Romans 2 - Grace and Repentance, The Value of the Law

I started Romans back at the end of February, but then shifted to read Nehemiah through March as my church studied it. Today I return to Romans.

Romans 2:1-5 - I can remember smugly reading this passage condemning the hypocrite who judges but assumes they won't be judged, as if Paul was claiming that Christians are perfect or that I somehow was. No, rather he's calling us to humility and repentance. Verse 4 says "Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?" Of course we presume on God's kindness and forbearance, how else could we be saved? But, do we do so allowing it to humble us and lead us on that never ending journey towards repentance?

For too long I smugly counted on God's blessings without thinking too much about my need to repent. Then, when confronted with my arrogance, I flipped it around, striving hard to repent but refusing to presume that He's be kind to me.

No, the Gospel is both. We are constantly reminded that we sin, so we rely on Him to raise us and His grace in doing so prompts us to repent. With out the grace that we rely on, repentance is a never ending, ever faster treadmill, and grace that does not produce repentance is a hollow shell promising fulfillment yet delivering none.

Romans 2:12-16 - The law at one time divided the world into Jew and Gentile, those of the law of God and those not. Merely possessing the law, however, did not make the Jews righteous any more than lacking it made the Gentiles evil. it's the content of their hearts, expressed in how they lived, that will God judge them on.

Romans 2:17-29 - Paul here points out the elephant in the room for those Jews who boast in having the law - none of them follows it. It is essentially of no value to them because they all are law breakers. In fact, some apart form the law follow better than some who have it, and God will treat tehm accordingly.

He's setting them up to see that the law isn't what they need, they need Jesus. He's laying the foundation of the gospel, that we've all sinned

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I have to remember Romans 2 all the time.

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