His Condemnation.
One of the reasons God judges the hypocrite is because the hypocrite assumes the place of God in judging the life and conduct of others. It is neither your place, or mine, to pass judgment on another person, Matt. 7:1-5. When we judge, we are guilty before God!
2. Because Of His Conduct.
What really takes the cake is that the hypocrite looks at another person and judges them for what they do, but God says that the hypocrite is just as guilty as the person he judges!
INSIGHT: They may not do the same things outwardly, but sin begins in the heart (Matt. 15:16-20). Jesus made it clear in His preaching that to have sin in your heart was as bad as actually doing that sin (Matt. 5:21-38). Let us beware that we never have a hypocritical spirit!
B. The Sentence of the Hypocrite. (Romans 2:2-3)
INSIGHT: Just as the wicked will be judged by God, so too shall the hypocrite! In fact, the judgment they will face will be exactly the same! Notice what Paul tells us about this coming judgment.
1. The Purity Of The Judge. (Romans 2:2)
(Romans 2:2) But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
Paul is telling us that God's judgment of the hypocrite will be based in the truth of what they are, just as surely as His condemnation of those who are openly wicked will be based in the truth of what they are. We must never forget that while man looks on the outside, God looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7).
2. The Power Of The Evidence. (Romans 2:3)
(Romans 2:3) And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
The power of the evidence lies in the fact that it will surely condemn those who are guilty of judging others of the sins that they themselves are guilty of! The bottom line of all this is the fact that it isn't the state of one's life that is the issue; it is the state of the heart. You and I can be squeaky clean on the outside, but God knows our hearts!
Unless we are in a vital, living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, then we are doomed to face the judgment of God. Many who sit in the pews of the local church and look down their noses at others because of the way they live will someday face the undiluted wrath of God, because in their hearts, they are just as wicked as the people they condemn!
INSIGHT: Many are like the Elder Brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). He didn't run off like his younger brother and live a wicked life, but in his heart, he was just as rebellious as the other son. In the eyes of God, he was guilty!
C. The Shame of the Hypocrite. (Romans 2:4)
1. The Hypocrite Delights In The Blessings Of God. (Romans 2:4a)
(Romans 2:4a) Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering?…
The words used here indicate that the hypocrite enjoys the good life. God withholds His judgment and the hypocrite thinks that the goodness of God is an indication of the favor of God. The truth is, God is merely giving the hypocrite every opportunity to repent. The hypocrite feels that because he isn't guilty, at least outwardly, of the sins of other men, that God must be pleased with his life. Nothing could be farther from the truth!
2. The Hypocrite Despises The Blessings Of God. (Romans 2:4b)
(Romans 2:4b) … not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
Because the hypocrite misunderstands the blessings of God, he refuses to repent. It is the very goodness of God that should lead men to love Him, serve Him and seek a relationship with Him (1 John 4:19). But not the hypocrite! He sees the goodness of God as a stamp of approval on his conduct and thereby he despises the blessings of God.
INSIGHT: Thank God for His longsuffering and grace! (2 Pet. 3:9; Rev. 3:20) God wants people to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
II. THE DAY OF GOD’S JUDGMENT. (Romans 2:5-12)
INSIGHT: A Roman 2:5 tells us that the hypocrite, instead of gaining favor with God, is actually storing up wrath and judgment against himself. When the Lord, and His grace are taken for granted, the only logical outcome will be that of judgment! Just as surely as the wicked sinner will face his sins in the judgment of God, so too shall the secret sinner. All sin will be revealed and judged by God. Hell will be just as full of hypocrites as it will be of open, blatant sinners!
“But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (Romans 2:5).
A. God’s Judgment Is Personal. (Romans 2:6)
(Romans 2:6) Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
According to verse 6, God's judgment in the life of a person is an individual matter. In other words, every person will be judged according to their own merits. You will not pay for the sins of another neither will another man be judged for your sins. God's judgment will be fair and tailored to each individual life. Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. has rightly said, "Do right -- till the stars fall from the sky -- do right!."
INSIGHT: The hypocrite tends to want to lump everyone together and condemn them all judging by his own biased standard. God, on the other hand, judges men based on what he knows about their hearts (See Heb. 4:13, Jer. 17:10).
B. God’s Judgment Is Proper. (Romans 2:7-10)
(Romans 2:7-10) 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.
