This is an interesting passage.
You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in His justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things?Romans 2:1-3
If you condemn them for anything on that list, is there any of the same in you!!
Who is the “YOU” referred to in this section?
Some think, from the connection of these words with the preceding chapter, that the Gentiles are here meant; and particularly those among them who seemed to be virtuous, and took upon themselves to be the reprovers of others, and yet did the same things themselves. Others think the Jews are meant, who despised and condemned the Gentiles, and thought themselves to be righteous persons, and justified in the sight of God; and who, though they were secretly guilty of many abominable iniquities, yet were very severe upon the sins of others, and therefore inexcusable. Others think that magistrates are meant, whether among Jews or Gentiles, who reprove and punish sin in others, and therefore must be supposed to know the law, and the nature of sin, and so are inexcusable and self-condemned when they do the same things.
Rather the words mean every man, of whatsoever nature, office, or place; and may be particularly applied to hypocrites, and seem designed to correct censoriousness, and hastily judging, and to throw confusion on such who value themselves on being the censurers and reprovers of others
Remember the letter is written to Christians in the Church of Rome. Christians are included in the “every man” category. You the reader too.
You make up your mind.
Here’s a Gem in the midst of the darkness.
Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?Romans 2:4
Despite all of that which has gone before, God’s grace and mercy, His kindness and His tolerance and His patience are extended to draw you out of sin. Amazing. But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
He will judge everyone according to what they have done.
- eternal life to those doing good, seeking glory and honour and immortality [2:7]
- anger and wrath to those refuse truth and live in wickedness. [2:8]
- trouble and calamity to those doing evil [Jew first then Gentile] [2:9]
- glory and honour and peace to those doing good [Jew first then Gentile] [2:10]
Did you spot the pattern I tried to highlight for you in my summary of the verses above?
Those doing good > glory honour immortality
anger wrath > those living wickedness.
trouble calamity > those doing evil [Jew first then Gentile]
glory honour peace > those doing good [Jew first then Gentile]
This is set in poetic Chiastic Structure
In other words the concepts are set in a big X shape. The layout of the concepts are set in a mirror image.
Where a is reflected by a’
and b is reflected by b’
This highlights the contrast between them
Then note Paul’s addition of Jew first and also the Greek (twice for emphasis) – Jew and Gentile cover the range of humanity. Jew and non-Jew.
For God does not show favouritism. [2:11]
A practical question: How much good do you have to do before getting the glory and honour etc? Do you have to do evil all the time to be evil?
‘Does good’ is in the present indicative tense meaning “does good and keeps on doing” it.
What is a Christian, what is a Saint? Someone who lives a good life? Keeps the 10 commandments? All 613 commandments?
Well how much do you have to keep? 75 %? – that’s unfair of God? What about the one who’s kept 74 %?
God’s standard is ‘be ye perfect even as your heavenly father is perfect.’
Laws control the lesser man… Right conduct controls the greater one.Mark Twain
A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.Mark Twain
‘Classic.’ A book which people praise and don’t read. Don’t let your Bible become a classic!Anon