These verses tell us that the person who lives right and seeks the Lord will be enjoy the blessings of the Lord, while the person who denies God and lives for self will receive a proper judgment! It is impossible to get away from the truth that it is the condition of the heart that matters. Solomon said reminded us that however a person fell was how they ended up (Eccl. 11:3). Everything hinges on what a person does with Jesus Christ!
INSIGHT: Men and women are never saved by their works (Eph. 2:8-9). Salvation has always and will always come only through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ at Calvary!
C. God’s Judgment Is Perfect. (Romans 2:11)
(Romans 2:11) For there is no respect of persons with God.
This verse simply states that no one receives special treatment from the Lord! No one need think they have the freedom of doing as they please and still be accepted by God. Everyone will be judged by the same criterion: Jesus Christ and their personal relationship to Him! There is no respect of persons with God! He doesn't single some out for Heaven and others out for Hell. He gives all men opportunity and He always does it fairly!
D. God’s Judgment Will Focus On Rebellion. (Romans 2:12)
(Romans 2:12) For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
The basis for God's judgment is sin! All those who sin will pay the price of the sinner. If they knew the law and sinned, they will be judged. If they knew no law and sinned, they will still be judged! According to Eze. 18:4, 20, the soul that sins shall die! The bottom line is pretty clear. God's judgment will be realized by all those who are caught in their sins when they leave this world.
INSIGHT: That includes every person who has ever, or will ever live (Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:2). “There is just one remedy for sin and that is the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:5).
By Dennis Fisher,
Gentiles, . . . although not having the law, are a law to themselves, . . . their conscience also bearing witness (Romans 2:14-15).
· One of William Shakespeare’s most intriguing characters is Lady Macbeth.
Having heard a prophecy that her husband would become king, she convinced him to assassinate the reigning monarch. When the bloody deed was done, Macbeth was conscience-stricken. His wife rebuked his squeamishness and helped him cover up the crime. Her husband was crowned king. But that wasn’t the end.
· Lady Macbeth’s initial resolve turned to remorse.
She grew mentally unstable, and couldn’t stop washing her hands. “Will these hands ne’er be clean?” she asked. Finally, the guilt drove Lady Macbeth to suicide.
· Guilt is an emotion that can weigh us down whenever we cross a moral boundary.
All of us are capable of feeling guilty when we violate the law of God written in our hearts (Romans 2:14-15). If we continue to sin willfully, however, we will dull our conscience.
· Lady Macbeth is a good reminder of a Biblical principle: Whatever we sow, we will certainly reap (Galatians 6:7-8).
When we feel temptation, we need to listen to our conscience -- not try to silence it. It’s far better to avoid committing an act we will later regret than to live with the consequences.
there’s just one step to go
Before we yield to sin,
But God will help us to say no
If we trust His power within. — Hess
-- Adapted from Dennis Fisher, Our Daily Bread, March 7, 2006
CONCLUSION: God’s judgement will focus on a reality.
A. There is a day coming when God will judge all people (men, women, boys, and girls).
There is a day appointed when all the secrets of everyone will be proclaimed publicly (Luke 12:3). On that day everyone will face the reality of what their life was. What will be the basis of this judgment? The basis is the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
B. Our eternity will rise or fall on what we did with the Gospel of grace.
On that day, it won't matter about our accomplishments, our standing in the community or how we are perceived by others.
C. All that will matter when that day comes is WHAT DID WE DO WITH JESUS CHRIST?
Did we receive Him, or did we reject Him? Did we fall before Him in repentance, or did we cling to our sins and stubbornly refuse to bow before the Lord? A PERSON’S ETERNITY DEPENDS ON WHAT HE DOES WITH THE LORD JESUS (1 JOHN 5:12)!
INSIGHT: Rev. 20:11-15 -- What a horrible end awaits everyone who refuses to come to faith in Jesus Christ! Where do YOU stand?
THOUGHTN TO REMEMBER: “Only Jesus’ blood can wash away the stain of sin.”
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network (www.ttb.org), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: (http://www.intouch.org/), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: (http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook (www.sermonnotebook.org), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries (http://rbc.org/), selected illustrations, and other references.
REV. RONALD PURKEY’S OFFICE
E-mail: Ronald Purkey